For time complete:
30 GHD Situps
30 Deadlifts (225)(155)
30 Overhead Squats (95)(65)
Post time and scale in comments.
The Puzzle – Event 6 by Jim Kelly (photo c/o CrossFit Games South Central Regional)
100 Double Unders (50 ea) 50 HSPU, 50 Toes-2-Bar, 50 Shoulder to overhead with axel bar (160)(100) 90’ walking lunge with loaded axel bar. Male and Female partner splits the reps as necessary, but non-working member must perform a static hold. But both must lunge with his or her bar. (Female can’t pass the male athlete.)
I’m walking around the arena early Sunday morning and I see an old friend in the stands. Kendra is an “old school” member of ACF that has moved to Fort Worth and started CF Rough. She congratulates me on the team’s performance to this point asks how I feel about today’s events. I smile and give thumbs up, then say, “I’m not sure what everyone else has, but I know one thing; I’ve got the strongest girl on the floor this morning.” She nods in approval.
Earlier, we are eating breakfast and Beth is not eating much. The events are later on Sunday than other days, so more time waiting, letting the butterflies do their damage. Ben is visibly anxious and Beth is pastier than ever. The team knows that if this pair executes to their best, we can stay on the podium and possibly even create some cushion in the points. All of this depending on how CF Katy and CF Central perform today.
Practicing this event showed some very positive signs. Ben and Beth worked well together. Neither struggled with any of the movements fundamentally. Transitions were flawless and the work capacity of these outstanding athletes absorbed the static holds required by the non-working athlete without issue; crazy fast until the lunges.
It has always been about the lunges. Ben would do his share of the shoulder to overhead reps and then begin his lunges just to drop the bar after six steps, and then gradually make his way down the ninety-foot track. It would get better each time, but was never to a point where it was fast. The best practice time for these two was 9:59. We would love to get that today.
The final heat for event six is introduced. Everyone is aware that these last pair of athletes holds the keys of success for the teams fighting so hard this weekend. The scoreboard is so tight it’s suffocating. It’s all about where your strengths were played. Did you put your best on event one, Jackie? Maybe you had to shore up the deadlift workout. What cards do you still have to play? ACF had gambled yesterday and the scoreboard stayed favorable as we took our highest number. Beth and Ben make a stout pair, an ACE \Jack if you will. Are there any other ACEs in this heat?
Ben begins his double unders, he is doing well and then misses. No big deal. Gets it going again and then misses again. He knows this isn’t the end of the world on this workout, but misses again! He is visibly frustrated, but speeds up his last twenty reps and hands off to Beth. She begins, but is too close to Ben and hits him with the rope. Nerves are showing; not surprising from Ben as this is his first external competition ever, and Beth just got in a hurry. We should be ok. They finish the double unders and are the second to last group under the wall to begin handstand pushups.
They are first to move off handstand pushups to the next station of toes to bar. I would say that went…well.
The team has regrouped, and each are hitting huge sets of toes to bar. Once again, that went very well. Other teams are slowing down, using many more transitions and allowing ACF to build a lead. All accept two; CF Central and CF Katy have stayed close.
It’s coming down to strength and guts.
ACF is first to the axle bar and the shoulder to overhead. We discussed prior to the heat that when the time came, Beth would have to “take over” and hit reps she wasn’t planning on doing. Just to keep the numbers going. We didn’t know when that would happen today, it’s all by feel, but she was ready.
Ben is fatigued and no doubt has the lunge looming over him. He only does a set of five with the axel bar and drops it. Beth does ten. Ben does five. Beth Seven. Ben three. Ben is dong smaller sets and Beth is picking up the rest. The rest periods are short and Beth his still hitting huge sets deep into the count of Fifty.
I notice that CF Katy and CF Central are beginning to struggle with the axel bar. Small sets, long breaks. A recipe for disaster when competing in the Sport of Fitness.
If we can get on the lunge soon, we can build a cushion that will allow for Ben’s tendency to slow down while lunging. Forty-nine…Fifty! Beth finishes and Ben takes a knee contemplating the ninety feet ahead of him. He rolls the bar to the line and gathers himself. He will be first to step onto the lunge course. We are in good shape. I smile as I watch these two execute their game plan.
He cleans the bar and begins. One step, two, three; he looks good, he is shuffling his feet a bit and the head judge comes and makes a comment. He tightens that up as he keeps moving. He is twenty feet down the lane and Beth is right there with him. He is still moving. I expect he will drop the bar any moment, as this is much farther than I expected him to go on his first set of lunges. He hits the halfway line and I am ecstatic, cheering and yelling….he hasn’t stopped yet.
Beth drops her bar, she is used to getting a rest by now and is feeling those big sets she sucked up just seconds ago. He keeps going. She hustles and begins chasing him. He still hasn’t stopped! She drops her bar again, and has to hurry again to close the gap. Finally 60 feet in he drops the bar. Only one other team has begun the lunges and it’s not CF Katy or CF Central! This could be huge.
Clearly, Ben benefited from the change in rep scheme on the shoulder to overhead. He never had to do ten in a row. Just another example of competitive instinct that yielded huge game day dividends; you can’t practice that.
He regroups and lunges to within one step of the finish line and drops the bar again. He kneels and is clearly shutting down. He looks back as if he is taunting me. JUST FINISH! I’m screaming from my belly. He cleans it and finishes, Beth right behind him and scores ACF’s third first place finish in three days – 9:29. Spectacular!
The other teams are beginning to lunge and finish. The team from Get Lifted finishes second, and with that finish, catapulted to podium contention because the wheels are falling off in the middle lanes.
CF Katy and CF Central are enduring a competitive nightmare in this event. CF Katy’s female is struggling with the shoulder to overhead. They can’t get the last rep they need to move to the lunges and end up taking a twenty-first place finish after the time cap expires. CF Central’s team was plagued by what looked like a dehydrated male athlete that lost all control at the end of the lunges. His teammate had to help him clean the weight to valiantly finish the lunges and end up taking a sixteenth place finish. Pictures of this moment are etched into my memory as an example of how hard this sport can be, brutal in fact, but the determination of these two athletes to finish at all costs was amazing to watch.
Wiping the tears from my eyes, I call to my athletes from the barrier to grab them, kiss them and tell em’ how proud I am and just how clutch that performance was. The events of the last fifteen minutes all but assure ACF a trip to compete in California with the fittest in the world.
Reflecting on the performance of our team during this critical point in the competition….
Turns out…there was another ACE in this heat. I was holding it. Pocket ACEs are pretty tough to beat.