The Real Value of CrossFit and Why 19.3 Was Ridiculous

We wrapped up our third Crossfit Open 2019 work out this Saturday, 19.3. This was such a tough work out that even the scaled version was impossible for many people to do. We had a third option at our box.

19.3 Was Ridiculous

Still smiling while doing women’s scaled 19.3 – Walking Lunges + 35#

This work out was a significant jump in ability from the first two. It wasn’t just a next step, challenging us to improve or gut it out. This was more of a slap in the face to all the hard work we’ve done at our boxes this year. This work out wasn’t meant as a challenge that we could all engage with. Instead, it separated us based on what we could do, not what we were willing to do.

The scaled version was barely inclusive. And that’s why 19.3 sucked.

With sanctionals helping fill the games with professional athletes, I’m not sure why the Open has to be making movements like strict HSPU and box stepping 1/4 to 1/3 of your body weight standard movements. If these are NOT standard expectations of ALL athletes, then why have them in the scaled versions, as well?

Despite the horrible workout — and I mean horrible from having experienced it and in principle for what the Open should be about — I had a great time at my box. We had a couple who will be married next week, so we celebrated with cake!

My son’s goals are modest: he simply wants to beat me by at least one rep or one pound. He’s making ground on me nearly every work out, but I got this one. I managed to win the masters women’s scaled division at my box, which so surprised me I didn’t believe it for 2 days.

The Real Value of Crossfit

Here’s the thing. What I remember most from 19.3 — and what I think about every WOD — is that Crossfit is actually turning out to be less of a physical game and more of a mental game. That is, I find my mind is what I’m constantly working to bolster and strengthen, even more than my body.

My son doing step ups + 35#, Teen Boy 14-15

What Crossfit is giving me is greater mental endurance. It’s teaching me how to manage my negative thoughts, how to complete tough events, and what I need to recover.

While doing 19.3 this Saturday, after 200 feet of walking lunges holding more than 1/4 of my weight on one shoulder, I then had to do 50 box step ups with that same weight onto a box that is 1/3 of my height. By number 10 — having to rest after every two or three reps — I could hardly move. I was arguing with myself that I could never complete them, that my legs would give out. I was gasping at 10; how could I do 40 more? And I had only 3 more minutes to do them.

I told myself to just keep moving. Lift the leg, plant the foot, push up, plant the second foot, balance, brace, and stand…one rep done. Just focus on the next rep and keep moving. Somehow I got to 50 and had 30 seconds left to get as many HSPU as I could. I was so excited that I just threw myself against the wall and did some truly ugly push ups. But enough.

I did enough.

In the two days since the work out, my soreness and fatigue are in a better place than usual. That’s because, over the last year of training, I’ve worked on my diet and recovery methods. Trial-and-error has shown me I recover better when I eat a lot more protein, extra carbs, and salt after extreme work outs — as much as 150g protein, 100g low-fiber carbs, and 3-5 teaspoons of salt. Most other days, I can get by on 90-100g protein, no carbs, and salting my meat only.

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