18.4 Accomplished

The 2018 Open has been a strange one for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been trying to care less, or because I’m coming back from injuries, or maybe it’s the workouts themselves, but overall I’d say I’m just showing up each Friday with pretty minimal anxiety and doing the work. I’m still having fun though (or I wouldn’t do it)!

After last week’s 6 minute workout (for me at least), I was hoping that 18.4 would be one I could go balls to the walls on.

18.4 seemed promising at first. Despite my low back and tricep injury, being short has its perks and 18.4 is definitely a short (wo)man’s workout. 18.4 is Diane to start, then Diane with a riff.

Workout 18.4

For time:

21 deadlifts, 155 lb.

21 handstand push-ups

15 deadlifts, 155 lb.

15 handstand push-ups

9 deadlifts, 155 lb.

9 handstand push-ups

21 deadlifts, 205 lb.

50-ft. handstand walk

15 deadlifts, 205 lb.

50-ft. handstand walk

9 deadlifts, 205 lb.

50-ft. handstand walk

Time cap: 9 min.

My previously healthy body loved deadlifts and handstand push-ups. I learned to do handstand push-ups strict, and am still working on learning to kip (typical Kait gymnastics skills problem). But I haven’t deadlifted much since December and hurting my back, and the same goes for handstand push-ups as my tricep couldn’t handle the pressure (putting a ponytail on was bad enough).

But my physio Gina fixed my arm up, and my chiro Dr. Brad is working on my back weekly and helping me to get my glutes firing, so I felt well enough to at least attempt 18.4 RX. I told my judge I’d drop to scaled if needed.

I got a good warm-up in, and then measured at the wall for the handstand push-up standard. Right away, I could see the whole “forearm away from the wall” part of the standard being tricky (I’m short! I have short forearms!).

But the buzzer went and with my belt cinched, I started the 21 deadlifts. I tried to use my glutes and hamstrings as much as possible and broke after 10, then 16, then finished the set. :48 was my tiebreak for that round, but I figured my round of 15s would be the score to count.

To the wall I went, figuring I’d kip my way through sets of 5 then skip back to the barbell for more deads.


My lack of recent HSPU practice combined with the limited amount of room between my body and the wall (as per the standard), and I was struggling hard!

At the top of each rep I would press through my handstand with my toes flexed towards my shins and even then it was a struggle for my judge (and good friend!) Anna to count the reps as good ones. I did a lot of strict reps, as the kipping motion was so awkward with the wall so close. I got no-repped, just short of the tape line, too many times. Only 17 reps counted.

In the end it was the strangest Open workout yet. I worked so hard and was physically drained, but wasn’t sweating or breathing hard.

Saturday morning as I write this recap, my body is quite sore – my shoulders, my glutes. I’m extremely happy to say neither my low back or tricep feel blown up.

A friend mentioned she’s going back in on Sunday for a re-do. Although I’m a little frustrated and disappointed by my attempt, in the end it’s just competitive fitness and I’m not going to the Games this year (😉), so I think I’m a-ok with my 38 reps. I fought hard for them and that’s all that matters.

Just one Open workout left in the 2018 season. Traditionally 18.5 is a “see God” workout featuring thrusters and another element you just can’t hide in. Tell no one… but I can’t wait.

18.5 predictions? Did you love or hate 18.4?


18.3 Accomplished

You can tell my level of enthusiasm for each CrossFit Open wod by the amount of time it takes me to post a recap.  As much as I liked last week’s, this week was not in my wheelhouse. 18.3 was:

14 min to complete two rounds of:

100 double-unders

20 overhead squats

100 double-unders

12 ring muscle-ups

100 double-unders

20 dumbbell snatches

100 double-unders

12 bar muscle-ups

Needless to say, everyone and their crossfitting dog was thrilled (read: sarcasm). To non-crossfitters, all of the movements in this week’s wod were highly technical and to complete two rounds in 14 minutes would not be possible for the average Joe crossfitter.  Most of us would be more than pleased to get one round before the time cap!  And those of us, like me, riding the low end of the bell curve were just happy to get our participant ribbon for the week and head home to stretch our calves.

Actually, as it turns out, my calves weren’t even sore because I only did 200 double-unders and the 20 overhead squats.

I swung around like a chimpanzee on the rings for a bit but the Open magic fairy wasn’t at CrossFit Sunalta because there were no muscle-ups for me. Oh wait, and maybe also because I’m terrified of being up on the rings (and that’s why I’ve avoided muscle-up practice like the plague since I started doing CrossFit 3? 4? years ago.)  Turns out if you don’t work on developing the skills and coordination required for a muscle-up, they don’t just magically appear when you need them.  Go figure.

I did my 100 double-unders (not nearly as fast as Rozie, or Dana – who strung 100 together!), then the 20 overhead squats which felt sufficiently heavy, then with a fair amount of frustration did my next 100 double-unders. There was some tripping.  Thanks to my judge Paul for counting every last hard-to-count rep.  6:XX for my tie-breaker score.

My PR for the workout was stringing together 50 double-unders right off the bat. I was pretty pleased about that, even though they went to crap after.

The atmosphere was exciting for 18.3 with people getting their first pull-ups, muscle-ups, or plural muscle-ups.  And I had fun judging a few heats after and visiting with friends.  Now, on to 18.4!

Predictions? If you follow Dave Castro on the internets, you’ll probably laugh at this website: https://whatdoesdavecastroscluemean.com/

18.2 Accomplished

Photo cred: Thanks to Laura for playing paparazzi 📸

18.2 was more in my wheelhouse than 18.1, and it flew by so fast! Oddly – despite the fact that I prefer the movements in 18.2 – I was way more nervous for the workout than the previous week.  18.2 was:

12 min AMRAP:


Dumbbell squats (35/50#)

Burpees over the bar

Then with any time remaining:

1 RM clean

Because I was slow on the uptake and missed signing Dana and I up for heat times for Friday Night Lights, we ended up with heats at 7:15 pm. I went home after work first to eat, and then we headed back to CrossFit Sunalta around 6:45.  The warm-up flew by, and I was thankful for the support of my friends Ruth, Laura, and Dena (among others!) who had lots of advice having done the workout earlier in the evening, including:

  • Rounds 8, 9, & 10 were where things got interesting
  • Don’t look at the clock
  • The first lift would feel very heavy
  • Swing the dumbbells like a kettlebell swing to get them up to your shoulders

3, 2, 1, go! With an ascending ladder, you do one rep of each movement, then two of each, and so on up until you hit 10 reps of each.  I just focused on moving consistently through the burpees, and not setting the dumbbells down during the squats.  I really focused on using my glutes, instead of my quads, as I’ve had a ton of chiro/active release technique (ART) done this year and my biggest issue is engaging my glutes.  Thanks Dr. Brad!

I finished the metcon in 8:06, landing on all fours to breath heavily for a few moments. When I got my breathing under control, I approached the barbell for the cleans.

The first clean really did feel heavy, but I had loaded 115# on the bar knowing that I can always hit that lift, rain or shine. Then 125 pounds, and then 135.  135# is in the neighbourhood of my one rep max, but with my back so sore the past few months, I’ve really avoided anything heavy.  My back did feel a bit sore after the dumbbell squats so I didn’t want to push my luck.

I tried 140# twice but no dice.

All in all, I liked 18.2 and it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever had to do.  Thanks Dave Castro.

I feel like 18.3 is going to feature something technical like muscle-ups and/or snatches. And maybe double unders just for funzies.

Any guesses? How was 18.2 for you?