I was watching a series of TED Talks this past weekend and one of them was about this topic of burden of choice. When there are many options, we have a greater difficulty with picking one and will sometimes default to making no choice. When we do choose, we are often dissatisfied with the choice we made, even when it turns out well. Perhaps a different choice would have turned out even better. The burden of choice is indeed a burden.

I peeked last night but the WOD wasn’t posted yet. So I slept blissfully and upon awakening this morning I found out the WOD was Fran. Last week, in a fit of organization, I created a spreadsheet to track named WODs as well as 1 and 3 rep maxes and find percentages of those. I decided today to add another page for the Open WODs from years past and to keep track of them for this year. That’s if I can find historic data easy enough.

But today, I was stuck with Fran. And it was very easy for me to see the way I had scaled it before and what my times were. Then I went blissfully off into the frigid morning to do battle with thrusters and pull-ups – after working on my handstand.

I don’t have a handstand. I can manage a headstand, but my kick up to the wall is very slow and uncertain. Trying this on my hands freaks me out. I know I have the strength. I don’t have the courage. So I worked on not wall walks. I could get up on the wall, backwards, at about a 45⁰ angle and hold that. On my last hold, I desperately wanted to break 30 seconds. I was shaky and unsteady but I didn’t think I had been upside down long enough so I held on.

Since it was a frigid morning and since crap sometimes happens, I had a private session today as I was the only person who showed up. That meant that Kim had nothing better to do than watch me. This is always a bit disconcerting for me, but it did mean she could time my holds. When I finally couldn’t hold any longer, I dropped. I asked wistfully, “Did I last 30 seconds?” She answered, “You did 40.”

I’ll be damned.

I wrote down my previous Fran times along with how I had scaled each one. And we talked about the burden of choice. For people who can RX the WODs, they look at the board and do what it says. I always have options. And because CrossFit is for everyone, there are myriad ways to scale everything. I have a burden of choice.

My last Fran kept the whole rep scheme but I did ring rows. I’m working on getting pull-ups mastered and so ring rows were not an option today. Not because they aren’t an option, but because I wasn’t picking that under any circumstance.

Now, all the other options. I know Fran is supposed to be done in under 10 minutes. But I have finally (FINALLY) given myself permission to not give a flying rat’s ass what is on the white board. That is for other people and doesn’t concern me. I am following that angry black guy’s philosophy – ISYMFW – or It’s Still Your Mother Fucking Workout. I want my workouts to be improved over time. So I don’t really care if my Fran time is under 10 minutes.

First choice then – stick with the rep scheme and don’t wimp out to the 18-12-9. Do the whole 45 reps and stay strong. It’s not that I can’t do the reps, it’s that I can’t do them quickly because of the whole heart rate and recovery time thing. I spend an inordinate amount of time box breathing and getting my heart rate down low enough to get some more reps done. My goal today was to get under 150 before starting again. I didn’t always manage that and would start again at low 150s.

Next was what to do with the pull-ups. Craig says (and God bless Kim for never telling me to stop prefacing stuff with “Craig says”) that he prefers jumping pull-ups to banded pull-ups as a means to actually finally getting pull-ups mastered. But what he really means is doing them correctly. Last week when I was doing them, I noticed that when I got tired, they were way more jumping than they were pull-ups. I can’t do that with a band because I have to pull.

But Kim agreed with Craig that jumping pull-ups were a better option. She suggested that my base was too high and I should try knocking it down a bit. I had been using a 12” box. Today, I would use plates. I stacked two 45s which was 8 inches and that was too low so I added a 25 to my stack for 10 inches. That worked much better than 12”.

The clock began and I was doing 21-15-9 33# thrusters (official open weight for scaled old fart women) and jumping pull-ups. I had to split the thrusters in half each time and I had to do the pull-ups as 7-7-7 then 8-7 and then 9 without a sit down rest, but they were broken up with a pause at the bottom.

I finished Fran in 13.38 which is just a bit more than the guy who did Fran in under 2 minutes and got to be a hero on Facebook. But … although this was my slowest Fran time ever, it was also my best Fran ever. My form felt spot on. I was really pulling on those jumping pull-ups. I worked my ass off and succeeded in doing something awesome. The white board simply does not reflect how far I’ve come. Today, I killed it.

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