Better person for it.

“A friend of mine once defined love as finding someone you can talk to late into the night” ― James Patterson
barbell and hands

This weekend was a CrossFit weekend. This was not intentional, like, ‘Hey, let’s fill the entire weekend with all things CrossFit.’ No, it more just kind of happened: Friday night Strongman specialty class, followed by the entire class meeting up in downtown Albany to help our coach move some items into his new shop, followed by an opportunity on Saturday to stop by the shop again and help him unpack. Then there was Sunday Strongman class, followed by Rogue WOD (Filthy Fifty), followed by charity bowl to support a fellow athlete’s family as they battle mounting medical costs for their 4 year old son.

Most of March is unfolding this way. One CrossFit engagement after another. I’m very okay with this. When I look to my life ahead one notion is becoming vitally clear, CrossFit will be a big part of my life. It is helping to pave my future. The choice to incorporate CrossFit into such a large portion of my life has a lot to do with the workouts but it has mostly to do with the mentality of CrossFit; what it means to be a part of such an engaging community. Here is a sampling of the things that CrossFit quietly and consistently asks of its members; patience, persistence, resilience, hope, confidence, strength, compassion, empathy, courage.

It’s not as if you walk in the door and are immediately asked, ‘Do you feel courageous today?’ Although this does happen.

No, it’s more, these traits which exist within you are given an opportunity to come out. These traits are drawn out by virtue of your hard work, by virtue of your interaction with the coaches, with the fellow athletes. Ultimately these traits are drawn out by virtue of your interaction with yourself. That deep dark place you go in the middle of a WOD when it’s burpee no. 28 and you have 52 more to go. It’s that sweet spot of thinking you absolutely can’t but then somehow do so anyway… and when you’re done you encourage the person next to you caught in that same dark place. That’s the place I love to visit. It teaches me so much.

Sunday Strongman Ladder:

5-4-3-2-1 of the following (5 reps of each, then 4, then 3, and so on…):

  • 75lbs. axle bar clean and jerk
  • 200lbs. deadlift

Completed: in 3:23

Today was also Rogue WOD Sunday. Whereby a group of ACF peeps decided to meet and WOD, usually some benchmark and classic killer, and usually on a Sunday. The last time we met for a Rogue WOD was in 2012.

Filthy 50:

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

As Strongman class ended and the four ACF peeps and I started to set up for this I asked a couple lingering athletes if they had any interest in joining in the fun. The general feeling was, No thanks.

I was close to copping out but of course the beauty of making a promise to a group is they don’t let you cop-out. Copping out is not an option. So as we grunted through set up and collectively sighed the obligatory, this is gonna suck, soon enough it was 3. 2. 1 … Go!  So, Go, we did.

Filthy 50 completed: in 33.24. Box at 20″, knees to hips, kettle bells at 35lbs., push press at 35lbs., ab mat sit-ups so as not to aggrevate my Xiphoidalgia (unreal, yes, this exists), wall balls at 14lbs., 100 single-unders. Finished 1.5 minutes over the last time.

The only difference between now and the last time I did Filthy 50; this time I went heavier with the 14lbs. wall ball.  Hands down the hardest part of this workout is the burpees. They sucked. Right around burpee 6 or 7 I just thought there was no way in hell I would finish the full 50. Just, no, way.

Scale, my brain said.

No, my brain replied.

Keep moving, my brain screamed.

Somehow I finished, as you so often do. And I’m such a better person for it.

Strong People. Light Hearts.

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” 
― Abraham Lincoln

My Sundays get swept away. Lately after Strongman we will go out to eat. A big burly bunch of meat heats out for a late lunch. Not really. Just a group of average people going out to get something to eat after working out together. Kind of. I love every minute of it. Getting to know these people, seeing them as my friends and laughing at their sharp wit and swimming in the shared lightheartedness. Strong people, light hearts. Probably because we spend the first two hours together lifting beastly things made of rubber and steel and cement and cheering one another on to each of our personal individual bests, getting gritty and sweaty and grunting and seeing stars.

Lunch anyone?

Today for me was a double header. First, Fight Gone Bad for the 10:30 WOD. Then Strongman at noon. Followed by a rogue Fight Gone Bad by some fellow athletes who missed the 10:30. I stayed to run the clock and cheer and count down the final seconds for each round.

I love the sound of barbells hitting the floor. It lifts my heart. It is the sound of people going deep and turning themselves inside out. It is the sound of victory.

First, the Kettle Bell Warmup deserves a burly shout-out as it felt like a WOD in itself:

For girls, 35lbs. Kettle Bell –

20 Russian Swings

10 Sumo Deadlift HighPulls

20 Russian Swings

9 SDHP

20 RS

8 SDHP

Etc. counting down till your reach 1 SDHP.

If you do the math, that’s 200 Russian Kettle bell swings. For a warmup. Holy good golly this was tough.

Then onto….

“Fight Gone Bad”

3 Rounds for Total Reps:

1 Minute Max Wallballs (14lbs.) – Completed per round: 25, 20, 20

1 Minute Max Sumo-Deadlift High-Pulls (55lbs.) – 12, 10, 10

1 Minute Max Box Jumps (20″) – 10, 10, 10

1 Minute Max Push Presses (55lbs.) – 15, 12, 12

1 Minute Max Calories on Rower – 12, 12, 12

*Rest 1 Minute Between Rounds

Completed: 202 total score. not great but not a total suck either. My strategy, pick a number of reps per movement and stick to it for each round. Love this workout.

Sunday Funday.

On Sunday a small group of us decided to get together and hit the Benchmark WOD, Filthy Fifty. A way to celebrate turning back the clocks and welcoming in the season of hibernation.

The last time I did this WOD was way back in January. It has been a while. Seemed like a good time to revisit, especially with a small group of close ACF peeps in the calm of a Sunday afternoon.

What a great day it turned out to be. With a Pandora mix circa Pink playing in the background, I completed the WOD in 32 minutes flat. Scaled to 20″ box jumps, jumping pull-ups, Kettlebell swings at 35lbs., Wall Balls at 10lbs., and 100 single-unders.