Fran. Who doesn’t love/hate Fran? Thrusters are absolutely torturous on their own, as are pullups…. and CrossFit decides to pair the two together in a 21-15-9 sequence to leave you on the floor, staring at the ceiling, wondering what in the world happened to you and why the hell you’d put yourself through something like this.

Fran You Like an Animal

I haven’t had much experience with Fran. I’ve done it twice. The very first time I did it I went into it extremely nervous, scared of the bar, and basically in the completely wrong mindset. I hadn’t really learned how to kip or butterfly my pullups, so during the workout, those are what gave me the most trouble. I ended up finishing in 6:49… which is more than triple what most elite athletes are able to do. I left the gym with tears welled up in my eyes and for some reason I felt Fran was the be all end all of every CrossFitter’s career. Even noobies. And holy shit am I a noobie!

The second time I did Fran, I still went into it nervous but I had some idea of how I wanted to attack it. I wanted to do the thrusters unbroken; although I hate them, I can do them quickly and consistently. Well…. I almost stuck to my plan. I did the set of 21 thrusters unbroken and the set of 9 unbroken. For the 15, I split it up into 8 and 7. I kipped all of the pullups. Butterfly really bothers my shoulders and I felt I didn’t want to waste time trying to get them down in the middle of the workout. I ended up with 3:58. Not bad.

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Today was the first time I’ve done Fran in three-ish weeks. I saw my coach post Fran online last night and my nerves immediately kicked in. My heart started pounding a little harder, my mind began racing, and holy shit, my hands were even shaking! Why do I get so incredibly nervous? After all, isn’t it “just another workout”?

If you saw my last post, you know that I am absolutely not the type of person who can do things “just for fun”. I want to be good at it, I want to beat everyone, and I want to win. But today, I decided to do something differently. I decided to treat this like any other workout. Now, that’s not to say I wouldn’t give it my all and do everything I could to finish Fran on a high note. What it DOES mean is that I let go of the idea that my Fran time, whatever it may be, determines who I am as a person and as an athlete. I came into class today not so nervous, just excited. When my coach screamed “10 SECONDS!” and I saw the red flashing numbers on the clock, I actually felt pretty confident and calm.This was just another workout. This was just another time for me to improve.

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My time today was 33 seconds slower than my fastest time. Typically, I would sulk around all day, in a horribly pissy mood, throwing things, slamming doors, and overall acting like a raging bitch. But I’m happy! I didn’t leave class today upset or disappointed. I ate breakfast happy as a lark, and as I’m writing this, I’m smiling like a complete douche.

The thing that makes it all so fun is the community. This isn’t like any other sport I’ve ever participated in. I’ve been to one bodybuilding competition and was pretty appalled at the attitude of all of the “athletes”. (I put athletes in quotes because I don’t really think bikini/figure competitors are athletes…. I know this will piss some people off.. Sue me). I couldn’t believe the arrogance of the competitors and how quick they were to pass judgment and put other people down. At CrossFit, you’re not done until everyone else is done. When we finish our workout, we gather around the people who haven’t finished yet and cheer them on until the very last rep. Today we had someone come in as a drop-in. They were struggling with Fran, especially going into the last set of pullups at the end. We all stood around him in a circle and pushed him all the way through… he did the last set UNBROKEN! How cool is that?! The energy in the den was crazy.

Anyway, enough of my psychology nerd coming out and onto today’s workout. Today we did 6 sets of heavy thrusters.

3-3-3-1-1-1

I did 95, 105, 115, 125, 135, 145.

My last set, I initially failed 145. Instead of moving my head out of the path of the bar, I moved my hands. This pulled me forward slightly and I wasn’t able to lock it out.My last set, everyone was watching. My coach stopped me, look my straight in the eye, and said, “Kayla… I know you can do it.” And I did.

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