So, one of the many, many reasons I love Crossfit is the variety it offers its members. Your workout is different almost every single day. That being said, anyone who’s done Crossfit for a period of time knows that sometimes workouts reappear.
And there have been a fair amount of WODs that I’ve intentionally skipped out on. We’re talking any length of run further than 400m, Karen (up until this January), and, you know, sometimes Fran. Because sometimes you just don’t feel like dealing with thrusters. Granted, the WODs containing running, or pre-January Karen, I was actively avoiding them, basically because I had no interest in doing either movement. I mean, ick!
But there was another WOD that I’d been actively avoiding. And it wasn’t because I had no interest in doing the movements, but because it literally gave me nightmares.
The first time I did Angie,* I was still pretty new to Crossfit, and Austin was still around coaching. This was one of the only classes I think I had taken from him. I remember looking at the WOD of 100 pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats and thinking, even then “Oh that’s not so bad.”
Basically all I remember is that Austin had me start scaling back once we had started. I was already doing jumping pull-ups (this was obviously pre-ring-row-everything) and push-ups on knees. From there, he could see me struggling, so he told me to go ahead and partition the movements. Then to reduce the reps. I somehow got through the pull-ups and push-ups, and then moved on to sit-ups. Out of all four movements, I remember looking at the WOD and also thinking, “Sit-ups? That’s going to be the easiest part!” Good God was I wrong.
The sit-ups are what ended up ending it.
I don’t think I could do more than 30 or 40 of them. I started crying. Austin tried to scale it more for me, but I just couldn’t finish it. My body just would not, could not continue on. I went into total failure, and had a meltdown right in the double-wide.
I remember thinking to myself that the worst part about the whole thing was that Austin—this total beast of a Crossfitter—was watching the whole thing, and then being ridiculously nice to me afterward, and during. He explained to me that everyone DNF’s, that it happens, that I shouldn’t be ashamed. I appreciated his words, but I didn’t really buy it. I felt SO low, so embarrassed, and so angry at myself.
After that, I just decided that I wouldn’t mess with Angie again. Nope.
Now, I’m trying to stick to a routine, so it’s gotta be a really heinous WOD to keep me away on a day I’m supposed to be on. And I’m not gonna lie—when I saw Angie on the schedule for Tuesday, I definitely considered skipping out. Especially since I just did 90 squats at full-ROM (yesss!!!) on Monday, and was already super sore.
But after some consideration, I decided to go in and tackle that bitch. I mean, why not? I’ve clearly changed in many ways since the last time I did Angie (and DNF’d), and I’ve been PR’ing lifts and doing some WODs at Rx weight. I’m pushing myself more, expecting more out of myself, and getting some of the most awesome bruises of my life (helloooo, black collarbone!). Why the hell should I NOT do Angie?
It’s the combination of the DNF with expecting more out of myself.
Because, you know, if I did Angie and DNF’d again, it’d be a major blow to my ego.
In the end, I decided to go in and just do it.
Yeah, there was some scaling involved. Do I have a pull-up? Hell no. So there were ring-rows there. Also, I’m still on my knees/box for push-ups, so that was very much scaled, too. Sit-ups and squats were not scaled. I decided to NOT scale reps, even though Dean gave us the option, also scaring us with his observation that even people who scaled reps in the previous class couldn’t finish in the 25-minute time cap.
I immediately started dividing movements into four rounds of 25, much easier to swallow than a straight 100. I made it through ring rows in the first three or four minutes, then on to push-ups. To my surprise, I was the first person to move on. Another 100 down. Arms sore (not shoulders!), now on to sit-ups. If I could make it through sit-ups, I was home free.
I made it through the sit-ups. Every 25, I let myself rest 10 or 15 seconds before moving on.
Then squats. My ass hurt so bad from the lunges the day previous that the only way I could get through them was to divide into 10 rounds of 10.
But you know what?
Yes I did.
And it was sub-19:00. HELL YES.
I’m pretty sure people at 9 a.m. are sick of hearing about how I did this or that. They probably now take me with a grain of salt. But I don’t really care. Because it’s things like this that make me feel that, even after a year and a half at ACF, I’m still moving forward. And that’s really what I need.
I can’t say that coming in and crushing Angie has made me any more tempted to drop in on a 5k run day, but it definitely reassured me that I’m not the person I was a year ago—that I’m strong and fit and not a quitter.
Last year, I hated the fact that I DNF’d, but it was something that I literally HAD to do because my body couldn’t take it. Now, I feel like if I DNF, I have had some say in it. My solution? To say no.
It’s not every day that you get a do-over. But I’m glad I got to redo this one.
*I had been trying and trying to find the original blog post I wrote about Angie, and it wasn’t until I had already hit the publish button that I remembered it wasn’t even ON this blog to begin with. Originally written in private for Weight Watchers, here is my 03 February 2011 post:
I had some pretty good workouts between the WODs and then shoveling major snow and sledding yesterday. Today’s WOD was another hurdle to jump over, though.
The WOD today was a benchmark (“Angie”), which basically means that it’s a WOD that you can do down the road and see how you’ve improved. Angie is a set of 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 squats. Yup, you read that right. My coach had me modify the pull-ups by doing ring-rows, and then doing two sets of 50. The buzzer went off, and we started. Fifty ring-rows down, on to push-ups. Really difficult with my shoulder, but did it. Then on to sit-ups. By the time I got to about 15, it started getting difficult. I felt like my body was failing me. My coach came over to tell me to do two sets of 30, and just stop at 60 instead of 100. Thirty down. Squats, no big.
Second round. Ring-rows harder, push-ups, near impossible. And then sit-ups. I have absolutely no idea what happened, because on any other day, I would be able to do them, no problem. My core just stopped. Each rep was harder than the last, and I felt like someone was sitting on top of me. The coach came over, and I just broke down. As in totally just bawling. I was grunting and crying and it couldn’t have been pretty. He had me stop my second rep at just 20. I have no idea what happened. The rest of the class (there were only four of us) surrounded me and cheered me on for my last 50 squats. I finished in 21:58.
Needless to say, I felt like complete and utter **** after that WOD. I haven’t felt this bad since the first day I was at Crossfit and 1 minute on the stationary bike kicked my **** Coach Austin went out of his way to give me high-fives and reassure me that I did a great job. This coming from the sixth fittest Crossfitter in the WORLD (no joke). It felt good to hear his words, but mentally, I still read total failure.
I know I have a lot to work on, and apparently Angie is one of them. Normally, a devastation like this would make me stop all together. I hope that’s not the case this time.