Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WOD = Christmas Gift?

Do you remember how you felt as a child (or maybe even as an adult) during the weeks leading up to Christmas? What were some of the emotions that coursed through your youthful body? Excitement? Anxiousness? Anticipation?

Now, think about the WOD. What kind of emotions do you feel leading up to it? My guess is that your emotional state is akin to that of the pre-Christmas kind. But where am I going with all of this? 

This morning, my good buddy PJ, posted a WOD on my Facebook page--he wanted me to try it out. Well, all throughout the day, those same exact aforementioned feelings started creeping through my being. Finally, when I arrived home, I quickly took the dog outside, changed my clothes, laced up my shoes, and "opened up the gift" I was long awaiting to open.

Check out the short video clip of me enjoying the "present" that PJ gave to me. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: one emotion that is different between opening a Christmas gift and a CrossFit WOD is fear. And unless you have "Santaphobia" I think you will understand which one I am talking about.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hang Power Snatch Session

Just a quick little video of me taking on main site WOD 101116...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Balance


One of the 10 general physical skills of CrossFit is balance. How often do we train this? Oh, probably about every day; however, we probably do not even realize it. All functional movement requires some degree of balance. But does one movement require more balance than another? I would think so.

Take for instance, the air squat versus the snatch. The air squat requires us to maintain balance--keep the weight rooted in the heels, chest up, good lumbar, etc. However, the snatch requires much more from an athlete--as a matter of fact, the snatch requires competence in each of the 10 general physical skills. However, balance is by far one of the paramount skills involved in completing a successful snatch.

Check out the dude in the picture. His name is Philippe Petit, and he is most notably famous for his high-wire walk across the Twin Towers of New York City in 1974. Think you could do this? Not only would it take an immeasurable amount of balance, but it would also take a brass set of.....!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Love Chocolate Milk. Do You?

As athletes, are we not constantly searching for the next best thing to improve our performance (short of anabolic steroids, of course)? What will make me stronger? What will make me faster? What is the best diet? Do I need to take supplements? What about my recovery...what do I do about post-workout nutrition?

Ah-hah! Post-workout nutrition. We have heard (and probably tried) so many different methods: sweet potatoes, bananas, some "super-shake"---but what about just plain old chocolate milk? What's this you say, chocolate milk?!"

It has actually been proven that consuming chocolate milk, post-workout, replenishes glycogen stores just as effectively as most conventional "sports recovery drinks" that we find in the market today. In addition, chocolate milk provides essential nutrients that other sports drinks do not.

For more information, check out the following links:

My personal, first-hand experience goes like this...

For a time period of four weeks, I drank 8-12 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk within 30 minutes after my workout. It did not matter whether the workout was a met-con or a strength day--I drank the chocolate milk. After a few days, I felt a difference. The difference was the next day's workout: I felt great, absolutely recovered! The DOMS was still present; however, not as severe. But it wasn't the DOMS that I was worried about--it was my WOD performance. And I can honestly say, that consistent, post-workout chocolate milk consumption, had a positive and significant impact on my recovery.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

CrossFit Total II

Fortunately, after Event #2 at the Fit as Fu*k CrossFit Challenge, I ranked high enough to be able to move on to Event#3: CrossFit Total II

The time limit was nine minutes. The task: to establish a one-rep maximum lift for the clean, the overhead squat, and the bench press. Because the format of this event was released a week prior, I was able to formulate some kind of game plan. What presented the most difficulty for me was converting pounds to kilograms. Hey, I am all about forging elite fitness. But forging elite mathematics? Not quite my bag.

My game plan was the following: complete the clean first, move on to the overhead squat, and then finish with the bench press. I remember JB and I discussing the plan. When it comes to CrossFit workouts, we always have a game plan. However, when we hear, "3...2...1...GO!" our game plan (at least mine) gets thrown out the window. I don't know--it's like a switch. Once the switch is turned on, it is just GO, GO, GO! Of course, that method almost always comes back to bite us...and hard! This time, however, I was able to stick to my game plan--that was until I got to the bench press. 

