Friday Clean Up

Something happened today that I never thought I would experience. I read the WOD on the whiteboard and spontaneously thought, Yay, cleans!

It’s particularly sweet because when I started at CrossFit Austin about a year ago, I was mightily afraid of cleans. But Tristy, as she always does, gave me excellent cues, taught me to slow down on the slow parts and speed up on the fast parts, and – most importantly – got me to commit to the lift before the bar ever left the floor. In January, I set a new PR on my 1-rep max (… which reminds me that’s probably time  to give it another go). It’s been very pleasant and confidence-building to live with the feeling of that 90# PR in my mind. When I approach a clean that’s 75# or 80#, I think to myself, That’s no problem; I’ve got a 90 in me.

Which is brings us to today and good clean fun.

clean review
Frankenstein squat
front squat
hip clean
lift off
clean – work up to 60% of max

AMRAP, 20:00:
400m run
4 cleans @ 60%, 55#
6 chest-to-bar jumping pullups
8 touch-and-go deadlifts (clean weight)
10 medball anchored situps, 10#
My total rounds: 4

Cashout Fun
1:00 handstand hold

I really reallyreallyreally wanted to complete four rounds, and I fought for it hard. The running was pretty miserable. I’m convinced the sun has a vendetta against me. It was blaring on my back on every lap, trying to turn me to ash. I’m sure of it.

But my reward for making it back to the box each time was cleans and touch-and-go deadlifts. So fun when the weight isn’t I-might-be-crushed-under-this heavy. (I actually typed that as tough-and-go the first time; I think I like that even more.)

When I was finished, I left an incredibly detailed sweat angel on the blue gymnastics mat. It was like a reverse bas-relief of my back, with my tank top straps, workout bra clasp, and shorts hem all outlined with amazing clarity. I’m a CrossFit artist, and my medium is sweat.


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  • “I’m a CrossFit artist, and my medium is sweat.”

    OH HELL YEAH!!! I just did this WOD at noon. It was my first daytime, burn-your-ass-up WOD. I was so afraid of the heat, but I’m totally glad I went. Instead of running, I rode Satan’s bicycle and I got 3 full rounds. I was so excited to see cleans! I really went to do the progressions. Super fun. By my last set of the WOD, I was getting a good rhythm and really feeling it. I also like using a weight that won’t crush my trachea if I mess up the lift. I am not afraid to be more agressive with it. (And the noon ladies bring it, I have to say.)

    We are just frackin’ awesome. Full stop.

  • Donna says:

    I love, love, love your comment “I’m a Crossfit artist, and my medium is sweat.”

    Want a tee shirt with that on it!

  • Marye says:

    Well done! I know the feeling. I’ve started Crossfit 4 months ago. Still I find the cleans quit difficult to do right. In the beginning of june I did “Grace” in 12 minute and 12 seconds with 30 kg (66lb). Today I did “Grace” in 6 minutes and 47 seconds with 35 kg (77lb).

  • JL says:

    Ok, Mel. Now you have a t-shirt to sell with your cookbook! That saying is genius!! 🙂

    Congrats on the cleans! Cleans and DL happen to be two of my favorite lifts!!

  • Janice says:

    I’m currently struggling with cleans. It’s hard to get my upper body to pull the load with my back and shoulders instead of my arms. On the same day you did this WOD, I had one breakthrough. I pulled the bar up so high and tight to my body that the weight bar started to take my shirt off. My embarrassment turned to excitement when Tristy told me I was finally doing it right. So now I associate cleans with doing belly strip teases with the weight bar.

    • Mel says:

      Janice, congratulations on your stripping breakthrough 😉 That’s totally awesome. And I’m always going to want to pretend I’m wearing pasties when I do a clean now. So thank you for that.

      • Janice says:

        HA! Wow! I wasn’t going that far in my imagination. But now that you went there, you’ll know what I’m thinking if you ever see me do a perfect clean with a big smirk on my face.

  • Carrey says:

    Did this one at the station today with the treadmill and didn’t have a med ball, so used a 25# plate. Nice WOD – intense, but not so horrible that I’m too tired if we get a call.

    Thanks, Mel!