Every year during the open, at least one workout is a repeat from a previous year. Each time the repeat WOD is announced, CrossFitters everywhere let out a collective groan. We remember the pain, and pray for evidence that we have grown stronger since we the first time we experienced whatever hellacious WOD we are about to repeat. This year, 20.3 was a repeat of 18.2. I have to admit that I didn’t initially remember actually completing the WOD, and thought that maybe it was a week I was sick or injured or smart enough to just say no. Two handstand push-ups in, I suddenly remember, “oh that’s right, I no-repped the crap outta this WOD in 2018 and didn’t make it one full set in before the clock ran out.” I had evidently suppressed the traumatic memory.
Here’s How This WOD Went For Me:
This week, I didn’t have to drive 2-3 hours back home before the WOD, so that I thought I was off to a good start. I had to opt out of Friday Night Lights, because my son’s trunk-or-treat was scheduled for this evening, and mom duty and Halloween candy took priority. Instead, I completed the workout during my box’s noon session. While I usually enjoy Friday Night Lights, I appreciated not looking like an idiot in front of an audience, and as a bonus, my #hotdad husband got to judge me. Graciously, the man only no-repped me twice, so he will be allowed to continue to live. He’s a smart one.
155lb deadlifts are not my favorite, but also not the worst thing in the world. They are heavy enough that I have to break them up into sets of seven if I want to walk the next day (I had a 10 miler Saturday, so the answer was yes). I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t feel too difficult, and I think I was generally able to keep my form fairly solid. In 2017, we were dumb enough to subject ourselves to 55 reps of 155lb deadlifts in one open workout, and let me tell you I was not a happy camper. So it was nice to see that there has been some incremental progress over the last few years.
The hand stand push-ups were a whole different story. I am one of the people who prefers the comfort of smacking my head into a nice, padded abmat during HSPUs. Generally I can get about 7-10 reps in one set and keep going at a decent pace, but I will be the first to admit that with HSPUs, when they go, they go. The open standards require that if you use an abmat, you set up two 25lb plates next to it, so that your hands will push off them and be level with the height of the mat. This is not my favorite thing. There are other options, like gymnastics mats or the good old fashioned concussion, but I’ve always leaned towards the plate set up when there are standards involved. In my normal workouts, I generally just use an abmat and call it good without the plates.
Even though I am not financially committed to the open this year, I do like seeing how well I can survive the standards. That in mind, I willingly set up my mat and plates and hoped for the best. Something happens to me, though, when I am confined to hand placement on top of plates. I don’t know if it’s mental, or if I really put my hands a weird distance from my head when I normally do HSPUs, but whatever the case plates increase the difficulty level for me by about 4275%. Roughly. Remember how I said I couldn’t remember if I had previously completed this workout in 2018, but suddenly realized I had? Like I said, two reps in, it all came flooding back. The no reps. The flops. The time spent fruitlessly trying to will my body to do what it should be able to do.
So, this workout was not my best. I finished 51 total reps, which is pretty sad. I spent about 7 minutes getting through the 21 HSPUs. Frustrated as I was, I thought I remembered not being able to get through the first set of 21 HSPUs the first time I did workout, and I decided to check. I was correct. I only made it 37 reps in last time. Which means in some small way, I’ve gotten just a little bit stronger or more proficient since 2018. At this point, I’ll take the tiny win. I was however, irritated enough after the WOD that I decided to see if it was the plates were responsible for throwing me off my usually mediocre CrossFit game. Towards the end, I was struggling to get in single reps. So I huffed myself over to a gymnastics mat, and decided to see if maybe next time I should give it a shot. I flipped myself upside down, squished down into themat, kicked up, and got 4 reps done without too much duress. It’s annoying that I didn’t think try out the gymnastics mat BEFORE wasting 7 minutes of my life, but lesson learned. Next time, use the damn middle school gymnastics mat, not the plates. If you need me, I’ll be licking my wounds and diving head first into my kids Halloween stash.