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With The Big Boys

by Meghann on December 7, 2012

Happy Friday, everyone!!

I went outside my comfort zone this morning and tried something new at CrossFit: a hand stand push up (HSPU) against the wall.


(p.s. It’s always so humbling to see a photo of what you actually look like executing a move. In my head my body is straight, I’m not sweaty, and I don’t look like I’m about to collapse. Eh. What can you do. )

This was something I assumed I wouldn’t be attempting for a while, mainly out of fear of failing than anything else. There are different variations of a HSPU that allow you to work up to the ones against the wall, such as doing a push up at an angle on all fours, with your feet up on the box, with a band, etc. Those are where I felt safe and confident. The “real” HSPUs were for the “real” CrossFitters, surely I couldn’t handle that.

Then, this morning, I was in a class of all men and our skill focus for the day was the HSPU and dead lift. When the instructor suggested just practicing getting up into a handstand to get the feel of it, I decided why not. I used to love doing handstands back in the day and figured going upside down would be more fun than work.

I went up the first time and was promptly teased for how graceful I was getting into a hand stand – my old gymnastic and dance roots were definitely showing through! I felt strong up there and confident – why had I been so afraid? I moved my arms down just to see if I could possibly move up and down and shocked everyone in the room when I was able to move. Holy crap. I could do this.

The next time I went up, the instructor placed three ab mats under my head as a guide for where I should go. I wasn’t strong enough to get to the floor yet, but I could hit the ab mats. I did three or four and still couldn’t believe I was doing it. Again, why had I been so afraid? Why are any of us afraid to attempt things we think look so hard – if we don’t try those things, we’ll never know what’s possible.

Once I was finished the instructor asked who else was doing HSPU against the wall for today’s WOD… besides Meghann. Gulp. What? Besides Meghann? Today’s WOD was “Diane” which consisted of three rounds of 21, 15, and 9 reps of HSPU. I just did a few against the wall – could I really do 21 in a row? That’s when he gave me a pep talk. He reminded me I COULD do this and that if I didn’t it would only be because I was afraid, not because I couldn’t do this.

I decided I would try the WOD with the HSPU against the wall, if I felt I couldn’t do it, then I would drop down to another variation.


“Diane” consisted of three rounds of dead lifts and HSPUs with descending reps of 21, 15, and 9. I’m slowly building my strength with dead lifts and worked up to 95 lbs for the WOD. After the first 21 reps of dead lifts, I was in no mood for HSPU, but I pushed myself and – you know what? – I did it. All against the wall with my three ab mats under my head. The first round gave me the confidence I needed for the second and third rounds and “Diane” was over in new time. VICTORY!

We rested for 5 minutes, then started “Paula” which was a 10 minute AMRAP of 5 box jumps and 200 meter sprints. I knocked out a little more than 7 complete rounds of Paula.


Today’s CrossFit lesson – don’t be afraid to try new things just because you think you’ll fail, the truth is you’ll probably succeed. Sure, my HSPUs weren’t pretty and I have a LOT of work ahead of me with them, but I was up against the wall with the big boys and I’m proud of that. If there weren’t other guys there pushing me, I probably wouldn’t have tried. Don’t give up!

When’s the last time you pushed yourself to try something new? Were you afraid?

After a very uplifting CrossFit session, breakfast was a treat.


I heated up the last bit of pumpkin french toast leftover from my bridal shower and topped it with almond butter, plain chobani, fig preserves, and pecans.


Man this was delicious. It was more like dessert than breakfast and so, so tasty. 🙂

Have a great Friday everyone!

1 Natalie @ Free Range Human December 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

That pumpkin dish does look delicious! I’m gearing up to try something new really soon. I’m planning an overnight backpacking trip alone. I’m definitely a little nervous, but very excited!
Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Today Is Your Day!

2 Madi December 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

Congrats! I hope to one day be able to do that! Such a badass move. You rock girl “)

p.s. can I haz that breakfast 8)

3 Dori December 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

I am REALLY impressed you can do a handstand push up. I just learned this in CrossFit Fundamentals class on Wednesday and couldn’t even get my legs up off the ground. But that was mostly because of my brain, I felt too scared and wouldn’t let myself. Amazing that you did it!
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4 NYC Fit GIrl December 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

I recently started doing HSPU too and didn’t hink I couldn’t do them either. I have also recently started RXing and it feels amazing!
NYC Fit GIrl recently posted..In a fog

5 Amanda @ Eat More Rabbit Food December 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

Congratulations! It is always so exciting to do something you didn’t think you could do!
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6 Clare @ Fitting It All In December 7, 2012 at 10:35 am

NICE JOB!! I have done crossfit since May, and still do them off a box during my wods!
Clare @ Fitting It All In recently posted..Five Things Friday 12.7.12

7 Emily December 7, 2012 at 10:37 am

“Today’s CrossFit lesson – don’t be afraid to try new things just because you think you’re fail”

This is a pretty hilarious typo!

