“5 feet 1.6 inches of effort” by Alejandra Morisi

When people ask for my height, I always respond with exact numbers. 5 feet and 1.6 inches. It’s almost like I want to get credit for every little bit I’ve got. And I am very aware of my height with so many CrossFit movements: the rower, the ski erg, the bike, wall balls, box jumps, etc.

So, when 19.1 was announced, I told myself what I tell myself all the time: I can only do what I can do. This workout is a 15 minute AMRAP of 19 wallballs and 19 calories on the rower. BOTH are NOT in my wheelhouse and BOTH are very taxing for me. I’ve been working on getting better at wall balls but I still have to jump to make the 9 ft target. And it still takes about 2-3 strokes to get ONE freaking calorie on that rower. Lol.

But every struggle carries potential for so much and I swear that everything I do in that gym has a profound meaning for me. How I handle the workouts teaches me so much about myself and about life. And the Open provides the platform for so much growth.

When I go into a workout that has NOTHING in my wheelhouse, I go into what I call “management mode.” 2 of the most important questions I ask myself are: 1) What do I need to manage here? This is more about damage control for me. It requires some serious real talk about my “areas with room for improvement” and my blind spots. What do I need to manage so the WOD doesn’t completely go to shit?

And 2) What can I control here? Again, this requires a raw look at my abilities. Is there a place where I can push it? But no matter what the workout is, I know that I can always control my attitude and composure.

So, today I went into the gym to do 19.1 and Tony had me warm up on the rower. 19 calories is a lot for me so I had to come up with a manageable pace. This was not a sprint. Not only is 19 calories a lot for me but 15 minutes is also a long time. So, as much as I wish this number was higher, my manageable pace in order to do my best in this WOD was around 700 calories/hour. Part of my ego wants to beat me up over that number. But, you guys, this was about being smart! I can definitely pull more but I also had to go and do wall balls.

Now, the wallballs—that’s what I had more control over. I know they take a lot from me but this was the place where I could push it a little more. I tried to go unbroken for as long as I could.

I started the workout and the pace felt so slow. Tony was judging me and he kept saying, “stay at your pace, this is YOUR workout.” This was such a great reminder for me. Because, again, I can only do what I can do. I feel like my pace is so slow and there are some people who can go so fast on the rower. But that’s not me so entertaining those types of thoughts does nothing for me. It’s actually a waste of mental and emotional energy.

I stuck to my pace and pushed it on the wallballs. I went unbroken for as long as I could and I even surprised myself with how many rounds I did unbroken. I was composed and, because I set a realistic, manageable pace goal, I did not spend the workout beating myself up. Because of this, I was positive and had the mental strength to push myself when I had to. I was composed and having fun before and after the workout. I mean, it helped that I was surrounded by so much love and support. So many people were cheering me on and pushing me to do my best so that’s exactly what I did, my best.

So, just do YOUR best. It seems so cliché but it’s the truth. YOUR best matters. YOUR best is amazing.

I feel like the Open has never been about comparing to others. Sure, it’s great to do awesome in a workout and beat some people (I’m not a saint!). But it’s always been an opportunity for me to astound myself. Sometimes it’s in small ways like keeping my composure through something extremely difficult. And sometimes it’s bigger, like getting my first bar muscle up.

Life is life. My height matters but it’s not critical to my experience and my growth. I walked away so proud of myself for what I did today. I managed myself and I controlled what I could control. I got a great freaking score pulling between 600-700 calories/hour the entire time! I think that’s impressive and great self-management.

What a life lesson.