I remember the judges telling me that I only had time for two good, heavy lifts. Okay. So, my game plan had to change; however, my mind was reeling and I could not get the "pounds to kilos" conversion straight. I just started stacking on weight. As it turned out, I ended up benching 120kg, which I was satisfied with. I failed at 130kg, which is nearly 290lbs. I am okay with that. My best one-rep maximum bench press is 295lbs--that was well over 10 years ago. I do not bench press...I just don't. Perhaps I will start incorporating some heavy bench press into my routine. Every Monday, right? Isn't Monday international bench press day?

Long story short: I cleaned 100kg, which I was not completely satisfied with, I overhead squatted 100kg, which was a personal record, and I benched 120kg. Bottom line: it was good enough to advance me on to Event #4.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Skills Session


Absolute energy and adrenaline: that is what fueled my performance for the first event of the Fit as Fu*k CrossFit Challenge in Denmark, on September 25. JB and I were upstairs, warming up; we wanted to be prepared for the 70kg snatch. That is a very manageable weight for both of us; however, we wanted to ensure, at the very least, that we got a couple of rounds of the Burgener Warm-Up in as well as some skill transfer exercises. The athletes' warm-up room upstairs was full of CrossFitters. There was barely enough room to breathe...finding an area to warm-up was difficult. However, JB and I found a couple of dowels, strung our laces tight on our weight lifting shoes, and proceeded to get busy with the Burgener Warm-Up.

All of a sudden, from across the room, we saw Lauren. She was screaming at us, "HEY, YOUR HEAT IS UP NEXT!" Um...what?! All thoughts of preparation left us--we vaulted barbells, side-stepped bumper plates, and spun past whirling jump ropes! We flew down the stairs as fast as we could to the sports hall, where the first event was taking place. Whew--we had a few seconds to spare! The first skills challenge: the six meter rope climb.

All of the athletes in our heat, including myself, were so amped full of adrenaline that we started climbing the rope too early! At the time, however, my judge told me it was time to go--that is why (when you watch the video) you will see me "all of a sudden" grab the rope! Fortunately enough, we were not required to climb the rope again.

Check out the video below to get a feel how the first event went down...

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Spirit of the Gym


It was a rest day for me yesterday but I still went to the gym; not to workout however. I went to work on some mobility issues of mine. I recently started following Kelly Starrett's MobilityWOD...magnificent stuff! I was propped up against a wall, taking a break between stretches, when a buddy of mine approached me. He asked me, "What are you doing, taking a trip down memory lane?" I must have had a long-lost look on my face--I realized that I had slowly been scanning "our box"...of course, I am talking about the fitness center where all of us had shared so much blood, sweat, and tears. 

As most of you know, unfortunately, CrossFit Ramstein has reached its end...effective today. To be honest with all of you, I really don't feel up to explaining all of the "whys"...I have done that countless times and it upsets me every time I talk about it. Long story short: it is a matter of misunderstanding, the unwillingness to support us, bad information, and negative perceptions. But, that is not the theme of this blog post. The theme is about the Spirit of the Gym.

As I gazed out upon the floor of the gym, where countless WODs had taken place, I felt a sense of pride. We have accomplished so much in the last two and a half years. We have trained hundreds of people; we have touched the lives of many. I would like to believe that CrossFit Ramstein was a significant catalyst with regard to the growth of CrossFit affiliates in Europe. Although our affiliate is no longer, the spirit of what we accomplished radiates throughout the gym. I have confidence that that spirit will remain...be it in one person attempting a one-rep max snatch on one of the weight lifting platforms or in a group of CrossFitters banging out the "Filthy Fifty" together.

