How Double-Unders Tricked Me Into Working Harder

Year One chronicles the trials and double-unders of a first-year CrossFitter. For more Year One posts, click here.

I have three goals for my first year of CrossFit, and the first is: 50 Unbroken Double-Unders in 2015

“What are Double-Unders again?” you ask. Double-Unders are where you jumprope and the rope goes under your feet twice. Or, in my case, goes under once and then lashes your calves in anger.

“And you want to do that why again?” I know! It’s a strange thing to want to do. At first, I set the goal purely out of spite — hot dangit, no inanimate object is going to get the best of me! But then, when I started actually working on them (more on that soon), I realized:

"Hmm... 'Keep the body in a neutral position, breath calmly, use your wrists, not your arms.' But what does it mean?"

"Hmm... 'Keep the body in a neutral position, breath calmly, use your wrists, not your arms.' But what does it mean?"

1. While I’m trying to master Double-Unders, I forget that I’m working hard. So I’m trying to nail these things the other day, and it’s kind of making me irritated (more on that soon), and I look down, and where the heck did all of that sweat come from? Why am I breathing so hard? Is it really 30 minutes later? Like I’m the guy from Memento, and I come to right after a really challenging workout.

2. Double-Unders can help me with the whole being human thing. CrossFit is all about building skills you’re going to use in real life, and Double-Unders require balance, coordination, endurance, and accuracy. For instance, I’m trying to stop working on my butt all day long. But standing with good posture most of the day, and still feeling comfortable takes endurance and balance. Double-Unders are helping with that.

3. Double-Unders = Cool Factor. I’m not going to lie, it just feels cool to master a new trick. My kids and I make board games for fun, and one of the key elements we like to put in a game is the “I just did that!” factor. I definitely have a looooong way to go (more on that later), but for now, chaining 4-5 Double-Unders in a row gives me that same “I just did that!” feeling.

"Gooooood. Good! With each passing Double-Under, you become more and more my servant."

"Gooooood. Good! With each passing Double-Under, you become more and more my servant."

In all of this, I am haunted by one, nagging question: Am I mastering Double-Unders, or are they mastering me? 

Next Time: 5 (10?) Ways My Double Unders Sucked, and Why I Had To Start Over. Until then…