04/01/14 – We didn't make it….

April Fools, we’re still going!  I got to writing last night and this is what happened.  It is long, so I apologize if you fall asleep halfway.

As I sit here trying to digest everything that transpired during the 2014 CrossFit Open, I find myself unable to choose the right words that can encompass all of the amazing feats that all of you were able to accomplish over the past five weeks.  Nearly two months ago we encouraged all 908ers to sign up for the 2014 CrossFit Open, a five-week online competition sanctioned by CrossFit HQ where individuals perform one workout per week, are judged on that workout, and then have to submit it online.  This year over 200,000 people worldwide signed up for the Open and a record 85 908ers signed up, Woo Hoo!  The week that the first Open workout was announced was filled with excitement and nerves all around the gym.

Snatches and double unders, and the crowd goes, “Boooooooo.”  I knew as soon as this workout was announced that I was likely going to get an earful about how I encouraged people to sign up and that everyone was supposed to be able to participate, and then double unders happened.   Were there some rumblings among 908ers about this workout?  Sure, but you know what?  Everyone still came in and gave the workout a chance.  I can’t even begin tell you how many double under PR’s we had that first week, from people getting their first ever, to others stringing together 30 in a row.  That first Saturday during 14.1 was an amazing day at CrossFit 908.  After seeing the amount of support we had that day, I knew that we could get through any workout HQ threw at us.

Then came overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull ups, and I thought, “Are they trying to make me go out of business?” but again you guys and gals mustered up the courage to try two incredibly challenging movements and did what you could for three-minutes.  So many of you just wanted to get to that round of 12, and I know that next year you most certainly will.  Eileen performed nearly all 10 overhead squats @ 65lbs with one hand.  Is there anything else that needs to be said?

As we moved into week three it seemed like anything could be programmed at this point, but much to my chagrin, deadlifts and box jumps (step ups), got thrown into the mix.  Whereas I was previously concerned with 14.1 and 14.2 with people NOT being able to perform the movements, I now suddenly feared for everyone’s spines, because unfortunately you can sacrifice a lot of good body position to perform a deadlift.  The weight started light enough for all to attempt the workout but quickly got heavy.  I know in the heat of the moment everyone wants to try just one more-rep, but for anyone that has ever hurt their back, it only takes one more rep.  Yet again, 908ers prevailed with only a few sore lower backs and one-minor hamstring pull (way to use the right muscles Lee!). Okay, let’s just get these next two weeks over with already.

14.4 – A chipper that involved rowing, toes to bar, wall balls, power cleans, and muscle ups.  This was the most “fun” of all the workouts in my opinion.  I prefer switching between multiple movements rather than hammering away at a couplet for 10+ minutes.  Another week of PRs with so many people getting toes to bar!  This was a fun one to watch.

Four weeks down, one to go.  Everyone and their mother is calling for burpees and thrusters, probably one of the worst combinations of movements EVER.  HQ didn’t disappoint with a nasty couplet totalling 84 thrusters and 84 burpees with no time limit in sight, yikes!  This workout was all guts.  We wanted to enforce a time cap, but if people were moving well we wanted them to continue because there is a true sense of accomplishment when you get through a workout like this.  From hearing that this workout was harder than running a marathon and worse than giving birth, I knew that HQ hit the nail on the head with 14.5.  This workout was not only physically demanding, it was also the most mentally challenging.  The desire to pick yourself up off the ground over and over diminishes rapidly when your heart rate is 180+bpm.  A big congratulations to all of you who completed 14.5!

So, after it is all said and done, I would say that the Open was a huge success this year.  We had so many people set personal bests over the five weeks, and we’re going to get to see some people compete at the next level!  Juan Grana put up a stellar performance and ranked 15th in the world among his age group.  The top 200 in any masters division continue on to another online competition in April where they will have to videotape their workouts.  We want to see Juan in California!  Andy Sigler also made it to the next round of Masters competition placing 175th in the world in his age group.  My mother-in-law, Karen Kelly placed 61st in her age group and will be participating in April as well.  Last, but certainly not least, newcomer and awesome athlete Becky Bedrosian placed 173 in the world, and will be joining the other three in some fun videotaped workouts in the next few weeks.  CrossFit 908 will also be sending a team comprised of three women (Erin Carroll, Emmy Simpkins, Bridget Beck) and three men (Tim Carroll, Kevin Johns, Rick Pinero) to the Northeast Regional Competition held 05/30-06/01 in Canton, MA at Reebok headquarters.  This is the first year 908 has sent a team to this competition, and we couldn’t be more proud.

The truth of the matter is that as wonderful as these accomplishments are by these individuals, I’m just as proud of each 908er who signed up and challenged the hell of himself/herself.  These five weeks have been physically grueling and mentally agonizing.  I know some people made it through the Open and were unhappy with their results, but I have to tell you that you can’t let the Open define who you are, good or bad.  The point of entering any competition is to benchmark your current fitness level, and set a plan to improve it.  For me, competition does one thing, and one thing only, it points out my weaknesses.  These past five weeks showed me a lot about the “CrossFit athlete” that I am, and has refreshed that good old laundry list of items that need improvement.  Bottom line, don’t quit, don’t make excuses.  You can be better if you try.  We are here to help, and we want each and every one of you to improve next year.  Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 2014 Open, and a special shout out to all of those going on to the next round.  We look forward to supporting the hell out of you all!

Today’s Workout:

  • 5RFT
    • 400m Run (The winter has been cruel to our driveway.  Please be careful.  Take a flashlight if it is dark.)
    • 25 Push Ups (Remember, they are supposed to be hard)
    • 15 Toes To Bar (All you newbie Toes-To-Barers, make sure to hit your toes every rep or it ain’t RX!)
  • Finisher – 100 Hollow Body Rock or 2 min Hollow Hold
Leenie going beast mode on 14.5 and finishing the workout RX in 54 minutes.  We love you Leenie!!!!
Leenie going beast mode on 14.5 and finishing the workout RX in 54 minutes. We love you Leenie!!!!

4 thoughts on “04/01/14 – We didn't make it….”

  1. Yayyyyyy!!! Congratulations to everyone who gave it their all and pushed it in each of those crazy workouts!! I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the 908 family!! I absolutely loved judging and cheering for all you amazing athletes. What an inspiration!! Proud is the word 🙂 So so SO excited to cheer for y’all in Canton!!! Now, let’s celebrate 😉

  2. What a beautiful post, Tim Carroll!! You and Erin Carroll have built such an amazing community at 908. I absolutely love being a part of it, and I love how everyone always strives to be stronger and better, and how everyone always pushes each other to be better. I love the friends I have made here and the gains I have seen in myself and everyone else. I am so proud of everyone who participated in the Open!! And, I just cannot wait to pack my car (you know what Dottie is talking about) for Regionals this year!!! Bring it on and let’s crush this Team 908!!! I love you guys!!!!

  3. Tim’s note in the blog today is great but as a self appointed 908 mascot and co-court jester it should be noted because Tim is entirely too humble to; since the inception of the regional format Tim is one of perhaps 10 guys in the the North East Region (the fastest growing and largest by far) to qualify as an individual all four years and his hair is never out of place. He’s also perhaps the only guy in the world with type 1. It shows how fortunate we are to have a coach who practices what he preaches about recovery and injury prevention, when to go hard and when to back off (just a bit).