CrossFit Open 19.3: Worst Trade Ever

If you thought CrossFit HQ couldn’t be any meaner to short people after 19.1, well, you thought wrong. The CrossFit Open 19.3 announcement invoked groans from this short scaled athlete.

The CrossFit Open 19.3 workout had a concession for shorties: handstand pushups. But the trade-off? Weighted box step-ups. Read on for the recap from a scaled athlete's perspective.

Here’s the scaled version of the CrossFit Open 19.3 workout, which is what I did on Saturday:

For time:
200-ft. dumbbell front-rack lunge
50 dumbbell box step-ups
50 5-in. elevated strict handstand push-ups
200-ft. bear crawl
35-lb. dumbbell, 20-in. box
Time cap: 10 minutes

Yes, that dumbbell and box height is the exact same for scaled as it is for RX. The easy thing to do would be to go RX, spend 10 minutes trying to get 25 feet, and save my legs and glutes from certain death.

The hard thing for the CrossFit Open 19.3 workout was to accept my fate, front-rack that dumbbell, and do my best to finish the step-ups and get myself over to the wall. The strict handstand push-ups were not going to be a challenge for me, not with a 5-inch elevation. But the box step-ups? Torture.

I went in Saturday with the mindset of, “I’m going to see how many HSPUs I can do when I finish the box step-ups.” I knew it wouldn’t be easy, especially since laying the 35-lb. dumbbell across my back hurt (so did resting it on my shoulder).

At go time, I took the lunges at a steady pace. I took big, but not giant, steps so that I wouldn’t come up two inches short on the lines and have to start over. I finished the lunges reasonably fast, and then went to say arrivederci to any ability to walk the next day.

It wasn’t pretty.

I had hoped to do the box step-ups in sets of 5-6. But the dumbbell was super-awkward, and I discovered that it just hurt when I rested it on my shoulder. I had to front-rack it, which made my upper back scream. Which meant I had to stop, put the dumbbell on the box, and re-rack it a whole bunch of times. I lost count of how many sets I had to do. I finished the step-ups at 9:02, then hauled it over to the wall.

But the elevated handstand push-ups? Yes, my shoulders were unhappy from all the front-racking. I still kicked up and cranked out as many as I could. For me, that was 12!

Let me write that again, because I am insanely proud of this. I did 12 elevated strict handstand push-ups in less than a minute.

My total score was 102.

Doing CrossFit Open 19.3 workout scaled was definitely a good decision. Later in the afternoon, I got to thinking about where I am in my CrossFit journey. I’m a halfway decent scaled athlete, below average with heavy weights but above average in gymnastics. And for me, with my minimal athletic background (and at 40 years old!), that’s pretty dang good!

I’ve come a long way. Doing 19.2 and 19.3 scaled in 2016 wouldn’t have been an option. And being able to do them this year says a lot. I’ve worked really hard to get here, to build enough strength to step up on a 20-inch box with a 35-lb. dumbbell.

There are just two more Open workouts to go. (We haven’t seen thrusters, burpees, or pull-ups yet, just saying.)


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