CrossFit Open 18.1 Recap: RX

I’m starting off my CrossFit Open 18.1 recap with one abbreviation: RX. As in, I RX’d the WOD.

Writing this CrossFit Open 18.1 Recap felt great - mainly because I pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could during the workout.
(Photo by Rob Salinas/ @awesome_possum_photography.)

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about what the CrossFit Open 18.1 WOD actually entailed. It was a 20-minute AMRAP of:

  • 8 toes to bar
  • 10 dumbbell hang clean & jerks (5 each arm) (50/35)
  • 14/12 calorie row

The 35 pounds and 12 calories on the rower were the RX standard for women. When Dave Castro announced 18.1, I swore mightily, and not because of the rower. I have toes to bar! And they’re not totally ugly! And my one-rep max for the clean and jerk is 80 pounds! I immediately headed to my home gym, loaded up an adjustable dumbbell with 35 pounds – and proceeded to fail at hang cleaning it. Fine. Friday morning, I did the same thing, with the same results. This resulted in a flurry of panicked texts to various people, including Coach Holly, because I was so close to being able to RX, except for this dumbbell. So I thought I would have to do the CrossFit Open 18.1 WOD scaled, which made me mad.

I showed up to the box on Saturday morning bright and early. The Bod Pod was there, so I did my Bod Pod testing. (This is very relevant, I promise.) Coach Holly asked for my results and what I wanted to do from there. I’m in the middle of eating my breakfast (no food or drink before the Bod Pod!), and I sputtered out, “I just want to lift that [expletive] 35-pound dumbbell over my head!” (Irrational hungry Christine comment; I was shoving egg whites, spinach, and corn tortillas into my maw.) Coach Holly motioned for me to come over to where she was standing. I reluctantly set down my breakfast and walked over. She showed me how to swing the dumbbell like a kettlebell to clean it, and from there, it was difficult but not impossible to jerk it. So I did. And then I squealed and let everyone I saw know I had gotten it over my head. After I finished breakfast, I practiced a couple times, warming up with the 25-pound and then the 30-pound dumbbell, then heaving the 35-pound over my head. Both arms cooperated. I was going to RX, for real.

Yeah, I definitely didn’t shut up about that. I went to serve as the judge for another lady, then did my warm-up: a 400-meter run, some PVC pipe work, shoulder stretching and mobility, and the aforementioned clean and jerk practice. And then Summer, who was assigned to be my judge, asked me if I was going RX’ed or scaled, and what was going to slow me down. I told her the C&Js would be the worst for me, even worse than the rowing, and that I was going to single them if I needed to.

I can’t give much of a recap after 3…2…1… GO! It all kind of blurs and blends together: the grip fatigue, the toes to bar, getting no-repped because I couldn’t lock out on my jerks. I remember putting down the dumbbell and panting over it, and the “35” on the side looked so… serious. Like, this was a big girl weight. This was RX Girl weight. Like, Dorothy, you’re not in the Globo Gym anymore. And me, I’m this little hobbit, picking this up and getting it over my head. Sweat poured into my eyes, and I had to keep chalking up, and I felt like I was going so slow. I think at one point I was like, “I hope Rob (@awesome_possum_photography, our friendly box photographer) is getting some good shots of me dying!” I had to drop off the bar during toes to bar to shake out my hands. The grip fatigue was real. You’re holding something for pretty much the entire WOD: a pull-up bar, a dumbbell, the rower handle. And I couldn’t look to my left, because the guy next to me was going RX and basically killing it, and I couldn’t look to my right, because the lady next to me was going scaled and also killing it, and here I am, fighting through grip fatigue and against puny little twig arms that didn’t want to lock out. I had to focus, and I did my best.

I remember getting on the rower for the last time, and Summer telling me to row my heart out. So I did.

My final score for the CrossFit Open 18.1 WOD was 116. I had completed almost 4 rounds, RX.

I'm lifting a dumbbell as big as my head. Writing this CrossFit Open 18.1 Recap felt great - mainly because I pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could during the workout.
I think that dumbbell is the same size as my head. (Photo by Rob Salinas/ @awesome_possum_photography.)

The Aftermath

So, I’m still pretty much in shock that I RX’d an Open WOD. I mean, it’s not like I banged out 300 reps or anything, and I’m nowhere near the level of the RX ladies at my box, but I picked up the big girl weight this time. I feel like I’m a Real CrossFitter now. Like, I’m part of this exclusive club that can do cool things like toes to bar and lift heavy weights and not die. It’s something that I didn’t expect, and I can’t fully describe. A bunch of people congratulated me on going RX. (Everyone at Clear Lake CrossFit is so supportive, and I seriously couldn’t have done the workout RX if I hadn’t had so much encouragement. My own head would have stopped me, but these amazing people, everyone from my coach to Paw-Paw to the RX guys and girls, gave me the motivation I needed. Yes, even Paw-Paw, when he told me to stop whining.)

And when they did that, especially the people who usually RX WODs, that’s when I felt like I belonged there, that I wasn’t just this little person half-assing my workouts but someone that had put in the work and was serious about improving. Because most of the time I feel like an impostor in so many ways, but here, I felt like if I worked hard, I’d get to prove myself, and even if it was ugly, I’d get respect. Especially from myself.

I don’t even know if that makes sense.

And maybe the biggest difference after RX’ing the WOD is that I’m looking at myself differently. I have more respect for myself. I don’t want to say “can’t” anymore, because I can. Maybe not as impressively as others, but the only limits I have are the ones I set for myself. Anything really is possible. And I think that’s why I participate in the Open. I know I’m not going to the Games unless I buy a ticket. But I do know that I can push myself and see what I can do. Don’t let anyone tell me what I can’t do; Saturday’s Open WOD proved to me that if I work hard, I will exceed my own expectations tremendously.