Sucking on sucks and then moving on

(Originally posted privately on 19 March 2011.)

There I am...sucking at wall balls!
There I am...sucking at wall balls!

Today’s topic: Sucks.

Last week, we had a WOD at Crossfit that was all about choice. I couldn’t believe it!

Here it is:

Pick any 3 of the following movements, complete 100 reps of each. No partitioning.

Box Jump


Weighted AbMat Situps

Toes to Bar



DB Push Press

KB Swings
Well, this was great news to me. Clearly, 100 movements of anything would be difficult, but at least I’d be able to choose my fate. I ended up choosing push presses, box jumps, and kettlebell swings. And I finished in a respectable time, around 20 minutes.

As I was standing around and chugging water afterward, I watched some of the other athletes finishing their workout. It immediately became clear that I had finished quickly. Normally if this happens, I am not that far ahead of others…really, it’s a matter of seconds. But four, five, six minutes later, people were STILL going. I couldn’t believe it! Was I some crazy freak of nature?

I started thinking to myself, “Wow, those push presses felt heavy and were hard, but maybe I should have gone heavier?” (I used two 10# dumbbells. I WAS going to use a 20# kettlebell, but one of the coaches—Kim, bless her heart—promptly took that away and replaced it with a 22# one, haha!)

Finally, I had stopped panting and chugging and everyone finished and put away their equipment.

“Great job,” said my friend Sarah.

“Um, you did AWESOME!” I said back. I finished way earlier than she did, but she really worked it.

“Ehh,” she replied, “I chose all my sucks—the last half of the wall balls was so hard.”

“Oh,” I said incredulously. “I, uh, just chose things that I knew I’d be able to finish and not want to kill myself while doing.”

“Yeah, that’s still great. It’s not often you get to choose your workout.”

I left that conversation with a bittersweet feeling, and I started questioning myself. Should I have gone heavier? Should I have done wall balls instead of push presses? What about MY sucks?

Granted, there are few things at Crossfit that I have (a) mastered, or (b) are truly good at. I’m good at rowing and endurance rowing, and I don’t hate it. I’m not bad at kettlebell swings. I really like weightlifting workouts that find one-rep maxes and stuff, and aren’t timed. Box jumps no longer scare me, and neither do lower reps (i.e., less than 100) of jumping pull-ups and sit-ups. But my real sucks? Uggh. Burpees, running, wall balls, push-ups, and anything that involves lifting my bodyweight or swinging on bars.

Sarah made me think about my sucks. And that if I don’t practice them, I will NEVER get better at them. Ever. I can get hella stronger, lift more, get better times on my 500m rows, but if I don’t practice my sucks, I can’t do them.

So this week, I hit up WODs that included my sucks, that I would have normally said HELLS NAH to. One involved burpees, and one involved wall balls and running. Neither was fun. During both, I almost broke down in frustrated and painful tears. But I finished both. And I am better for that.

And that’s even what Crossfit has emblazoned over their doors: BE BETTER THAN YESTERDAY. Amen!



Published by


Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

2 thoughts on “Sucking on sucks and then moving on”

  1. Thanks DK for this post! I think the “sucks” lesson definitely applies to more than just athletics to, but many other parts of life…academics come to mind! Keep going! You’re an inspiration.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s