“16.5 is 14.5.”
When those words came out of Dave Castro’s mouth, one word came out of mine.
I was now doomed to repeat the one workout I swore I would never do again.
Any CrossFitter that participated in the 2014 CrossFit Open will undoubtedly remember 14.5. The workout contained only two movements, thrusters and burpees, but the amount of work was incredible. 84 total repetitions of each movement.
I don’t think it hyperbole to say that my 14.5 WOD was the most physical anguish I have ever been in. I won’t say it’s the most pain I’ve ever been in, because pain is mental as well as physical… But yeah definitely the most physical discomfort I’ve ever willingly subjected myself.
My 14.5 recap in all its Star Wars-y glory can be found here.
Just scrolling through the photos brings a chill down my spine. Those photos of agony on the floor once the workout was done, and the photo which perfectly encapsulated the struggle of that day.
But now I see something else in those photos. (go look at the photos if you skipped over that link!)
I see a body that I no longer recognize.
Sure, I’m still a slim dude, but I’m not as skinny. Sure, I’m not a strong guy, but I’m not as weak.
That makes me wonder… I can’t see my brain, but… Have I acquired greater mental fortitude in the past two years?
It’s no secret that I’m struggling in my life right now. A lot of my struggles are inside my own head… with the help of a few important outside factors. I feel myself going crazy some days… and that’s a feeling I hate.
Thinking back to 14.5 day… I was in a pretty good head place. I remember later that day… the day was good. Life was pretty good for a while back then.
Now… I’m lost.
But… I think I’m beginning to find my way again. I’m learning to let go of things I can’t control and to hope for the best. If things work out the way I want them to, then they are meant to be.
Life isn’t always smooth sailing. That’s what gives life its spice. I’ve had just about enough spice lately though, I could use some bland.
Life is hard. Life hurts.
14.5 was hard. 16.5 will hurt.
But… perhaps 16.5 will hurt a little less than before. Perhaps life will begin to hurt a little less than recent past. Sure, the workout will still be awful and of course some days will still hold more bad than good. I’m just wanting the pendulum to swing in the positive direction.
We are never truly prepared for life’s big surprises. However, sometimes we do get to learn from the past – whether the past be mistakes or simply experiences. I’ve always been good at remembering and applying useless information, but I seem to struggle with matters of substance regarding my past knowledge to present events.
Many times life doesn’t give us second chances. When things end… they end. And if something ends, it usually means it ended badly… if it is something you cared about.
14.5 was and is the worst, hardest, most brutal workout I’ve ever done. Perhaps an improvement on 16.5 will dull some of the scars and memories of those awful 84 thrusters and burpees. Perhaps with my second chance at this beast, I’ll do better.
Heartbreak and depression are hard and brutal. Perhaps I will listen to others and myself and finally learn from my mistakes. Perhaps with a second chance, I’ll do better.
Do better. I need to just do better.
To all those out there who remember the horror of 14.5… just do better with 16.5.
To all those out there who will be experiencing this suck for the first time… it will hurt. But the hurt will subside.
To all those out there who are given second chances… be grateful. Do better.
Hey life… give me a second chance. I’ll do better. I promise.
And hey Dave Castro… fuck you.
Your turn -> Do you learn from your past or are you generally doomed to repeat?