What a beautiful day today is. But what is up with all this South Carolina pollen? I’m taking some time on the deck really fast to write this, but I’m about to give up because my computer screen is green. I think I’m going to make some tacos for Dan and I to eat soon. Maybe tacos without the shells. So, what is that called? I guess not tacos. Maybe just meat and veggies? I really just want some guacamole. His guac is better than mine though. I wonder if I can talk him into making us some. I always do this. I say I’m going to cook, but he’s better at it than me, so he ends up doing most of it. It’s better for both of us that way.
Alright, here we go. 16.4 = donezo.

16.4 was fun. This is the part of the Open where it’s easy to zone out and wish your way through the next week. But y’all! It only comes once a year. It’s almost over. There are still PR’s to be had and great times to remember as people give their all. Everyone at CFEC did great at 16.4. I don’t care who you are – if you can deadlift any weight 55 times, do 55 wallballs, row 55 calories, and do 55 handstand pushups or pushups, you’re pretty tough. Don’t forget that. Some of my friends didn’t even know they could do a “real pushup” and they showed themselves they could. I loved judging and trying to encourage people through this one. But I really had to focus. There was a lot of counting to do.

Some of the highlights that I could remember from Friday and Saturday… let’s see.. like I said, I loved judging my friends. Here are some of their stories:

Haley Sanders (soon to be Lasley in 2 weeks) couldn’t do a handstand pushup last year in the Open. I remember her trying 2 or 3 times, and just couldn’t do it. Well, this time she was able to knock out a good bit (sorry, I know I keep talking about Haley… but she’s dominating the Open, and doing things she couldn’t do a year ago, and that’s what CrossFit is all about, so sorry). Same thing with my friend Nicole – she couldn’t do very many handstand pushups last year, and she got a good bit this year. My friend Brooke did great in this one. I talked about Brooke awhile back here. Handstand pushups are her thing. I loved judging my friend, Lia. She’s a fighter. She hates deadlifts…like a lot. I got to judge her, and I watched her fight through each deadlift in sets of 5. I was proud of her because she came into the workout with a plan, and she stuck with it. Once she got through those deads, it was all smooth sailing. I think we both would have done better if I had finished those Iceland Sara and Katrin shirts I was supposed to make us, so we could keep living vicariously through athletes who are way better than us. Look for these shirts to go viral later on.

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I judged/watched my friends Laurin Wilson and Josh Pritchett do the fitness version of the workout, and they both finished the workout and almost finished the 55 deadlifts in the second round. 55 pushups is no joke. I also watched my friend, Jeri Ann go Saturday morning. Jeri Ann is crazy good. She has 3 kids, and somehow manages to be at CFEC every morning at 5 am. I dunno how she does it.

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Daniel went on Saturday – last minute. He did great. I’m proud of him. He also went into the workout with a plan. I just wanted to take a minute to brag on him. Each open workout, he has sat down and mapped out his plan for it. He’s done his best, and has ended up at one of the top spots in our gym every week.

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I also got to watch my friend, Kelly go on Saturday. Kelly is really good at crossfit, but she does a great job about not letting it consume her. She’s one of the busiest, most down to earth people I know. Because of her, about 25 kids in CFEC KidFit have been able to go through the Open as well.

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Another one of my fav highlights was watching my friends Lindsey and Cindy go on Saturday. Lindsey just had back surgery maybe 6 weeks ago (surgery not related to crossfit – just to throw that out there 🙂 ) Before that, she has barely worked out since last August, as docs tried to figure out the best way to treat her. But she’s back! She still wasn’t cleared to lift anything during the first week of the Open. But since then, she has done every open workout, scaled down to a weight that is best for her. Not only that, but she HAS to be the CFEC MVP of the Open, because our in house competition wouldn’t be as great and organized if it weren’t for her. She’s cheered everyone else on so hard over the past several weeks – including myself. It’s really impacted me. Also, my friend Cindy is 6+ months pregnant. She’s doing the Open too! She scaled this workout down to doing pushups off of parallettes, so she could still get the range of motion without falling on top of Iron Man, her and Nick’s baby. Ok, so no excuses, y’all! Anyone can do this.

My #1 favorite moment from Saturday was getting to judge my new friend Stacy! Stacy works with Daniel at St. Francis in Greenville. She’s been doing crossfit at Swamp Rabbit for about a year now I think. She did Murph at our gym last year over Memorial Day weekend. Well, I’ve had the honor to start training Stacy on Saturday mornings. We’ve set some goals, and she’s going to get them soon! (And then maybe she’ll just give in a little and start making the drive to Anderson to workout with us 🙂 Anyway, she wanted to do her workout at CFEC and let me judge her/coach her through it. She did great. She was able to get a good bit of pushups in. I’m proud of you, Stacy! She was dreading this workout, but she did it, and did way better than she thought she would!

