When I was younger, I guess you can say I developed a bit of a weird habit – for me, January 1st never marked the first day of the new year, instead the start of the new school year marked the first day of the ‘new year.’ So if I was talking about ‘last year’ I wasn’t necessarily talking about the previous year, more than likely I was talking about a couple months prior when I was a grade lower. Not sure if this is really unique to myself, but it’s something I actually still do. The only thing that’s changed is I don’t mark the start of a new year with the first day of school, but rather with the Open.
This year, more than ever, was full of its shares of ups and down. I would be lying to you if I didn’t say this was probably my most physically and mentally challenging year of as a CrossFit athlete – but I’ll get more into that in a bit. For now, let’s pick up at the end of the 2014 Open.
By the time the Open ended, I had found myself within the top 200 in the region and ready to attack the new year with a full head of steam. It was apparent (pretty much from week 1) that I wasn’t going to make Regionals this year and I had already started mapping out my plan of attack for the upcoming season. It’s always important to take a step back post Open and evaluate your performance – where you excelled and where you need to dedicate a little more time. If there is one thing the Open is great at, it’s exposing people’s weaknesses or biases in training. For me it was pretty clear where I needed to spend some time: the Olympic lifts and miserable, miserable pure engine work.
My average training day was broken into two parts – an AM and PM training session. The AM was dedicated to my own training program – namely the things I knew I needed to focus on. At this time I was following an Olympic lifting programmed designed by Spencer Arnold (the man behind the Front Squat – Back Squat Program so many of you took part in). The beauty of the Olympic lifts are they are far-and-away my favorite part of CrossFit – it just so happens that I know I need to get better/stronger at them – with the added perk I actually enjoy the thing I need to focus on. On the other hand, the second half of my AM sessions were always awful. Like sitting down on a wet toilet seat awful. The second half of my training session usually consisted of some sort of interval training – whether it be on the rower, airdyne or sprinting outside. The much less glamorous part of CF. Everyone loves posting videos on instagram of their new snatch PR, but you never seen the pictures of the athletes falling out of the rower dry heaving with their shoes still strapped in.
The year was progressing just as I had hoped. I had recently added in some skill sessions during the day – 30 minutes at the most focusing on two skills per day at a lower intensity. This was right around early October and I could definitively say this was the strongest/most complete athlete I had ever been in CF. Then, as the saying goes, the wheels came off.