For all of those who still hit the WOD regularly at the North Side Fitness Center: keep the spirit alive, okay? If you see someone new, attempting a CrossFit workout, introduce yourself. Just because we are not allowed to train CrossFit anymore, does not mean that we cannot share our passion for it! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fit as Fu*k Wrap-Up


Low, grey, and threatening clouds filled the morning sky as we made our way to the Fit as Fu*k CrossFit Challenge. It did not bother us—we came prepared for the unknown and unknowable. However, it did not raise our spirits to think that we may be doing heavy kettlebell snatches, sandbag sprints, and burpees in the rain! But, that was Event #2…perhaps the weather would hold out. First, we had to overcome the first event—the skills session.

Event #1 proved to be a success for me; I was able to complete all 7 skills as required. Let me tell you though—the 500 meter row tested my will. I had about 150 meters to go and I distinctly remember a little voice crowding my mind, telling me that this SUCKED and that I wanted to QUIT! However, there were two voices that I heard: the first voice was my wife, Kari, who was not even there. I could hear her urging me to pull faster…to pull harder! The other voice was actually audible, and it was Lauren. All that I heard was, “Come on B…pull…come on B!” The cutoff was 1:35. I rowed a 1:34…barely! Thank you Kari and Lauren!

Event #2 did not go as well as I had wanted. The heavy kettlebell snatches (32kg) proved to be quite a challenge for me (and my shoulder). However, combined with my score for the first event, I was able to move on to the third event: “CrossFit Total II”.

Event #3... kilograms to pounds = my math sucks! I had a game plan and I stuck to it pretty well, until the bench press. I attempted the clean first. I hit 100kg which was NOT my best—a bit disappointed. However, I made my way on to the overhead squat, and achieved a personal record of 100kg (220lbs). Next, was the bench press. Here is the thing: I do NOT bench press. I ended up lifting 120kg (265lbs), which I was satisfied with. The grand total: 320kg, which put me at the middle of the pack…on to Event #4.



105kg was the curse of me. The fu*ked up barbell complex was right in my wheelhouse—it was it! 10 barbells…starting at 60kg and ending with 105kg. I made it through to the 100kg complex with little to no problems. Then, the ticket to the final event, was the 105kg barbell complex. I attempted…and I failed. I attempted again…and I failed. I attempted a third time…and I failed. This disqualified me from making it to the final event. I will be honest with all of you: I am disappointed. However, overall, I am very happy with how I did. After recovering from rotator cuff surgery in January, and only staring to do the WODs as Rx’d in May/June, I feel as though my capacity has actually increased! CrossFit motivates me.

A BIG thank you goes out to Sarah and Ditte—they put on a first class event! I can only hope that the Fit as Fu*k CrossFit Challenge will continue to be an annual event. To all of the outstanding athletes, spectators, and sponsors: thank you! I will be leaving Europe next week…I honestly could not have thought of a better way to spend my last weekend, than in the presence of so many incredible people—my European CrossFit Family: I will miss you all!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Competing again...in Denmark!


254. That is how many days have passed since my shoulder surgery. 42 of those 254 days, my arm was in sling, and I was unable to use it. To be honest, I cannot even remember when I started doing WODs as Rx’d again. May…June? I am not sure. On April 27th of this year, Lauren posted a topic on our forum about the Fit as Fu*k Challenge in Denmark in September. At first, I thought that there would be no conceivable way that I would be anywhere close to being ready to compete in another CrossFit event. On May 13th, I signed up for it.

I love CrossFit. I love the community, the WODs, and yes…I love the competition! I had to do this. I knew that I would be leaving Germany shortly after the competition, so I decided that the Fit as Fu*k Challenge would be my “last hurrah”—what better way to depart, than spending one of my last weekends with close friends, in Denmark, doing what we all love doing: CrossFit. But am I prepared for this?

Most of the time, we are not prepared for the WOD, let alone a multi-event CrossFit competition – “unknown and unknowable” baby!  To state the obvious, my training had not gone quite as I would have liked—that was one of the reasons that I started this blog. Because, “The Training Never Stops” no matter what the circumstances. I am more than satisfied with my progress though—I have been posting PRs for a lot of my lifts and WODs…my confidence is up! I’m not even that nervous.

