15.3 or "Reality Check"

(15.3 is a workout in the CrossFit Open-- a worldwide online competition. 5 weeks, 5 workouts. 15= 2015. .3 = third week of competition.)

I've made it no secret that my goal has been to advance to the next level of competition. For me as a masters athlete this year, that means that I would have to score in the top 200 in my age group in the world.

After week 1, I was sitting at 725. After week 2, I was at 695. A far cry from the top 200, but I improved from week 1 to 2.

Then Thursday night's dream-crushing announcement of 15.3:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
7 muscle-ups
50 wall-ball shots
100 double-unders

Men use 20-lb. ball to 10 feet, Women use 14-lb. ball to 9 feet

A workout that begins with muscle ups. Don't be fooled-- the video makes it look easy.

I cannot do a muscle up. And if I cannot do one, I cannot advance in competition.
My goal, dream of advancing to the next level of competition-- that thing I've been working so hard on every day for the past year is done. Over. But until the clock runs out and the time for submitting scores is over, the dream is still alive.

I went into CrossFit Ambush on Saturday morning, warmed up and prepared a station to do my workout. I stood under the rings. I practiced with all my might for 14 minutes. Attempting to get my first muscle up and keep the dream alive. I rubbed a blister on my palm. I ripped the blister open. I fought for 14 minutes. And time ran out. And in that moment, I was crushed. That visualized first successful muscle up, shouts of joy and celebration did not happen.

In that moment, the frustration was bigger than me. I took a walk, let myself feel the full extent of my failure. Mourned the loss of this year's goal. Considered running away. Hated Dave Castro. Hated CrossFit. Planned to completely give up CrossFit... then I walked back into the box, put away my things and headed to the car, still feeling a little lost.

A little dramatic? This is just a competition. How realistic was it for me to advance, anyway? Not very. And in the back of my mind, I knew that (I'm an expert at knowing what I can't do-- I'm a pessimist.) But until that moment, I was still holding onto the goal. 15.3 is a reality check. There is no pretending I'm better than I really am.

I needed a big dose of perspective. And I've had to force myself to sit back and examine the past year and all that I have accomplished and just how far I've come. I can't let one thing that I cannot do be more important than all that I can do. The muscle up is one movement. Failure at it does not indicate failure as an athlete.

It just really sucks.

But I'm headed back to try one more time. 


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