I’m trying my damnedest not to be too angry because it simply uses up energy I don’t have in great supply. But I’m so angry.

The Sport of CrossFit is all scalable. They say that all the time and I do mean ALL the time. There is even built in scaling for each and every WOD written. Well, if you look up Hero WODs, they only have the men’s version there, but it is then scaled back for women before appearing on the white board. We are aware that although women can be strong and mighty, but they are – on average – not as strong or tall or big as men.

For the last few years, CrossFit has even noticed that as we age we lose some of the strength and flexibility we once had. Our endurance may diminish as well and we are simply older than we used to be. Even Rich Froning is pushing 30 now and not in the leader position any more. Twenty-nine and already losing it.

But I am not 29. In fact, both of my children are over that age. In point of fact, 42 years ago, I was in labor for the first time and Craig was already trying to kill me. But despite the whole Preeclampsia thing and Premature birth thing, we both survived and thrived. So that’s a positive. But it does mean I’m old enough to have a Master Athlete. I actually have two of them.

In the RX portion of 17.3 there is a nod to the undeveloped talents of teens who have pull-ups and lower weighted snatches and the aging process of the 55+ crowd who also get pull-ups instead of chest to bar and lower weights with the permission to break the snatch into a power snatch and overhead squat. So if I was an RX athlete, I would get a break for being an old fart.

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, an RX athlete. Hell, I’m barely holding on to scaled athlete. I’m really a way-scaled athlete who is struggling with the discomfort of the zone in which I have placed myself.

On the plus side, I totaled up all the people sixty and over who signed up for the Open. There are about 5,000 of us worldwide. I’m already way ahead of the game. I’m in there. I’m trying my damnedest. I’m working as hard as I can way, way, way outside my comfort zone. I’m giving it all I have. So there is that.

But, what in the hell was Dave thinking? For the scaled version of this, teens, most people, and old farts all have the exact same workout. We all have jumping pull-ups and the same lessened weights for the squat snatch which every single one of us can break into a power snatch with an overhead squat. There is absolutely no difference in what is expected of a 19 year old, a 25 year old, and me, the ridiculously old fart.

As a woman in a man’s world, I’ve often been slapped upside the head with inequity. I know that old women are useless beyond all imagining. We are not the wise old rich men out there who can counsel the youngsters. We are dried up carcasses of nothing knowing less than nothing. This perception is, I believe, way off base, but it is the perception. And when an old woman looks good (see the media storm for the 63 year old gray haired model) it is news.

I have tried to maintain my place in the world. When harassed on the job, I dealt with it personally rather than going to HR or anything. I made my point and my place. I was able to be an adult in a world where it was expected that most of my adulting would be in the rearing of perfect children (males who could then go out into the world and contribute). And while I did do that part (not the perfect part), I insisted on the out in the world contribution as well. Not because I had to in order to be a worthwhile person, but because I was given enough gifts to make it possible and I felt compelled to use those gifts.

So here I am, once again, faced with inequity. And what are my choices? I must go out there and do what I can. It is unfair. It is unjust. It is totally what I’ve learned to expect from CrossFit. But I shall give it my best shot. I will do as much as I can. It will be less than the 30 and 40 year olds. It will still be more than I dreamed possible when I first walked into the box.

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I finally have my line included in the CrossFit Open database and it finally has two numbers included. I feel like a winner already.

I’ve been consumed by this problem. I’ve been so focused on it, I forgot I have another “real” blog where I post historical on-this-day essays for each and every day of the year. Yesterday, it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen a post there. After a whole week of March, there were no March posts.

I’m currently working on the June histories. April is ready, May is done but not edited, and I’m in the middle of writing June. There was no particular reason, other than obsession with a different problem, that I couldn’t have gotten March up there.

So, I have now gotten caught up and all of March’s essays are ready to appear on a daily basis at a scheduled time.

