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Death Tales and Owls for Dave Castro’s 20.4 Clue

The CrossFit Open workout 20.4 will be announced tonight and Dave Castro has timely released his clue for it.

The clue is a passage from a book and comes from a Yokuts Tale titled The Man and the Owls.

The page reads:

“A MAN AND HIS WIFE were traveling. They camped overnight in a cave. They had a fire burning. Then they heard a horned owl (hutulu) hoot. The woman said to her husband: “Call in the same way. He will come and you can shoot him. Then we will eat him for supper.” The man got his bow and arrows ready and called. The owl answered, coming nearer. At last it sat on a tree near the fire. The man shot. He killed it. Then his wife told him: “Do it again. Another one will come.” Again he called and brought an owl and shot it. He said: “It is enough now.” But his wife said: “No. Call again. If you call them in the morning they will not come. We have had no meat for a long time. We shall want something to eat tomorrow as well as now.” Then the man called. More owls came. There were more and more of them. He shot, but more came. The air was full of owls. All his arrows were gone. The owls came closer and attacked them. The man took sticks from the fire and fought them off. He covered the woman with a basket and kept on fighting. More and more owls came. At last they killed both the man and the woman.”


Our guess at BOXROX is OWLS represent overhead walking lunges, but who knows what’s really going on in Dave’s mind.

How to Watch CrossFit Open Workout 20.4 Live Announcement

Here’s some of our favourite guesses for this week’s Open workout:

  • douglassadams42: “Ascending reps of…something ??‍♂️”
  • blacksmifff: “I take my role as the sports resident Dave-ologist very seriously and know it is my responsibility to the broader community to give you the cutting edge info on whatever fitness we’ll be doing this week. With that being said, I find this weeks clue to be remarkably heavy handed. So easy a caveman could do it. Let’s begin the journey. This story is clearly an allegory telling us viewers that this will be a workout that not all athletes see through to the end. But what about the movements? The selection of the owl here is no accident. A group of owls is a “parliament.” Parties within parliament often have whips who muscle lesser members into decision making. Easy to see how this equals muscle ups. But Crossfit workouts are complicated pieces of machinery. The man in the story shoots arrows, just as we will be shooting wall balls. Ascending rep, time limited couplet of MU/WB. Thanks for the lay up Dave ⛹?‍♂️”
  • danolotz: “Accuracy is on of the top ten general physical skills. The arrows represent Wallballs. The cave stands for the pain cave that we’ll all have to go in to get a good store. The fire stands for how much our legs will burn as we sit on the rower. The sticks are wood, and most CrossFit Boxes have wooden boxes for box jumps. You’re welcome.”
  • mikkpiphany: “Yessssss finally a WOD i can handle : as much reading as possible !!!”
  • unitedlifters: “Google search says that this was on the page 36 of a book. 15+12+9 is the rep scheme. Owl goes hoot hoot. It’s a row and a doublet. We will workout until we die. LET’S GO!”
  • makewodsgreatagain: “The owls are the open wods. We’re all gonna die. You have been warned”
  • cmaples27: “A man and his wife should abandon that handstand push-up standard.”

Earlier in the week, Castro posted his thoughts on 20.3, admitting he’s not good at handstand push-ups so he “did what [he] could”. About 20.3 he said:

“This workout is one of my favourite not for any other reason than what it pushes the athletes to do on a classic benchmark like Diane, and then takes them even further and has them do a heavier move, kind of benchmark ish workout, at the end of that again.

“With the short time domain, it forces you, you have to go fast.”

He’s blown away by the speed some athletes are able to complete the workout in.

“I knew it was going to be a good test for the best in the world. For the rest of us, it just exposes weaknesses – and that’s what happens at the Open. You’re dealt with the things you typically don’t excel at and you either do your homework and make changes next year or you don’t, and you flop around like I did today on the wall.”


What do you think we’ll see for 20.3? Let us know on the comment section below.

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