The Open: 15.3 – who’s got balls?!

When 15.3 was announced it instantly became the workout that made the 2015 Opens real. Why? Because it included muscle-ups, one of the hardest movements in CrossFit (to my understanding). They are not impossible and you don’t have to be a gymnast to do them. It only takes a lot of training and commitment, sometimes even luck and talent may be helpful as well to eventually figure them out.

Whatever type of athlete you are and in whatever division you’re doing this years opens not only mental balls were a part of 15.3: actual balls were, too. Because wall ball shots defined the second movement of the workout – for the RX as well as the scaled division. And they crushed me.

Here’s what 15.3 was:
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 14 minutes of:

  • 7 muscle-ups (only Rx – scaled didn’t have them)
  • 50 wall-ball shots
  • 100 double-unders (for scaled: 200 single-unders)

Men use 20-lb. ball to 10 feet (for scaled: 9feet) // Women use 14-lb (for scaled: 10-lb) ball to 9 feet

It has taken me months to do WBS with 6 kg (about 13 lb) properly and even though the announced scaled WOD suggested 10 lb (4.5 kg) we had to do them with 6 kg for the lighter balls in our box were too light (3 kg). I had a strategy and wanted to complete 2 rounds. I also hoped to at least start round 3 by breaking the WBS down to sets of 5 and also breaking the 200 single unders into sets of 50 to control my pulse and stay focussed. The single-unders were the least challenging – the WBS took forever and I ended up in a frustrating no-rep parade.

The good thing about doing the WOD on Saturday is that you can repeat it in the hopes of finishing with a better score that you can enter online. And I’ve been contemplating about doing that, which also would have meant that I had to squeeze in another training session somewhere and not get as much rest as I feel I should allow myself right now. I’ve also been contemplating about blaming my not so yay date I went on the night before doing the open (for the record the lack of sleep didn’t come from a night in company – btw a solo night like any other – but simply too much contemplating about the many „whys“ and „what ifs“…).

But no, it’s not right to blame someone else for failing with my own strategy. I can’t even blame David Castro for programming 15.3 or the judge who counted my reps. Instead I should take the advice I gave others who were afraid of failing with muscle-ups and hold my head up high:

Remind yourself for how long you’ve been doing CrossFit (or any other sport). Remind yourself what CrossFit (and as a matter of fact ANY sport) is all about, that it never gets boring and lets us learn new things over and over (movements as well as so much about ourselves).

While I have nothing but respect for anyone who will try and has tried a totally new and at first scary movement like muscle-ups, and while I can totally see why anyone would try over to improve their score, I’ve come to a conlusion – which on a Sunday afternoon could also be understood as: „Ya right, all she wants to do is rest in her hammock and not put on her beastmode – lazy!“

I also believe that it takes a lot of balls to simply accept your score – my score, learn from a failed strategy, work on my technique – do it better the next time, rest and move on to 15.4!


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