What Do I Know?

Each day at 12:01 a.m., CrossFit Austin posts our WOD to their web site, so after my alarm rings at 5:55 a.m., while I stumble to the bathroom to put on contact lenses and brush my teeth, I load up the workout on my iPhone to review the torture du jour. My reaction is usually one of the following:

Reaction 1.
OH MY GOD. That is going to suck!
This is generally reserved for thrusters and/or long-ass, multi-round, running+dumbbell or body weight exercises. Note that if the workout includes running+barbell exercises (except for thrusters), it usually elicits Option 2.

Reaction 2.
AWESOME! I love [insert things I love here]. This is gonna be fun.
This is applicable to most barbell work, running, double-unders, box jumps, handstand holds (but not handstand pushups), and most body weight exercises.

Reaction 3.
That looks totally LAME! LAME! I can’t believe I had to get out of bed for that.
This whining occurs when the workout includes (a) things that make me feel lame, like knees-to-elbows and static chin-up holds; (b) things that don’t look like they’ll be very challenging, like workouts with lots of built-in rest; and (3) things that are primarily skill work, rather than go-til-you-barf, like slow step-ups and scaled handstand pushups.

My track record for accurately predicting how I will feel about a workout after having completed it – based on reading it on my iPhone while half asleep – is very, very poor. Option 2 workouts are just as likely to turn out to be a nightmare as not, and sometimes Option 1 workouts bring on that magical, elusive feeling of euphoria and triumph.

Where I fail in my predictions most colossally is Reaction 3.

I am never right about Reaction 3. Ever.

They always turn out to be more fun or more educational or more inspiring than I imagine when I read them in black and white.

Take this morning, for instance. I didn’t like the looks of it. Rowing with lots of rest. Airdyne?! Knees-to-elbows and V-ups. That’s a whole lotta stuff I think is lame (i.e., I can’t do it very well).

WOD #1
5 rounds:
:90 row AFAP
3:00 active rest: 6 ring rows + 8 V-ups
My average meters rowed: 391

WOD #2
4 rounds:
:60 Airdyne sprint
3:00 active rest: 6 knees-to-elbows

I got schooled. First, the rowing was exhilarating and totally kicked my ass. I averaged 391m in 90 seconds and my best interval was 400m. I almost barfed when I finished that one. I think I’m really starting to like rowing!

The Airdyne super sucked… but in that painfully good way. The first 30 seconds were “This is kinda fun!” and the last 30 seconds were “My arms are going to fall off! Oh, wait! No! My legs are going to fall off! Um… nope… they’ve both fallen off and holy shit! There are still 20 seconds to go!”

And today, for the first time, I got the hang of kipping on the knees-to-elbows and actually, for the first time ever, got my knees in the vicinity of my elbows.

Shows you what I know…



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  • Who would have ever thought the Airdyne would be so hard? It was like Stairmaster Time. Nothing drags on for flippin’ ever like climbing stairs to nowhere. My meters were not great. I was a little barfy on the rower this morning as well. I’m hoping for a better time of it tomorrow.

  • ke says:

    I totally know what you mean on the knees to elbows.. after two years I was mildly convinced that I had some sort of genetic defect in which my knees couldn’t physically get NEAR my elbows.

    I always felt like a landed trout…until this last week, when the kipping clicked. 🙂

  • Sylvie says:

    Ha! I pretty much have those same type of reactions, and I’m usually wrong too! It’s to the point where I don’t even know why I bother checking what the workout will be each day, but I just can’t help it. Glad the knees to elbows (or as I like to call them, “knees in a general upward direction”)went well!

  • Caroline says:

    I am so with you on the KTE (knees to elbows) – lame because I don’t like doing them! Forward rolls are in the same category – couldn’t even do them as a kid, let alone a now inflexible adult.

  • JoJo says:

    Awesome work on the K2E! 🙂

  • dr.err says:

    lol. that’s awesome. i’m glad my box doesn’t post the workout…i have a 40 minute drive and i’m pretty sure i would talk myself out of the workout if they did. before my injury i had just figured out the kipping part of k3e. its amazing. like unlocking some secret code or something! great work!

  • dana says:

    I hadn’t even finished the article when it elicited my usual warm feeling of “Ahhh….that’s me!” Soooo good to know, besides all the truth telling, someone else sees thrusters and is, like “No! No like!” I know they make me stronger, yada, yada. They are kryptonite!

    And I, too, have a strongly bad predictor of what a wod will feel like! That dang crossfit!