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Rack Jerk | WOD 3.28.16

Rack Jerk


Work up to a heavy single for the day.

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5 RNFT or 20 Minutes:
5ea Split Squats (add weight with dumbbells as appropriate)
5 Ring or Bar Ice Cream Makers
270m Run

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Underneath the Hoodie: Whitney Hubbard

Vital Stats
: 5’5’’
: 135 lbs
: June 2, 1986
Born and raised
: Born in Mississauga, Ontario, raised in Lake Forest, Illinois
Place of higher learning
: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

By Kate Reece

Whitney Marie Hubbard has always needed to be moving. Not through states, though she has done that, but with her body. Over the years, that’s looked like dancing ballet at Miss Jenny’s studio in the suburbs of Chicago; flowing through sun salutations and breathing deeply in her decade-long yoga practice; rolling around on the floor during modern dance class warm-ups in college; and learning to gracefully heave a barbell over her head at CrossFit South Brooklyn, back in the days of the high-ceilinged, bare-bone concrete of The Lyceum. Whitney’s language is movement, and despite her bones literally being stacked against her, she speaks beautifully.*

Whitney was born on June 2, 1986 in Mississauga, a large city on Lake Ontario, next to Toronto. She spent the first five years of her life there before her father’s job as a financial executive moved them to Lake Forest, a small suburban city on the North Shore of Chicago, abundantly dotted with ponds and creeks and green grass. After a trip to Canada, she remembers coming home to Lake Forest and on one of those old-school radios built into the wall of her family’s new kitchen, Neil Diamond’s 1980 hit “Coming to America” was playing.

She began dancing when she was three, which mostly looked like romping around a room and tossing her hands theatrically in the air. When she found a song she liked (think Minnie Mouse cassette tapes), she would rewind the song repeatedly and choreograph routines to it. Her strongest memories of this are in her maternal grandmother Nana’s house. A wooded backyard extended far behind the house, which they called the Uppy Uppy Yongo because when you yelled that out, it would echo. After she choreographed the perfect dance, Whitney would assemble her family around to watch her perform. Not a naturally extroverted or outgoing kid by any means, this was where she shined—dancing was where she came alive. She took up ballet and jazz, then also gymnastics, until her mother, Roxanne, made her choose around the age of nine. “You’re good at both of these things, but what if you put your energy into one thing?” she asked, already noticing that her daughter’s young body was being put through a lot. And it wasn’t just the physical activity in-and-of-itself that was taxing.

As the story goes, when Whitney was a baby, she had three fat rolls on one leg and two fats rolls on the other. That’s how her mom first noticed. After a battery of tests and tracking her growth, Whitney was diagnosed with hemihypertrophy, a condition in which one side of the body grows larger than the other, to an extent considered greater than normal. Most of us are at least slightly uneven, but you could really notice the discrepancy between Whitney’s leg lengths. Her right side was clearly growing longer and larger than the other. After coming to America, Whitney traveled back to Toronto every six months to see her doctors, at a hospital unhelpfully named SickKids. By the time she was an adolescent, doctors predicted the final difference would end up around four to five centimeters, and to prevent that, they recommended surgery. Whitney’s parents agreed. The summer she turned 11, after a family trip to Australia, a surgeon made four incisions on her right leg and scraped the growth plates of her tibia and femur, telling the bones to stop growing. It worked—but then she had an unexpected growth spurt, and her left leg outgrew the right. Almost 30 now, Whitney’s right arm is slightly longer than the left, her left leg is about three-and-a-half centimeters longer than the right, and she has more muscle definition overall on her right side. “It makes things real interesting,” she says with a wry smile.

But if you know Whitney at all, you know she is rather competitive, and not one to make excuses, even when those excuses would be entirely justified. The girl wanted to dance and dance she did. “You grow up as a dancer, you grow up in a mirror,” she says, and for better or worse, she imbibed the subtle and not-so-subtle messages that perfection was the only option. Three to four hours a day, five days a week, she looked in a mirror and modeled her physical form after someone else—her teacher or the best student in class—and constantly worked to make her version match their version. In CrossFit or yoga, there are ways to mold or modify the movements to your body’s specific geometry but in studio dance, even if your right hip isn’t naturally as high as your left, it doesn’t matter. You get your leg up. You figure it out. And you don’t let anyone see you sweat.

