There’s this CrossFit place on the square in Marietta, and I had the good fortune of getting to Crase the place this past Saturday. They were kind enough to host the Tactical Strength Challenge from StrongFirst, and I was confident enough to accept. Nice layout, all the right weights in all the right places, kind & knowledgeable folks . . . and then me.
Here is where the goal is different from the intent. The goal was to reach a max Deadlift in three attempts, perform as many Pullups as possible from a bottom-taut, non-swinging position . . . the way Pullups are supposed to be done, according to Dan John, Pavel, and others in-the-know, and finally, as many Kettlebell Snatches as possible in 5 minutes. Ready . . . go!
The intent was to lift more than I did, manage more Pullups than I was capable, and do more Snatches than I realistically completed. Who said what about learning from their mistakes?
My training for this event began all hot & heavy back in February, when I first heard of it. The excitement was high, and the training was rowdy, tight & totally off-the-cuff. Too bad that there were so many days between hot & heavy and the day-of-event. Yes, that was me . . . burnt out before I arrived, and without enough steam to climb back on the fresh wave of excitement that rolled in under my board.
Well, this isn’t a sad story, not by any stretch. Turns out that the event location didn’t have a big turn-out for the event, which meant that I was able to drink down a whole lot of attention. At first this seemed like a bad thing . . . for instance, when I was accused of sandbagging after stating that I would be competing in the novice class. Ha! Uh, no, not by a long shot. I was there to learn as much as I was there to participate.
Deadlift technique . . . not bad, but with a few tweaks, I should be lifting a lot more. Despite what many people think when they see the Deadlift performed, it is a very technical lift, and to do well with it, you need to know a lot of technique. See how that works? Good, apparently I didn’t. Nothing said was going to help me that particular Saturday, but days after my head is still swimming with a swarm of meaningful cues & lessons learned as to where my intent failed to meet the goal. Fair & well enough! Self-coaching might not be my forte, after all. Is it anyone’s? Much like the joke about the attorney who represents him/herself in court having a fool for a client and an attorney.
Pullups, work on them. Often. Grease-the-groove, the stout voice says.
Ketllebell Snatches may have been my most prominent strength, but yes, there is always room for improvement . . . especially by missing my intent by a dozen.
What did I take from the experience? A lot more than I put into it. Fortunately the Judge didn’t pack me off to prison for my Crimes against Strength, but the message was clear . . . pick a plan, stick to it, and make sure the plan lines up with your intended goals. Oh, and getting a Coach might not be a bad idea . . . next TSC will be in October, and whether or not I swim or surf my way out of the water, I’ intend to arrive better conditioned & more properly prepared.