Some people who are way better than me at wall balls.
Today something happened for the first time at CrossFit that I don’t even want to admit, let alone write about. But I am going to anyway.
This morning’s WOD was 12-minute AMRAP of 4 wall balls, 6 bar jumps, and 8 sit-ups. And let me tell you that I am really, really bad at wall balls. I am lucky if I can get it up to the 8-foot mark on the wall, which all things considered is really only 2 feet of vertical gain once it leaves my hands. They knock me over all the time, and sometimes I catch them with an open mouth because I’m breathing so hard and end up licking what I’m sure is probably one of the most disgusting pieces of equipment in the gym. We are not friends.
Despite my personal issues with wall balls, I started the WOD feeling strong. After the first half I had finished 7 sets and I felt like I could even make it to 15 by the end. I was pushing, barely resting, at some points hardly breathing. When the timer ended I was on my 3rd wall ball of my last round. Honestly now I can’t even remember if I finished with 13 or 14 full sets – I think it was 14. But I do know that at the end, I came up short of that 4th shot to finish out one last set of wall balls.
But I wanted it SO BAD. I pushed so hard through those last few sets, dripping sweat, flying through sit-ups so fast that I practically felt like I was headbanging. And I just really, really hate wall balls. Have I mentioned that? I was brooding about not making that last rep. I think I even scowled at my medicine ball. I DESERVED that 4th rep. And when TJ asked what my final count was, I told him 14 plus 4.
Yep, guys, I lied about my rep count today (to clarify, even though for the purposes of this post I can’t remember how many full sets I did, I know I reported that correctly at least). TJ even asked me a 2nd time, and I was suddenly convinced he had been watching me and knew I didn’t get all 4 reps. Whether or not that was true, I lied again. “14 plus 4,” I said.
I have never lied about my rep count before and I was immediately infuriated with myself. Had I really just lied, let alone to TJ, who is not only someone who I respect immensely, but who potentially even knew I was lying?
We stuck around for a few extra minutes before heading home. I stared at that little “4” on the board across the room. It glared at me. TJ gave me potentially-imagined knowing looks. On my way out the door I quietly walked over and replaced the liar 4 with a 3, but the relief I was hoping for didn’t come – the damage had been done.
Is 1 rep really such a big deal? It’s not like I fabricated an entire extra set, or skipped reps during the WOD, or, you know, tripped someone while they were doing bar jumps. Does it really matter that the little number next to my name on the big white board is just a tiny bit higher than it was supposed to be? In all seriousness, the answer, to me, is yes. CrossFit is about not just becoming physically stronger, but about confronting the person that you really are, and then making that person better. How can dishonesty, no matter how small or ridiculous, be a part of that?
So right now I kind of just feel like I suck. Any good feelings I had from having 12 strong minutes of a really well structured WOD are being smothered by that feeling of suck. And to TJ, I’m sorry that I lied – and trust me, if this is what that feels like, it won’t happen again.