I don’t think I’ve ever pulled this stunt before. Writing for me is easy. Well, I guess it is. Other writers mention how difficult it is to put words to paper (something none of us do anymore but the image remains). I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone. Walked up the 100 steps, hung backwards over the parapet, and gotten my “gift of gab”. I’m pretty sure I’ve always had it, but now it is official.

The tedium of maintaining a website is often overlooked in the wonder of content. But it is a process. I know this. I know how much it takes to get my content up there day after day for years on end. I know I need to make it possible for readers to find something in particular. Enjoying a single essay is wonderful and I hope I can teach in the process. But finding something else is another matter completely.

I still have to update the February topic page. It is tedious bit of work and seems to be unimportant, although I really know it isn’t. It is something I used myself year after year. I learned this when I wrote about the same thing for a second time. Whoops. Well, it is free. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want it to be worthwhile. We each only have so much time in the day and it is my job, as content provider or writer or author or whatever, to provide value for the minutes spent.

And this brings me back to CrossFit Open’s issues with the website. I realize the cost of putting on an event is much more than many people may imagine. I’ve been there for Conviction Training Facility’s events and know the time and money put into getting ready. While CrossFit doesn’t have much skin in the game at this point, they are going to be renting space for the Regionals and then the Games themselves. This costs money.

I’m more than willing to add my portion of the fee to that pot so the Games may go on. I understand there can be problems with websites. I have a second little degree in computer networking and have actually managed websites and not just blogging sites. I’m willing to tolerate some of the problems arising out of an ephemeral world we have created together.

I’m happy this was finally resolved – both CrossFit Open and my own Little Bits of History site. I’m hoping the internet will behave for the next while until I can recover from Greg’s and my own mistakes.

LBoH

I sent CrossFit Support an email when I couldn’t post my score and I included a screenshot of the message I was getting. They said they fixed it. I sent them a reply and explained that I believed their glitch in the matrix kept me from being added to the roster and I included a screenshot of my dropdown box. They replied that they had fixed it. I sent them a reply indicating I still was a hot mess.

Everyone else seemed to be fine, but I still didn’t have my line to post a score and now the deadline had passed. I sent another email with a copy of my credit card charge and my user name, gym affiliation, age and status, and my score with time interval. I asked them to please fix it. I raged around the house but managed to keep emails civil because I needed their help and my mother’s voice was right there telling me to “be nice” and so I tried to be.

It took them days but on Saturday morning, upon awakening, I found another email in my inbox. Lo and behold, it was discovered that somehow I did not have a line in the database. They gave me a code to use so I could get in. If I would be so good as to send them information about 17.1 they could fix that for me. I had everything they needed included – except the name of my judge. I sent them all the information back and am awaiting their fix.

Yesterday was our group WOD for 17.2 and I was there defying all the pollen and my age and frailty. There was nothing I could do about the latter, except work to my own capacity; about the former, I wore my contacts only while I was actually doing the WOD and the rest of the time I had my glasses on.

People who have as much trouble as I do with some of the more complex and challenging moves have mentioned that my scaling as an old fart is quite different. It is. I’m an old fart. No one seems to mind that I’m decades older than they are always. It is difficult to be me just like it is difficult for everyone else to be them. Life is hard. Make it work anyway.

Walking lunges spike my heart rate even without any added weight. This was going to be difficult and I knew it. But my hope was to get to round three and then run into that brick wall (just like everyone else) instead of dying with the lunges.

I usually do sit-ups without having my feet pinned down. It was, frankly, easier, the way the standards had it. That was the nice part. It let me keep abreast of the times of the youngsters in their forties.

Four stacked 45# plates made a pile that had my head 6.25 inches from the bar so it was pretty damn perfect. I have never done a chest to bar like this. I can do them from the racked raised bar. I have the idea, but I don’t have any practice like this. I tried. I missed. I tried and missed several times. I micrometered closer each time, but never did manage to touch my chest to the bar when time ran out.

I got the score I dreamed of and hoped for and my interval time was respectable. I tried my damnedest to get in one chest to bar and failed, but I went down swinging and gave it my best shot. I’m thrilled with my performance.

