19.1 – Scaled
AMRAP – 19 wall-balls, 10 lbs. to 9 ft. target; 19 calorie row.
I do not cherry-pick my crossfit work-outs, but if I did there is one move I would avoid. I’m sure I have mentioned this before, but no movement in crossfit is more loathsome to me than the wall-ball: Hurl with all your might a heavy ball to a target, try not to get knocked down as it is making its way back. Do all this while squating and trying not to throw the ball like you are going in for a lay-up. It is a lot to think about.
So as you can imagine, when Bruno and I were watching the announcements for the first open work out (and our very first CrossFit open ever) last week Thursday evening, seeing AMRAP wall-balls for 19.1 initiated a special sort of dread in my heart. I think wall-balls takes a special sort of grace (actually, I think this about a lot of CrossFit movements). At 26 weeks pregnant, I have the grace of Pinnochio off-strings.
But, ready to embrace the challenge, I went to our gym Friday evening feeling pretty positive. I did not have any expectations — I thought, maybe four rounds, was reasonable. After trying a few practice wall-balls with the fourteen pound ball, I opted to scale. This turned out to be the right decision. The ten pound ball was heavy enough to get me struggling within the first one to two rounds.
I did not think it started that badly. Aside for constantly forgetting to squat on my first wall-ball and having to do another (see above about wall-balls involving a lot to think about), I was pleasantly surprised that I was quickly on the rower. But it hit me pretty quickly, the second round was less pleasant and by the third, I was taking a short breathing break after every five or so throws.
There was a moment I looked at the clock and it said ten minutes left and I could not believe it. I felt as though I had been throwing and rowing plenty enough already. But I kept going. Every time I would start the wall-balls, I could not wait to get back on the rower. Every time I would start the rower, I would be ready to start the wall-balls. In this way, I actually really liked the work-out because even though painful and tough, it did offer frequent mental breaks.
At a certain point, I lost count of my rounds. I thought I had maybe five when I was on my last 19 calorie row, where I actually almost began to cry. I don’t know if it was hormones or pain. I finished with enough time to do three more wall-balls before collapsing onto the floor when the timer went off. I was not the only one. I eventually walked elsewhere to get out of the way and put my legs up the wall.
After I “recovered,” I looked at my sheet and realized I did six rounds plus three wall-balls (231 reps), not five. I’ll admit to being surprised at myself. After all, as I said, I thought I would only manage four rounds. Even with it scaled, I thought six was kind of out of the question — maybe five, if I could push it and I was not sure I could. Last year, I don’t think I would have been able to do that work-out at all, but this year I’m twenty-six weeks pregnant, I pushed myself, and I’m extremely happy with how I did.
That said, I still struggle with wall-balls, but maybe, just maybe, now after that work-out I’ll feel less terror when they are on the program.
Bring on 19.2!