This past Saturday, I was able to participate in the CFOT Hopper Challenge. I know that I'm a little late in the write up, but it was a long day with lots of stuff, and I knew that getting it all down was going to take awhile. Not to mention, I was super cranky pants this week for two days so I needed some time before I could write without being all sorts of poopy pants.
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the Hopper. I'm an uber competitive person, and I hate to lose. This does not bode well for competitions because, well, there's always going to be somebody bigger, stronger, and faster than you. Not to mention, I'm not a metcon ninja. You can't tell me that in a Hopper challenge it's not all about speed. Even if you do do a strength wod, it comes back to speed in the end. How fast can you get crap done? So, for me, I'm not sure that competing in things is necessarily the way to go. Yes, being in that environment, in that atmosphere, did cause me to push a little more than I would in a normal WOD, but I'm not sure for me there was a HUGE difference.
There are those who will argue that doing something like the Hopper challenge teaches you about weaknesses, and that's definitely true. But most of us, if we've been doing this long enough, know our weaknesses already. Some people use the Hopper as a driving force to progress. Eh, I am not sure that I really do or don't. I realized I sucked at double unders, muscle ups, kettle bell swings, burpees, HSPU, running, and push-ups LONG before the Hopper. Regardless of my performance at the Hopper, I am still going to work them. So, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I loved doing the first wod, hated getting trounced in everything else, so honestly, I go back and forth on the whole thing. Regardless of my feelings on MY competing, Jerry put together a great day. For the most part, it was a lot of fun. I got to spend my day with some awesome friends, and who doesn't love that?
The one thing that was so really super cool about the Hopper was the team atmosphere. CFOT has always been hands down one of the strongest communities, if not THE strongest community I've ever been a part of. I've been on a lot of teams in my life, but they all pale drastically in comparison to the support from CFOT members. There were athletes who really struggled with some of the stuff that came out of the hat, and instead of quitting, just gritted through. It was AMAZING to see their determination and it was AWESOME to see people support each other like that. I have to say that is my FAVORITE thing about CFOT. We are a team, and we don't let each other forget that.
But, enough of me trying to wax all philosophical. Let's get to the WODS!
Jerry told us in advance that there would definitely be two wods. A strength component and also a couplet or triplet. Coin toss would decide couplet or triplet on the day of, and bag pull would decide the strength wod on the day. For certain cards in the strength bag, Jerry wrote the word "Joker". If we pulled a strength wod with a joker, we had to throw in a third wod which would come between the strength wod and the more metconish wod.
As it happened, the bag pull resulted in a 1 rep max jerk. Needless to say, I was pleased with that. I've been wanting to max jerk for awhile and I was pleased to see it. I wasn't so happy though with the fact that I had demolished myself the day before at first Friday by doing Grace and Isabelle. Me doing the Hopper was not planned in advance (clearly) and was only done with the expressed written permission of my middle sister who allowed me to come late to an event we had scheduled in advance. Regardless though, I had the shiny shoes on hand and I was ready to throw down with what I could. But, on the jerk card was the word joker. Sooooo... that meant three wods. The extra wod was done immediately when all lifts were completed and it was 30 jerks with an 800 meter run for time using 50% of your max effort.
Now, I will admit that I was feeling really good with the jerks that day. I was all sorts of excited about jerking. I have a goal to hit 200lbs by Christmas, and I don't get to jerk 1 rep maxes often, so I really wanted to go hard. So I did. I landed a 180 jerk cleanly. I mean, it didn't feel difficult AT ALL. I was stoked. Cised as Soni would say. So I hurriedly threw 185 on the bar as time was ticking away. With 15 seconds remaining in the lifting portion of the day, I unracked the bar. I had the bar over my head, but wasn't able to lock. I HAVE that weight, and I mean, I HAVE it. It's in me. I can feel 200 so close. But then, I had to turn around and take 50% of that 180 for 30 reps. I mean, I had 90 on the bar, while some people had 45/65, and yes I know it's all relative and blah blah blah, but still, 90 for 30? I don't care who you are. Immediately following a 1 rep max? It's going to suck regardless of how good you are at the movement. I should have stopped when I lifted enough to win, but I didn't. I think it was stupid on my part to keep going. I should have stopped. With two wods the day before, and 30 coming after, I should have stopped at 140. But I didn't. If this happens again, my strategy will probably be different.
Needless to say, I was the last person lifting, had no down time before we jumped into that joker wod, and I was the slowest female on the 30 wod. It sucked. I was angry and basically felt like I'd just been punished for being strong. I wasn't happy.
The final wod wound up being a couplet of front squats and kb swings. The load on the front squats was 100lbs, and the kb was 35. It was an ascending/descending ladder so the front squats went down 21-15-9, and the kb swings went up 18-30-42. It's a bit like Josh. (My FAVORITE!) I have to say that by the time I got to the third wod, I was pretty wiped. It's hard to say from what, but I was. The weight felt heavy, and my back started to seize up on the KB swings. It was quite painful in the end. I know that a few people dnf'd on the last wod, so although it looks quick and dirty, it really was a beating. I wasn't pleased that it took me 8:29 to bring this in. I wasn't. I'm not going to lie. Getting my ass handed to me on both the second and third wod, sorta put a big damper on the first wod.
And this is where the whole, "I'm not sure I should compete" thing comes into play. Most people would walk away from the day going, I had a great lift, and that's awesome. In my psyche, the getting pounded almost completely negated the lift. So, you know, I'm not sure what I will do in the future. I'm already signed up for the finals in December technically, but I'm not sure I want to do it. I may just go cheer, as for me, that was the most fun part of the day. Maybe work is clouding my judgement now, but we'll see what I decide to do. Regardless of what my feelings are regarding competing etc, the atmosphere at the Hopper was awesome, and it was quite an ass kicker. Jerry and the other coaches really put together a great day and it was really cool to see.