This isn’t supposed to be about scores, says the people who make it about the scores. This is a weeding out process allowing us to see our hierarchy in the Sport of Fitness. The pages of rankings prove this. I’m worried beyond reason about being last in the world. I hated the feeling when I was last in the US.

But … I’m not last in the world. In fact, when Support people finally get my score entered (and I know this can take days and I apparently was NOT the only one with this problem) I won’t even be on the last page. At least as of this week. So I really hope it doesn’t take a whole week to rectify this issue. I want to be able to see, line by earned line, how far I’ve come – which they tell me – is the whole point of signing up. I’ve worked really hard for my numbers.

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Rather than focusing on what I don’t have (registration for the Open), I thought I would concentrate on what I do have. A week of awesome work at the box.

I did 17.1 on Saturday and worked as hard as this old body/heart could work. I thought I would not be able to get as far as I did and although, like every person in the world, I would have liked more, I truly am pleased, happy, and even thrilled with the score I got. Now if I could just enter it, but I’m trying to focus on the good.

On Saturday afternoon, I was getting pretty stiff and so I took a short walk. On Sunday, I was stiff and needed to move and I took a longer walk. I did a little more than 5K and by the time I got back to the house, it seemed everything was moving better.

My box posts all the WODs for the week on Sunday and so I could look ahead and see what fresh new hell awaited me for the week. I don’t cherry pick my workouts. I go on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and I do what I can within that construct.

I have no idea what Marc was thinking but 84 kettlebell swings were not in my immediate future. Monday’s WOD was 84 reps of both wall balls and kettlebell swings and my back was working, but not all that good. Those dumbbell snatches were okay, but by the end … Everyone who did 17.1 knows about this so there is no point in belaboring the issue. Suffice it to say, kettlebell swings weren’t going to help. I cut the reps in half and even though I said I was increasing the weight of the kettlebell the next time I did a workout, I didn’t. I managed okay but my back wouldn’t have liked to do it all again, so I did that right.

Skill on Monday was deadlifts and I read it wrong. I thought I only had to do 80% of my one rep max, but it was 90% with a touch and go for two reps. Then back off to 75%. So my deadlift was heavier than I anticipated and I wasn’t sure about lifting that much. I did it. I did the touch and go. I managed.

Tuesday had a bunch of overhead squats and this is my nemesis, my goat, my downfall. Because I’m old and inflexible and because I’m built really crooked, these are doubly hard. I supposed I could have used a heavier weight, but I stuck with my light 22# bar and worked with that. I was hoping to get 25 overhead squats in the allotted time and figured my sprints in the parking lot would be my normal stroll. I got 54 overhead squats. Over achiever.

Wednesday is my rest day. I rested. I can RX that shit.

Today was stiff legged deadlifts, an accessory move to strengthen legs. I did them at a higher weight than I had thought since the one I picked seemed too light. Then bent over rows came next and I increased my weight from last time and managed them fine.

The WOD was toes to bar, push press with a light barbell, and burpees to a target. I am so sick of burpees I could scream. But to a target usually means doing them on concrete and that was just more than my old carcass could take. So, I made an X on the wall and jumped up and touched that each time. I also subbed V-ups for the toes to bar because I can’t get my toes to the bar. I managed in a respectable time.

This is an amazing amount of work for anyone. It’s even more amazing for an old fart. Being able to do these things makes me smile. I have achieved the greatness I hoped for when I began. I haven’t achieved world class status and since I only put in a few hours a week instead of a few hours a day, that makes sense.

What I have managed is to show up consistently and improve across time. I could proselytize and sometimes I want to simply drag people in there with me. I do so many things I never in a million years dreamed I could and I would like to share that sense of accomplishment with everybody. Showing up is the hardest thing. Well, next to posting a score, but I’m staying positive that this will soon be resolved.

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Dear Mr. Glassman,

The CrossFit Open had 324,307 registered participants in 2016. This number has been steadily rising over time so we can assume there are more registered (or at least attempting to register) in 2017.

