Crossfit Open 14.4: Well, that was unexpected!! » My journey to the Crossfit Open 2014 » Covered in Chalk

For the last 4 weeks, starting on  Wednesday nights, I’ve had this feeling in my belly.  It’s a feeling I know well. It’s the feeling I get before checking to see what the WOD is each morning, the one I get before I’m about to lift a heavy weight or go for a PR or when I’m this-close to getting a new gymnastics movement. I call it “Crossfit exciety“- it’s a cross between extreme excitement and extreme anxiety.  If you crossfit, you’ve probably had this feeling.

I was full of exciety on Thursday night (2 a.m. people – this is dedication!!) when I tuned into the announcement for Crossfit Open WOD 14.4.  First of all, let me just take a minute to personally thank Josh Bridges and Scott Panchik for all the hard work that they have done on their physiques. It definitely made for pleasant viewing.  (As one athlete appreciating the hard work of another…seriously, you guys have dirty, dirty minds).

Dave Castro (who is looking more and more sinister each week announced 14.4)

14Huh. Well crap.

The 60 cal row wouldn’t be a problem, I love to row – although interesting that they put in a move that might not be possible for all Crossfitters to do due to lack of equipment, but hey, I’m not running the games, and it’s up to Crossfit HQ how they want to program.

Let’s talk toes-to-bar, specifically let’s talk about how far it is from my toes to the bar, or specifically how far it still is from my toes to the bar when I try to do toes to bar.  Prior to 14.4 I had successfully managed to touch my toes to the bar on 3 separate occasions. They were separated by several months, not several minutes.  Translation: I am not strong in toes-to-bar (ah, the joy of the understatement).

So when Sunday rolled around (the day our gym does the Open workouts), I was pretty sure that at some point in my day there was going to be a painful 14 minutes where my fellow boxmates tried not to cringe as they cheered on my repeated failed attempts to touch, simply touch, my toes to the bar. Now because burpees exist and I suck at them, I have actually gotten pretty good at handling being embarrassed in front of people at the box – I got over my fear of looking ridiculous after the 3rd time we did death by burpees and I was lying on the floor gasping for my last breath while turning a beautiful shade of purple. No one in my gym even blinked. Nobody cares how ridiculous you look. True story.

Needless to say I didn’t have very high expectations for 14.4.  But, as I’ve written before, you should use every Open workout to try and better your crossfit self in some way. So I decided that I would target getting 5 toes to bar. This would be 2 more than I had ever done in my life!!!

Before I tell you how I did in 14.4 (hint, I didn’t get 5 toes-to-bar) there is something I think I should mention.  I was at the gym early on Sunday before anyone arrived so I had a chance to have a quick chat with Coach Jon about 14.4.  There is nothing I like more than chin-wagging about Crossfit, except maybe chin-wagging about Crossfit with Crossfit Coaches. So as we were talking about 14.4, Coach Jon mentioned that a lot of people tired themselves out on toes-to-bar because they were inefficient in their movement.  Goooo oooonnnnnnn……. It seemed that most people don’t take full advantage of the hip snap when doing a kipping toes to bar.  If you can generate enough power in your kip, to use the power of your hip snap to bend your body in half, you save alot of energy over needing to use your arms or legs to pull you up to the bar.

Now, I may not be able to do toes-to-bar regularly but I can kip like a motherf*cker.  It’s from all that pull-up practice. I decided to take Coach Jon’s advice and just try to really kip and use my hips.  Couldn’t hurt…I only had to do 5 to meet my goal.

So when it came time for me to do 14.4, I cruised through the 60 cal row (why rush I thought? I’ll just keep a nice pace). I finished the row in 4 minutes and sauntered over to the bar.  As advised by my friend Torben I hopped right on the bar to knock out my first toes-to-bar without resting.  I followed Coach Jon’s advice and arched back for a giant kip and…..POW….my toes bounced off the bar easily. Holy toes-to-bar Batman!!!! I hopped off the bar, kind of shook my head a little and decided to hop back on to see if this had been an anomaly…. POW!!! toes directly to bar…no problem.  Seriously, this was effing fantastic.  I was knocking out toes-to-bar like they hadn’t been my nemesis up until 5 minutes before.  So I just kept doing singles. On the bar..POW…off the bar…on the bar…POW.. of the bar.  I passed my goal of 5 in the first minute.

I ended up getting 34 toes to bar…31 more than I had ever done in my life…and 3 more than G got (but who’s counting??).

I think if I did it again, I could get a higher score because to be honest I didn’t rush at all, since I had no idea when this magical skill was going to wear off and I would turn back into a pumpkin. But I don’t need to do it again, I’m super proud of my score of 94 and really grateful to see that all of that pull-up practice has been worth it.

What about you, how did you do on 14.4?


4 Responses to “ Crossfit Open 14.4: Well, that was unexpected!! ”

  1. Chris says:

    Awesome! You shattered your old PR! Doesn’t it feel great to see all that hard work pay off? Fantastic stuff!

  2. Panos says:

    We’re all proud of you Rae 😉 You kipped like a BAMF and did 680% more T2B than you expected.

    And all of us had the opposite of a cringe on our face 🙂

  3. jennifer says:

    You’re on fire this open, Rae! 😉

    Congrats on the MULTIPLE T2B!! What an exciting feeling!!

  4. Lindsey says:

    Last year: 0 TTB. This year: 14 (with a bum shoulder). Baby steps. Next year: All the TTB. 🙂
    CONGRATS on your 34! AWESOME!

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