Monday, June 21

    I have preached a considerable amount in past blog entries about how I knew what it meant to be CrossFit, that I understood the CrossFit philosophy. Today, I realized that I have a considerable amount left to learn.

    As I assembled the necessary gear for today's WOD, my brother Brian asked if he could accompany me to CrossFit. I had no qualms, and we hopped in the truck and were off. I arrived at the box to see a number of our finest CrossFitters strewn out on the floor, absolutely decimated from the day's WOD. In and among them lay the CrossFit certification trainers, equally exhausted from the day's work. It must have been some workout. While I was scared, I was pumped.

3-2-1 JUMP!
For time:
50 Push-ups
50m Broad Jumps
50m Sprint
50 Squats
50m Broad Jumps
50m Sprint
50 Sit-ups
50m Broad Jumps
50m Sprint
50 Push-ups

50m Broad jumps
50m Sprint

    Just reading the WOD exhausted me. We warmed up with a three round of jump roping, squats, and push-ups. While jump roping, this warm up called for DU's, which stands for "double unders."

Note to newbies: Double unders are when you swing the rope under you twice for every one jump. See here.

    From Gregg's demonstration, DU's didn't look so bad, but they were. They require a considerable amount of practice is my guess, but I wouldn't really know as my DU experience was nothing short of nightmarish. I probably hit the back of my head with the jump rope more than I performed a successful double under.

    I shrugged off my laughable warm up and crouched down in push up position for the WOD, next to my brother. I have been CrossFit training a considerable amount more than he has. I was going to show him what CrossFit was all about by absolutely smoking him in this WOD.

Note to newbies: The only cardio my brother is willing to do is plyometrics. This is probably because his legs are like tree trunks so running is difficult for him. Regardless, with the amount of jumps we'd be doing, this WOD was right up his alley.

    "GO!" right from the start CrossFit certification trainers and regular CrossFit onlookers alike yelled encouragement and advice. Brian's push-ups were anything but the full range of motion, but he was speeding through them. Rather than maintaining the form I had been learning from Gregg and the other trainers, I matched Brian's poor form and went equally as fast. I wasn't going to let him win.

    We started broad jumps in a rush. As I expected, he was a little bit faster on the jumps, but his lead gave him no advantage. Before I knew it we were back. After hurried, mid-ranged squats, we were back out for broad jumps. Though I was hardly crouching low, and jumping far on my broad jumps as the WOD prescribed, they were still exhausting. I had to break several times before completing the 50 meters. Brian was slightly ahead of me when we started the sit ups, but we were light years ahead of the next CrossFitter. I flew through sit ups and then was back out the door, as was Brian. We rushed through more broad jumps in poor form and were back in at the starting marker before we knew it.

    Though we did the final set of push-ups in equally poor form as we did the rest of the exercises, they still were a struggle. The CrossFit certifiers and onlookers picked up on Brian and my poor form and yelled at us to clean it up. I labored through the last set of push-ups and finished the workout.

    When I finished the workout a whole couple of minutes before the next CrossFitter, I realized I had completely blown the WOD completely for myself, and for the rest of my CrossFit crew.  In an effort to beat Brian, who also rushed through his workout with push-ups that more closely resembled "the worm" than a CrossFit push-up, I finished in an unrealistic time having not benefited nearly as much from the WOD as I normally would have if I maintained proper form; I let myself down. But what was worse was that I let the rest of the Monday at 6:00 crew down as well. When I rushed through the workout, I put unreasonable pressure on them to go faster by letting their form go. Fortunately, no CrossFit regulars sacrificed their form as I had. As I caught my breath, I cringed watching CrossFit regulars touch the floor with their chests, then lock out their elbows on push-ups. I was embarrassed knowing that my range of motion was likely half of what theirs was. I felt pretty stupid watching CrossFitters who would have crushed me on the WOD should I have used proper form, finish a whole four minutes later than me. Today was wasted.

    Walking away from the box today, I tried to take something positive away from my experience, and I was able to come up with a few things. First of all, my workout shows the benefit of working out with a group of people rather than by myself, or just with Brian. If I didn't have Gregg yelling at me "WHAT THE (insert here) IS THAT?!" at my squats and push-ups, my range of motion would have been so small that if you blinked, you might have missed my rep. Secondly, I learned that you really do have to drop your ego completely when entering the BOX. You can't come in with the soul intention of beating someone, because then you make sacrifices to do so, and your workout suffers. Failing is not about losing to someone else in the WOD, it's about letting yourself use poor form to get through the WOD. Furthermore, when you allow yourself to go through the motions in poor form, it affects the rest of the group. CrossFit isn't just about you after all, each person is an important part of making up the group atmosphere. Each person has to contribute, and I didn't do my part. I let the group down. Leaving, I knew that I would never let that happen again.

My time: N/A

Next workout: Wednesday at the Black Box NYC