CrossFit Open: Week 5

"You've got what it takes but it'll take everything you've got."

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When CrossFitters talk about digging in, pushing through, and reaching a new level of personal best, they're talking about grinder workouts like 14.5. This, my friends may have been the hardest CrossFit workout I've ever done. It was rough. Really rough. And even though I knew it was a lot of volume -- 21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, and 3 -- I didn't really know until I was knee-deep in the workout.

Just one round and one rep in, the thought of quitting crossed my mind. I was panicked: this is too much, way too much! I can't do this! And 65 lbs? The same weight I'd snatched, cleaned and thrusted dozens of times before suddenly felt heavier than ever. Too heavy.

My only choice was to chip away at each thruster 1, 2, maybe 3 at a time, purposefully driving up through my heels, hoping that my momentum would do the work because my arms were annihilated.

And those burpees! Those damn burpees! I did them begrudgingly, resenting that little jump over the bar along the way: did anyone else feel like that jump took so much concentration? (Mentally: Must bunny hop. Must not fall.)

The hardest part? Probably approaching the bar after each round of burpees. I'd pause, mentally preparing myself for a much slower-than-planned rep scheme and wonder, can you lift it again? You have to lift it again. And just when I thought I couldn't, I'd hear my husband's voice, "You got this Sara," or one of the coaches yelling, "Get back on that bar!" And around me -- everyone was pressing through; the determination in the room was palpable.

Then it'd happen: the moment when you felt like dying, but instead, you kept going. Yeah, that happened. It happened over and over until I finally hit 6 reps and felt some relief! "I'm almost there!"

One final set of three thrusters and burpees -- I think the entire room grunted with me on those last 3 thrusters! -- and there I was: done! Finished with my first CrossFit Open!

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(I'm in the blue on the left.)

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I finished the workout in 21 minutes and 14 seconds and to be honest: I don't think I could have done it a second faster. When it was over, I stumbled outside -- the rain felt amazing, and so did the feeling that washed over me: It's over! Hallelujah! It's over.

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After a few minutes of rest, I popped up to give Naomi some advice: "You're going to want to give up. Don't give up." We smiled and posed for a picture -- completely oblivious to the emotional roller coaster ahead...

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As Naomi started the workout, suddenly, she too wanted to quit.

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One round in, her big smile was gone and a look of panic had set in. She kept shaking her head "no," and you could tell what she was thinking: I can't do this. There's no way I can do this!

But let me y'all: she did! She fought rep-for-rep till the very end and something I think is pretty cool -- she didn't do it alone. One of our CrossFit coaches, Brandi, was there the entire time, kneeling next to Naomi telling her to fight back: "You're a CrossFitter! You can do this!!!" And there was Kelly (another CrossFitter) yelling for her to keep going, "You're almost there!" And Aaron snapping pictures, "You got this Naomi!" And Ben, Brandi's husband, yelling out "You love burpees!" (Read her tank.)

And I was there too, judging and praying with each rep that she'd keep going.

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When this girl finished, I got goosebumps!

I was SO proud of her! She did it! We did it! The Open is over! Hooray! :)

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We posed for a picture with Brandi -- cause even though this isn't a team sport, we certainly felt like a team today! Then Naomi and I headed out for celebratory drinks! After all, we deserved it! This has been five weeks coming!

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Oh, and for the record: Naomi's shirt said "I love burpees. Said no one ever!"

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Did you do the CrossFit Open?

How did you feel during 14.5? Did you want to quit?