Crossfit: Tunnel Vision and the Red Line

I finished the last rep of front squats and re-racked the bar. All of a sudden I could feel it: my heart was beating fast, too fast. I couldn’t catch my breath. I started to feel dizzy and was 10 push-presses away from finishing my workout and I knew I couldn’t do it. Even with just the bar and no weight on it, I knew if I picked it up one more time, I would have found myself laying on the ground.

I should have noticed something was up by the way Coach Kate was looking at me during my squats. She was inspecting my face more than usual, and I didn’t think anything of it. She must have seen what was happening. I was beginning to get tunnel vision, almost about to red line.

I’m stubborn, we know this. So when I was in my fourth and final round of my timed workout, I pushed myself to get done faster. I rowed my last 300 meters at a consistent 2:10, quickly pushed through five more knees to chest, then went straight for my 8 final front squats. But on that final front squat, I realized I had pushed too far. I couldn’t even pick up the bar one more time to finish those push presses without a break. And it kind of scared me.

Up until now I got tired during workouts, but never exhausted. I sweat a little, not soaked like I was after this workout. Never had I pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. If Coach Kate suggested I try something, I did, and I usually asked for more weight. But this was different. Coach Kate had already scaled UP my workout. She had added on those eight front squats to my workout rounds and threw in a fourth round instead of the original three I was supposed to do. So I should have taken my time.

“I know you’re capable of doing this.” She had said that right before I started my workout and I had taken it too much to heart.

And while I did eventually finish following a minor break, a quick gulp of water, and then resting on a bench for a bit, I know having Coach Kate ask me to do those extra exercises was a good educational moment for me. I am not invincible. I do have limits and I’m super glad that I got tunnel vision during a one-on-one workout rather than in a class.

That’s not to say I want tunnel vision again. I don’t. Which means I’m going to be more aware of my body. I won’t give up or give in to an easy workout, but I will know when to stop so I’m not passed out on the floor.


(4 times)
Row 300 meters
5 Knees to Chest
8 Front Squats (45 lbs)
10 Push Presses (45 lbs)


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