Beast Mode Battle 2014 (not really a recap)

Aka My First Team Competition and My Husband’s First CrossFit Competition

BeastMode Battle isn’t your typical CrossFit competition. 60 minutes. 4 WODs. I did BeastMode Battle last November as an individual. And although the 4 WODs with just 3 minutes between to move to the next station can be exceptionally brutal, I really enjoy completing the entire workout in one shot. No time to think. No time to rest. No time for the old body to stiffen up.

True confession—while I initially thought this would be a great idea, as the day approached I began to doubt. And these weren’t just the typical butterflies. This was the “can my marriage survive this” anxiety. When I get into that suffer zone (which happens in CrossFit competitions) I tend to get a little… uh… grouchy. And since I’m being honest, we aren’t the best communicators. Especially under the frantic flurry of activity that would be BeastMode Battle. AND we would be hopping in the car the next morning to begin an 18 hour drive to visit family for Christmas. So, this competition had to go well or we were in for more than just a physically miserable road trip.

We planned. We practiced. 

Our practice partner WODs were a hot mess. I confess, I absolutely cannot count under duress. For example, during a practice WOD at CrossFit Ambush—we had to do wall balls and dead lifts. 20 wall balls. We did 20 each, instead of 20 together (my fault). And then during box jumps in practice—he does his, I can’t count to 15 after the stress of wall balls, so I just count mine and barely have the breath to shout at him the number I’ve done (figuring I’d leave it to him to do the math of how many total). Meanwhile, he thinks I’ve just told him the number that he has to do. HOT. MESS.

Praying for a miracle (after all, if God could do all that translating tongues on the day of Pentecost, maybe he could help us understand each other during a sweaty, adrenaline filled workout), I gave up worrying about that and shifted to fretting over our competition day attire. Now, I’m no fashionista, but I do like to match on competition day. Socks, top, head band, etc. The husband is a different story. I suggested we find matching shirts (c’mon, it’s a TEAM thing) but was met with eye rolling.

So, I stopped obsessing about that and moved on to stressing about my back. It’s been bothering me and my chiropractic visits haven’t been the uber fast miracle cure that I had hoped for (apparently crooked backs take more than a few adjustments to straighten out). How was my back going to handle a 1 RM dead lift? Just to allay my fears, I stuck with my regularly scheduled strength workouts and on the Thursday before BeastMode, I pulled 95% (265 lbs.) for 1 rep with no problem. The back would be ok.

I’m happy to say that my back was more than ok. My plan was to see how it felt and probably pull 285. And then I took my pre-workout. (I’m kidding.) But warming up, 255 felt so easy, I opened with an easy 285. Then 300 went up without too much of a problem. I couldn’t resist a new 1 RM attempt, so I went with 310 and got it. THEN I was so pumped. The confidence that opening WOD gave me propelled me through the next one. The back squats felt light as a feather. The pull-ups, easy and unbroken. Despite both of us ripping matching calluses (this was NOT the kind of matching I wanted!), we were rolling.

Then there was the row. And our perfect plan came to a grinding halt when my sweet husband’s back said, “I’ve had ENOUGH!” With the last pull of the 1000M, I took over on the wall balls. The plan was that I would do 15 to let him catch his breath and before he would take over for 20 or so. Wall balls are NOT my strength, but box jumps are and vice versa for the husband. He would be doing most of the wall balls, and I would take most of the box jumps. But that back. It was cramping so hard he could barely get vertical.  Somehow we made it through, but we had lost our lead.

And the structure of the competition (and some other amazing athletes) beat us. There was no time for rolling out; no time for massage; no time to pop some Advil. There was only time to grit our teeth and keep pushing forward.

WOD 1: 12 mins. to find each partner’s 1 rep max deadlift. 3 mins. to transition.
WOD 2: 12 min. AMRAP of 8- 135 lb. back squats (female) or front squats (male), 8 chin to bar pull ups. 3 min. transition
WOD 3: 12 min. AMRAP of 1000M row (one time), 100 wall balls (20lb- m, 14lb- f), 100 box jumps, 100 toes to bar. 3 min. transition
WOD 4: 3 rounds of 30 M- 75lb. fat bar walking lunge (overhead- m, front rack- f), 40 kettlebell swings (53# m, 35# f), 80 double unders (12 min. cap).


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