8 Meghann December 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

thanks for catching that. I think I originally had “you’re going to fail” but was changing it to “you’ll fail” deleted the “going to” and accidentally left the “you’re” Should be fixed now. 🙂

9 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin December 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

That’s so awesome. I could never really do a handstand even as a little kid so I would be more skeptical of these, but I would definitely give it a try! I can relate to this in my yoga practice because sometimes I get so used to going a certain depth into a pose that I don’t push myself further and then the instructor will tell me to try to go a little deeper and before I know it I am bending in a way I didn’t know possible. It’s definitely our minds more than our bodies that stop us from accomplishing things!

10 Megan December 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

Great job!! HSPU are hard! I practice just doing headstands, and walking my legs back up against the wall. lots of blood rushing to your head!
That’s what I love about CF.. the amazing confidence boost in and OUTside the box too!

11 Courtney December 7, 2012 at 11:33 am

We truly do limit ourselves on a regular basis. Way to go to you for pushing through your fear! 🙂
Courtney recently posted..Marathon #2 (BQ) – Space Coast Marathon 2012 Recap

12 Charlie (The Runner Beans) December 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Congrats on doing the handstands, that’s awesome!! Did you kick up very gymnastic like?
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13 MealsAndMiles December 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Yes, apparently that was weird. Ha!

14 Belle @ Rebelle Fitness December 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Holy moly great job on the HSUPs – I’m still working on mine – and I shared the same fear as you – I was constantly worried I was going to break my neck! Well done!!
Belle @ Rebelle Fitness recently posted..Gloomy Day.

15 TorontoRunner December 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm

oh my! That’s a heck of a move, great job on getting in done. Impressive!!
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16 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions December 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Girl, you are a beast! I’m perfectly happy getting in more than 10 pushups in a row on my toes, never mind doing one in a handstand! That’s seriously SO awesome. Way to go!
Bethany @ Accidental Intentions recently posted..Thursday Things

17 Ash Bear December 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Did you ever do headstands against the wall in yoga?
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18 Meghann December 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

A couple of times, but not really. I used to be able to hold a headstand, but I haven’t been to Yoga in months. I really need to return, my flexibility is shot!

19 Annette @FitnessPerks December 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I can do like 2 in a row…working on them! My upper body is way weaker than my lower body, so that’s what I’m working on. WAY to work it, girl!
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20 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats December 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I’m impressed! I still struggle with normal push ups lol
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21 Tiffany @dynamics of happy December 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

LOL the last time I tried something new was cliff jumping. Since the ledge protruded out, you have to run THEN jump to not hit the ledge.

Well, I’m a scaredy cat and wasn’t able to do it correctly, but was still peer pressured to jump nonetheless. Well, I ended up running, STOPPING, THEN jumping and slid down the ledge before hitting the water.
IM NEVER CLIFF JUMPING AGAIN! Everyone on top thought I died, I could’ve easily hit my head while falling THEN DIE.

Ok what a morbid story sorry to depress the mood.

22 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer December 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm

YOU GO GIRL!! I just got my first handstand against the wall and felt like a rock star. I love CrossFit for all the reasons you mentioned today. Instead of looking at things and saying “NO WAY” I say “Why not?!” and if I try it and can’t get it… it makes me all the more determined to work towards it.
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23 Sara @ fitcupcaker December 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I love french toast! That looks amazing. Also I love pecans, yuuummm… Im going to try crossfit soon, I cannot wait!

24 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats December 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Congrats on the handstand push ups, I certainly cant do those!

25 Sara@RunningInPinkProject December 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm

The last time I was afraid to try something it was Bikram Yoga and now I love it! 🙂
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26 Courtney December 7, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Way to GET AFTER IT, girl! Seriously, I love to see that you’re getting out there in CrossFit. Before you know it, you’ll be kipping your hand stand push ups with the rest of us!
Courtney recently posted..Flex Fridays

27 Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper December 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Oh man, you keep mentioning these fig preserves & it’s making me seriously want to go out and find some!
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