Another guest appearance, this time on Jabber WODdies. Fun times with wall balls!
If you’re unfamiliar with CrossFit, you might not know the significance of the “RX.” Basically, as I like to describe to my Intro classes, is we pretend there’s an imaginary doctor running around “perscribing workouts” and if you perform all the movements ‘as perscribed’ you RXd the workout. In the beginning when first trying out CrossFit, the athlete might be modifying every movement or lightening the load in every barbell exercise, and that’s normal! But as you keep practicing, and putting in the time, you will eventually be able to RX that certain movement or arch-enemy “GIRL-wod” and it will feel so good to have finally accomplished the goal!
Fran is a very special workout in CrossFit, and it’s one that you might hear random people at any box you jump into around the world ask, “What’s your Fran time…” almost as an immediate initiation and size-up of how intense you can be at your best. It’s our sport’s 100m sprint, and a benchmark if kept track of over time, can be used to measure an increase of power. My first few weeks into CrossFit I did jumping pullups and 10 lbs under the RX weight of 65 lbs for girls, and got 9:35. I’ll never forget staring up at the wall of Girl times thinking… how do they do it that FAST… when do they REST!? Answer: they don’t. It’s hard enough that it regularly turns up in the CrossFit Games in one of the last events.
My friend Carter who was a Navy Seal once made me realize how young and new into CrossFit I was when we were going back and forth about CrossFit knowledge and our age differences and he figured out when I was in 7th GRADE he was doing Fran in IRAQ. His point was that my starting in 2010 simply makes me a beginner…. and I’m really young…. but what I got out of that was thinking all day….”Gosh I wish I would have started doing CrossFit in 7th Grade, man that would have been so cool!”
In the typical CrossFit class, the clients are as constantly varied as the workouts. Tonight however, the combo of the NBA finals being on and cherry-picking Non-Franers the classes were a little more controlled and only the die-hards seemed to show up to go through the pain! For the first time ever, we had an ENTIRE 16 person class RX! 95 lbs for men and 65 lbs for women and full-range of motion, chin-over-the-bar pullups will get you a green light to the RX crown.
I was amazed as the class started how they were going with such intensity and really taking our tips into consideration as they most likely had spent all day thinking about how they were going to ‘break up’ the reps. We were yelling out times and the class went from 4:44 to 11:00! It’s very rare to have no one over 11 minutes, and they were scattered and dizzy as they were all exchanging stories and so proud to have held nothing back.
One of the gym’s team members came in shortly after and instantly I could barely get out… “want me to do it with you?” That anxiety and fear of the workout started setting in as I realized I had to jump in. It’s indescribable when you know that everything in your heart is telling you to do one thing and you’ll be filled with guilt if you back down. If you CrossFit, you know this feeling: I didn’t even WANT to do it. I normally stick to a certain programming and had been training all day to get it done and my body said but it’s going to hard…. and my brain was like, ‘Nope. No choice. Now go lift heavy things and warm up! ‘
This story is not about me doing Fran, or that it was hard, or what my strategy was, or how fast I did it in. It’s not about how I got into the zone or warmed up for the physical and mental test that was about to unfold. It’s about the energy in the room, and the satisfaction on everyone’s faces, and the pride in each one of their smiles that was addicting. It’s the contagiousness of the atmosphere of going all out and knowing a short timed sprint was the only workout you needed to knock you on your butt! Sometimes it feels like I’m training against my training partners, and we set it up like this by dramatically facing eachother. But the way we fed off eachothers rhythms and dropped when the other dropped, it was almost a scheduled team workout, that helped a lot! Finishing within seconds of eachother, we both were holding our fore-arms and coughing the Fran cough… it never gets easier, it just gets faster.
In our sport the word “community” gets used often to describe the friendships and family support created from a group of complete strangers that could end up being in touch for the rest of their lives. As a coach, there are days where I’m coaching on auto-pilot and feel like I’m talking like a robot all day and have to slap it out of me. Elite athletes need constant motivation to push through the training, and this was the connection needed. Today was the eye-opener I needed to remember that fitness is vulnerable. We are part of people’s every-day life but there will be emotions attached to these experiences which makes them memorable; and much more than ‘just a workout’.
I always have fun visiting the guys at WODCast Podcast even though they titled this episode #crybaby!
Andrea Ager joins Armen Hammer and Scott McGee as they chat about the past weekend’s Regionals, the upcoming Regionals, Armen’s new segment ‘Think Before You Speak’, then chat with Andrea regarding her experience at the SoCal Regionals and the overhead squat event, deciding to withdraw, her future plans.