Of course, Whitney did figure it out. She became one of the best dancers in the studio, figuring out how to pirouette or balançoire such that no one would notice she had a stronger side. Within a year of her surgery, she was dancing with the 16-year-olds and began performing in national competitions. She first experienced the nervous pees at one such competition, wearing a tiny crushed-velvet maroon dress, before going onstage to perform a dance called “Cherish,” set to a sultry Sade song. Being exposed to an older peer group roused Whitney’s desire for greater independence and she admits that she developed an attitude and experimented with being a bit stuck-up. She began assisting dance classes, demoing movement for younger girls and giving small movement corrections. By the time she was 16, she was spending her summers teaching and choreographing.

It was around this time that Miss Jenny, the owner of the dance studio Whitney grew up in and her beloved teacher, pulled Whitney into her office and said something along the lines of, “You’ve always had a great attitude, but lately that’s been changing. I know this isn’t who you are, and you can’t keep acting this way.” Whitney broke down in tears and apologized. It was complicated feedback for her to receive. While she changed her behavior in ways she sees as positive, yet again there was that insidious message: “Be perfect, little girl. Don’t mess up.”

Her teenage schedule looked like this: Wake up at 6 a.m., go to school, musical practice (yes, musical practice) from 4-6 p.m., slamming a roasted chicken breast Subway sandwich, dance from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the studio, go home and do homework until 2 a.m. As you might expect, Whitney was a quiet, diligent student, and got straight A’s. She floated around on the fringes of friend groups and didn’t party. She has a somewhat photographic memory and liked school to what she says was probably “an annoying degree.” Also, that competitive side again: from a young age, she not-so-secretly tracked her hockey-playing smart older brother’s GPA, and constantly checked whether she was beating him (they were both eighth-grade valedictorians).

Whitney knew she would study dance after high school. What else would I do? she thought. This is what I’m doing, this is what I love. Despite getting a full-ride to the University of Arizona’s prestigious dance program, she picked the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose dance program was smaller and had a heavier emphasis on modern dance. She joined a sorority and lived in the house, which on a 4,552-acre campus, was fortunately only a short walk to the dance department. Convenient, given her penchant for waking up at the absolute last minute. Also convenient given that in college, along with learning how to dance in a new style, she learned how to party. (Additionally, she learned things in college that led her to surrender chicken breast sandwiches and become a pescetarian, which we’ve talked to her about here and here.)

Whitney now says that her BFA in dance taught her how to be uncomfortable, how to be creative and express herself, and how to work with people—things that are different than sitting in a statistics class day after day—and that aligned with the kind of person she wanted to be in the world. She also found yoga her junior year when she took an 8am class three days a week as part of the dance program. She loved the disciplined process of repeating the same movements over and over. Her daily hours of dancing had birthed knee problems, bad plantar fasciitis, and arthritis in her big toe, and yoga helped temper those injuries.

After graduating from college in 2008, Whitney moved to New York. Why New York? She was scared of the city and figured that meant she should go there. Her boyfriend, who was living in California at the time, joined her and they found an apartment the South Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. When the boyfriend moved out a couple years later, Whitney walked over to her landlord and his wife’s apartment and asked them to lower the rent so she could still afford it. They said yes, and she told them she’d probably be here forever. She just signed her lease for her eighth year.

Also in 2008, the yoga-inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon only had one store in the entire city, on the Upper West Side. They were about to open three more stores and Whitney got hired to work at the SoHo location. A big component of her job was to take an unlimited amount of classes throughout the city, in which she would wear the clothes, talk about the clothes, and give instructors or the person on the next yoga mat over the clothes. She took all the dance and yoga classes she wanted for free, and in her free time, went to dance auditions. She got certified as a yoga instructor in 2010.

Lululemon soon hired her to open a mini showroom in Brooklyn, and with her team, she began exploring the community—which would lead her to CrossFit South Brooklyn. “I found this weird thing called CrossFit,” one of her colleagues said. “We should go check it out.” It was late 2009, and Whitney emailed David and told her they were interested. David wrote back and offered to set up a teaser class. Whitney forgot to write back, and a few weeks later, she got an email that said, “I saaaaaaiiiiiiiddddddd, let’s set up a free teaser class. Thanks, David.” When they walked into the The Lyceum for the class, a 24-year-old David—donning a thick beard and flannel button-up—was sitting with his feet up on a desk. “We were all simultaneously like, ‘Who is this cute guy?’ and also, ‘Is he for real?’” Whitney says, laughing. She was taking at least one or two dance or yoga classes each day and though she’d never set foot in a gym, she certainly didn’t think she was out of shape. It only took a few CrossFit classes for her to realize that there might be more to fitness than she’d realized. After a longer conditioning workout, she even asked David if it was possible for her heart to explode. “No,” he said. “Take a break, but you’re fine.”