The fee for participation is $20, not a substantial amount to be sure. It’s affordable. But doing the math means that the Open registration fees alone brought in $6,486,140 in 2016. That doesn’t include the fees to participate in Regionals and the Games themselves. Sponsor fees and TV rights are not included, either. It’s a pretty big money maker.

CrossFit provides the platform and in great part that is the damn website that hasn’t been working for days. Bringing in about $6.5 million should make it affordable for CrossFit Inc. to build a website that functions correctly.

Of course, we can assume that this year’s income from registrations alone topped $7 million but let’s not quibble about mere hundreds of thousands of dollars. You provide a website and some workouts and only get to the venue stuff later in the Games. Right now, all you have to do is have a spreadsheet available to us.

And you have failed. Miserably. You, Mr. Glassman, have failed. On a worldwide scale.

It isn’t just that I can’t post my score. It is that many people can’t post. And people who are actually in contention for a place at the Regionals are able to perhaps, fudge a little bit and see how other athletes did and have an advantage before posting their scores.

But for me, it has been just one more slap in the face.

I know, the whole glitch in the matrix took down not only CrossFit, but thousands of websites and we should be understanding or something like that. To which I can only say, what the hell? If your website had been working as it was supposed to, what happened on Tuesday would have been totally immaterial. All the scores would have already been posted.

I’ve checked my calendar to make sure my facts are correct, and Tuesday morning does come after Monday evening, the deadline for posting scores. The deadline that had to be extended because your website was poorly designed or maintained or simply nonfunctional. And then extended again and is still not functioning enough to allow me to post a damn score.

Bringing in millions upon millions of dollars for an event should make it affordable for you to hire some competent IT people capable for creating a webpage. Did you hire the Obamacare people? It functioned with the same bumpy inept interface.

It took great courage for me to enter into this arena. I’ve tried to remind myself it isn’t just me. You aren’t persecuting me. It’s not a condemnation of my unforged unelite unfit status. That’s the rational part of my brain. The angry, frustrated, fragile part of my brain is telling me an entirely different story and it is unpleasant and making me even crankier.

This has pretty much sucked any joy out of this experience. I had a heart rate over 170, I felt like puking, I continued on to achieve my score. I did my part. The most difficult part of 17.1 has been entering my damn score. As the scorekeeper for entire events, I’ve entered hundreds of other people’s scores with less angst than this has taken.

Mr. Glassman, please note that this is unacceptable. Maybe you need to step up your game a bit.

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When I signed up for CrossFit, I expected certain things. I was expecting to be able to open my own jars. I expected to be able to learn how to lift heavy shit and put it back down again. I was expecting to perform constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.

I expected that I would be stiff and sore until my unused muscles got the message we were stepping it up a bit. I expected to improve over time.

I didn’t realize I would be stiff and sore on and off because of my constantly varied workouts. I expected to improve rapidly and constantly because of the high intensity. And while I have greatly improved, it wasn’t rapid. I was more tortoise than hare.

I didn’t expect as many tears as have fallen. I know I’m competitive. I was used to winning in my arenas of choice. Not so much here. Unless … as the Lorax said.

But the greatest gift of CrossFit was completely unexpected and shocking when I noticed it. I’ve become a lion in a world of sheep. I dare. I dare greatly and with intrepid desire to overcome fear and loathing in Las Vegas or anywhere else. I am a CrossFitter, and that means I’ve lived outside my comfort zone for a long time.

And that means my comfort zone continues to grow which means I then step outside that larger circle into new fears and then I conquer them and my comfort zone enlarges yet again. And yet again, I step outside and quest.

I have gained incredible amounts of core strength, so much so that when I walked off a step, I didn’t even realize I didn’t fall over, I just planted and held myself upright, looking stunned about the whole “no step” thing. My son had to point out that my core strength, my stability, my CrossFit saved me from a fall. It was, to me, just a natural not falling over. I failed to think of how many reps it took to get there.

