Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Double Unders

Ever since I began doing CrossFit, I have struggled with my capabilities. Believe me, I have a LONG way to go. L-O-N-G. But, occasionally, I do something that really surprises me. Back in December I discovered that I could do a handstand. Yep, me, the 39-year-old who has never taken a gymnastics class. 

Thank the Lord my coach snapped this pic. Otherwise, I'd never believe it. Ha. 

That's the thing about CrossFit. It's all about doing things you never thought possible in a very supportive community/environment. Trust me - everyone there was cheering me on. 

CrossFit is also about finding your weaknesses and working on them. As I said, I have LOTS. In particular I couldn't squat worth squat! My coach has worked tirelessly with me on that. I'm happy to report that I have improved quite a bit. 

Contrary to popular belief, it's not all weight lifting. In fact, it's only a third of it. It's about combining Olympic lifting elements, gymnastic movements, and metabolic conditioning. So there's a lot to focus on! I'm not the strongest person out there, but I am improving. I've worked myself up to a 165# dead lift, a 135# back squat, and a 100# front squat. And, I can now easily swing a 35# kettle bell. 

Like the handstand above, for me in particular, some of the more fun things to work on require only your body weight and coordination/balance. Come to find out, I don't have a lot of coordination/balance, which is why the handstand was so shocking. 

One thing I did NOT take to instantly is called a Double Under. It's a jump rope movement in which the rope should pass under your feet TWICE during one jump. Tough stuff! Mind you, prior to 2013 I hadn't jumped rope since probably 1987. Since it's such an excellent conditioning element, I asked for my own jump rope for Christmas. I was, by golly, going to work on my double unders.   

I only got my first double under back in January. I was so excited about it that I screamed and did my "only at CrossFit happy dance." Last Saturday I actually surprised myself and did sixty of them, I was so proud. I really didn't think I could do it. 

With Chasen traveling in Asia for the longest period of time ever, 14.5 days, I decided that I needed a special project to keep me busy. I call it "Susan's Double Under Camp." Each day I am working on my double unders. 

On day 1 I tried desperately to get two consecutive DU's, but I couldn't. My goal, period, is two. I came close, but I just couldn't get the right rhythm. On day 2... I got two!!! I did it multiple times, in fact. I was on top of the world. Today, day 3, it took a while, but I got three. Three! I did it a few times, to my amazement, and then decided to try to video myself so I could figure out how to be more rhythmic and efficient. You'll never guess what happened next.      

I got SIX in a row!

I believe the video speaks for itself. I was shocked! It goes to show that practice and perseverance pay off. My technique has a way to go, but I am going to continue to try to improve, day by day. Mark my words. I'm fired up about these doubles!


Zen Runner said...

Cutest thing ever! Congrats.

Zen Runner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison said...

Wow! Double unders are definitely not easy as ABC so congratulations for making a three here Susan (and I bet it's already chicken to you now!) Such dedication is so beautiful that you motivate me to do more! Cheers for that handstand too and for better health! :)