Let me tell you this: last year, on the way to CrossFit Northern Ireland to compete in the 2009 CrossFit Games European Qualifier, I broke out in hives. No, seriously…I was so nervous that I actually broke out in hives. Not this time. I am just looking forward to seeing my “European CrossFit Family” one last time, and of course, meeting new CrossFitters! On 3-2-1…GO! will Mr. Jekyll turn into Dr. Hyde? Oh, you better believe it; however, the pressure is off…I am going to have a blast—WE are going to have a blast.

So, wish me luck! And for all of you crazy CrossFitters heading to Denmark this weekend: good luck to all of you and see you soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The "Morning Outdoor WOD"

I have only two weekends left in Germany—this hit home this morning. Following my usual Sunday morning routine, I woke up around 0700, fed the dog, and put on the coffee. After checking www.crossfit.com, I grabbed the leash, gave Riddic her pre-walk treat, and stepped out the door. The morning was gorgeous—it was going to be a spectacular day. As always, I brought my camera with me—living here for three years, I have come to understand that you never want to miss a photo opportunity…this morning was  no different. On the way home, and idea floated to the forefront of my mind: why not do an outdoor WOD?


I dropped Riddic off at home, grabbed a kettlebell, a duffel bag full of weights, and my video camera. Let me tell you—walking with 100+ pounds of [nearly unmanageable] excess weight, was no picnic. Eventually, I made it up to the point where I wanted to begin my “Morning Outdoor WOD”. The idea of this workout was to replicate Event #2 in the Fit as Fu*k Challenge next weekend in Denmark. The event will consist of one-armed kettlebell snatches, an approximate 60 meter sandbag (30kg) sandbag sprint, and burpees. My “sandbag” was a duffel bag with an approximate 45lb weight vest and two 10lb bumper plates—needless to say, this proved to be VERY unmanageable (see video)! And to be honest, the way back down (post-WOD) was even worse!

Enjoy watching me suffer…


Friday, September 17, 2010

A Quick Study: CrossFit & The USAF Fitness Test

One of the greatest methods to measure progress is through the use of numbers. As CrossFitters, we are all quite familiar with the following equation:
                       
P =  f  x  d
             t

Power (or horsepower) is what we generate when we move large loads (f), long distances (d), and quickly (t). By collecting regular data points (the WOD) and tracking our progress, we are able to see real results, and a real way to measure our work [fitness] capacity: past, present, and future.

I would like to share with you a quick, personal study with regard to the efficacy of the CrossFit program in relation to the results of my Air Force Fitness Test...dating back from April of 2004.

Before I go into a bit of detail about my progress, check out the chart below - it displays the results of my Air Force Fitness test from April 2004 to the present.  
Click on image to enlarge
You will notice that back in April of 2004, my abdominal circumference was 34 inches, my mile and a half run was 10:36, and my composite score was below 90. That was before CrossFit. It wasn't until after I started the CrossFit program that my fitness capacity increased. Sure, my push-ups and sit-ups remained relatively the same; however, I never really had a problem with them. As you can see, however,  my mile and a half run time has decreased significantly. Did I incorporate any specific training to get my run time down? No. I simply (or not so simply) did CrossFit. 

There was a small drop-off in there--but that was due to the fact that I had rotator cuff surgery and I was unable to workout like I wanted to for quite some time. However, (and surprisingly enough) only three months after my surgery, I was still able to max out the test. And guess what? Shhh...don't tell anyone, but I wasn't supposed to be doing anything remotely close to a fitness test. One week after my surgery, with my arm in a sling, I proceeded to program "one-armed WODs"--this kept my capacity at  pretty decent level. 

