March 6, 2014
Mother and Son Take on the Open
By Ivory Carr

“I was happy with my result, but I was way more proud of my mom’s score.”

Photos courtesy of Jamie Hubbs

Mother-son duo Chris and Andy Rosenbaum shared a smart and deliberate approach to Open Workout 14.1. It proved successful for both of them.

“The Open is an empowering opportunity for everyone,” said Andy, 33, head trainer at Boise CrossFit. “For a lot of people, the Open may be the one time they attempt and accomplish things they wouldn’t have thought they could.”

“My mom is one person who has surprised me, and herself, every year since she started CrossFit and started competing in the Open,” he added.

Defying Odds

In 2009, Chris was diagnosed with osteoporosis, a progressive bone disease that puts sufferers at risk of bone fractures. Upon hearing the diagnosis, Chris decided to improve her lifestyle and diet to ward off the disease, but her doctors advised her it was too late to be effective. Medication was the only option.

“I didn’t buy it,” Chris said. “And I knew there had to be a better way for me.”

In lieu of medication, Chris started her journey at Boise CrossFit, quickly taking to working out with her peers and cleaning up her diet. After two years of dedication, she completely defied the odds. Her osteoporosis was gone and her doctors were baffled.

“The doctor literally said, ‘Keep doing whatever you’re doing,’” Chris said.

Double-Under Debacle

Chris, 62, currently attends the gym’s new masters class three days a week. She participated in the Open last year—when she got her first toes-to-bar—but she was shocked at the live Open announcement for 14.1.

“After all these years, I had just never been able to figure them out,” she said. “Even one double-under would have been a success for me.”  

Having overcome a debilitating disease, however, Chris said she maintains a positive outlook when faced with challenges.

“The Open is great because it really is fun,” she said, recalling how the workout brought everyone in the gym together even more. “Plus, I wasn’t the only one who was apprehensive about the double-unders.”

One Rep at a Time

For a few days Chris was a staple in the gym. She practiced, talked strategy with fellow athletes and received some key coaching after classes from her son. Andy reminded her faster is not always better in the Open workouts. He had Chris focus on one good rep at a time, building confidence and good habits.

Staying focused and deliberate, Chris finished 87 total reps during the 10-minute workout.

“At first, I really wasn’t sure I’d get even one double-under,” she said. “Having good coaching and focusing on the basics for every rep made all the difference.”

Slow and Smooth

Andy found he also excelled with a smart and deliberate approach to the workout.

He completed 14.1 three times, tweaking his strategy for each attempt to improve efficiency. Ultimately, he found staying consistent, slow and smooth—not unlike his strategy for Chris—yielded his best result.

His third attempt at Open Workout 14.1 resulted in 389 reps, his best score. It puts him in 29th place in the North West Region.

“Doing the workout smarter works for everyone,” he said. “I was happy with my result, but I was way more proud of my mom’s score.”