Something happened today that has never happened to me. I totally bombed a workout. Now I have had good days and bad days in the gym, but usually on the 3-2-1-GO! I can get my act together and do a decent job- and by decent, I mean for me. I am no way implying I perform at some elite level. Today, I fell so short of my expectations that I have to admit… it hurt.

As many of you know, it is week three of the CrossFit Open. The workout for week three is a repeat of a workout from last year so that you can measure your improvement over the past year. The workout just happened to be one that I declared last year I would never do again: a 12:00 AMRAP of 150 wall balls, 90 double-unders, and 30 muscle-ups. Wall balls are my least favorite movement in CrossFit. I am not particularly good at them. My efficiency stinks. And I just downright hate them. You can only imagine how excited I was to hear this week’s workout.

A rare sighting of me doing wall balls.

A rare sighting of me doing wall balls.

Last year on this workout, I got my first muscle-up in a workout. For those not familiar with CrossFit, getting a muscle-up, even one, is a pretty big deal. Even though I was excited about that, I still hated the workout and only have horrible memories of it. Are you starting to get a feel for my mindset?

This morning I went to the gym, determined to get the workout over with. I was almost having an anxiety attack over the thought of doing 150 wall balls again. I thought for sure I would get through the wall balls and double-unders. My only concern was whether I would have the stamina to get more than one muscle-up and beat my score from last year. We CrossFitters love to beat ourselves in a former workout!

I was going to do the workout with the 8:30 class, but my back has been acting up this week and didn’t feel right so I didn’t. After coaching the 9:30 class, I decided to go for it. I had already fueled in preparation for it. I had rolled-out and stretched earlier. Let’s just get this done!

Surprisingly, the wall balls went well. I finished them in just about the same time as last year. On to the double-unders…. SCREEEEECH! I could not get my double-unders! I have never had trouble with double-unders, but I darn sure did on this workout.  Needless to say, I never made it through the double-unders to get to the muscle-ups.

I could give a million excuses as to why I bombed this workout. But what it really boils down to is that mentally I had already lost before I began. Never have I done this to myself. I usually love to take on a challenge. You want to talk about being disappointed with yourself.

Unlike me, these dudes are awesome at walls balls!

Unlike me, these dudes are awesome at wall balls!

After the dust settled and my cussing stopped, Chris looked at me and said, “You know you have to do this again.” Huh? You mean, I have to do 150 more wall balls within days of already having done 150 wall balls? Yep. And he’s right.

I know I am better than what I scored on this workout. I know that all the negativity I had built-up since the workout was announced definitely played a part in my failure. I can’t be happy without giving it another shot.

Looking at Facebook after the workout, my friend and awesome CrossFitter, Glissel Soliz, just happened to have this as her status:

The more you complain, speak negatively about something, say the words ‘Can’t’ or ‘Hate’, “it’s impossible” or anything along those lines, you’re adding more negative energy into your life and more than likely you will fail. Change your mindset, people!

A new mindset is just what I need! So I am typing this out while shivering violently from the ice bath I just took to aid recovery. And I am going to post this story online in order to hold myself accountable and make myself do this workout again. I dreaded those wall balls so much, but when I really think about it, they weren’t THAT bad. See! A new mindset!

Maybe I won’t get to those muscle-ups again… but at least I can say that I tried! You can look for me on the leaderboard to see how this exciting and riveting story concludes.

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right?

22 Responses to WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU…

  • Great post! I got exactly the same score last year (one muscle up) and I am hoping achieve the same this year!

    Its so true, positive mindset leads to positive results!

    Good luck Shelby!

    Kind Regards
    Owner of CrossFit Babes Miami

  • Katie Clancy says:

    Shelby, you’ve outed yourself. Nice work. It’s clear that your mindset has changed, so I have no doubt those DUs will just glide under your feet next time. I saw a great quote the other day: ‘That which does not kill me had better start running.”

    Run DU, run!