Check out my linear progression below: 
Click on image to enlarge
Two words: CrossFit works. This is but one, small study of the proof of the program. As many of you know, our non-profit affiliate, CrossFit Ramstein, has had an extremely difficult time trying to "sell" the program to Air Force leadership. Perhaps if we gave them proof like this (which I know there is more of) they would open their eyes to the benefit and greatness of CrossFit. A parting note: since I started following CrossFit methodology, I have scored nothing less than a 100 on my Air Force Fitness Test.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Bittersweet Departure


For the last two and a half years, it had always been me (with the help of some of my other CrossFitters) that had programmed the going-away WODs. I have seen many CrossFitters (and great friends) come and go. One of our traditions has always been to program an "extra-special" workout for our departing CrossFitters. These workouts normally consist of various exercises and movements that play to both the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. Last Saturday, CrossFit Ramstein got together to gut through yet another going-away WOD. But there was something different about this one: the going-away WOD was for me.

It was a bittersweet experience. Bitter, because I will soon be leaving...sweet, because I was doing what I love to do: CrossFit with my friends. My close friend, Chris, was "kind" enough to have programmed the workout--see the picture below to see what "The Bowen-ator" was all about.


This workout was tough. First of all, I hate wall-ball shots with a passion. Just to spite that hate, I made it a goal to do all 50 reps unbroken--success! Of course hang power cleans had to be in there--hate 'em! And at 135lbs?! Thanks Chris! These I did one rep at a time, keeping an even pace throughout. GHD sit-ups = ouch...'nuff said. Yes...handstand push-ups! I got through these pretty quickly--and all 50 double-unders were unbroken. Pull-ups...okay--what would a workout be without 'em? Surprisingly enough, they did not go as quickly as I would have liked. And, of course, the workout had to end with 50 burpees--I just could not move quickly on those...ugh!

A big thanks goes out to everyone who came out and suffered through this "wonderful" going-away WOD. CrossFit Ramstein is my baby; I am going to miss it sorely. However, most all of you know that this is NOT the end of the road for me. Keep your eyes peeled on the CrossFit Affiliate Blog page-- in the fall of 2011, my wife, Kari, PJ, Chris, and I will be doing our "CrossFit Thing" somewhere in either Oregon or Colorado! Yup, we are going to open up our very own box, and you will all be welcome at any time!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nine in 10

In preparation for the Fit as Fu*k Challenge in Denmark, on September 25, I attempted a workout that I thought may be similar to Event #3: The Heavy Event.

The "teaser" that the event organizers provided was that athletes would have a 10 minute time limit to complete nine classic CrossFit lifts...going for the heaviest weight possible for each lift. I chose nine lifts that I thought may show up for the event--the lifts that I chose are as follows:
  • Deadlift
  • Clean & Jerk
  • Snatch
  • Back Squat
  • Push Jerk
  • Front Squat
  • Shoulder Press
  • Thruster
  • Overhead Squat
I formulated a strategy that would best suit my strengths. I have no idea what the rules are going to be. If we miss a lift, do we get to attempt another one? Or, what if we do not complete all nine lifts...are we disqualified? Is your final score the total amount of weight lifted within the 10 minute time limit? So many questions...

Check out the video below to see how I executed my game plan. Most of my lifts were a bit less than my one-rep max--I did this on purpose, just so I could see if I could complete all nine lifts (at a moderate to heavy weight) under 10 minutes. I plan on going heavier on competition day!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bounding around the Baltics


So, I found myself in Riga, Latvia once again. Since I had the opportunity to do a little exploring during my last visit, I knew just the place to put together a creative "on the fly" WOD. In the opening frame, you will notice a large building in the background - that building is a glorious supermarket! It had all kinds of goodies...and when I say goodies, I mean quality food and great variety. And yes, it did have quite an extensive "sweets" section; however, I was able to refrain. But the dried fruit selection was amazing, so of course, I had to indulge a little bit. 

