CrossFit Open 19.5 Recap: Angry Fran

I don’t think I was the only CrossFitter who groaned when the CrossFit Open 19.5 WOD was released. In 16.5, my first CrossFit Open, we had thrusters and burpees. In 17.5, thrusters and jump rope. In 18.5, thrusters and chest to bar pullups or jumping pullups. Yup, three years of ending the Open on thrusters.

This year, CrossFit made it four. The CrossFit Open 19.5 workout (for scaled women) was:

Workout 19.5

33-27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
45-lb. thrusters
Jumping pull-ups

Time cap: 20 minutes

The CrossFit Open 19.5 workout was basically a very angry Fran. In this post, I'm recapping it from a scaled athlete's perspective.

Well, that was anti-climactic. For the sake of my team (and my sanity, and my body), I’ve been going scaled for the majority of the workouts. I still do not have legitimate chest-to-bar pull-ups, and the thought of starting with 65-lb. thrusters appealed to me about as much as going to a yoga class full of loud breathers. Scaling was a no-brainer. As I’ve discovered in this Open, I’m a decent scaled athlete. I stuck to what I was good at for the CrossFit Open 19.5 workout.

But first, let me tell you about how awesome my box is. At Clear Lake CrossFit, we have this great CrossFit Kids class (my son is a member). The kids do age-appropriate WODs and learn skills and play games. It’s so much fun to watch! We had the kids do the first heat on Saturday of 19.5, scaled to a kid-appropriate WOD: 11-9-7-5-3 of thruster weight scaled to the kids’ individual abilities and jumping pull-ups. The kids crushed it.

Before I knew it, though, it was my turn to do the CrossFit Open 19.5 WOD. I usually sign up for the first heat to get it over with. I had warmed up with some mobility and activation, as well as some front squats, cleans, push presses, and thrusters with an empty bar. I planned to break up the thrusters in sets of five and six and just get through the jumping pull-ups in big sets. I let my judge, Coach Dana, know my plan for the thrusters.

At go time, that’s what I did. My big concern was getting through the first two sets of thrusters (the 33 and 27); those were going to be difficult, so I paced myself. I still found myself sucking wind with the barbell, but I kept moving. After I finished those, I remember Dana saying, “Now you just have Fran!” I’m pretty sure I said I hate Fran, but I went back to the barbell.

All I expected from 19.5 was a good workout, maybe 20 minutes of doing thrusters and jumping pull-ups and hoping for the best. But I was able to move faster than I thought, and I remember Dana excitedly telling me I was going to finish. I picked up the barbell for the set of nine and broke it up into sets of three. I had time. Then I did the nine jumping pull-ups unbroken. Dana was more excited than me; I flopped down on the box floor in the fetal position.

My official time was 17:25.

I looked back on my previous thruster + movement Open scores. For 16.5, which had a total of 168 reps, I posted a 21:37 time. That’s probably the closest to the CrossFit Open 19.5 WOD, other than 18.5, which I boneheadedly chose to go RX for. (To be fair, it was an ascending ladder.)

Progress is slow, but I feel like I am making progress, and a lot of it is mental. It’s okay to post scaled scores, especially if you’re a scaled athlete. I’m embracing it, because I’m definitely not struggling as much as I did during my first Open. I’m moving with purpose, getting better at my gymnastics skills, and putting in the work to do better.

And that’s a wrap for the 2019 CrossFit Open, until October, I think! I’m proud of how far I’ve come and the work I put in this year. It’s about progress, not perfection.