When Whitney was fired from Lululemon in December of 2012, she’d begun attending CFSBK classes more regularly. CrossFit had unexpectedly become important to her. She loved the absence of mirrors, and along with picking up the movements relatively easily, something clicked and she learned, yet again, how to be uncomfortable.

Losing her job would give her a new opportunity to practice that skill. “It was a shock, but a necessary push off a cliff,” Whitney says now, and she began to shed the parts of her identify that were tied up in her job. At CFSBK, David approached her and asked her to staff the new Front Desk, which replaced the old envelope that used to sit on a table at the entryway. Whitney accepted, and also began teaching a few regular yoga classes.

At a certain point, she began realizing a couple things: One, that CrossFit South Brooklyn was really a special place, and two, that she couldn’t help but see things. She’d be foam-rolling on the mat before class and see a person from preceding class doing a lift, and she’d wonder to herself, What would I say to them to make that lift better? What cue would I give them? Occasionally she’d share her thoughts with her bar partners, but she mostly kept her mouth shut, and trained hard.

Toward the end of 2013, apropos of nothing but her own initiative, Whitney got her Level 1 certification. She casually mentioned it to David, though she was committed to becoming a CrossFit coach regardless of whether he would hire her—which he did, in January of 2014. It was around that time that a few other big things happened. She picked up more consistent work as a yoga instructor. She adopted her dog, Penny, who watches over the meat CSA pick-ups and is almost as big a part of the community as Whitney (and certainly oft-photographed). And she started to realize that her skills had changed in the gym. She knew how to push.

“What’s so wonderful about CrossFit is that you can only work against your own edge,” she says. “You could try to work against someone else’s edge, but you’ll end up hurting yourself or underserving yourself. The best thing you can do is work against your own edge consistently, while also having the perspective of other people. It’s important to see, for me especially, other women in the gym whose strength you admire—and to say, ‘Damn, okay… let’s go.’” 2015 was the first year she didn’t dance, but everything is a compromise of some kind, she says. Training and coaching CrossFit happen to be what she loves the most.

*She’s had her fair share of wipeouts, of course. Ask her about a tuna fish sandwich and red grapes in grade school, or about her recently deceased toenail.

Parting Shots
How she likes her eggs
: Either scrambled or over-medium. Three eggs a day!
Favorite book
: Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections
Favorite lift
: Snatch
Something she’d like CFSBK members to know
: She really, really likes coaching, and when you tell her that something she said or did made a difference for you, it makes her heart swell with joy and contentment.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Sumo Deadlift | Kettlebell Swings, Box Jumps
The Accidental Powerlifting World Record Holder The New Yorker

Reader Comments (32)

Rack Jerk - 185, 205, 215, 225, 225

Very slight press-out on the first rep at 225, but pretty good other than that

Made it through all but the last run of the NFT. Split squats at 40, 50, 50, 55, 55

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

6am with Nick

Rack Jerk - 175, 185, 195, 205(F), 205

Not as strong on these as I was a few months ago. Failed with way too long (and forward) of a dip.

Only did 2 rounds of NFT - unweighted and 25#. Trickier balance with weaker and slightly injured right leg/groin.

Make up post from Saturday - Open WOD 16.5 - 18:57 Rx'd
in 2-3 sets per round, stepped out burpees and tried to keep moving. Stepping out burpees feels weird, but it definitely helped my time for this one. Very helpful to watch Steve go first for that idea.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan G.

Awesome write-up of Whitney!

Still sore from 16.5, even the barbell warmups were pretty rough.

Rack Jerk: 95, 115, 125, 135, 145F. Bar went up pretty high, just couldn't finish it out.

NFT was much needed. Split squats were unweighted, 20lb, 30x2. Did a pull-up/tuck mix for the ice cream maker. I am a much better ice cream eater than maker.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKayleigh R

Is anyone having problems submitting their 16.5 scores on the site? I also tried the app and it's not working either...

Loved reading about Whit's experiences! I ALWAYS get great cues from you and love being in your classes! :)

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAllie B

WHIT ♥ ♥

one of the first people i ever met at cfsbk as a wonderful smiling face behind the front desk, and so amazed to see her growth in CFSBK and looking forward to more of her gainzzzz. such a beautiful piece, as usual kreece!!!