I always worry about my training when I go on a TDY or on leave. However, this worrisome feeling has been progressively been getting less and less. Why? Because you can ALWAYS find a way to train. Is it the most ideal circumstances all of the time? No. Do you have a barbell with bumpers plates available? Probably not. But, what you DO have is the opportunity to take the "unknown and unknowable" a step further than the WOD. I literally just started running. To steal a quote from the beloved Forrest Gump, "...if ever I was going somewhere, I was running!" So, I made it to the supermarket parking lot, saw the parking ramp, and decided to some sprints. I did 10 sprints, with the rest in between being the time that it took me to walk back down. In between, I also did some light post vaults as well as some barrier vaults. After that, I sprinted around to the back of the building, found a staircase, and knocked out a modified version of "Cindy"--with stair sprints in between each round. There were a couple of construction workers near me that were giving me looks as if I was crazy. I could see it in their eyes...they were thinking: "Those damn crazy Americans"--but hey, we're used to it, aren't we? 

No longer will I worry about a few days (or even longer) away from the negatively effecting my training--because, wherever I go..."The Training Never Stops". 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Muscle-ups Anyone?

The all elusive muscle-up. Many-a-CrossFitter strives to obtain their very first muscle-up. They do countless strict pull-ups and full range of motion dips. They follow the recommended progressions...they try to find a way past the ever-frustrating transition between the 'pull' and the 'press' portions of the movement. And finally, when they achieve their goal, the moment is glorious. Melodramatic you say? Not really--the muscle-up is a true testament to strength. Being able to pull and push your body upwards in space, with the mere apparatus of some simple rings, is quite an accomplishment.

For over six months, I was denied the opportunity to do muscle-ups. My shoulder surgery, and the subsequent rehabilitation, prevented me from even thinking about doing anything on the rings. As the weeks and months wore on, my shoulder became stronger. I started tinkering around on the rings...just doing some dips and push-ups--still not confident that I was able to attempt a muscle-up. Before my surgery, muscle-ups were my 'bread and butter'...one of my strengths. Not being able to do them killed me. It actually got to the point where I feared them, for the simple fact that I did not want to re-injure my shoulder.

As of late, my shoulder has been feeling excellent. A few days ago, I was in my garage, preparing to do a self-programmed workout...it did not involve muscle-ups. As I began to warm up, I casually gazed at the rings hanging above my head. I started thinking...perhaps it was time to give it a go. The shoulder was feeling good and my mind was in the right place. I slowly settled into the false grip, took a deep breath, and went for it. Success! I then proceeded to program a workout that involved muscle-ups; it involved seven muscle-ups per round, among other tasks such as running and kettlebell swings. For the first two rounds I was able to do all seven muscle-ups in a row, unbroken. I had to break up the last set, but needless to say, I was extremely happy.

If you have yet to achieve your first muscle-up, do not fret, through consistent practice and determination, you will get it!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Do I love running...?!


It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted--shame on me! Well, this update brings positive news--I am getting closer and closer to being 100%! Just last week, I was able to complete a CrossFit main site WOD as Rx'd. And why is this so special you may ask? Well, it is quite an accomplishment to me because it involved a total of 70 handstand push-ups. For those of you who have been following my blog, you will understand the gravity of this accomplishment. Overhead. Pressing. Shoulder strength. This has been my 'bread and butter' when it came to CrossFit. When I found out, a little less than a year ago, that I had torn my rotator cuff, well...you can imagine my devastation. I had just competed in the 2009 CrossFit Games...not satisfied with my overall placement. Now, please understand this: I was not disappointed with my performance...just not satisfied. Call it semantics...call it what you will; however, what CrossFitter will ever be satisfied with their performance?

The main site WOD was this:

Seven rounds for time of:
10 Handstand push-ups
45lb dumbells Squat clean, 10 reps
10 L-pull-ups completed this WOD, as Rx'd, in 23:05

Whether that was a stellar time or not...I simply do not care. What I DO care about is the fact that I was able to do 70 handstand pus-ups, pain-free. Week by week, it is getting better. I tend to get ahead of myself sometimes and do things that I probably should not be doing. A perfect example: muscle-ups. A muscle-up WOD is coming up soon, but I will refrain...as much as it pains me, I WILL refrain. Muscle-ups, push-ups...any kind of ring-work, pretty much hurt my shoulder before. Until I get the 'okay' from my Doc, I will not get over-zealous on the rings.

