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Wall Balls, Double Unders And Skimpy Outfits – CrossFit Open 2013

On Wednesday night, yet again, I rushed home, threw my bag on the floor, and (while still wearing street shoes) ran towards my computer to turn on the live feed from the CrossFit Games Open.

Few friends are already online, doing the same thing. Please, please, no double-unders or muscle-ups. Please, please… … drum roll… This year’s 13.3 is last year’s 12.4. Now, apart from the disappointing lack of creativity, this is actually a pretty brilliant workout.

It adjusts difficulty by the level of athlete. Anyone can do a wall ball. Therefore, anyone with any fitness level can actually do this workout, start with wall balls and get through as many as they can.

Double-unders are more difficult, and may seed out many athletes (like me) who have not yet mastered them. Those who fly through the double-unders have to perform muscle-ups – definitely one of the more difficult body weight exercises.

If the workout actually started with muscle-ups, then most people would automatically not be able to complete the workout.

At the live announcement, the two athletes that battle it out are Talayna Fortunato and Kristan Clever. Unlike last week where Annie took the lead fairly early on, this was a very close battle. Women were going head to head, but Kris KILLED the double-unders – all 90 unbroken!!!

“I heard her doing unbroken double-unders, and thought ‘shit’.”, says Talayna. Yeah, I would think that too.

I still think kips are ridiculous. Swing. Swing. Pull. Kick. Kip. Give me a break.

Some strategy suggestions from the video – keep the pace consistent. “Always stick with the plan”, Kris says, after methodically working her way through 150 wall balls, taking 8 second breaks after sets of 20-25.

Talayna’s tip? “Don’t climb a mile in elevation”. The live workout is streamed from Boulder, Colorado at 5,430 feet (1,655m), and that can definitely play a role in physical performance.

Clever beat Fortunato. I’m so very tempted to make a pun about being clever vs. being fortunate. Must resist…

On a different note, I was somewhat put off by some of the comments I saw on Facebook, regarding the athletes, however. While I would really rather not repeat the offensive comments, it boiled down to calling Kristan Clever a man.

Really, people?

Kristan Clever goes by Kris, and has a buzz cut. She does not wear booty shorts or make-up. I wear men’s ties, most of my trail shoes are men’s, and prefer deodorant scents that are called “Arctic Wave” and “Cool Rain” to “Vanilla Va-va-voom” and “Tiny Baby’s Behind”. So what?

I’m all for dress-up and pretty.. but if you think women who work out look like this (while working out!): … you need a serious reality check. This is about as realistic as porn. About as tasteful too. And I’d take a buzz cut over “I’m fully made up and manicured, and my hair is perfectly blow dried… and what do I do with these things again” look any day.

Kris clearly does not go out of her way to look feminine, and prefers a more androgynous (some would say masculine) look. Other than that, there is nothing particularly different about her or her body, compared to other female athletes.

Now, given how Kris looks, it actually would not be that surprising if someone honestly mistook her for a guy if they saw her at a grocery store. That’s not offensive. Plenty of tomboyish girls with short hair had that happen to them. They corrected the individual who made the mistake, and went back to kicking ass in soccer, hockey, Olympic lifting, or CrossFit.

What is offensive is knowingly refer to a woman as a man with the intention of insult. In this case, it is also about as original as making a pregnant joke, while getting an ultrasound of the knee.

Grow up.

Rant over.

I’ll be taking on 13.3 in a few hours. I’ve never done a muscle-up in my life, but fortunately with my double-unders, I do not have to worry about those! Goal – get through the wall balls, and get as many double-unders as possible. I’ll need ALL the time I can get.

On an unrelated note, I will be taking on Around the Bay 30k Road Race this Sunday. This will be my longest pavement run yet. And I’m terrified! Ironically, I have covered more than marathon distance multiple times on foot, while carrying stuff and people, but there is something about the repetitive pounding of the pavement, that just makes me nervous. Keep your fingers crossed for me! And if you are in town, head to Homegrown Hamilton after the race, and say hello.

Signing off, Solo


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