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCam

Rebel Strength Club!

High bar squat, 165x5x3. Not too bad.
Benched with the football bar, 95x5x3. I knew benching with that bar was harder than the normal one, but I forgot how much harder!
Chins since we deadlifted yesterday: 7, 6, 5.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStella

6am with Nick

Not nearly as sore as I thought I would be after 16.5 with the exception of triceps. They are pretty fatigued.

Partnered with Steve and Scott for the Rack Jerk. Hit 205# and decided not to push it farther than that.

NFT Work
It was difficult to organize the split squat, especially with weight. Did a couple of sets with 25# dumbells. Ice Cream Makers were a little easier on the rings than the bar for me. But cycling them was just as hard.

Fun to play around with new movements.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMattyChm

Super write-up about Coach Whitney! Whitney was one of the early factors that helped me feel safe coming to Crossfit in 2014 - like Whitney I come from a decades-long yoga background, and it was very powerful and reassuring to see this yoga person looking so confident and succeeding at all these exotic looking barbell lifts. I also want to say it's been incredible watching Whitney get even stronger and stronger these past few years - I find it so inspiring.

A huge psychological PR for me today: I came in wanting to hit 100# on the jerk and I did it, thanks to my awesome partners Shawn and Steven who are always so supportive and great to work out with. First attempt was there but squirrely; Shawn made me get back on it and second attempt, totally nailed it. It's a great feeling breaking into triple digits on this lift!

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJynne

7am with NickDowell

Rack Jerk - 135# / 145 / 155 / 165F / 160
Still have what feels like a golf ball in my left calf, so was hesitant to push it too much today. That fail was a result of not trusting it. 160 punched up strong.

Got through all 5 rounds (with rows in lieu of running). Worked up to 35# on the split squats, feeling much more in control with each round. Ice cream makers worked when tucked, and felt like thighs-to-bar (wat?) when trying to extend. Always like NFT days where we get to try new weird things.

3x10 GHD cash out

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan B

Whitney, I loved reading your story! As a former dancer I relate to SO much of this. Thank you for sharing!

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKirby

Great profile of Coach Whitney. It's clear that both interviewer and interviewee put a lot of thought and care into it. Thanks for sharing!

@Allie, I, too, had trouble submitting my 16.5 score. The website said my score "could not be found," which I interpreted as, "Your time is too embarrassingly high for this website to comprehend. Please return when you're fitter."

6:30 am Strength Cycle
LBBS 192.5 x 5 x 3
This is the heaviest set of five I've ever done (by half a pound), and it felt, well, heavy. I tipped way forward on one rep and panicked a little, but recovered. The rest were fine--just very slow.
Bench 145 x 5 x 3
Deadlift 245 x 5 x 1

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJack L.

I remember Whitney from when she was just a regular 'ol member. A very friendly one. Now she's one of my favorite coaches - I love her instructions. On point! (Great write-up, Kate!)

Did some OG lifting today.

Press: 105x5x3
Deadlift: 225x5
Lunges and Rows: 115x10x3

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Great write up on Whit! It was really great being on the Open intramural team with her and her scores on all the workouts always made my jaw drop. Eventually we'll get her to the 6am dark side. Watching Penny go crazy in the annex is always one of my favorites.

6am with Nick

Jerks - 95x5, 135x3, 155, 165, 175, 185

The last time we had rack jerks they felt really awful and today's continued that theme. Felt unstable and like I couldn't get under the bar enough. Matt noticed my front foot was barely moving forward. Focused on that and 175 and 185 felt smooth and clean. Thanks Matt!

Make up post from yesterday
Sumo deadlift - Decided that since the movement felt so weird why not just throw KG weights in there too. Worked up to 130kg but really did not like how it felt on my hip. Went to pull 140kg and decided it wasn't worth it. Fun to try but I'll stick with the regular deadlift.

WOD - 108 box jumps, 141 kb swings at 32kg. BK convinced me to go Rx+ and I think it was the right call. KB got heavy at the end.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

My favorite thing about Whitney is that she has monogrammed sneakers with her nickname, Dub Hubb. She also has a killer lifting face!

Active Recovery day for me. About 40 min of rolling and stretching followed by 2x10 ea row and bike at an easy pace. Just enough to get a light sweat going.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Such a great write up on Whitney - the personification of strength and grace. I greatly value her watchful encouragement.

