The Open Parker Project: 2013

The Open Parker Project: 2013

Photography: Oscar Bravo

I am in the process of redoing every CrossFit Open workout. These are my results and reflections from the 4 workouts of 2013. To learn more about the #OpenParkerProject, read this blog post.

I’ll start by detailing my results for each workout. I’ll list some things I did well, and some things I want to improve on next time. Afterwards, I’ll summarize my learning experience for this leg of the Open Parker Project.

Reminder: on some weeks, I checked my historical score, while on other weeks, I went in blind, not knowing what number I had to beat.

17 Minute AMRAP
Burpees (6” touch)
– reps go 40, 30, 20, 10
30 Snatches
– weights go 75, 135, 165, 210

2013 score: 173
2016 score: 180

I DID check my old score

Things I did well:

I started fast and tried to hold on
I moved urgently to finish the 165 bar

Things I want to improve on:

I want to try single, consistent reps at 135
I want to hold a more steady RPM overall

10 Minute AMRAP
5 push press
10 deadlifts
15 box jumps

2013 score: 310
2016 score: 306

I did NOT check my old score

Things I did well:

I held a steady pace overall
I transitioned fairly quickly

Things I want to improve on:

I want to transition even faster
I want to find a faster RPM on box jumps

7 Minute AMRAP
3 clean and jerks
3 toes to bar
-Then 6 each, then 9, etc.

2013 score: 103
2016 score: 104

I DID check my old score

Things I did well:

Maintained a smooth, relaxed technique

Things I want to improve on:

I want to rest less on the clean and jerks;
I want to do single reps sooner in the WOD

4 Minute AMRAP
15 thrusters
15 chest to bar
If 3 rounds completed, go until 8:00

2013 score: 150
2016 score: 163

I did NOT check my old score

Things I did well:

I had efficient technique on the thrusters
I focused on my breathing

Things I want to improve on:

I want to try a slightly faster pace in part 1 to give myself more time in part 2
I want to have smoother, faster pullups


The theme of this chapter of The Open Parker Project is “Focus.”

I suffered one defeat, falling short of my old score by 4 reps on workout 13.2 (I did not know my score going into it.) I distinctly remember being very distracted during this WOD. Here are some of the things I was thinking about:

  • The music is too loud
  • It’s almost Christmas!
  • I am beating Lindsay
  • Lindsay beat me on this workout in 2013, so if I’m ahead of her, I must be doing well.
  • I wonder if the push-press will start hurting

– And all sorts of other thoughts that were not contributing to a successful effort.


In contrast, I reigned in my focus for 13.5 and saw an improvement in my performance.

  • I decided to move slow and steady for the first half
  • I focused on a quick, solid rack position for each thruster rep
  • I monitored my breathing and tried to find a good rhythm.

When I compare these two lists, it is clear which is better. Regardless of the content of the thoughts for 13.5 (the victory), the overall focus was internal: I was thinking about things directly related to my movement, my positions, and my pace.

Reflecting on 13.2 (the defeat), the overall focus of my thoughts was external. I was thinking about things that had NO direct influence on my score at the end of the day. I was evaluating my pace based on another athlete, and I was letting the environment seep through the filter of my focus.

The salient lesson here is that I can choose to think about things that will help me perform better. I want to be an infallible firewall of willpower. I want to be a sturdy dike of determination.

Coming up next: WODs from the 2014 CrossFit Open!


1 Comment

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