Just like thousands of other Crossfit athletes, I signed up for the Crossfit Open 2016 on the 26th of February.
During the “CrossFit Open”, a new workout is released each week for 5 weeks. Athletes have several days to complete the workout and submit their scores online, with either a video or validation by a CrossFit affiliate.
The workout (or WOD as we call it) is announced every Thursday night (American time) by Dave Castro (Crossfit Games Director) and then performed all over the world by the different people. All sizes, shapes and abilities participate. They announce 2 WODs-a Rx (as prescribed) or a scaled version. Everyone has until Monday night to perform the work out and enter their scores online and there you can then compare your score to everyone around the world.(www.crossfitgames.com)
On a higher scale this is really the qualifiers for the Crossfit Regionals which is where the top 40 athletes (and teams) in each region qualify for their regions competition in May and the winners of that (top 5) get to compete in the Crossfit Games in Carson(California) in America in July.
In my gym (or box as they are called) Crossfit Galway dedicate their Friday classes to this work out and everyone makes an effort to go in and perform it, help judge or atleast shout and encourage anyone that is doing it. It’s one of the things that I love about been part of Crossfit – the community element. The friendships and the fun that we have. These work outs are not easy and you do need to dig deep to get it finished or to try for your personal best or try a movement that you haven’t managed to achieve yet. E.g. bar muscle ups, hand stand push ups anyone!!?
I don’t know why it is but we all seem to respond better when people are watching and shouting encouragement at us.
I completed the first 3 weeks in Crossfit Galway but I knew that I was going to be away for the 4 th work out- it’s called 16.4 (after the year and the number of workouts in the open).
I was going to be in New York with my work crew and knew that if I wanted to do the WOD that I needed to find a box (Crossfit gym) that would allow me to do it.
Another great thing about the Crossfit community is the open gym element. Once you have completed your fundamentals movements in one gym, you can pay to work out in another box (anywhere around the world) and so travelling abroad is never an excuse to ‘skip the gym’.
However any other time I’ve visited another box, himself has done the organising and I just turned up (the joys of been a Crossfit coaches girlfriend)!! How ever this time he wasn’t with me and I needed to find one myself.
America been the home of Crossfit wasn’t going to be a problem to find one, it was just trying to find one that fitted into my already jammed packed schedule.
I emailed a few and either the open gym hours didn’t suit or they were too far away from my hotel. So I decided to wait until I got there and might be able to free up some more time.
I decided that I wanted to also visit as many Crossfits as possible as again each tend to have their own cool tee shirts and they are great souvenirs.
So off I went on the Friday when I was in the Financial district to Crossfit Wall Street. I met a great guy there who was super excited when I said that I was from Crossfit Galway in Ireland and was interested in doing 16.4 in New York. Unfortunately they normally do open gym on Sunday’s but not during the open and sadly their open times on Saturday didn’t suit me. So I took my photos and brought my tee shirts and off I went. (To my helicopter ride, quite literally!)
That evening, I also visited Crossfit Solace which was the nearest to my hotel but unfortunately didn’t have times that suited me either. They didn’t have any Crossfit tee shirts either there so no proof!! I got this sneaky picture outside though!!
On the Saturday while shopping in Union Square, I came across Crossfit Union Square and was welcomed by a lovely lady (sorry I’ve forgotten her name) who told me their open gym was Sunday and $35 and I could come in any time after 9.30am to do it. Delighted with myself. I agreed to see her the next day.
On Sunday morning the box was fairly empty (as you can imagine) and Jacob signed me in and showed me where everything was.
The Wod itself was
After doing all the other open works out with people around me, it’s hard to motivate myself and do my best alone so once I warmed up I started to organise the weights for the deadlift and wanted to just get stuck in. This is when I realised that all the weights were in pounds and not kilo’s as I’m used to 😧😥!!
I didn’t even know how much the bar was in pounds and had to ask one of the others there. Thankfully the official forms are in pounds so that was my saving grace. (No need for calculators!)
Here’s me 13 minutes and 165 reps later!!
Boy was that tough.. The worst part was wall balls, i just couldn’t get into the rhythm with them at all. Ending up breaking them down to 5’s. But I just finished the row within the time allocated! Delighted with myself. 😀
I quickly changed, got my tee shirts and off I went again. My work crew had organised a cycle around Central Park so I was nice and warmed up for it.
On Monday while shopping on 5th avenue, I literally came across another Crossfit , I noticed the huge Reebok store first and thought about going in for more Crossfit gear when I thought wait a second, I’m on 5th avenue, the same named Crossfit box must be here and there it was… Beside the shop!
They are sisters boxes to the Union square one so again they very nice and welcoming (especially when I said I had completed 16.4 yesterday) I got my tee shirt and she gave me a tour of it. Very impressed, a nice big one with people warming up for the next class!
I also had a few hours to spare Monday afternoon before the flight and I knew there was one more Crossfit box in Manhattan so I put it in my goggle maps and realised it was only a 10 minute walk away from Times Square where I was,so off I went in search.
At this stage, my work colleagues just laughed at me when I said where I was going. They are not crossfitters and can’t understand the attraction so they just let me off.
Crossfit Hells Kitchen is a cute little box just in the middle of the fashion district and while there was no members actually there. It looked pretty cool with all the rowers laid out for 16.4. It however is on a mental street and they were doing road works out side the gym so I didn’t stay too long chatting with the coach I met as the noise was way too much 😦 He seemed lovely though and sold me my tee shirts.
So that’s it, himself was so proud of me, off on holidays without him and still managed to visit 5 Crossfits in 5 days.
I’m just happy to be back in my own box for the last and final work out 16.5.. Bring it on!!