On a side note, I just completed another team marathon race at Mannheim, Germany. I ran the first leg, which was 12.5 kilometers--I finished in approximately 57:00 minutes. My goal was sub-60 minutes, so I am pretty happy. I also signed up for the Fit As F*ck competition in Koge, Denmark on 25 September 2010. I am hoping that I will be back to 100% by then; but, if not, that's cool--I will just be happy to competing again in what I love: CrossFit!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

First Marathon...kinda

42.195 kilometers or 26 miles and 385 yards--that is a marathon. This was my first experience at a marathon event and I can honestly say that it will not be my last. I love competition. I especially love competition when it involves a test of capacity--physical and mental alike. I would like to thank Scott Simmons for inviting me and introducing me to the world of marathoning.

Scott, Sheffield, Greg, and I set off at 0700 on Sunday morning with hopes of taking first place at the Saint Wendel Marathon. Just kidding of course! But we did set off with the hopes of staying under four hours for the race as well as just having a great time! Well, as it turned out, we finished with a time of 3:45.04. Sheffield, being the stand-up guy that he is, volunteered to run the first leg. We found out (after the race) that the first leg turned out to be a little over 12 kilometers. Which, of course, meant that every other leg was approximately 1o kilometers long! So, good 'ole Sheff toughed it out for about two more kilometers than the rest of us!

The hand-off from the three-man (Greg) to the four-man (Me) was a bit shaky. I had timed it all wrong. My plan was to do some dynamic stretching, followed by jump-rope intervals, followed by about two tablespoons of honey, washed down with approximately six ounces of water. But after I answered 'Mother Nature's' call, I looked off in the distance and saw Greg 'beating feet' towards me. I had an 'oh s#!t moment' and stripped my warm-up pants off as quickly as I could. I had just enough time to put my headphones on, grab the electronic-timer-sensor thing, and start running! I was off!

It felt incredible! My plan was to pick a person in front of me and try to pass them. This method worked throughout my entire leg; I passed countless runners and never let anyone pass me. I passed the 41 kilometer marker and heard the crowd--they motivated me to 'kick it in' just a bit more...so I did! I was flying! I was nearing the finish line and everything on my peripheral was a blur. I sprinted, I passed more runners, I crossed the finish line. My 10 kilometer time: 42:31...a new personal record!

This was an incredible experience...especially for a CrossFitter. Why, you ask? Because I witnessed some amazing feats of physical capacity...and on a 'sport-specific' level. The top finishers completed the marathon in less than two hours and 15 minutes!

Next running challenge: a half-marathon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Follow the Programming...and SCALE!

Today was a busy day. Between work and additional duties, I was unable to make it to the afternoon group WOD--that always brings my mood down a couple of notches. Besides, that is one of the primary reasons why I love CrossFit so much--sharing the pain with my brothers and sisters! I looked at the WOD this morning and thought to myself, "I am going to have to do something completely different today." Why did I say that to myself? Well, initially, I was at a loss for how I was going to scale this workout. Because of my recovering shoulder, I thought that the WOD was a 'wash'...not doable for me. Oh how wrong was I!

My shoulder rehab has been going really well; however, the one thing that still scares me are the rings. Ring dips, muscle-ups...actually, anything on the rings really aggravated my shoulder pre-surgery. I am about 13 weeks past my surgery and I am feeling great! So, with that in mind, I decided to scale the WOD. Why? Because, despite the injury, I wholeheartedly believe that you still must follow the programming...and scale where necessary. Immediately after my surgery, it was obvious that I was unable to scale...I couldn't do much of anything. So, if you are dealing with an injury or recovering from one, please do not get it in your mind that you NEED to do the WOD as Rx'd, or even close to Rx'd. Just follow the programming to the best of your ability in relation to your current physical limitation. Whether it is a 'three on and one off' schedule, a 'five on and two off' schedule, or whatever...continue to follow your workout regimen as best you can.

Check out a short clip of me scaling the WOD. I promise...I ran the 50m in between; it was pretty difficult to record the video by myself.


video