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Personally, 16.4 was my favorite open workout yet. It wasn’t the most fun to watch, but it was a lot of fun to do. I love wallballs and rowing. I’m not a fan of deadlifts, but I don’t mind moderately heavy deadlifts in high reps.  I don’t love them by any means though. And I actually do love handstand pushups, although I am NOT good at them. I learned Friday night that while it’s somewhat important to be efficient in deads, wallballs, and rowing, this workout revolved around the handstand pushups. If you hit a wall, you’re toast. Well I hit a wall (literally). Like my butt nailed the wall for most of my reps. I got off the rower at 6:50, which means I had 6 minutes and 10 seconds to do 55 of them. I thought, hmm…I’m gonna be able to finish these AND get back to the deadlifts and maybe come close to finishing those too. But nope. Those handstand pushups are tricky. I did 17 out of the gate, and then realized that was a mistake. I fought for every single one after that — even getting no repped about 5 or 6 times I think. I finished the 55 HSPU with maybe 7 seconds left, and was able to jump back on my bar and crank out two deadlifts. I think my total was 222. I was frustrated for barely getting those handstand pushups, despite having 6 minutes to do them, but it was still fun. My friend and across the street neighbor Josh Wilson (check him out on insta or FB – josh wilson photography) was at CFEC taking pictures that night. I’m so glad him and Jenna (and Brixton) are a part of CFEC. Anyway, he took a video of me doing this workout, and was able to document the struggle of getting those last 10 reps. I fought for every single one…especially those no reps. But this is why you should pace yourself, or you will most likely hit a wall (if you’re an amateur at HSPU, like me).

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Something I didn’t realize until later though was that I got to do this workout alongside 3 other Geoducks in our gym – Carrie Pritchett, Carrie Fesperman, and Jarrod Wiggins. Also, shoutout to Will Cox for being in my heat and pacing me on deadlifts. He beat me on them, so I tried to catch him on the wallballs. Props to him. He like just turned 15 the other day and is doing the Open. I like that Cox family.

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So, I went into Monday with a plan. I decided for once in my life, I was going to pace a workout. I don’t usually pace anything. I just go. Yeah, sometimes I slow down a little on the second half of the workout, but I’d rather do that than regret not feeling like I pushed myself as hard as I could. But it was time to try something new. I had a plan to pace the heck out of those HSPU. I got through the deadlifts, wallballs, and row with a little more of a struggle than I did two days prior. Did anyone else feel that way? My legs didn’t feel as great that second time around. But I got off the rower 20 seconds slower than I did on Friday, made my way over to the handstand pushups, and my favorite workout song magically came on – it’s by Rihanna and it has a not nice word in the title, so I can’t appropriately say it on my blog. But it was a sign. I just knew I was about to pace it and do better this time. I did 8 HSPU right away, and everything in me wanted to do more. But I pulled myself off the wall. After that I did a set of 7, some sets of 5, some sets of 4, and then by the end of it, I was doing sets of 3 and then 2. Even though I got to the wall 20 seconds later than I did on Friday, I was still able to finish the HSPU AND get 15 deadlifts. Best of all, I didn’t get any no reps. No wasted energy. They were smooth (or smooth for me, at least— maybe not pretty) So, I was a lot happier with my score this time – 235 – ALL BECAUSE I PACED MYSELF! 🙂

So, moral of this story and the stories of some of my friends above: if there is a movement that you aren’t great at, go in to it with a plan. Pace yourself. It’s actually more fun that way too. Don’t be the girl in the video above flailing off the wall because she outdid herself just a few short minutes earlier.

If you’re doing the Open, enjoy this last week! Remember, at the end of the day, it’s not all about the leaderboard. It’s about taking on a little added pressure to help you do your best out there, being inspired by others, and learning a thing or two along the way. If you’re competitive, like me, and excited that you’re soclose,yet just a little outside of having a chance at moving on to the next stage of this crossfit competition season, just remember that however you end up, use it to push you to get better. Be proud of every singe rep you’ve done in the Open, and know that even if you don’t make it to that next stage, be thankful. I can’t say enough how thankful I am to even be within striking distance. I never saw it coming. I don’t take it for granted, and I’m using it as motivation to keep working on those weaknesses and do the best I can next time. It’s an example of God’s grace in my life – something I don’t deserve, but it’s been reealll good to me. Keep grinding, y’all.

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