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The Struggle

Monday afternoon:

Tonight is a WOD I’ve been dreading for a while and, when I logged onto Instagram this morning to see Coach had posted the movements, I nearly threw my phone to the other side of the room.

Brenton:
Five rounds for time of:
Bear crawl 100 feet
Standing broad-jump, 100 feet

Do three Burpees after every five broad-jumps. If you’ve got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.

I did this WOD over a year ago and it broke me. I’ve never felt so defeated after a WOD than I did while performing Brenton. I broke out in hives after the WOD due to hay fever and the grass. I was a full two rounds behind everyone else. I modified it to seven broad-jumps with the burpees because of how short my stride is. I cried when I was 100 feet away from everyone else who had finished long ago.

I don’t like to admit that I’m total and utter crap at physical fitness. I like to think I’m good at some things and I know I’m good at some things. I joke about how crappy I’ll be at this WOD and how I’m always the last person to finish a WOD; this doesn’t usually bother me because I’m usually always able to finish the WOD. This was a totally different kind of workout, though.

It just…broke me. 

I felt like a failure. A total and utter failure. I was the fat kid that never got picked in class to join anyone’s team. I couldn’t manage the bear crawl, my form on the burpees was crap at best. My broad jumps were maybe three feet.  Coach came over while I stood at the other end of the field sobbing saying nonsensicals like “I don’t know why I can’t do it!” and he kept trying to tell me ‘you do this for Brenton’ and ‘You’re doing great!’ Other people came to do the burpees with me (which made me feel like even more of an invalid, though they meant well) so when I finally finished, I didn’t speak to anyone. I just found my water bottle and walked away; not wanting people to see me at my lowest point. People came up behind me in the group of us walking back to the gym and gave me praise, but tears just silently fell the entire walk back to the gym and especially in my car. Just writing about it now makes me misty.

I signed up for class tonight but I really don’t want to fail or find out that I’m not better than I was two years ago. I don’t want to go to this WOD only to end up in tears again because I can’t finish more than three rounds before it gets dark.

I’m going to do my best and know that I am a better CrossFitter than I was two years ago. My back is twitchy, but I know that I can manage this WOD just like I do all the other WODs. I will be the last person finished, but I sincerely hope to finish more than I did two years ago.

 

Monday Night:

I walked into the gym and my nerves were on overdrive. I warmed up quickly, comiserated with people and expressed my nervousness to the people around me. One girl was there the last time I did it and remembered my reaction to the WOD. She was confident I could finish though, so that helped.

We jumped into the strength portion and I did fine with the Wendler Cycle: I did back squats at a little less than I should have, and my press was minimal at best; I wasn’t worries. I just wanted to get this WOD over.

We walked to the field down the street and coach counted us down. I couldn’t find a good cadence for the bear crawls so my hips hurt more than anything else. The broad jumps were fine, but I did 7 to make up the difference of my little legs. The burpees were the easiest part, though my hands were already breaking out and my lungs were burning from the grass. I made it through the first round is pretty decent time and the second round wasn’t too bad, but the third was where I fell apart a bit; my bear crawl was crappy, I had to stop a lot. I was still able to make it through the jumps in three sets, only having to do 6 burpees total.

I wasn’t the last one on the field when I finished the third round, though people were finishing already. I started on my fourth bear crawl with a massive burning in my lungs. I wasn’t fatigued, I just couldn’t breathe well. I started on the jumps, heard Sarah tell me ‘little jumps are still jumps!’ and, halfway through the fourth round, when almost everyone else was done, I talked to coach ‘Is there a time cap?’ he shook his head. “I mean I’d say end it at 4 if you want to stop, but I won’t make you stop.” “Good,” I said. “I’m going to finish.” and I finished off the fourth round.

I wasn’t alone for the fifth round, which eased my mind a bit. I finally got the cadence for the bear crawl and finished in three good tries. I then powered through the jumps and barely made it to the end through the third set of jumps.

18:44. I had finished. I collapsed to the ground and started crying just out of happiness. I walked back to the gym and gave my time. “You did a great job out there today.” said coach.

I believed him.

I went back to my car and texted Boyfriend. I then cried a couple tears of joy and posted on Instagram.

I beat the WOD. I won.

I finished. 

Field Training Officer Timothy Quinn Brenton, 39, of the Seattle Police Department, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting while on duty on October 31, 2009. He is survived by his wife Lisa, his son Quinn, and daughter Kayliegh.

Thank you, Brenton. Thanks to you, I understand what it is to be strong; to persevere; to overcome. Thank you.

Whitten

So it’s been a while since I last wrote because I’ve not been in the right state of mind to write. I’ve been in a bit of a funk and I know I should be writing if I’m in a funk because I’ve been WODding but my funk has been affecting my workouts but… you know…

Tonight kicked my butt. After signing up for 4 WODs this week, I saw this post from Coach:

Be sure you are hydrated, well fed (before you come), and rested for tomorrow’s workout… That is all.

I almost thought about canceling my reservation but Boyfriend assured me it would be fun (he says that all the time, and then he does a WOD and says it sucks) and I would do great.

I spent the entire day today nervous, terrified even, especially when someone posted that the WOD was Whitten, a Hero WOD meant to break someone effectively.

“Whitten”

5 rounds for time
22 kettle bell swings
22 box jumps
400m run (500m row)
22 burpees
22 wall balls

I drank copious amounts of water, ate a good lunch, snacked on an apple around 4 and tried to not think about how it’s going to be insane and how the hell am I going to be able to do this WOD in the prescribed time?

I warmed up quickly after getting changed. I saw people with pained expressions, panting, shaking their heads and I knew what my fate was about to be. I was not looking forward to this.

We started right away. I grabbed a 25 pound Kettle Bell and a 10 pound medicine ball and the rower since my ankles are still messed up. Squats felt good so I figured I could get through the wall balls pretty well. My back was a little tweaky but I was going to ignore it as much as possible.

3, 2, 1…GO and the bell felt light for the first 21. I kept pace but slowed down during the box jumps as I do step-ups (Still scared of the stupid box…) Then the row took its toll since it’s 100 meters longer than the other people’s run and rowing takes a lot more work than running in my opinion. Burpees were burpees and the wall balls were strung in 6s and 7s so I was happy.

The wall balls became my rest period. I pussed out and switched to the 20 pound kettlebell and it was super easy but I was able to get through them quickly enough to move onto the step-ups. The row was hell every single time and the burpees tweaked my back a little further with every pike.

Technically, the class had a time-cap of 47 minutes but I told Coach Robb I was going to keep going even if he said ‘time!’ I was in the middle of the last set of my step ups when time was called and I’ll be damned if I get stuck on the time cap and have to settle for a DNF like I’ve done before.

My medicine ball was picked up and I barked at someone (unintentionally) to grab me a new one and then thanked her dearly when she brought it over. I hid behind a set of boxes and finished my burpees while everyone cooled down and did my wall balls with crazy timing.

55:10 and I hit the floor almost as fast as the ball falling to the floor. I laid on the floor for a good few minutes before finally getting up and hobbling to the whiteboard to write down my time (with an exclamation mark, thank you very much!) all ready to come back tomorrow.

My back cramped up pretty hardcore on the way home but I am now full of meatloaf (tomorrow’s post) at one with my couch and will be for a good amount of time.

So in conclusion, thank you for your service and sacrifice, Whitten. Your family was blessed to be a part of your life and I’m glad we could continue your legacy by commemorating you today.