I have increased all my Olympic lift weights over time and I now have muscles. Real muscles. Like a weightlifter might have. I’m not Arnold Schwarzenegger or anything, but even Arnold doesn’t look like his Conan days.

But the part that remains the most amazing and the most incredible and the least talked about is my overall confidence. I’m still scared by many things because the world is scary and full of fright. But … I have faced so many fears inside the box that facing fears outside the box seems a natural response.

I have tried many new things in the last four years. Some of them inconsequential but still things I wouldn’t have tried to do without the confidence I’ve built while struggling to strict push press or get a pull-up.

My overall outlook is now how I walk through the world like a competent, able, mastering person. I can do things, incredible things. I will do more. I work for an hour at the box and then I go home and I have the ability to face fears and step outside my comfort zone, knowing how I’ve already mastered so many things.

This is the unexamined gift of CrossFit. This is the benefit of struggle and defeat and more struggle and victory. I know that defeat isn’t fatal or final. I know that there is a way to step outside my comfort zone and excel. I’ve done it before.

I’ve won CrossFit. Not the Open, not the Masters Garage Games, but CrossFit itself. I’ve mastered the difficult by failing until I succeeded. I remain constant in my attendance even when it is easier to stay home. I overcome the fear by listening to those with advice/knowledge (I’m coachable).

Unless … as the Lorax said. I look beyond the numbers and realize the overall improvements in my life – that’s where all the magic resides.

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The aftermath of success is killing me. I wasn’t going to sign up for the Open. Then I was. Then I wasn’t and that went back and forth and then yesterday, I did the workout with the group, still unregistered.

I had looked to see how badly I had to do to maintain my last position in America if not the world. There were, apparently, two women who couldn’t get up to a 20 inch box because they each only got the first ten reps and then quit. I was pretty confident I could get past that. I did.

I ended up with a score of 130 which was more than I dared hope for. I usually do a modified burpee and remove that push-up part. But I couldn’t for this event and so they really wiped me out and cranked up my heart rate. Regardless, I moved along as much as I could.

I was more worried about puking than having a heart attack. It was very difficult to not make a mess and my back was not liking the end of this. But I soldiered on and finished the twenty minutes still moving.

As I sat around watching the other athletes work through this (and out of 19 or so people there, only three were able to finish in time) I was cajoled into signing up for Open. It’s not about me being last in America for the Masters Garage Games, it’s about how I have improved over time and it was guaranteed I would not be last in the world. I don’t know if that’s going to be true or not, but I signed up anyway. I’m not planning on setting the world on fire, but I get stuck doing these anyway. I might as well get credit for it.

I did “no rep” myself as I realized I was leaning on my leg for the pull of the dumbbell snatch and I squealed and dropped the weight before I wasted it. My low scores are achieved with integrity, at least.

I was the scorer for another athlete and I had to “no rep” him for the same reason. I felt a little bad, but I knew I had done that to myself, too, so it made it easier to keep him reputable as well.

I came home elated and floated through the day. And then, somewhere between then and now, I started in on myself. Perhaps I could have not sat back down when I tried to start moving and “just couldn’t” and maybe really could have. Maybe I should have started the last push of snatches a little earlier to get a higher rep count. Maybe I could have magically become younger and fitter yesterday morning.

I want more. I want to be more. I want to achieve more. I have come so far that it is nearly impossible to remember where I was when I began. But still, there is more and always more and I want it. I remember being an A racquetball player and winning and overcoming. Hell, I even won a game on a broken ankle. Not that it was smart, but in my defense, I didn’t realize I had broken it.

But today, I’m encased in this older body. It does amazing things that other bodies, young or old, cannot do. I push my limits. I dare greatly in an arena I should never thought to enter. I really should knit. (Leslie, did you buy the yarn yet?) Inside my old body is this notion that I’m still 35. Every mirror, every interaction with my children (both of whom are over 35) should let me remember that I’m a Little Old Lady. An awesome one, to be sure.

And yet, I want still more.

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