Goooodddd Morning. Sorry I am late with these open posts. Posting them on Thursday the past couple of weeks feels like I am talking about old news and/or throwing salt on wounds that are almost healed and ready to be forgotten about. So, sorry!

First of all, there are some really strong people out there in the world. I’m impressed that many people can do so many strict handstand pushups, and then go straight into a handstand walk (even 200 feet of it) right after.

It was a fun workout – to see what you are capable of. It’s awesome to see people get their first strict handstand pushup. And this made judging a lot easier too….less math and less hurt feelings. This year was all about, “hey, can you do it? Or not?” And not so much about…”can you get your heels over a line, depending on how long your forearm is, divide that number by 2, and there is your line.”

Before I jump into any “excuse” I could make.. I want to be clear.. I’ve never been good at strict handstand pushups, nor do I spend an adequate amount of time working on them. Out of everything that I’m “not great at” in CrossFit, strict handstand pushups is at the top of the list. Real talk… I got my first strict handstand pushup back in 2016 after I had qualified for Regionals and they announced “Regionals Nate” (or whatever that workout was called). I worked pretty hard for 3 weeks leading up to that – starting with two abmats (about 5 inches) and then one abmat (a little more than 2 inches). And then, I could eventually knock one at a time out with NO ABMAT (no inches 🙂 I went to Regionals and did singles in that workout. It was my best for where I was at. I didn’t get very far in that workout (longest 20 minutes of my life) so thankfully, I only did 14 the entire workout. There was a workout at Granite Games last year that was changed up last minute from strict HSPU, to DEFICIT strict HSPU, and I couldn’t get a single rep. And I could keep going, and give you more examples…but I think you get it.. I’m not good at them, and despite being challenged and forced to work on them, I’ve gone through months at a time where I haven’t even attempted one. So, my bad.

So, now that that is out of the way…I was a little bummed when they announced this workout. It is a beautiful workout, and I love a good butt burner — lunges AND weighted box step ups…sign me up for that. I have longer legs, and I love reaaaccchhhing as far as possible when I lunge, so that helps me to love them a little more. But see, right before I left for Wodapalooza back in January, I got some news from an ortho that I have a torn rotator cuff. This explained the horrible shoulder pain I had been experiencing since the end of November – especially while trying to sleep – which I didn’t understand at the time. I went back to see the surgeon after WZA, and in order to bypass surgery, I told him I would 1. Lay off 2. Get some physical therapy 3. Not do anything overhead unless I had to. 4. Lay off some more.

Now, to give myself some credit, my friend Elisa (who did my PT for my achilles last year) has been helping me out some with some physical therapy. She’s pointed me in the right direction with some things to work through on my own in the gym as well. I’ve dedicated time to it – time that I used to spend lifting, or getting some random other workout in.  Now…see here, I’ve tested the boundaries a little when it felt ok. One day about a month ago, we had strict HSPU programed in a workout in class.  it shocked me that I literally had NO strength on my left side as I tried to push myself up. I fell over. I couldn’t push myself up. That was a month ago.

Anyway, I’ve been working hard on that shoulder. I’ve worked on those exercises Elisa gave me. I’m learning how to engage my “back muscles” the right way. I’ve laid off, and most days I’ve avoided anything overhead at all. And a lot of days it’s felt pretty good!

However, when they said strict HSPU, I was like “ohhh…this is going to hurt a little…” ..probably hurt more of my pride than anything else. I’ve already been so happy with how this Open has gone.

So, the promise I made to myself was this…

That no matter what, I would accept where I’m at right now, have a good attitude :), know that this doesn’t define me (just like workouts I “excel at” also don’t define me), and I would move on – keeping the bigger picture in mind – my mental sanity (haha you know!) my health, and the opportunity to compete in Iceland in May (and continuing to make sure I am healthy going into that, and not like I was going into Wodapalooza).

On Minus a little lack of strength and a lack of practice, I didn’t really have any pain in the workout when I did it Friday night, and I still managed to squeeze out 39 good strict handstand pushups (and 3 or 4 that didn’t quite make it…ha, so 39) in my first attempt at this workout. I was scared out of my mind to press myself up, and it showed. I went so slow, and I was so timid. And while we’re at it, I also failed by not knowing that you had to alternate your legs when you stepped up (whoops) so I needed to redo this workout Monday anyway, because I did not alternate. Because of my lack of paying attention to that little detail in the standards, I also had to ask people who didn’t alternate their step ups (like me) to redo the workout as well. They were going to redo it anyway, ya know…but my bad. I studied those standards so hard before going to sleep last Thursday because I wanted to make sure anyone in our 5 am class and beyond did this right.

So, with that, I redid this workout Monday.

But I changed my mindset. As weird as this sounds to some (some will get it though) I had to believe I could do this. I’ve even tested 50 SHSPU for time before (fresh though 🙂 I had to remind myself that doing *my best* was the win. Soooo…..I went faster through those lunges and box step ups (haha.. I treated that like it’s own little workout just to see how fast I could go). And then I made sure I attacked (or, well, attacked for me 🙂 each handstand pushup. I beat my old score with 2 minutes to go.

Anyway, I finished those 50 reps, and was able to walk 25 feet. It was probably the slowest handstand walk of my life, but hey.

I then thought for maybe 5 min about even trying to redo it again that afternoon.. but then I remembered that this is about the big picture… for my shoulder to continue to heal and having the AMAZING opportunity to compete in Iceland in like 6 weeks!

And I feel like my shoulder has come so far. This workout definitely showed me that.

I can genuinely say that I am happy with the way this turned out. I never once got upset. I didn’t blame anyone else or make excuses. I didn’t get upset when my name dropped waayyyyy down that leaderboard. In fact, I didn’t look (and I still haven’t looked)but thanks to my PROUD MOM, who texted me the next morning to tell me congrats, I know about where I am at 🙂

CONGRATS TO EVERYONE who got their first strict handstand pushup in this workout, or maybe walked on their hands a little further than they thought they could, or just finished those lunges and weighted box step ups…that was tough in itself.

2 MORE WORKOUTS TO GO 🙂 Don’t underestimate getting to do these workouts in your gym, with all of your friends, and having the opportunity to surprise yourself with what you are capable of.