CrossFit Open 17.5 Recap: Squeeze Your Butt! Use Your Hips!

I completed the CrossFit Open 17.5 WOD on Saturday, and just like that, the Open is over. I had a great time working out with my friends, pushing my limits, and seeing what I was able to achieve this year.

On Saturday, I arrived at Clear Lake CrossFit with just enough time for a quick warm-up before Holly explained the standards. I had stopped at Taco Cabana to pick up breakfast tacos for our after-party, which of course took longer than I thought. So I did a quick 400 meter run with Jodie and did some shoulder and hip mobility work. The CrossFit Open 17.5 WOD was (scaled, of course):

10 rounds for time of:
9 thrusters, 45 lb.
35 single-unders

After a back-and-forth on Facebook about how long it should take to complete the CrossFit Open 17.5 WOD, I settled on a goal time of somewhere under 20 minutes. That would give me time to break up the thrusters accordingly. I wasn’t worried about the single-unders; I can do singles in my sleep. However, the thruster weight is still heavy for me. Holly had designated the first two heats for people who would finish in 20 minutes or less. I was simultaneously puzzled and elated that she let me sign up for the first heat. She had more faith in me than I had in myself.

CrossFit Open 17.5: The CLCF Family
My CLCF Family

So I found a spot and a naked 45-lb. bar, then set up my jump rope in the designated area. Jessica agreed to judge me, so as I looked apprehensively at the bar, I told her to tell my daughter that I loved her very much. I was only half-joking; after 16.5’s thruster/burpee combo, I had thought I would throw up.

At 3…2…1…GO!, I did what I always do: pick up the bar. I squatted, then push pressed it over my head. I broke up the first couple of rounds of thrusters 5-4. The last few rounds turned into a 3-3-3 battle with the bar.

CrossFit Open 17.5 Thrusters
“Use your hips! Squeeze your butt!”

A big problem with thrusters is that I try to do too much with my shoulders. That resulted in my left shoulder protesting during the fourth round. It also resulted in Holly telling me to use my hips and Jessica yelling for me to squeeze my butt when I came up with the bar. It takes serious awareness to remember those things when you’re under a time crunch.

However, the single unders were a breeze. I’m good at jumping rope. It served as a nice break between soul-crushing rounds of thrusters, even when I was near the end and sweating.

CrossFit Open 17.5 Jumping Rope
Real talk: This WOD was not pretty.

I’m proud to say that I didn’t miss a single jump. I had 350 jumps, and I got all of them.

I was one of the last ones to finish in my heat. I vaguely remember people cheering for me, including Roy, someone I’ve met maybe once. That’s what I love about CrossFit, and about the Open specifically: we’re all cheering for each other. We get to hang out with people who are normally in other classes. But we know we’re all here for the same basic reason, and we encourage each other like crazy. finished the workout in a puddle of my own sweat. Like in 17.4, I was shaking and not very coherent, but at the same time, I was

Anyway, I finished the workout in a puddle of my own sweat at 15:28. Like in 17.4, I was shaking and not very coherent, but at the same time, I was exhilarated! I had finished in less than 20 minutes!

CrossFit Open 17.5 Jessica
Jessica was smiling as she high-fived me. I could barely breathe.

And with that, the 2017 CrossFit Open is over. I did a lot better than I expected, I got to hang around people I don’t usually see, and I got to test my own limits and push myself hard.

I tend to get down on myself a lot because my lifts aren’t as heavy as everyone else’s. I’ve been CrossFitting for a year and a half, and I feel like I’m never going to RX a WOD with heavy weights. But this year’s Open made me realize that I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m definitely stronger than I was last year. And as one of the guys put it, I’m like an ant in terms of strength. Yeah, my numbers aren’t up there, but in proportion to my body weight, it’s impressive.

And heartfelt thank yous to everyone at the box, especially Holly, who pushes me to be the best version of myself every day; Jodie for being an awesome judge for my first two Open WODs; Sarah and Jessica, for getting me through the last two; Jenna at CrossFit Above the Bar for coaching me to a snatch PR; Mariel for being my “rabbit”; and all the cheerleaders and friends who made this year’s Open so much fun.

I’m a little mushy writing this, but I do love you guys.


*Photo credits: Top – Holly Lynn, Clear Lake CrossFit. Everything else: Rob Salinas, @awesome_possum_photography.