Benchmark "Fran"

Due to iPhone alarm glitch, I slept until 5:45 this morning & was not able to attend 6:15 session. I took Xander for a long walk & would’ve been rushed to make 8:30 class. After dreaming about — and dreading — Fran, I decided it was a sign that I should rest today. The Kelley brothers provided their suggestions. Michael wanted me to work out with him, Thomas told me to make Fran my bitch. Thomas is the smarter of the twins, so I listened to him.
A little history. I’ve only completed Fran once, at the CrossFit level 1 certification, and it was a HUGE disaster. I started by attempting to lift 80 lb for thrusters only to have some of the coaches reduce the weight to 75 lb for rounds of 15 & 9. I also hadn’t yet learned to kip, and thus had to do all 45 pull-ups from a dead-hang. To add further insult to injury, I was the ONLY man in attendance who couldn’t kip. I struggled mightily the entire WOD, and, if memory serves me, I finished in just under 9 minutes — and was one of the last people to finish. I was quite embarrassed, and have feared Fran since.
Back to today. Ashley, the goddess that she is, led today’s session. I like all of the coaches @ CFD (except Stewart Shittle), but I particularly enjoy working with Ashley. Unfortunately, I seldom get to do so. She started the session with dynamic warm-ups, and then we practiced headstands & handstands. I can hold a headstand indefinitely, and am getting better @ handstands.
Next was Fran, 21-15-9 thrusters (95 lb Rx) and pull-ups. I warmed up with 45, 75, and then 85 for thrusters, and asked Ashley to watch me. She did, and gave much needed direction. “Paul, wait until you stand completely before raising the bar. Let your hips do the work instead of your arms.” That’s what I did, and it was much easier. Ashley suggested that with put 2, 5 lb plates on each end of the bar (along with 2, 15 lb plates) begin with 95 lb, which is Rx, and take off 10 lb if need be.
The FIRST time I thrusted 95 lb was at the start of Fran. I did so 44 more times. Admittedly, it was a struggle at times, and there were some reps where I know I should have extended my arms more completely. I dropped the bar 3 or more times during the round of 21, 5 or more times during round of 15, and probably 5 times during last round of 9. This meant that I wasted much time and energy cleaning the bar. Given that my PR for the clean is 105 lb, cleaning 95 was challenging in and of itself. The pull-ups became more & more difficult as well, and there were at least 5 that I didn’t count because my chin didn’t go above the bar.
I vaguely recall people cheering me on, & I know that Jonathan kept me focused during the pull-ups. Most of the time is a big blur, and I was this close (thumb almost touching index finger) to hurling.
I finished in 8:34. While certainly not a fast time, I’m somewhat pleased (and a little proud) nonetheless. I no longer fear Fran. I know, too, what I need to do to improve.
Thanks, Ashley!

6 thoughts on “Benchmark "Fran"

  1. I had to delete my other post do to typos… imagine that. :s

    You aren't giving yourself near enough of the credit! After all, you were the one doing all of the work! I was simply there doing my job. 🙂 I'm proud of you! Fantastic job today!

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