“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.”
― Robert Frost
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
— Helen Keller
Fresh off of a CrossFit filled weekend, I hobbled into the triple-wide to get my due at the Monday 8:30pm WOD. The 8:30 on Monday is becoming a lovely new tradition. Taught by Andrew, it is a small gathering of folks at the end of what is usually a very long day. Insert standard Monday cliches here. But cliches have grown to who they are because they are true. The weekend was full. Almost too full. Friday Night Fights (a group/team WOD that usually lasts about two hours), followed by a Paleo Food Fest for which countless athletes cooked and shared their dishes with other countless athletes. I cooked paleo curry chicken salad, with paleo mayo. It was delish but time consuming to make and left my kitchen in a shambles as cooking from scratch a new dish for the first time for a large number of people tends to do. Then home and to bed late Friday night.
Back to ACF Saturday morning to judge fellow athletes for 13.2 WOW (Workout of the Week) of the CrossFit Open, then I hit the 13.2 Open WOW myself (227 score), then home to throw the ball for Oliver, then back to ACF for a jump rope clinic to try and learn double-unders from 2:30-4:00pm, then back home to shower and get ready for a Birthday/St. Patty’s Day celebration at a CF friend’s house. Sunday, Strongman, followed by more Open judging, then home again whereby I was so wound up, so stimulated from the packed weekend of socializing, that I ended up back out again to meet a fellow Strong Person for appetizers and a weekend recap. Lots of busy time. No time to write. No time to regroup. Monday’s WOD, while difficult to motivate to get there after getting home from work and just wanting to lie down and sleep off the weekend, was a destination I was committed to reaching. I said I would be there and I was going to make it. My performance, less then stellar, weak really. Could barely get the 100lbs. overhead. Was unable to do so with the standard Power Clean grip, so channeled KeHo’s teaching and widened my grip to the Snatch grip and up the bar went to the shoulders. Split Jerk overhead.
Sometimes when I write this stuff I wonder if anyone is actually reading it. Does it even make any sense, a Snatch, a Clean and Jerk? I remember the first time the terms started to make sense, about 8 months into CrossFit when it finally clicked and I thought, I know what the F* a Clean and Jerk means! That was a good day. So many anachronisms, so many terms.
More importantly let’s focus on how sleep deprivation and a weekend of cheats can affect your performance. They have a profound affect on your body. Remember that. I try to whenever the fun of socializing over beer and nachos seems so much more important than swollen joints and arms going soft on an Olympic lift. It all comes down to choices and acceptance of the outcomes of the choices.
I. Barbell Strength:
Establish a 1RM Clean and Jerk
Completed: working up from 65lbs. to 100lbs. with the Snatch grip. Wouldn’t it be something if I could get my weight down and my strength up and thereby meet in the middle someday where I can lift my body weight overhead?
CrossFit Open 2011 WOW 3
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes of:
Squat Clean (165/110)
*Each Squat Clean counts as 1 Rep, a Jerk must be completed before moving on to the following round
Completed: at 85lbs. 18 reps total.
“The right choice is to try.” – Alex, ACF Coach
I’ve been feeling distracted lately. Distracted from the one thing I enjoy even more than Crossfit, writing. The urge to write just simply hasn’t been there. It’s a sad feeling when you lose the desire for something you love. You feel lost… without the anchor you’ve grown accustomed to for comfort, for peace. I’m not 100% certain why the drive to write faded but I do know it can be scary when the feeling goes. It’s a kind of general overall; Meh. And Meh is not a good place to be. It lacks passion, it lacks love, it lacks hope. It lacks all those beautiful things.
Thankfully the motivation to hit WODs has still been strong. Except for tonight. While I still made it through the door to the triple-wide I couldn’t help shaking the feeling that all I wanted to do was go home and take a nap. But if there’s anything I’ve learned there is one simple absolute; no matter how much I may not feel like making it to ACF, there has never been a day when I regret going. Never. Simple truth.
Crossfit is hard earned peace. Ironically, it provides a much needed break in the day. You work your ass off during that break and it’s worth every drop. There’s a palpable calmness that takes over when the WOD is through. A feeling of accomplishment and exhaustion from hard work.
Writing can have the same effect. Sometimes it’s so hard to write. You can’t just throw words on to the page. Well, you can. But there’s no satisfaction in that. There’s a poetry to be discovered in writing and therein lies the struggle. It takes work! Which is probably why I enjoy it so much too. You have to earn its reward. Just like in Crossfit. Come to think of it, there’s never been a time when I’ve forced myself to write that I wasn’t in the end so glad I finally did put words to the page.
Stepping through the doors at ACF or filling up the blank page, at least I tried. No matter how indifferent or disconnected you may feel the choice is always, always, to at least try.
Writing, like Crossfit, is therapy. Private soul cleansing therapy.
I’m happy to report that after a couple weeks of loafing around this joint the Meh’s are finally vacating. I’m glad to see them go.
First Pull + Hang Snatch 7 x 2
* Heavy As Possible
** Rest 60 Seconds Per Set
Note: This movement should be performed with a pull to the knees – First Pull, a 3 second pause at the knees, then a Snatch from the hang position (at the knees).
