The Snatch. Respect it.

CrossFit – Chad Vaughn, 285 pound Snatch – YouTube.

I can remember first reading the movement’s name.. and thought.. whhhaahhhtthhaaahhh?? Then I went to the internets (thank you Google & YouTube). My mind said, “What evah!”. I can’t see myself doing that at all. It seems so complex and down right dangerous if you ask me!

Then I tried it. And I was hooked. If I had to make a comparison it was like the first time you pick up a golf club and swing it. Wholly awkward. You swing it like a baseball bat and of course you do everything wrong. You practice. You stick to the basics… and you keep chugging away.

And then boom.. you swing it semi-correctly and connect with that little dimpled sphere and hear that beautiful *tink*… you’re hooked.

Same with the Snatch. At first.. and heck for most of the time you attempt the movement.. awkward. You fumble around with just the bar trying to understand the sequence of things. First pull.. second pull… hip-bang.. third pull.. under the bar.. wrists.. and this new fangled thing called a hook-grip that hurts your thumb like non other.

Over and over again. Lift.. awkward.. drop the bar. Then you put on some weights.. minimal at best. Drop some more.. awkard.. elbows in funky positions.. dropping the bar behind you.. in front of you. Fail after fail…

And then boom… it clicks. You pull the bar close enough to your body that it grazes you hips.. the second pull is ugly and you’re still using almost all of your shoulders but the bar path is not an arms-length away from your body and the third pull.. sort of just happened on it’s own. Before you know it your sitting in the bottom position with the bar above your head and you stand up shaking and swaying like a blade of grass.

I’ll never know what it’s like to lift truly heavy weight over my head due to injury and skill level, but I’ve gained some good ground. I love the feeling of a good Snatch lift. Getting that weight overhead, sitting back and riding the bar up.

It’s the most technically challenging of the olympic lifts, but the most rewarding. You have to respect it from start to finish. If not, it will punish you completely. Just ask anyone who attempts it or trains with it.

And that’s why I love it.

I had a little party in my head when I read we would be doing this during the WOD today at my CrossFit box.

Thank you CrossFit for introducing me to a new world of things that continue to make me better than yesterday.

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