“My Hiller Challenge,” Part 4: We Don’t Miss Snatches

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth part in a multiple-part series written by Athena Perez, chronicling the year-long challenge that she’s dubbed her “Hiller Challenge.” Throughout the year, Andrew Hiller, a prominent CrossFit YouTuber whose videos have inspired both die-hard followers and dissenters, will serve as Perez’s coach and they will both document the journey across social media (and in Athena’s words here). Read the other parts here and here now.

Andrew dedicated most of the first day of my visit to what I interpreted as the “getting-to-know-you stage.” I found him to be personable, funny, and down to earth, and it didn’t take long to feel at home.

Upon our return from Costco, I eagerly plunged into the task of preparing a few of the dishes I had previously showcased to him during our weekly check-ins. His amusement was palpable as the first song from my playlist, “Moving” by Secret Garden, filled the room. 

[Related: The Open Report: Week 7 — The (Chalk) Dust Settles]

Yet, beneath his amusement, there was a spark of curiosity and a desire to participate, which made our interaction seemingly effortless.

Amid my culinary endeavors, he casually remarked that he could never fathom cooking a filet and consuming it as anything other than a solitary slab of meat. If one cooks a steak, he believed, it should be savored as a steak.

In the moment following his declaration, I found myself pausing to etch this into my memory. 

Could he appreciate the myriad possibilities that lay in between, the subtle shades of grey that blur the lines between black and white? 

I learned as much about him through talking about steak as watching him play piano. This was not a solitary instance of introspection. Indeed, there would be many more to come.

The First Workout

My first in-person workout session with Andrew featured plenty of familiar movements. 

Nothing was too outlandish or unexpected; my time in CrossFit had exposed me to a wild spectrum of movements. I was acutely aware that the disparities between us would not be found in the movements themselves but rather in our approaches and styles. 

Our unique perspectives and communication styles were the true differentiators. His training style is direct and unfiltered, starkly contrasting my softer approach. 

This didn’t surprise me, and I knew it was what I needed. However, his communication style was also very rich with stories and often analogies. While analogies can be good in illustrating a point, they can also obscure key differences between the subjects being compared, potentially leading to flawed conclusions or confusion.

“You don’t miss snatches,” he said. 

“Okay, sure, Andrew. I don’t miss snatches. I got it. Moving on,” I thought.

[Related: An Ode to the CrossFit Garage Gym]

When it was time to practice box jumps, he set the platforms to a 12-inch height. I hesitated — a familiar feeling that had lingered for months. 

It had taken me over four years to progress to a six-inch height. 

Each approach to the box was a stark reminder of my titanium knees and the borrowed time they represented. 

The trauma of recovery replayed in my mind. 

Noticing my pause, he reduced the height to eight inches and began telling me a story about someone missing snatches and how Andrew worked with him on building his confidence and mindset. A year later, that athlete PR’ed his snatch by 15 pounds. 

It took me a minute to realize he was talking about a former athlete of his, but he was really talking about me at that moment. 

Then he said:

“You cannot just stare at it because you keep missing,” I knew he was referring to my struggle. The look on my face said it all.

“You don’t miss snatches,” he said and then abruptly pointed at the box and said, “Jump here…….. right now.”

“Shit,” I thought, “I…don’t…miss..snatches.”

To my surprise, I managed to execute all three jumps under his intense, eyebrow-raised gaze. It was intimidating but that’s my default — I simply stand there, staring at the box.

I was instructed to persist in my efforts to achieve the 12-inch box jump once I returned home, but with a new stipulation: I could not practice for more than five minutes. If it took me longer, it meant I wasn’t ready and needed to further cultivate my “confidence.” 

He was spot on. 

It all boiled down to confidence. At this juncture, he reiterated a phrase that had surfaced repeatedly over the weekend: “I want you to be brave.”

Learning to Communicate

Even though our personalities had intersected in humorous ways, our communication styles were so vastly different that during these training sessions, it felt as if we were participants in a game of Whack-a-Mole, each of us attempting to decipher the other’s moves.

Our verbiage interpretation, filters, and emotional responses differ significantly.

For example, for Andrew, “strength” signifies raw physical power. 

To me, it represents enhanced resilience. 

My constant verbal “why” reflected my heartfelt curiosity, a desire to comprehend. However, Andrew’s interpretation of my “why” showed my inattentiveness, causing him to tense up visually. Andrew is a man of literal interpretation regarding words and phrases, while I am quite the opposite. 

If Andrew is Microsoft Excel, I am Microsoft Word. 

The moment I recognized this stark contrast, it was a revelation. Sometimes, I think we need to pause and ask each other: Are you Excel, Word, or Paint? 

Not only did it clarify why I had previously misunderstood him on so many levels, but it also illuminated the adjustments I would need to make moving forward.

What Is Bravery?

On the second day of training, I once again uttered the word “why,” only to be met with a blunt response that I’m sure others like me would find harsh, abrasive, or even hurtful. 

Even though he immediately apologized, the impact had already been felt. He was firmly convinced I hadn’t been listening to him again.

In the moments that followed, I realized our understanding of the word bravery might also be a bit different. Although I hadn’t explicitly asked for his definition, I inferred it as “Just Do it… confidently and unapologetically.” 

This inspires me.

However, my notion of bravery is one of patience and kindness. 

It’s about meeting others where they are. 

Bravery is a deep breath in the face of frustration when all you want to do is walk out and give someone the middle finger. It’s the courage to approach situations with an open mind and a welcoming heart. It’s being a bridge-builder, a door-opener, a life-changer. And it’s a reservoir of good intentions, compassion, and a generous heart that welcomes second chances and new beginnings.

Both interpretations can coexist.

Three days after the trip, I “bravely” walked out to Scaled Nation (confidently and unapologetically) and finally achieved that 12-inch box jump. 

[Related: 9 Tips To Be a Low-Maintenance CrossFit Open Participant This Year]

Curiosity arose about the soundtrack playing through my headphones. It was a soundbite extracted from a video of my coach declaring, “We don’t miss snatches” on repeat. 

The Journey So Far

Here’s a quick look at where I’m at in my journey:

[Related: Interview: Haley Adams on Finding the Joy In CrossFit Again After Her Year Away]

Day #: 52


I’ve shed 35 pounds. 

12-inch box jump


Getting a handle on how people communicate is a game changer. It’s like a secret decoder ring for conversation, dodging misunderstandings, and really valuing everyone’s unique voice.

Being brave is vital because it allows us to confront our fears, take risks, and challenge ourselves. It’s the key to personal growth and achieving our goals.

More CrossFit Stories

Get the latest stories from the Morning Chalk Up below:

CrossFit Open Workout 24.1 Livestream Numbers Surpass 2023 Figures

CrossFit VP Jay DeCoons Takes on His First CrossFit Open

Breaking Down the Most Common CrossFit Open Movement Combinations

Featured image: Athena Perez

The post “My Hiller Challenge,” Part 4: We Don’t Miss Snatches appeared first on BarBend.


您的电子邮箱地址不会被公开。 必填项已用 * 标注