7 am with Nick and McDowell
I feel terrible today. I ate too much, drank too much, slept too little and am so sore - traps, back, hamstrings, everything.
My jerk was jerky but I got to 90#s which is about right...for something. I love how Jynne shares so much credit for her own awesomeness and her 100 pounder was fast and great form - lots of pounds ahead of you!

The run in the rain actually felt pretty good for someone who doesn't like running or cold rain. I got some ice cream makers kind of going in a tuck. I guess a kiddie cup of vanilla with no sprinkles level. Kayleigh - you hold your head high on your ice cream eating skills - summer's a comin.!

The split squats were a little hard to balance because the bench was so high that my knee didn't touch and it was awkward to hang off it by my ankle. Got to 15 lbs but those were slow.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Campbell

Amazing profile, Whitney! The careful and insightful advice you've given me, a slow learner, in group classes has often made a difference and given me the confidence to keep going. Thanks for sharing your own story (and good on Kate for telling it so well)!

Speaking of slow learning, 7 am w/Nick & McDowell.

Rack Jerks: Up to 170. Below my PR but have been reticent getting my head through and under the bar in these overhead lifts from the rack recently. When I move into a jerk from the clean it's like I have less time to overthink it and the confidence of knowing I've already moved the weight once. Think I need to cycle a few lower-weight reps with good footwork for a bit to get the mental aspect squared away.

NFT work: languid. Like Matt, my triceps were sore today, so I appreciated being able to take these new movements at my own pace while stretching and grimacing in the walk between stations.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChas C.

Noon class

Rack Jerks

5 rounds
Split squats (no weight, 2x 10lb, 2x 15 lb.)
1 ice cream maker, if you can even call it that.. weary of the position given recent events, fun to try though
270 Run felt great to be outside

Oh Whitney, this girl has taken my fitness to the next level, and then some. About 10 months before my wedding, I asked Whitney to start training me to get into that white dress. In a few short months, I was stronger, faster, and most of all felt the confidence I was most seeking inside and outside the gym. In the end, I got so much more out of our training than I had imagined. She has a keen eye for alignment, plus she's just a fun gal to laugh with and on certain days, not take things too seriously (balance folks)! Thank you Whitney, and Kate, amazing write up. Obviously, a lot of thought and time went into this piece. We miss you!

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterkristin caps

I still need to do 16.5, and I'm looking forward to it......

Does anyone want to do it at 6:30 with me?

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

Great to hear your story Whit! Shout out to Kate Reece - from the depths of Montana . . . .

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay-Star

I'll be there around that time Thomas.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

hotel gym workout today, well, it was shiny.
Great piece on Whitney.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharles

Love the write up about Whit!

Thomas and Brad--I'll be there around then too do 16.5. I've been wodcrastinating big time. :-/

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLil JB

Beautifully written piece about a beautiful soul, inside and out. Whitney is one of the first people I remember from when I started- she was so warm and welcoming from the very beginning and made the place that bit less intimidating. She's a constant inspiration to me and many others and as a coach, she somehow explains things in a very visual way. I don't get to too many of her classes but any time I do, she gives me at least one cue which helps immensely. I also love reading her blog posts and seeing how hard she works and what an awesome athlete she is. Thanks Whit! You're the bomb!

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Hi everyone! This is Dianne, Kate Reece's mom. I've visited CFSBK a couple times and follow you guys on social media. I have worked out at CrossFit Cleveland near my home, but nothing comes close to your gym! I'm obviously biased about this article and love it because of its author, but I also love it because I've been training long-distance with Whitney since December. I got married in February and wanted to get in shape but I'm 59 years old and despite loving CrossFit workouts, I've found many movements difficult at points because of a past cycling injury, my age, and motivation (and love of ice cream).

But Kate suggested I reach out to Whitney to see if she could come up with a "wedding bootcamp" program since I already have a lot of Rogue equipment at my house. I did and it's been a wonderful experience. Just today, I texted her a video of me doing dumbbell deadlifts and she gave me tips to correct my form long-distance.

I saw a photo of me getting ready to kayak recently and felt really proud of my body composition and muscle definition, thanks to Whitney's wonderful WODs. Her weekly feedback, suggestions, and motivation tactics have worked wonders. This month, I will be celebrating my 60th birthday with confidence.

Keep up the great work, Whitney and everyone at CFSBK! You have a fan in Ohio.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDianne Reichlin

Love this piece on Whitney! She always gives thoughtful cues and coaches with a smile. It's clear that she loves what she does. It was great being on her team for the Open as well; Talk about motivation and #goals!

