40 Seconds To Glory

Reason #347 that I love CFA: It makes time elastic.

Forty seconds of work can last a lifetime; 20 seconds of rest flash by in a blink. This was our CrossFit Austin workout this morning.

double-under progressions
rowing practice

7 rounds:
:40 row for meters @ 90-95% effort (record average)
:20 rest
:40 double-unders
:20 rest
:40 hollow holds
:20 rest

My average row: 181m

This WOD tricked me with it’s unassuming 40-second work sessions of rowing, double-unders, and hollow holds. I mean, 40 seconds. How hard could that possibly be?

This hard:
At the beginning of round 3, I wasn’t sure I could actually accomplish the first pull on the rower to get started ’cause I was still reeling from the hollow hold.

On round 4, I only managed to get 3 single double-unders because I couldn’t control my breathing enough to relax into the rhythm.

On round 5, I squeaked during the hollow holds, “This is round 5, right?!” while inside my noggin I was chanting, Please let this be round 6. Please let me have counted wrong. Please be round 6. It was 5.

At the end of round 7, when the last second of the last hollow hold ticked away, I lay flat on the floor and relished the sensation of NOT holding. Heavenly.

Overall, I was pleased with my performance. I averaged 181m with a low of 175m and a high of 194m… which just begs the question: If I could do 194m on round 3, when I was already starting to feel the fatigue setting in, why couldn’t I do it every round?

And in the spirit of glass half-full-ism… bragging point: I held every hollow hold for the full 40 seconds unbroken. I was the only person in the class to do it, too. Neener.



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  • At first, I was excited to see these type of WODs. Forty on, twenty off la la la. Now I treat them like growling dogs: with suspicion and delicate handling. It is no consolation to be halfway thru bc you still have 3 %@#$@ rounds to go! Ugh.

    You are awesome to keep those hollow holds every round. I would have flopped around like a fish out of water. I am going to Oly lifting at 3. I may fall on my rear again. Dinner and a show! Bargain!

    • Mel says:

      I really like these WODs a lot because they feel like so much Hard Work. And thank you! Yes, my hollow holds were awesome.

      Hope Oly lifting was badass and that you did, in fact, land on yours. GO AFTER IT!

  • Barbara says:

    I’ve been reading awhile (stalking?) You are a lot of fun! I’m new to crossfit and paleo… My 23 yr. old son is a level 1 crossfit trainer and “ol’ mom and dad” are finally coming on board. I’m amazed at the workouts people do. We are in week 7 of my son’s boot camp and I alternate between elation and despondency… will I EVER get stronger????

    • Mel says:

      How fun that your son is a CrossFit trainer and now you’re joining the CF club. Right on!

      Yes, you will get stronger. And then you’ll want to get even stronger than that. And faster. None of us are ever ‘done’ — there’s always a new skill to learn or a seconds to shave off a time… that’s the fun of it!

      Enjoy! And keep me posted on how you’re doing!

  • Bo Sabin says:

    Can I just say that I love that a badass chick like you says, “Neener.” I flippin love it.