20.5 & Why I Said Nope

This was not a particularly great fitness week for me.  On Tuesday, I began having what felt like very strong and random back spasms that sent me to urgent care, begging for some form of relief.  I hadn’t injured anything, hadn’t pulled anything, and honestly couldn’t pinpoint what was going on, other than all of the muscles in my mid-back were exceptionally displeased.  Wednesday & Thursday were better, but Friday the intense spasms re-emerged, and I went to my chiropractor who quickly realized I had somehow popped a rib.  I’ll get more into all of that in my weekly recap, but as I was awkwardly trying to avoid moving my back in specific ways, I saw the release of the 20.5 workout.

I have been trying for YEARS to get bar muscle ups nailed, and while I have periods of occasionally being able to pull myself up and over the bar, I have never gotten comfortable enough to say it’s a move I can do successfully or reliably.  That being said, I have never, ever, ever attempted a ring muscle up.  I know for some people the rings are easier than the bar, but I also know that sometimes people who should not attempt a ring muscle up do fun things like dislocate a shoulder or break an arm giving it a shot.  I am not interested in that possibility, so until I can consistently get bar muscle ups down, I will be staying my butt off the rings.

When I saw the WOD, I knew that on a regular day I would gladly complete the wallballs and rowing and call it day.  And when I say gladly, I mean I’d grumble about how much I hate rowing and wallballs, with the confidence of knowing I would be able to finish the movements within the 20 minute time cap.  This however has not been a regular week for me.  My back has been PISSED, in a way that has made dumb things like turning a steering wheel hurt at times.  So would my back be ok rowing?  Doubtful.  What about wall balls?  Yea, probably not.  Both of those movements involve a whole lotta back muscles, and my back muscles have been telling me in no uncertain terms that they are not interested in doing anything at the moment.  I knew I could get probably get through the workout, but I also knew there would likely be some consequences, in the form of continued back spasms.  So, I thought, I had some options.  I could forgo Friday Night Lights, and save the workout for Saturday, Sunday, or Monday depending on how I felt.  Or, I could just nope it out.

I chose the second option.  The whole point of the Open is to try workouts that seem challenging, and even impossible to see just what you are capable of.  Usually, this can result in hitting weights or times or movements that you never would attempt during a regular WOD.  The thing is, I know I can row 80 cal, and I know I can finish 150 wallballs.  I also know that’s a fairly decent volume, and I would get a good workout doing all of that, so there’s some appeal there for me.  But when I step back and refocus on the purpose of the Open, getting in a good workout isn’t the goal.  It’s the push.  Finishing 150 wallballs and 80 cal row would require some pushing, but probably not anything more than typical day at the box in all honesty.  What it could potentially do is just piss my back off and set me back a couple days of healing.

It’s hard for me to nope a workout.  I’m competitive.  I want to see what I am capable of.  As much as I complain, I really love pushing myself into uncomfortable places.  What I don’t love is making a dumb minor injury that should resolve in a few days lag out over a couple of weeks because I don’t have the self-control and intelligence to let go of my ego and bow out of a workout.  When I think of what I would tell a coaching client in the same situation, I know I would tell them that the payoff simply isn’t worth the potential price for this WOD.  So, while I don’t always take my own advice (I’m a therapist, we rarely do), this time I’m going to channel my inner Elsa, and just let that shit go.  20.5, it’s gonna be a nope for me.

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