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenny M

......DROP. THE. MIC. What an awesome story whit. And so beautifully written Kate. Whit was also one of the first bar partners I had at CFSBK. I thought she was awesome because she greeted me with a high five (although I probably missed because I've got little to no swag). Since then, whit has been a serious inspiration to me as an athlete, a coach, a friend, and most importantly, a fellow blonde-nado. Love you girl. Keep up the hard work, constantly proud of you and all that you've accomplished. Thanks for making me feel so welcome here at CFSBK from the very beginning.

Also, HI KATES MOM!!! I haven't met you, but I think you're awesome.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterK HarpZ

Awww shucks, guys! Thank you everyone for your kind and generous comments today. I find it difficult to read something this lengthy about myself -- especially since it includes words that actually came out of my mouth at some point -- but the incredible Kate Reece created/crafted/wrote this so well.

I am grateful in every way possible for CFSBK. It's some strange combination of a sweet workplace, community center, experimental laboratory, and comfy home all rolled in to one for me. I've met some of my very best friends here and have learned so much from all the other coaches and my fellow athletes over the years.

So... thanks!!!

Morning session today. Triceps and shoulders OH so sore.

3 rounds:
8L, 4R glute bridge on bench
20 plank shoulder taps
crossover symmetry stuff

banded mobility: hips, front rack

power clean:
3 pos: 35kg, 45kg


5 strict TTB (with straight legs! hooray!)
6 L-side box step ups (:02 descent, 20”)
8 each side DB bent over row (40#)

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

F*ck yes, Kate's Mom on the blog.

F*ck yes, great piece on Whit.

FUCK 16.5.

Bye 2016 Open, will not miss you...but as I say every year...was a TON of fun. Go team Cam-Shirts.

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

After a weekend of procrastination and a very unproductive workday due to stressing about this workout, finally hit 16.5 tonight. Got 11:18, which is a 1:14 pr from 14.5. I am super stoked about the improvement---and think it had more to do with better strategy than fitness. Was strict about my plan on the thrusters, tried to minimize breaks, and tried to use the burpees as a "rest", as annoying as that might sound. Looking at my splits, I am pleased with how quickly I got through the thrusters.

21: 7-7-7 on thrusters; finished at :49, burpees at 2:24
18: 7-6-5 to 3:18, burpees to 4:43
15: 6-5-4 to 5:34; burpees to 6:51
12: 5-4-3 to 7:42; burpees to 8:44
9: 5-4 to 9:22?; burpees to 10:10
6: unbroken to 10:30; burpees to 10:58
3: unbroken to ??, burpees to 11:18

Overall, I feel mixed about this Open. Some workouts went well for me (not surprisingly, the ones in which I had a plan and paced a lot) and some not so well. Goals for next year are to get my shoulder in shape, work on some of my higher skill gymnastics movements, and have faith in the power of pacing. Congrats to everyone on being done!

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLil JB

Beautifully written, Kate! Loved reading your story, Whit! I love that Whit is so honest and tells us exactly how it is yet is super motivating and inspiring...and gives great feedback and cues. PS Go Kate's mom!

Rack Jerk:
123 PR Match

Def strong enough, just need more confidence and better technique. I didn't punch out on the first try as Ro said. Second attempt I lost confidence and pushed the bar out instead of up. Noah said it looked like I was trying to bench it. Happy that I could hit 123 so easily as it is only a three week old PR!

split squat: no weight, 10# DBs, 15# DBs, 15# DBS
Ice cream makers: mmmmm not so much but it was good to get some strict chinup work in

NFT was SO appreciated today!

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKLove

My mom on the blog! Ha. The woman who has always been able to beat me at arm wrestling, no matter how much weight I can lift.

Thanks for all the kind words, guys! I loved getting to write a profile of one of my dear friends, who also was a very inspiring woman at the gym when I was first getting started. I remember watching her do kipping pull-ups during my Foundations cycle and being so impressed. I interviewed her months ago, and have been thinking about that "work against your own edge" quote ever since. Whit is one talented teacher and athlete, and she makes our slice of the world a better place each day. Her little lady Penny is pretty great, too. :-)

March 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKate R.

Was aiming to go higher but didn't plan my time on the rack well. All felt solid.

The NFT was fun and needed. Did all the split squats with no weight and mixed the ice cream makers between chin grip and pull up grip on the bars, and one on a set of rings which turned out to be a little off in height. That made for some odd spinning. McDowell thought I was just trying to blast my obliques.

March 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFox

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