Photography by Sarah Griffith
Fourteen year old Dominic Luce puts his hands on my shoulders and says, "Don't worry Mom, I've got this. I can do it." Undaunted by both the number of reps and the weight that was 35 pounds heavier than him, Dominic cinched his belt tight and went onto the floor to be judged for the Teen RX division of CrossFit Open workout 16.4.
This week the workout - 55 deadlifts, 55 wall ball shots, 55 calories on the rower and 55 handstand push ups (and so on, as a thirteen minute AMRAP) posed a particularly interesting question that our athletes had to answer, each for themselves. As a little background, during the CrossFit Open a competitor has the option of completing the workout posted "RX" which means as prescribed or scaled. Choosing to go " Rx'd" means you will be moving the heaviest weights and doing the most challenging movements. But the universal adaptability of CrossFit is that you can scale, or modify any movement - so anyone can complete the workout and feel the rush of euphoria after a tough WOD. And ALL the Open WOD's are tough! Each and every competitor truly rose to the occasion, no matter which workout they decided to complete.
A deadlift is one of the most essential lifts that anyone, and everyone, should perform. Moving a "dead weight" off the ground is an essential functional movement of everyday life and is natural and inherent to all humans, from toddlers up. In this workout, the deadlift was made more challenging by the number of reps and a large difference in weight from one division to the next. In 16.4 the combo of weight and high reps helped some to make their decision to scale. Robbin Doss said he groaned a little when 16.4 was announced. With 2 former back injuries, Robbin knew that he would have to be cautious in completing the workout. When asked if he thought about skipping the workout he said with a huge grin, "Oh no! Only for a minute, then I reminded myself that this is what I train for. I knew I would feel most comfortable going at a controlled and steady pace, so I planned to take my time." That is great advice!
Brent Swift, a Spartan racer who also plays soccer, baseball and goes off road adventuring, is no stranger to athletic challenges. Upon checking in for FNL he was undecided about which version to complete, but in the end went RX. "I want to push... to struggle to make it. Not glide on through." Brent pushed steadfastly towards his goal of making it to the handstand push-ups. When I saw him after the workout he was elated - giving a big thumbs up to show he knew that the struggle was worth it.
And let's not forget about the wallball shots that came next- those are no joke! But our CFE competitors refused to back down from these either. Morgan Pillar was ready for the wallballs, "Beth has been encouraging me to move up and tonight I did! I used the 10 pound ball and I will use it in my workouts from now on." Way to go Morgan! Your hard work is paying off! Robin Farris had spent Thursday night reading articles on the best way to break the workout up. Robin is always willing to share advice and her advice on this topic was spot on." I chose the rep scheme of 10-10-9-8-7-6-5 , and it was a success." Thanks for the tip Robin! It really worked well!
So this brings us to our last week of the 2016 Open... What will it have in store?