August 6, 2019

Tales from My Box- Celebrating the Small Snatches

Tales from My Box is a weekly column by Live Feisty Media founder, Sara Gross. Here you will find tales from CrossFit, or Triathlon and/or vagina news. Regular readers and listeners of the If We Were Riding podcast *may* be disappointed to learn that double entendres involving the word “snatch” have been paused for this week. We hope you won’t find that frustrating. 


by Sara Gross

Last weekend I did my first CrossFit “comp.”  1200 athletes in a stadium, hot bods, judges, photographers, multiple events happening all around you at once. It was just how I imagined it. 

I know you’re totally tempted to think I’m really hard core (*!*) , so before you go too far down that track, I was in the “beginner” or “scaled” division. The next division up is intermediate, then there’s the age groups and the elites. So. 

I know my place. 

At this particular event, athletes do 6 or 7 workouts over 2-3 days. I had 3 workouts per day for 2 days ranging from a straight Olympic lift with 3 attempts to more cardio and/or gymnastics- based workouts involving rowing, running, ski erg, push ups, pull ups, box jumps, rope climbs, dumbbell thrusters, you get the picture. 

Imagine this- Sunday morning 8am, the second day of competition. My event is a max hang power snatch. If you can’t picture that, it’s the lift with the wide grip finishing with the bar over your head. For the sake of the story, it really doesn’t matter what lift you are picturing, I’m not yet adept at any of them, especially the snatch. When we do snatches at the gym, I mostly just mess around working on technique with a relatively light weight. If I get 75lbs over my head, its a good day. Having a “max” is not a really a thing yet in my world. 

So basically, I’m going out onto a platform to perform at something that I actually have no sense of mastery over. I might as well be competing at darts or table tennis or tiddlywinks. I’m pretty sure I’ve done all those things more in my life than the snatch. And frankly, after a head nod to the judge and a sideways glance at the photographer I started to wonder what the hell I was doing there. 


And frankly, this is true in life in general. If we all stopped worrying about what other people are doing and thinking and stayed focus on our next step we’d probably be better off. 



The task was to perform a max lift in under 6 mins. Typically, you choose a starting weight and then move up incrementally until you either fail, set a PR or both. I started at 65lbs. Then went to 75lbs and then tried 85lbs and failed. So I tried 80lbs and got it. Then with 10 seconds to go, I put 85lbs on the bar again. 

Anyone who knows lifting right now is laughing, because even as a 125lbs woman, 85lbs is pretty light. But for me, in that moment, it was something I had never done before. And through a series of decisions that I still don’t fully understand, I had set myself up to try this lift for the first time in a stadium, with a small crowd, having failed my first attempt and with 10 seconds to go on the clock. 

No pressure. 

And boom, up the bar went in a technically questionable way that mildly resembled a snatch. And just like that, I did it. It’s safe to say, I was happy with my myself and had a small group from my gym there to cheer my efforts (thank you Katherine!!). Back at our Keating CrossFit tent, I got loads of high 5’s on my new PR, and I realized that it really didn’t matter what weight I was lifting because people will celebrate with you if you celebrate yourself. Because I was happy, they were happy. 


I saw this happen a lot over the weekend. One guy from the gym celebrated with delight every 10ft of handstand walking he completed with total disregard for the fact that a couple other guys were walking 30 or 40ft at a time. 10ft was what he could do and each time as he pumped his fist, we all cheered. It really did not matter what anyone else was doing around him, not to him, not to us, not to anyone. 

And frankly, this is true in life in general. If we all stopped worrying about what other people are doing and thinking and stayed focus on our next step we’d probably be better off. 

It’s hard for me to imagine spending 6-10 hours a week on a “sport” like CrossFit without parlaying the experience into some kind of life lesson. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. So my take home from this experience is that if we commit to our own goals (in sport and life), execute them to the best of our ability and then celebrate our small successes, those around us will celebrate too. 

At the end of the day, the energy you give out rejoicing in the small wins -whether for yourself or for others – will come back to you tenfold. 


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