Good News, Bad News

March 13, 2015


I tweaked my back on Wednesday. When the pain became acute, I was not doing anything heavy or even very strenuous: low weight thrusters in volume. But whatever caused what was later diagnosed as an irritated nerve may have happened earlier in the day, during gymnastics. My physical therapist said it might have been brewing all week.

So the pins and needles were more literal last night before 15.3 was announced. I was wired to my Marc Pro electrical stimulation machine, twitching involuntarily, as I watched the Games website feed on my iPad. When I learned the workout will be jump rope double-unders, wall-balls, and muscle-ups, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief.


Photographer Guy Bourdin

I cannot yet perform a muscle-up. I have been working on them for more than a year now, but I don’t consider myself even close to possessing the strength and understanding for this fast and complicated gymnastics movement. So back problem or not, I will not be able to score enough points (157) for a full first round. The question is, how many other women 60+ in the world can do a single muscle-up, let alone seven of them, which will allow them to progress into a second round, where racking up many more points with fast paced double-unders and wall-balls will be a sure thing?

The really good news for me is that neither double-unders or wall-balls will compromise my back very much, if at all. So my personal goal is to get to 150 points (the full number of reps of double-unders and wall-balls in the first round) as fast as I possibly can to place my best in the tiebreaker, which is determined by the elapsed time to completion of the last wall-ball shot.  I will rest and treat my back all weekend. On Monday, I will do 15.3 just once, going balls to the wall*. And that night, when the results are all in, I’ll be eager to see how many of my peers can perform a single muscle-up, let alone seven of them. Go, girls!



* From the Urban Dictionary: To push to the limit, go all out, full speed.

A very colorful phrase, one needs to be careful when using “balls to the wall”.  Although its real origin is very benign, most people assume it is a reference to testicles. In fact it is from fighter planes. The “balls” are knobs atop the plane’s throttle control. Pushing the throttle all the way forward, to the wall of the cockpit, is to apply full throttle.


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