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The Voice Of The Snatch Spirit And Other Frustrating Things About Olympic Lifting

I throw the bar on the ground. Again. It has measly 65 pounds on it, and I cannot bring it over my head in a squat snatch.

I can muscle snatch many pounds more. Hell, I can bicep curl more than I can snatch.

Practicing 55 pound muscle snatch (easy!) last year shortly before the Open.

But snatch? Actual proper squat snatch?

No dice.

On a related note, dear CrossFit, what the hell is squat snatch? Do you mean… SNATCH?

Interestingly, at least for women, apparently the appropriate response after getting a really heavy snatch, is to scream really loudly, swear and then walk off the platform with poker face, casually handing out high fives. I mean, god forbid, you’d actually smile, right?

S., the coach leading the session comes up to me. “You know it’s your shoulder mobility”, she says. “Well, no shit, Sherlock!”, I want to scream. Instead I say: “If there is a day I’m going to cry, today is it”.

I’m not joking, as I have already teared up a number of times during this WOD.

Oh, snatch. How I lust after you.

No other movement that I have not been able to do has caused me such strife. Not double-unders, not kipping pull-ups.

Snatch. That beautiful compound highly technical movement that fires up your whole lower body, including glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps. At least that’s what I heard.

I can’t feel 65 pounds in my lower body. I can’t even start to feel this movement where I am supposed to feel it, until my shoulders get out of the way.

Meanwhile, there are videos like this. I am not sure if I feel motivated to keep working on my form, or if I long to retire on my coach with a pint of Chunky Monkey. And, yes, I do realize that your porn may look significantly different. Live and let live?

“It’s your body fighting you”, S. says, watching me drop the bar forward for the tenth time.

“It is?”, I think. Do I actually want to fight back? I’ve written about fighting against your body before, and for the most part, I prefer to go WITH my body, not against it.

She smiles sympathetically. I know she has seen this look of defeat before. Every person has a nemesis of a lift, of a movement. For some, it’s double-unders. (Hell, for many it’s double-unders.) Kipping pull-ups. Muscle-ups.

There is no magic. I am a slow learner. I simply have not done enough snatches. I think.

But, it’s the structural limit that stops me in this movement, and it is frustrating to no end. Inside me, there is a girl who has perfect snatch form, but she has much more shoulder mobility than I, so I can’t tap into her awesome snatchiness.

I hear a voice in my head:

So, how is that working for you?


Now, that you know… what are you going to do?

Whose voice is this? The guardian angel of health coaches? The god of motivational interviewing? The snatch spirit?

The voice wants answers. Damn it.

YOUR TURN: Do you have a particular movement or technique that you simply cannot get to? Flip turn in swimming? A particular jump while horse riding? Do you continue to pursue this goal? Did you put it on a back burner? Or gave up on it altogether?

Liked this post? Check out my article on why I initially could not do double-unders, how I learned to do them, and how squats fix everything.

Hugs, SOLO


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