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First Time in The CrossFit Open – My 18.1 Recap

My account of my first ever event in the CrossFit Open!

This is my first time participating in the CrossFit Open and I got really nervous before doing the workout. Even though I had watched the announcement with Sam Briggs and Kristin Holte and read all the tips that had been given before Saturday, I still felt anxious about beginning the WOD.

Sam Briggs

Sam Briggs

© Sam Briggs

The workout was a 20 min amrap of:

  • 8 Toes to Bar
  • 10 Dumbbell Clean&Jerk
  • 12/14 Calorie Row

I always find it a bit intimidating when people are judging and counting for me, I put so much pressure on myself to be the better athlete but I don‘t believe in myself. That is the same feeling I get when I do fight gone bad. My nerves get in my way and basically ruin my performance. I want to show the people that are judging me how good I am without killing myself.

When I got to the box on Saturday morning my body was shaking with anxiety and I really regretted ordering pizza the night before! My coach told me I was in heat number one, and that it was time for me to get ready, I meet my judge and he is really nice. We go over the movements, even though I have read all about them. I tell him how nervous I am, but he reminds me to enjoy the workout.

Nicolai Duus

Nicolai Duus

© Nicolai Duus

I have done a lot of workouts in my sports career but I have never competed in CrossFit before. The only sport I have previously competed in was handball, and I was never really that good. I have a competitive spirit but my competitive side gets bummed out if I see people getting a lot ahead of me.

18.1 Recap

In the first round I was the last person (there are 4 people all doing it at the same time) to get from the bar. I was really surprised to be the last one off the bar since t2b are one of my favorite movements and I completed all of my t2b sets except one unbroken, and that was only because I was losing my grip.

But I kept going and and just kept falling behind. But when I was the last one left on the rower, I realised that the people beside me are doing the scaled version, and knee raises take half the time of t2b. So my competitive side just realized that there was no way I could match them doing my workout RX. I just kept going and tried to keep pace. My aim plan was to never stop and do every movement unbroken.

That worked for most of the time. In the latter 10 minutes i put the dumbbell down for a moment between the sets of 5 for each arm. But since the rowing took the most time, it was important to sit down straight away and start pulling. My rows were not that fast but I always used the last calorie to catch my breath. As soon as I saw 11 i stopped bending my legs and just did short pulls.

The worst thing for me was getting chalked up for the t2b. At first me and the guy next to me decided to share the chalk, but then he started leaving it close to his bar. This made me walk a few extra steps every time which would be alright in a normal workout, but not in a competition.

I really liked this workout, t2b are, as I’ve said, one of my favorite movements and I would gladly change the number of calories for t2b. The dumbbell was getting pretty heavy in the end and I had one no rep there. I didn’t lock out the elbow that time. My box hasn’t been working with the rower a much these last months but I know how to get in these calories. Just kept pulling fast and steady and using my legs for the power.

Kristin Holte

Kristin Holte

© Kristin Holte

The worst thing about this workout is that it was so long. 20 minutes  felt like an eternity but each movement didn’t take that much time. Most of the time you were going from one exercise to another and that transition is what took up a lot of the time. Getting to the next movement, for me at least, was my weakness. In the beginning you feel like 20 minutes is a long time but after 10 minutes it seemed like I wouldn’t survive another 10 minutes! 

One of my mistakes was trying to increase the speed for the last minutes too early. I still matched reps with one girl in my gym and we shared first place in our box until Monday night with 248 reps. I wanted to re-do the workout but 20 minutes of grind was more than enough for my first Open workout.

Perfect your Strategy with These Workout Tips for Open WOD 18.1