  • Bre says:

    I actually couldn’t agree with you more. when 13.2 was announced I could not WAIT to kill it! Unfortunately right before I did the workout I had many personal issues occur and the last thing on my mind was working out. I was practically in tears during my warm up. Because I could not shake the negative issues I was going through I completely BOMBED the workout. Unfortunately I was going out of town for work so I was not able to re-do the workout. I think that is what bothered me even more. Knowing I can kill a workout and having to accept a complete bomb. So keep that positive, just know that all that work you are doing is making you a better person mentally and physically and go kill 13.3 girl!

  • Sam says:

    This is awesome. I love being reminded to be mentally tough, and grow from every moment. It’s all about attitude! Thanks for motivating me to step up my positive attitude and forget the negatives!

    Must be a good gym over there!


  • Chuck says:

    Shelby I relate to your message. I am a relatively new CrossFitter at 62 Years of age. Everything here is new, everything is a monumental challenge. I did Karen 4 weeks ago for the first time and it wrecked me for two days and that was with a 14# ball. So this morning I was dreading a repeat of this awful WOD that destroyed me 28 days ago, but with 40% more weight (20#). I wasn’t focused on the Wall, I wasn’t focused on the Ball, I wasn’t focused on my form. All I was focused on was surviving 12 minutes, and it destroyed my game and lowered my score.

  • Tamara Earles says:

    Good luck, Shelby~ It is good to know that even you – Our Queen of Crossfit ~ has bad days with a workout. You get back in there tomorrow or Saturday and you get it done!!! Love you~ You inspire

  • Heather says:

    Thank you for this. I have been dreading doing this workout and talking negatively about it all day. I did it last year and remember the pain. I need to change my attitude or I will be in the same boat as you were today. Positive thoughts only.

  • randy carr says:

    Shelby, i have been avoiding this wod since it was anounced. I did it twice last year and never did get to the muscle ups, where i knew i could kill them. After putting this off until saturday, i reminded myself that after failure at North Face, i regained composure, replanned, and most important of all quit getting in my head with fear and negative thoughts. I went back and dominated that course. It was all mental, physically i knew i was in shape for it. So reading your post tells me you are in that same place. Refocus the way you think about this and you will do better. I certainly KNOW I am going to. Cant wait to come see you guys…..

  • Danni Paquette says:

    This is amazing. My first CrossFit workout was 6 months ago; it was Karen and it took me 20 minutes! Ever since that day I have hated them with a passion, and when 13.3 was posted I wanted to cry. And then I did today…during and after 13.3! I went into the workout with mindset that I couldn’t do them even though I am a millions times stronger than the first time. Reading this made me realize that they aren’t that bad, and I can crush this workout as long as I get my head in the right frame of mind. Trying it again on Sunday, and I will make it to the muscle ups!

  • mark says:

    Great story! Thanks for having the heart to post. I too had a VERY simular experience. I had to cut and paste this paragraph you wrote because it’s 100% accurate from my 2013 open experience (I could give a million excuses as to why I bombed this workout. But what it really boils down to is that mentally I had already lost before I began. Never have I done this to myself. I usually love to take on a challenge. You want to talk about being disappointed with yourself). I also realized that I some how stopped having fun. I’m doing this WOD tomorrow morning. I don’t care what my final rep count is, as long as, I do my best at the time. I love the people of crossfit, we all have bad days, but we take ownership and move on to the next challenge. I truly believe that you and I, and many others with simular experiences, will become stronger crossfitters! THANKS SO MUCH for your post!

    • Reyyan K. Özer says:

      Mark, I stopped having fun too. I don’t know if I’m making a huge mistake but a couple of days ago I decided not to continue with the Open. I’m 18 and hadn’t been lifting before I started doing CrossFit in October 2012, so I’m pleased with the 5 rounds I did for 13.2. But the workout left me sobbing helplessly on the floor afterward. It wasn’t enjoyable in the least, and I might come off as a spoilt brat who has been fed with silver spoons all of her life, but the pain I put myself into should be rewarding, not destructive. I’m the one who usually shouts “THIS WAS FUN!” after a beastie workout, but I am stepping back on this one, until I can start appreciating the pain again.

  • Nancy says:

    You have no idea how good it makes me feel to read your post tonight. I was dreading the WOD yesterday as I had never done wall balls with 14lb before, but I was willing to give it my best shot. I got to the gym and did the warm up and a minute or two before the WOD I just tried one wall ball; that’s when I broke. I spent the entire 12 minutes just wishing it would end.
    This quote from Mark is exactly what happened to me: “But what it really boils down to is that mentally I had already lost before I began.”

