EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of CrossFit trainer and masters athlete Patrick McCarty. Patrick competed in the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games in the 45-49 age bracket and has his sights set on the Games again this year. Follow Patrick's journals here every Wednesday.


Athlete Journal Entry 17 - 6/19/2013


There is a joke that goes something like this:


“What are a redneck’s last words?”

“Hey! Watch this!”


I could literally write a book about how I have tried to embody this joke as a CrossFitter. As a community of risk-takers and self-proclaimed badasses, we tend to think that, sometimes, there is nothing we can’t do. So, we try it. Whatever “it” is, someone does it, and then we just have to try it. I kid you not, if you saw someone in a handstand with a barbell cradled in their feet doing presses with it - admit it: you would be next in line.


This week, as the photo below can attest, I had my “watch this!” moment. Unfortunately, it’s six weeks out from the CrossFit Games, and I really had no business messing around.


For reasons I am unable to fathom, last Monday I decided to include ring handstand pushups in my warm up. If you look at this video you will see that I pop myself upside-down on the rings, both legs catch the straps and then I do my (rather poorly executed) hand stand push-ups. That was my intent on this day. However, as I popped upside down, one leg caught the strap as expected, but the other leg missed and carried my bodyweight 360-degrees over. The leg that had caught the strap took on a life of its own, trying desperately to hold on to the strap as my nearly 185lbs of body weight dragged it down across the strap. As a result, six weeks out from the games, I am dealing with a very painful and annoying abrasion that, while it probably could have been much worse, didn’t have to be at all.


“Hey! Watch this!”


The fact is, ring handstand pushups stand about a 0.0% chance of being programmed into the master’s events at the games. So why would I take the risk and be screwing around with them at the box? Mainly because our CrossFitter alpha personalities compel us to play king of the hill. We just can’t stand to be the one who either can’t do it, or doesn’t at least try. Here is a list of things that, in the last year or so, I confess to having tried:



There is a fine line between pushing ourselves to try new things, grow as athletes, push boundaries, test our limit, and just being plain foolish. If I am trying to train myself seriously as the most important competition of the year approaches, why would I risk injuring myself on an ego-movement that is not likely to come up at the games?


Because sometimes your ego plain gets in the way. And frankly, looking back, it’s really kind of inconsiderate to diverge from my training into shenanigans like ring handstand push ups when there are people spending a lot of money, including my coach, friends, family, parents, and so on, to fly to California to support me. Seriously, if I had gone over hard onto a knee, my games bid would be over.


So here are some things I will not be doing between now and Carson:


  • Competing in other events. Crazy. I see my fellow masters out there competing and can’t imagine the toll a weekend competition is taking on their body five weeks out.
  • This.
  • Or This.


I will stick with my programming by my fantastic coach, Stephen Flamm. However, I can’t rule out doing this.

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