Leaning Into Discomfort

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Leaning Into Discomfort

One down and four to go!  For the first time ever the dumbbell made an appearance in the CrossFit Open. The community was made aware of this a couple weeks ago and we were all left guessing at what HQ had planned for us.  What would it be -overhead lunges, thrusters, dumbbell cleans? Not only is this the first appearance of dumbbells, it’s also the first time in Open history that the first workout is one FOR TIME and not an AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible). The CrossFit Open 17.1 workout was a couplet of an ascending ladder of dumbbell snatches with 15 burpee box jump and overs with a 20-minute time cap. The dumbbell snatch had to be performed with alternating arms at 35lbs.

The workout looked like this:

  • 10 dumbbell snatches and 15 burpee box jump and overs
  • 20 dumbbell snatches and 15 burpee box jump and overs
  • 30 dumbbell snatches and 15 burpee box jump and overs
  • 40 dumbbell snatches and 15 burpee box jump and overs
  • 50 dumbbell snatches and 15 burpee box jump and overs

The following percentiles are based on several thousand results that have been posted to Beyond the White Board (BTWB). These results may change slightly as the week progresses and more scores are entered into the system.

Men’s 90th Percentile: 15:56

Men’s 50th Percentile: 19:58

Women’s 90th Percentile: 16:18

Women’s 50th Percentile: 213 reps (3 of the last set of 15 burpees)

The above percentiles are based on several thousand results that have been posted to the website Beyond the White Board.

How it all went down

I took two attempts at this workout. My first attempt, was last Friday.  It wasn’t great or bad, it was horrendous. The day didn’t start out as I would have liked it. I had “run-ins,” I wasn’t 100% focused and I didn’t have a fully committed intention for the workout; I had no real plan of attack.  The workout was tough and I knew by the fourth round that I wasn’t performing my best.  I didn’t give up – I kept moving and finished. By the end I was deflated, defeated and totally unsatisfied with myself, not to mention, I was cranky and unpleasant to be around for the remainder of the day. I headed home and sulked, blaming everything: the dumbbell, the set-up, my shoes, my sore finger, my coach, and even my dog.

On Saturday I did a light workout with Hurricane Katie and judged others while they completed 17.1 at the gym. My back was really jacked, my hamstrings were singing and my head still wasn’t in the right place and I had no plans to complete this workout ever again. Sunday, was a rest day but I decided to head back to the gym to judge; my back was starting to feel much better. When I got home I spent 20 minutes in the sauna and over 1 hour on stretching, mobility and meditation:

“I want this. I’ve got this. All my training has prepared me for this. I am going to crush this workout. Every cell in my body wants this so bad. I now can’t wait for Monday.”

Two things were game changers between my 1st and 2nd attempts: Accepting that I was going to be uncomfortable, and having my workout intention in my mind.

The Snatches:

During the first and second round of snatches the 10s and 20s felt great, the 30s were “OK” and the 40s and finally 50 were true-grit-grinds as I started to fatigue. Looking back on the snatch movement, PK and I both agree that I should have switched the dumbbell in the air vs. on the ground, kept the dumbbell closer to mid-line and my butt higher.  Although only a few seconds faster and more efficient, I would have been able to take advantage of the stretch-shortening cycle, i.e.: more sprint to bounce up vs. from a dead stop on the floor.

Burpee Box Jump and Over: 

I need to start doing these every week, even as part of my warm-ups, so that I become more efficient at them.  A more interesting variant of the regular old burpee, this is a highly athletic movement and it needs to be quick and explosive. I lost the most time on this movement. In my first attempt we did a “step-up” style burpee (as I’d trained) and straight over the box with a turn to face the box again. Also in this first attempt, we identified how slowly I was lowering my upper body to the floor. In the second attempt we dropped and popped from the floor, with two feet up, turned on the box and performed another burpee. It was faster, much faster, but it was also very uncomfortable.

Lean Into Discomfort and Workout Intention:

There were two things that were big game changers between my first and second attempts: Accepting that I was going to be uncomfortable, and having my workout intention in my mind (“I’ve got this, I own this and I want to crush this.”)  Leaning into my discomfort actually helped me push through.

I am so pumped for the next few weeks! What is taking place in my gym for the Open is only a small piece of something much bigger than the confines of Strong Athlete’s walls. It’s a personal accomplishment, community involvement on a global scale, and a great opportunity to be united through the pursuit of both!

Kathleen Mitchell

Team Strong Athlete

 

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