    I won’t have a chance to redo 13.3 but I have a good feeling I’ll go into 13.4 with a much more positive attitude

    Thank you again

  • John says:

    Good luck
    You got this
    i will do it again myself.
    I had 20 noreps when I first did this 2 days ago.
    I did 170 wall balls with only 150 counting
    ready to battle again

    best to you

  • Monique says:

    great post! I started crossfit in January. I completed 13.3 today, and knowing I had never gotten past 25 -14#- wallballs in the last 3 months, I laid my jump rope down behind my with the hope of doing just one DU. Unfortunately I did not get that far, BUT I did do 110 wall balls. Don’t let your mind get the best of you, its a powerful thing!

  • Rosi Pippins says:

    I totally destroyed myself I heard 150 and was already telling myself there was no way. I defeated myself and I so needed to read this. Thanks for an honest post! Destroy those double unders.

  • Kathy Murray says:

    I hope Gissel Soliz doesn’t mind.. I HAD to share her words of wisdom…
    Thank you Shelby for sharing you story/thoughts.. At 55 I am learning these lesson also

  • Michelle says:

    My boyfriend just made me sit down and read this. I did 13.3 today and fell short of my goal. I was hung up on the wall balls. My goal was to just get through them and I failed. By 3 reps. Man was I disappointed. I’ve been beating myself up about it most of the day. My boyfriend read your post and told me to sit down and read it. I’m glad I did. Thank you! Although I will not be able to go in tomorrow and redo it, I have brought myself back to perspective. I have only been in the CrossFit world for 1 year and I’ve come a long way. Wall balls were out of the question for me a year ago. So was running 400m. But today, I’m doing pullups, busting out double unders, running 10k and almost have my muscle up. So, instead I walk away and say, until we meet again 13.3 :)

  • Julie Hansen says:

    I love your story for I went through something similar…last year I came in to the open to late but did get a chance to do the work out so I could compare when the next open came around in 2013….So I was excited to see I would get that chance …I came into the work out saying I will make it through these wall balls and get to the double unders !! I have not been able to achieve a muscle up yet. So I did my first round with high hopes only to break my confidence half way through the wall balls due to no rep on the ball either not hitting the wall or right under it…so I only achieved 128 …I was so absolutely angry at myself for not achieving what I set out to do….I told myself “NOPE” I WILL BE BACK TOMORROW”!! To do this all over again …I told myself that I would get 150!! I left that night at 5:30 P.M and was back at 11 A.M the next morning to do it again …I felt a little sore but felt more focus on what to do….Every one said “Your Crazy”! My rhythm was better my time was better I passed the old score of 128 I kept pushing and had 12 seconds left and 9 wall balls to go I thought I’ve got this but right at the last 2 seconds I got a no rep “CRAP!! …I picked the ball up and went to push the ball up and the time stopped before it hit the top of the line !!!! I couldn’t beleive I didn’t get it.. I fell to the floor from exhaustion…..But got back up and said “YES”!! From 128 to 149 …..I had an amazing work out and I fought hard once again to gain my respect back for myself…..I am so happy to be part of such a dynamic family in Crossfit and I am sold for life’ I have gone from 210 to 68 in the Women Northern Califonia 40-44………I am so happy that my son Kody Hansen became a Certified Crossfit Instructor last year and introduced me to the Crossfit family !!! Just keeps getting better….thank you for your stories!

  • Alisia says:

    This was right up my alley. Thank you. I did 13.3 on Thursday morning and went into it with an attitude similar to yours. Although I had never done this specific workout (as I am new to CF), I’ve done WODS with 150 WB’s in them before. I had the skill set to at least finish the WB’s and get to attempt the double unders (I am just learning how to do them) The outcome? The 12 minutes elapsed and I had a score of 140. After calming myself down and then getting the “you WILL do 13.3 again”…I decided to get my attitude in check. I did 13.3 a few hours ago…and my score was 179. For me…THAT score was more like it.

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