Oh hi Rope Climbs. Nice to meet you.
Sure- I have climbed a rope before in CrossFit, but this came from a lot of practice and a lot of confidence. As a kid, I could never climb the rope in gym class unless it had knots in it; I was always too scared to try the un-knotted rope, and thought I would fall off at the top. One day, maybe a year or so ago, I had Dan teach me how to climb a rope after watching some girls fail on them at a competition. I didn’t want to fail at them when I had to do them. I am sure I looked like a crazy person using most of my upper body to get up the rope and from then on, I knew I needed to get more proficient at rope climbs- using my legs, not just my arms.
Yesterday, after doing CrossFit for 20 months I did my first WOD with rope climbs. They have been programmed in the past, but I couldn’t get over my fear of coming down the rope when there is a “rounds for time” workout. I always thought I would freak out, trying to get the best time, and not know what to do when it came time to climb, or worse- fall from however many feet high. This fear is real guys. I am not making this up.
Anyways, back to yesterday. The workout was 10 rounds: 1 rope climb, 2 deadlifts at 205#, and a 100m run with a 20 minute time cap. I thought this was a generous cap. I was seeing times of 14 minutes, all the way up to 18 minutes. So in my head I thought I had this in the bag to finish before the time cap. Well, I was wrong. Yes.. I have practiced rope climbs one at a time on days that I am fresh. I have never felt or realized how hard it is to climb a rope when your grip is shot, you’re all sweaty, and after about 3 climbs, your inner thighs hurt like hell, but you know you still have a few more to go. I got through 8 rounds plus one rope climb and one dead lift (so nine rope climbs total in 20 minutes). For me, I did not like my final score, but still wrote it up on the white board, sat there for a minute and then smiled- because I pushed through a fear I have had my whole life. This is the part where I really just had to leave my ego at the door and realize that damn… I just did that workout Rx, it kicked my ass, but I was proud of myself for trying something new, and pushing through a fear.
I still need work on my descent. I still need work on using my legs, and which clamping style works best. I know that there will always be things to work on. But today- I feel like just getting up and down a rope nine times is an accomplishment and I will take that as a mental PR for sure.