Just do it anyway – Competing as an Rx-ish Athlete


It’s been a while – But Hi, Hello, and Welcome for those of use who’ve never met, or never read my blog previously, and for anyone who’s a listener to Everyone Dies in Sunderland, this may be slightly off target for you, but haaaaaaaaiiiiii

For those new here I figure it’s worth giving some background, until the pandemic I was heavily involved in Roller Derby and was navigating my way from being a Jammer to a Blocker, or for the cool kids a ‘blammer’. But the pandemic hit and Roller Derby was cancelled, so my focus turned fully to the other sport in my life, CrossFit… and then the pandemic was ‘over’ and I never returned to Roller Derby and threw myself fully into the CrossFit kool-aid.

So here we are, it’s 2022, I’m 4 and a bit years deep into CrossFit – last year I experienced my first competition efforts at WODLAND, and at the Castle Games same sex pairs – both by happy accidents as the teams/pairs had a lot of changeover and I offered myself forward as a fill-in (assuming I’d be replaced by someone far more appropriate). Anyway I turned up, had a really good time, pushed myself, made some new pals, and decided I quite liked the competing side of things.

But back to 2022 – I was supposed to be competing in WODLAND again (this weekend, but as is the way with a year in advance plans it hasn’t quite panned out as we intended, so we binned it off), but along the way the gang all decided we’d enter two teams into the castle games team competition as scaled teams and have some friendly rivalry.

Roll on the scaled comp weekend I was feeling really good, I’d fuelled really well and was ready to get going the events were as follows;

SCALED Event OneSCALED Event TwoSCALED Event Three
Male and Female Pair 1
9-15-21-27
Calorie Row
Thrusters [35/25kg]

Male and Female Pair 2
27-21-15-9
Calorie Row
Thrusters [35/25kg]

12 minute time cap
8 Syncro Worm Burpees (any pair)
8 Syncro Worm Deadlifts
8 Syncro Worm Clean and Jerk

48 Leg Raises

8 Syncro Worm Burpees (any pair)
8 Syncro Worm Deadlifts
8 Syncro Worm Clean and Jerk

24 Pull-ups

8 Syncro Worm Burpees (any pair)
8 Syncro Worm Deadlifts
8 Syncro Worm Clean and Jerk

48 Leg Raises

8 Syncro Worm Burpees (any pair)
8 Syncro Worm Deadlifts
8 Syncro Worm Clean and Jerk

24 Pull-ups

[140kg Worm]
12 minute time cap
Part A
6 Single Arm Devil’s Press
6 Single Dumbbell Burpee Box Overs
[22/15kg]
4 min time cap

Rest 1 Minute

Part B
Female – Max Weight Bella Complex
-Clean
-Shoulder to Overhead
-Front Squat
-Shoulder to Overhead
3 min time cap

Rest 1 Minute

Part C
Male – Max Weight Bella Complex
-Clean
-Shoulder to Overhead
-Front Squat
-Shoulder to Overhead
3 min time cap
14th out of 29 teams and one top 10 event finish

After having a good day on the scaled comp, I went out with the gang and then got a message asking if I would be interested in doing the Rx comp the next day… I said yes (mostly as I was flattered to be asked, I don’t consider myself Rx) and immediately went home, attempted to sleep and contemplated what I’d agreed to.

Rx Event OneRx Event TwoRx Event Three
Male and Female Pair 1
9-15-21-27
Calorie Row
Thrusters [40/30kg]

Male and Female Pair 2
27-21-15-9
Calorie Row
Thrusters [40/30kg]

12 minute time cap
12 Syncro Worm Burpees (any pair)
12 Syncro Worm Deadlifts
12 Syncro Worm Clean and Jerk

48 Toes to Bar

12 Syncro Worm Burpees (any pair)
12 Syncro Worm Deadlifts
12 Syncro Worm Clean and Jerk

24 Bar Muscle-Ups

12 Syncro Worm Burpees (any pair)
12 Syncro Worm Deadlifts
12 Syncro Worm Clean and Jerk

48 Toes to Bar

12 Syncro Worm Burpees (any pair)
12 Syncro Worm Deadlifts
12 Syncro Worm Clean and Jerk

24 Bar Muscle-Ups

[140kg Worm]
16 minute time cap
Part A
6 Double Arm Devil’s Press
6 Double Dumbbell Burpee Box Overs
[22/15kg]
4 min time cap

Rest 1 Minute

Part B
Female – Max Weight Bella Complex
-Clean
-Shoulder to Overhead
-Front Squat
-Shoulder to Overhead
3 min time cap

Rest 1 Minute

Part C
Male – Max Weight Bella Complex
-Clean
-Shoulder to Overhead
-Front Squat
-Shoulder to Overhead
3 min time cap

Please make sure I never ever agree to something so stupid ever again, or at least not without eating properly all day, pre-planning that it would be both, or without having had a Pint!

Me, when I inevitably agree to do something like this again!
7th out of 18 teams with multiple top 10 finishes across the day

As someone who did both sides of the competition I can tell you that although the Rx weight change doesn’t on paper seem huge on Event One, and the number of reps increase in Event Two doesn’t look big either that sh*t hit different! I’m not sure if it was the pressure of knowing the team on Rx day were Rx and I had to ‘keep up’ or that it was the adrenaline or fatigue from the previous day but at one point one of the team (thanks Danielle) had to physically put my hands on the worm and talk me into picking it up again.

But the reason that I’m writing this is because, I am not an Rx athlete, I consider myself Rx-ish as in I can shift on an ERG and can generally lift in line with a more Rx level but I’m not great (and already was aware of the huge skills gap) in any gymnastics movements. So why in gods name did I do it?

Because you don’t get better if you don’t train beyond your current capability. I am going to be completely honest I nearly cried after Event Two because I felt like I had let the whole team down on the Rx day because I felt like a fraud and had major imposter syndrome and when our team somehow made it to the Semi-finals that fed into it even more because I didn’t feel like I’d contributed much to the effort, but I know I don’t ever want to feel like that again, and I’m taking steps to not be the weak link.

It also made me question what is my limit, on day one in the scaled comp I felt like I’d gone hard and given my all, but after experiencing the Rx comp I feel like I reached a different level of effort (I hit a level of fatigue I’ve not felt since Roller Derby) – did I mentally not try as hard because it was scaled, and by that same token did I let the scaled team down by not giving my all – even if I didn’t acknowledge that wasn’t enough at the time?

I also realise I’m in a position where I got to do this twice, a bit like when you retest the open workouts and you did better second time round because you know the feel of it and how to improve your score, and I’m probably being super hard on myself like always…

So what is my takeaway – just do it – the worst that will happen is that you’ll have a fun day out with a bunch of humans who will push you if you’re Rx-ish, and if nothing else it’ll re-ignite the fire to be better because training at the gym with no focus allows you to skirt the ‘harder’ movements – this sh*t highlights them and makes you realise you want to be better!

Thank you to all the Volunteers, Judges and Organisers of The Castle Games for an amazing weekend, find out more about upcoming events here

Photos courtesy of Made by Johnny – more event photos available; Rx / Scaled and Teens

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