Facing My Fears

Snatches, clean & jerks, back squats, and handstands without a wall…. I’m scared to death of all of these moves. So naturally, I worked on all of them today.

Why am I afraid of them you ask? Well….

Snatches – I’m afraid I’m going to drop the barbell on my head

Clean & Jerks – not only am I afraid of dropping the weight on my head, but add a lunge to that with a bad knee and there’s bound to be trouble

Back squats – again with the knee… but at least it’s easier to dump the weight without hurting myself

Handstands – I can do handstands all day… as long as they’re against a wall. However, take that wall away and they scare the hell out of me.

The only way you’re ever going to get better at something is to practice, right?

I started my day at Ballston CrossFit where my friend Jake is a coach.

Jake and me

Jake and me

I knew it was an Olympic Weightlifting workshop, but wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was more than ready to run for the hills though when I saw we were doing snatches, clean & jerks, and back squats; three of my most dreaded moves. There were modifications for each, but there’s no way I was going to wuss out and do the easier moves. It was time to face the music. Plus, I was curious to see what my 1 rep max for each was.


We started with snatches, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a pic of me doing them. However, my 1 rep max was 67.5 pounds. Not as much as I’d hoped, but hey, we all start somewhere, right?

Back Squats

Oh, the back squat. To be honest, I’ve been avoiding these for months. I just spent 1+ years getting my knee back to normal, the last thing I want to do is mess it up again. However, with the right coach and a little body awareness, I was able to hit my 1 rep max of 120 pounds. OK OK, that’s not really my 1 rep max, but it’s what I felt comfortable doing as of right now. I’m going to progressively work my way up to my 1 rep max.

crossfit back squat

drop it like a squat!

drop it like a squat!

Clean & Jerk

OK, now this is by far the scariest move for me. Not only am I throwing heavy weights above my head, but I’m also jumping into a lunge in the middle of it. So not only is there the opportunity to drop the weight on my head, but there’s also the opportunity to mess up my knee (again). Talk about nerve-racking.

Surprisingly, my 1 rep max was 85 pounds! I tallied up the plates a few times to make sure I counted right and was stoked to realize I had!





and finish!

and finish!


Immediately after the Oly Workshop, I ran over to Little River Yoga for Carson’s 2 hour freestyle class. You can drop in for however long you’d like to practice on what’s been challenging you throughout the week.

As a former gymnast, there’s nothing I love more than kicking up into a handstand… against the wall. I mean, I’m used to going right into a backbend/flip from a handstand, not just holding them, so naturally, there’s a lot of power behind my kicks. However, in yoga, it’s a different story. You kick up into a handstand to, well, hold a handstand. It’s a different beast. And honestly, it’s a lot harder than you’d think.

But again, thanks to awesome (yoga) instructors like Carson, I was able to get in some good practice. He gave me some great pointers to take home so I can practice throughout the week until our next session next Sunday.

Make sure you follow him on Instagram – @carsonclaycalhoun! He posts up some pretty amazing photos and a lot of tips and tricks for improving your yoga handstands. And of course, if you’re in the D.C./VA area, drop into one of his classes, you won’t regret it!

Carson photobombing my handstand pic

Carson photobombing my handstand pic

practicing my headstands

practicing my headstands

Off to bed for another wild and crazy week at work. G’night!

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Categories: A Day In My Life, CrossFit, Goals


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2 Comments on “Facing My Fears”

  1. June 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    I just found your blog from another one (typical) and was scrolling through thinking hey that looks kind of like my gym…and it is, haha I’m also totally afraid of dropping weight on my head, something about actually having to get under the bar in the snatch…gives me this weird mental block.


  1. I hate Annie | Living on Macros - March 26, 2013

    [...] avoiding back squats like the plague ever since I started CrossFit because I was afraid of them. I finally did them for the first time on Sunday and was stoked to be able to do 120 pounds although I knew I could do more, but didn’t want [...]

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