CrossFit Open

Workout 16.3

7-min. AMRAP:
10 power snatches
3 bar muscle-ups

M  75 lb.     F 55 lb.

I am not sure if you are familiar with a a “bar muscle-up”, but don’t worry, I will explain. The muscle-up, while a movement that I have never really practiced, appears to be relatively simple. I logged a few hours watching online as normal, everyday people, much like myself, easily performed this relatively simple movement. The muscle-up is a gymnastic movement. The individuals demonstrating the muscle-up acknowledged and explained the necessary core strength, combined with upper body strength and a strong pull, paired with precision timing, so as to explode with your hips, while as horizontal to a bar as possible, just before you explode into a sit-up, only to essentially perform a dip on the bar which utilizes 100% of your body weight, all within a matter of 1 second. What could possibly go wrong? Piece of fu*king cake. Gimme the microphone and back the hell up (do what?). As I laid on my couch, methodically trying to get my iphone screen to adjust to the way that my head was comfortably laid on the pillow, all while safely positioning myself to safely eat potato chips and not get them clogged in my windpipe, I watched as people all over the world demonstrated the art of the muscle-up. They are so smooth, so graceful, so powerful. They literally float, like winged angels, peaking their heads over the Pearly Gates, and then push their bodies up over the bar to see what is going on over the walls of paradise. I would soon look just like them. I would get my opportunity to mock the movements of Dominique Dawes as I, if only for a brief movement, demonstrated a one second screen play that symbolized me as a person. I would float up to the air and exhibit my inner beauty, and put on display my cat-like speed and reflexes that are misjudged only because of my heavy frame. I would demonstrate to my gym members my unappreciated ability to SNAP into action, and combine speed and power as if my motor was built by Clessie Cummins himself. It would feel as if the room was weightless as I floated through the air, raising the hopes and the spirits of all who were in attendance. There would be tears. I was actually concerned for the children present. I did not know if they would be able to understand the emotions of the adults, as their entire lives would be changed by what would be the spectacle of the Beefcake Muscle Up. If you have ever heard the stories of the light, or people finding Jesus, this would be similar, except probably more emotional. It was going to be my day. The power snatches were an appetizer. They were what figure eights were to Tonya Harding’s triple axle. The snatches would only give time for the women to grab their kleenex and the men to humble themselves before me. This was gonna be special. I’m fixin to tell you all about.

This is what happened at 16.3. The timer dings, and the clock starts ticking down from 7 minutes. I casually rep out one 75lb power snatch at a time. They are not particular hard or easy, they are simply standing in the way of my muscle-ups, and the spectacle which would soon be written in the history books, and read by every American child by the time they reach 10 years of age. 8 snatches, 9 snatches, 10 snatches…It’s go time. As my supporters are encouraging me to approach the bar, and waiting in anticipation and high hopes of watching me push myself atop the metal rod, I take my first shot. Ouch. Fu*k. Sh*t. Dammit. Well, let’s just say I didn’t quite appear to be either as athletic, nor angelic as I had intended. The best way to describe it would be this…..Have you ever seen a busted can of biscuits? Not the little cans, but the big, country, economy size. Have you ever seen the explosion that they make when they pop out of the cardboard seam, but in no particular order? Just a big ole loud bloppin, thud-thump? That was my approach, a big whoppin thud-thump. Now that we have established the biscuit to Beefcake analogy, imagine that there is not one can of biscuits, but about a dozen. The biscuits are in your grandmother’s deep freeze outside under the carport. You are gathered for breakfast with friends and family that make you feel welcomed, comfortable, and loved. It turns out that the deep freeze’s breaker has flipped and everything in it is spoiled, and the temperature outside has been 90 degrees for days. What you have know are friends and family, time, and a dozen cans of uncooked biscuits that have already busted outed of their can. You might as well make the most out of it, so you decide to peel open the biscuit cans and throw the dough as hard as you can, up against the wall, and watch it go splat. Everyone will get to laugh as the sloppy dough initially plops against the wall, and then it blurbers itself down like a pizza crust filled wacky-wall-walker. All the friends and family really wish that the biscuits had not burst and we could all enjoy grandma’s breakfast, but all we had to work with was some old, wet dough. I was wet dough. I took about a dozen running starts up to the bar. I would pull myself as quickly and powerfully as I could (which is neither quick, nor powerful). I could manage to get one arm up and the other in the “chicken wing” position. We referred to this as the “jailbreak” style of the muscle-up. If there was ever a time for the typical CrossFit hater to get their rocks off regarding bad form, this was it. At no point in time did CrossFit headquarters envision anyone making this much of a mess out of such a graceful movement. However, if there was ever a good time to explain to people the fun that is to be found in CrossFit, and the accomplishments to be had in the Open, this was it as well. Form be damned at this particular time, under this particular situation. This was about having fun, and if the risk I was taking was that I might get hurt while acting as if I was thirteen years old and trying to playfully make it to the top of the monkey bars, I was willing to take that risk. I would unconventionally heave every muscle I had in seemingly opposite directions, only to get wedged in between a titty, gut, love handle, and metal bar conundrum. It was all too much. I was really relying on adrenaline to get me on top of that bar, but there was just not enough strength. I remember being a young teenager and some older, drunk teenagers running us out of the park. We went to my friends house and got a bunch of bottle rockets to shoot at them. After launching a barrage of rockets, these guys came after us with all of the fury that comes with some kids screwing with your drinking time. They were fixin to whip our asses. Yeah, we deserved to get our asses whooped, but that didn’t mean I was gonna let it happen. We hauled ass.  There were a number of fences that I was able to hurdle with adrenaline, that I never could have made it over, if not for fear and adrenaline. Today, nothing was chasing me, and adrenaline was just not enough to overcome my lack of training, and twenty five years of lost youth did not help the situation. The muscle-ups were not in the cards today, but it was a fun learning experience. Not only our gym, but there are many people in the world, who just this week, because of taking a chance at the CF Open, were able to achieve what they previously could not. It is a great deal of fun to watch that as it unfolds. I have been on the failing end, as well as experienced success. While it is frustrating to have not accomplished the goal, it is still totally awesome to have goals, even when you fall short. I hope that 16.4 is more in my wheelhouse, but there are a couple hundred thousand people wishing the same exact thing. Y’all have a good day. Set some goals. Achieve some stuff. Go fail. Come up short. Keep going and have some fun. It’s gonna be a good week, I’m sure of it.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,