Completed: Working weight at 65lbs. focusing solely on form.
3 Rounds For Total Working Time of:
25 Wall Balls (20/14)
* Rest 3 Minutes Between Rounds
** Each Round Should Be An All Out Effort
Completed: at 14lbs. wall ball. Didn’t look at the clock, not sure my time. Just know the lungs and legs were burning.
On Thursday I tried Kettle Bells for the first time. Amazing how the olympic movements with the barbell can translate into intricate movements with the Kettlebell. It is good to switch up the schedule, but then hard to know which if any of the days count to a ‘rest’ day, if you are working within the 3 days on, 1 day off mindset.
I. Barbell Gymnastics:
Snatch – 10 x 1 @ 80%
*Rest 60 seconds between sets
Completed: at 70lbs. Love the Every Minute On the Minute rounds. Great method of focusing on form.
Kettlebell Swings (70/53)
Completed: in 9:57. Originally reached for the 35lbs. Kettlebell. But knew I was being a woos. So put the 35lbs. back on the shelf and used the 45lbs. So glad I said yes to the challenge of a heavier weight. All reps, while at max effort, still completed unbroken.
Technically today should have been my rest day. But, screw that. I was up and at ACF at 8am to cheer on the Westside Powerlifters, many of them fellow Strongpeeps, who were completing the last of their 6 week training course. If you’re like me and had never heard of Westside, take a look, they are legendary. As I was getting ready this morning I harkened back to an earlier time in my life when I would have considered getting up at 8am on Saturday morning by choice, complete and utter insanity.
As additional fellow ACFers started to stream in for the 9:30 WOD I began to consider joining them. Until I read the whiteboard and processed today’s WOD:
1) In 10 minutes:
50 Burpees (as fast as possible)
Establish a 3RM Hang Squat Snatch in remaining time
2) In 10 minutes:
50 Burpees (as fast as possible)
Establish a 3RM Touch and Go Power Clean and Push Jerk in remaining time
3) In 10 minutes:
50 Burpees (as fast as possible)
Establish a 3RM Front Squat in remaining time
If you’re paying attention, that’s 150 Burpees in total. When I text the word ‘Burpees’ on my iPhone, it autocorrects to all caps: ‘BURPEES.’ No idea why. But I’m thinking my iPhone is pretty damn smart. Because the word deserves being written in all caps. Show a little respect people.
A river of thoughts as to why I did not need to do this particular WOD dutifully presented themselves. All valid in one way or another. But I was already there, inspired by the Westside gang, and the other good people who were steadily walking through the door to get the job done. The decision was made: I’m in.
Murph was our coach today. During the warm up he acknowledged the group’s overall general disdain for burpees by having us repeat the following words out loud with each round of extra burpees for warmup: I. Love. Burpees! I can’t hear you, again… I. Love. Burpees. You guys are too quiet, again… And with each down and up: I. Love. Burpees. And the mood was set.
Truth, in talking with Murph and some fellow peeps, I decided to scale the burpees to 40 per round. This would leave me with enough time, and energy, to do the lifts. All told…
Completed: 120 burpees, and the lifts at the following weights: Front Squat: 110lbs., Clean and Jerk at 85lbs., Snatch at 65lbs. Not epic weights. Just happy to have entered the race.
Postscript: You can always, always do more than you actually think you can. Everything is entirely in your head. The thought of doing 50 burpees per round seemed absolutely daunting. But could I have completed the remaining 10 after completing the 40 per round? The simple answer is: Yes.
And this is good to know.
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ― Leo Tolstoy
Today was another day when I thought twice about going to the WOD. The list of excuses presented itself. Thrusters scare the crap out of me. Not sure why. It’s a very powerful movement. And I don’t care who you think you are, Thrusters can kick your ass in an instant. I showed up to the 4pm WOD, ready to do work. Front and Center.
I. Barbell Gymnastics:
Hang Squat Snatch – 7 x 2
*Rest 90 seconds between sets
Completed: 55lbs., 65lbs., 75lbs., tried for 85 but ran out of time. Felt great about my movement in these rounds. Felt as if the Snatch is finally coming to me.
3 Rounds for Time:
14 Thrusters (115/75)
21 AbMat Situps
Completed: in 8:05. Since pull-ups were scaled to ring rows, up’d the amount to 14 per round. Thrusters at 55lbs. This was lame. Should have gone 65lbs. Totally chickened out and I take full responsibility.
Part I. Barbell Gymnastics:
5 x 1
*Rest 30-60 seconds between lifts.
Completed: at 65lbs., 75lbs., 85lbs.. Then back to 65lbs. and focused on form.
Part II. Conditioning:
2 minutes Max Effort Row for Calories
Rest 1 Minute
1 Minute Max Wall Climbs
Rest 1 Minute
Completed: with an avg. of 32 calories burned per round on the rower. I’m almost able to walk back up to the wall on my hands into a completed handstand pushup. This is great news! At this point I should be able to kick up to a handstand pushup, but have yet to try. Will begin to focus on this.