CrossFit Games 16.5 – Luke Webber – My Experience


This week we get to hear from Luke Webber, s specialist in short distance triathlons.  Luke has turned his hand to CrossFit now, is a qualified Lvl 1 Coach, he has been a member of CrossFit Portishead for 1 year now and is competing in his first Open. Here’s what he thought of 16.5

Well, that’s my first Crossfit Games Open done and sadly, I’ve not made it to Regionals, the next round of qualification for the Games. I tend to reflect badly on almost everything I do immediately after the event, with a perpetual dour face, mumbling something along the lines of “could’ve gone quicker” or “not strong enough” with a Pumping Iron Lou Ferrigno impression.

I moaned after my first attempt at 16.1, I swore audibly at a picture of James Rodda after 16.2. I slow clapped Russell Rees and Ben Mills as they blasted out bar muscle ups in 16.3 and I cursed my awful comprehension of gymnastics movements after/during 16.4. I’m sat here as I type, criticising my Thruster technique while my wife nods, knowingly…..

But, the reality is that the last 5 weeks have allowed me the opportunity to properly reflect on the journey (told you I’d get it in) since joining in August last year. I’ve a decent “engine” but I couldn’t bend at 99% of the hinges on my body. I also wasn’t not too bad at lobbing my bodyweight around, but put that weight on a bar and I would struggle hugely. In other words – I was ok at very specific things, usually involving a swim, a cycle and a run (insert humble Ironman reference here!) but Crossfit exposed me to a huge range of “things” that I should be able to do but couldn’t.

Coaching, hard work but most importantly, the “friendly” banter from the community, which at times did bring me to tears and made me question my whole existence, now means that I’m about to submit by 5th score having completed every workout “as prescribed.” I’ve achieved movements which had alluded me and I now have the motivation and desire to progress to the next level – because it’s always in reach. Yes, overhearing someone* lifting a PVC pipe overhead, miming a struggle while pretending to be me hurts, but now I can lift that PVC pipe like it’s, well, a PVC pipe.


I enjoy the competitive side of it. But I’m competing almost entirely with myself, and occasionally the people who happen to be a touch better than me for that particular workout. And the beauty is that it changes for each workout because we’re all different and all have different strengths. I’ve had a running rivalry with James Rodda throughout the Open, and believe me, we could not be more different in terms of Athletic capabilities if we tried. Yet we’ve been separated by a point the entire competition; there have been rivalries like that throughout the Crossfit Portishead community, tempered with masses of support and everyone wanting, hoping, to see someone push themselves to see what they could achieve. (I would like to go into writing to say that I think some of Rodda’s underhand spying tactics were a little unnecessary, but he looks that sort. Watch him people.)

16.5 is a simple workout. A simple workout that asks nothing more of you than effort. That you try, and at the end, that you think “that’s all I’ve got now” but “give me a few more weeks and let’s see what happens then.”

Oh, this is supposed to be a write-up about 16.5 though, isn’t it? Ok, my thrusters were terrible, my burpees ok and my throat and legs burnt.