• Cass Lau

21.2 - Ground-to-Overhates me

So this post is markedly different in terms of tone compared to the other one. It’s only because… well… you’ll see.


CF Open #21point2

For time:

10 dumbbell snatches 15 burpee box jump-overs 20 dumbbell snatches 15 burpee box jump-overs 30 dumbbell snatches 15 burpee box jump-overs 40 dumbbell snatches 15 burpee box jump-overs 50 dumbbell snatches 15 burpee box jump-overs

50-lb. dumbbell, 24-in. box

Time cap: 20 min.

The workout was announced on Friday morning as usual, and my mouth went agape at the reveal.


21.2 was a rehash of the workout from 2017 which held terrible memories for me. That year, I had just won the Women’s Scaled division of Battle Royale in Brunei just a month earlier, and 1 year into my CrossFit journey. It was then I felt the pressure going into the workout, with people saying things like “Cass, this is YOUR workout.”


That year, I got off to a blazing start. And quickly crashed in the round of 30— that was in 2017. I sat down twice and asked if I could stop. In the end I had to redo the workout, and that where I clocked 214 reps(11 reps of the burpee box jump overs shy of completing).

Fast forward to March 2021...

Just a week before the 2021 Open, (and 2 weeks before 21.2 was announced), Kylie announced that we’d do a Sunday “warmup” with 17.1. I was terrified yet excited all at the same time. I kept saying that this was a workout that I wanted to do because I really wanted to complete this workout, and I knew I would. After all, it’s been 4 years, and I had to be fitter… right?


We started the workout at a steady pace. Kylie ripped through those dumbbell snatches, and I told myself that I’d go slow, after all I was notoriously known to be doing “tempo dumbbell snatches” (in Kylie’s words). I moved at a steady pace, surprising myself with the pace I held with the 15 burpees over box. The workout started to hurt near the tail end of the set of 40s. I felt great, and closed off with a 17:20 timing. Of course the rest were done ahead of me, but I felt like that was a win in my books. I finished 17.1!


(For the record, K has a penchant for predicting the repeat workouts for the Open and prescribing us to do them 2 weeks before the actual workout is released. For the record, I have a penchant for doing well in practice then botching it up when the Opens actually comes around.)


So naturally when the workout was announced on the 19th of March, I was expected to finish. I should be more confident with my attempt, but I wasn’t. What if I couldn’t repeat that success? What if I did worse?

I expected myself to do better. As did those around me.

Again I booked in for the Sunday 11:30AM slot. Which meant that I had to film, watch, and judge dozens of athletes through Friday and Saturday BEFORE I could get to my attempt. Trust me. That made the wait more agonizing.

I watched first as Alvin clocked a 14:18 time on his 21.2. He had already made a small PR to 17.1 when we attempted it together 2 weeks before. This new 14-minute timing was a WHOLE MINUTE FASTER. Dang... I had no excuse.

Then Kylie went. I judged her and watched as she went UNBROKEN on the dumbbell snatches. She followed Jasmin’s strategy (Jasmin had gone unbroken on the DB snatches and clocked some insane timing... she said she loved that workout, for reasons I cannot ever understand), and it paid off. Just a small break on the 50s but she picked it up quickly and went again. Before I knew it, 15:43. When she completed the workout, Kylie looked at me and said, you’re going to beat this timing.

That 1.5h interval was agonizing.

I judged another heat before getting some down time to prepare. It was in that idleness that all the pressure got to me. How could I think that I would be able to do a workout like 17.1/21.2 well? I botched 19.1 which was a glorious couplet of ground-to-overheads and burpees over the bar. How was this any different?


Maybe going faster WAS possible. After all, that attempt a fortnight ago felt okay. I didn’t even roll on the ground after. I should be alright if I push the pace a little right?


I warmed up with a heavier dumbbell and a higher box. Kylie suggested a 6-count burpee over box pace, which required a step down and up on the burpee, before a jump up to the box (we had to anyway), and a subsequent step down. I got that locked in (or so I thought).


The countdown was about to start. Kylie was my judge and she told me “stop panicking cass”. “I’m not.” I replied. I wasn’t... was I?


“You’re panicking.”

3...2...1! BEEEEEEP.

I started on my DB snatches. It felt fast, but sustainable. Then on to the burpee box jumpovers.


“Slow down cass, you’re going too fast!” she says through the rep counts.

But I couldn’t slow down. I tried. But she kept saying “slow down”, so I knew I wasn’t doing it.

By the set of 30 dumbbell snatches I knew I was screwed. So I simply had to pray and hope that I would be able to power through the remaining 135 reps of the workout.

My steps felt like lead, and I took WAYYYY too many pauses in between my reps. I hated myself as I went. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t. Plus this week, Ermanda and Lynette decided to zoom in on my pained expression 1000x to make up for the lack of photos last week. Help.

I knew I looked terrible. Not physically in a beautification sense but my movement, performance... I’d be CRINGING 😬 as a spectator if i had to watch myself.


The plan was to split the dumbbell snatches as such:

Set of 10: unbroken (duh)

Set of 20: unbroken

Set of 30: unbroken

Set of 40: 20-12-8

Set of 50: 20-18-12


In the set of 40, it was pretty much: Plan? What plan? I was lucky to even get a couple of snatches in.


I don’t even know how I got to the last set of burpee box jump overs because I literally blanked out. (I later told people I decided to go incognito from rep 1 and that was a poor decision because I was not focused on my cadence and breathing)

I only remember 3 voices:

Kylie, telling me to get up and keep moving.

CK, who told me to hurry up because i didn’t have much time left.

Alvin, who told me that I had a minute left when I was into the last set of burpees.

1 minute left?!

I trusted that countdown because I refused to look at the clock throughout the workout. Why was I even doing this workout to get a worser timing than two weeks before? I was already entertaining thoughts of a redo on Monday.


I jumped off the box and rolled to a corner where the rowers were nestled. I didn’t want to get up, and I couldn’t even imagine how I was breathing at that point, or if my breathing would ever get back to normal.

Kylie spent the next few seconds trying to peel me off the ground to move me under the rig as it was safer than to remain on the workout floor. I remembered begging her to just leave me there. But I crawled over and relocated myself anyway, fully aware of the stares that people were throwing at me, feeling like they echoed my sentiment: What were you thinking cass?


The other lanes were still going at their reps. I thought they said I only had a minute left?

Kylie told me I finished at 17:39.

Tbh (read: to be honest) I was unbashedly surprised that I got a timing so close to the one I did a few weeks earlier. But that only meant two things: (1) I definitely went too hot out the gate at the beginning, (2) I could have gone faster if that didn’t happen.

I hated my performance. Not because I didn’t PR my previous timing, but because of how I felt. Absolutely 💩 and out of control. My previous attempt, that one I was happy with.

I really wanted to do it again, but not during this Open.


Takeaway:

I desperately need to conquer this dreaded combination of ground-to-overhead and burpees.


😵

Cass


Past posts:

21.1

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