In CrossFit, there are some workouts that challenge you physically, pushing your body past limits that you didn’t know were possible. “Fran” is a good example (21-15-9 thrusters and pull-ups). You learn to bargain with your body to just hold on for one more rep, and when it’s over everything hurts.
There are some workouts that challenge you mentally, pushing your brain past limits you didn’t know were possible. “Murph” is a good example (1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-up, 300 squats, 1 mile run.) The movements themselves aren’t particularly hard per say, but the amount of work and time it takes to complete can make you go to places inside yourself that are pretty dark and lonely.
Every now and then, you run across a WOD that manages to do both. Today I found “Eva”. 5 rounds of anything is always a challenge in my opinion, but when those 5 rounds include 2.5 miles of running, 150 heavy kettlebell swings (75/53), and 150 pull-ups, it’s especially brutal. Pretty sure my lack of proper nutrition over the past few months has finally caught up with me (apparently one cannot perform at high levels on coffee and protein bars alone….who knew?!?!) Several other lame ass excuses aside, this WOD kicked my ass. I truly wanted to quit after every round and had to talk myself out of it every time. I had to push myself during the runs (“Don’t stop! You can slow down, but don’t stop! Ignore your legs, just keep running!”) I had to yell at myself during kettle bell swings (“Come on, hold on to the end. You don’t want to pick this bitch up again! Kettlebells are easy for you…come on!”) And I had to encourage myself on the pull-ups (“Kipping is fine, just pull hard! Fast singles if you have to, just keep moving!”)
The gym put a 40 min time cap on it and I knew I wasn’t going to make it after round 2. So I was constantly fighting with myself over whether I should quit at the cap (“My back is pretty sore from yesterday anyway…”) or just finish it out (“Just fucking finish it because you CAN!”)
44 minutes and 50 seconds later I was done. Physically I was hurting, but nothing that couldn’t be eased with stretching. And as is generally true with the mentally challenging WODs, I was a different athlete than when I started.
Which is really the point of what we do anyway. Making stronger humans….physically and mentally.