I am scared half to death. It’s 150 dumbbell snatches and 75 burpee over the box jumps. At my advanced age, I get to use just a ten pound dumbbell and I get to do step ups on the box. So there is that to look forward to.

Always and everywhere throughout CrossFit, women’s standards are just a tiny bit less than what is expected of men. For instance, for the young and fit this workout has men using a 50 pound dumbbell and women using a 35 pound dumbbell. Men jump to or over a 24 inch box and women jump to or over a 20 inch box.

However, at my age and in the scaled division, men use a 25 pound dumbbell while I get to use a 10 pound one. They may do step ups to a 20 inch box while I may do them to a, wait for it, 20 inch box.

Admittedly, in the RX division, men my age are still compelled to use a 24 inch box and all of us over the age of 55 get to use step ups rather than jumping. People in the scaled division are “competing” for a score and not for a place at the games. Allowing older men a chance to compete for a score is nice, but why are old women the only ones who can keep up with their male peers?

This is the second time this has appeared in a competition. In the Masters Garage Games, old men and old women could both snatch a 45 pound bar while at every other age, men’s weights were higher than women’s – just like everywhere else in CrossFit.

Old women are just as enfeebled by age as old men are. Why are we all of a sudden “equal” in some aspect or other? I assume this is equipment related. In order to get people to play along, there has to be the proper equipment. My gym does have boxes that can be rotated for different heights – now. But we started out with 12, 20, and 24 inch boxes (pretty much standard heights).

With upgraded equipment we can now have 12, 16, 18, 20, 24, and 30 inch boxes. But we have always, always, always been able to stack up some weight plates and make different heights. They can be stacked from the ground up or placed on top of boxes. This is how I know I can jump to a 22 inch box and I can take my entire shin off on a missed 23 inch box. I had plates atop a 20 inch box.

Even if we didn’t have a 16 inch box available, I could make a stack of objects 16 inches high if I were allowed to have the same scaled option of box height as old men get. Hell, the plates aren’t even being used for any other part of this WOD. Instead, me and no other person at my gym aged 55 or over will be doing the same height box, regardless of gender.

I find this irritating. I find it annoying. It doesn’t do me any good to be either irritated or annoyed because the standards are what they are and I’m lucky they even have a scaled option at all and what in the hell did I expect anyway. As I’ve been told, I should knit.

Perhaps I’m focusing on this inequity in order to assuage my fears about the WOD in its entirety. Luckily there is a time cap and so I’m going to treat this as an AMRAP. I have little hope for completing 225 anythings in the allotted time, so I will see how far I can manage and be proud of whatever I can get done with my heart rate issues and 20 inch box.

There is an idea floating around the society in which I live that there is nothing more useless than an old woman. I wish CrossFit didn’t perpetuate this myth.

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What am I most afraid of? Seems like it might be success. Well, not really success itself, but someone else pointing out my success isn’t all that successful.

This is the crux of my issues with awesomeness. You see, I have no idea where the bar is so I can’t tell if I’ve cleared it with room to spare, just got over, or knocked it to the ground.

I do CrossFit. I’ve been at this for nearly four years. I’ve improved greatly. I can do things today that I could only dream of when I started. I’m much improved. But … and there is always a but in here … I have no idea what it is that I should be doing.

My deadlift is half my son’s back squat. Is that any good? For either of us? I don’t know. And I don’t know where to find this information. Surely there must be some chart with what it is that a Little Old Lady with a cardiologist should be able to perform after nearly four years of practice. But … and there is always a but … there isn’t. There is no magic chart that tells me where the line is.

I have no way to figure out how to tell if I’m giving myself too much leeway to account for my age/condition/heart rate or if I’m not giving myself enough. If I claim awesomeness, will someone come by and point out that my weights are low, my reps are low, my performance is not up to par? Why can’t I find a par for me? That’s really what I need.

This is driving me crazy. I have always been able to find a par and then meet or exceed it. That’s been my life. And this whole CrossFit thing doesn’t do that. It makes me work to my own capacity and know that I’m doing all I can do with what I have to work with on this day and at this time. And then, be happy with the results.

I’m proud of all my hard work. I’ve come so far. And yet, I’m still in the foothills. I haven’t even started to climb the mountain. And if I proclaim my abilities, will someone unkindly point out that there is a whole mountain in front of me. And how can I not see the mountain myself.

Am I supposed to be climbing mountains at my age? Shouldn’t I be happy with navigating the foothills? I’ve done so much to get to this point. But … and there is always a but … there is that mountain. How can I be awesome with a whole mountain in front of me?

There is one thing that Coach Craig, Coach Kim, and all my friends seem to agree on. I don’t give myself enough credit for what I manage to do. I’m at the gym on a regular basis and working as hard as my aging body and cantankerous heart will allow. That’s pretty awesome since I could be on the couch or in front of the computer.

But … and there is always a but … that computer will allow me to look and see what Little Old Ladies did at the CrossFit Games. The leader in the one rep max for a squat clean managed 142# for that. I can deadlift 153# max. But … and there is always a but … I have no idea how long this 60 year old has been working at this stuff and what her history is and what she does has nothing to do with me anyway.

Intellectually, I know all this. The people at the games are freaking amazing. They are like Olympians in that this is really, really important to them and they work much harder, for much longer at getting to their peak performance than I ever will or ever want to. So comparing myself to the world’s best athletes from any arena is stupid.

But … and there is always a but … I still have no idea what to expect from myself. I’m not sure how to figure out the chart I need to work from. I want to push myself to successfully complete my WODs. I want to also be able to move the next day or the day after. I need to work hard but not injure myself because I’m old and it takes me longer to heal.

I just don’t know where that mark is. And to claim I’m awesome just because I try seems like giving myself an honor I haven’t earned. Unless, I have earned it somehow and just don’t understand the rules.

I am afraid. I’m afraid that if I call myself awesome for doing all the awesome stuff I do, someone will unkindly point out that it isn’t really all that much – compared to the elite athletes at the Games or the twentysomething young men, or the fortysomething women out there.

I really wish I knew how to give myself credit for all the shit I’ve accomplished. I need a chart.

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