Hello, Helen

Stress is taking is toll of late. Stress at home. Stress with work. And very little quality sleep again. I can feel it winding up in my brain like a spring-loaded trap.

On days like this, it’s time to escape the routine a bit. So I’ve taken a mental health day to catch up on some of the things hanging fire (paying bills, pulling taxes together), hopefully get a good nap in, and go work out at CrossFit Continuum.

wind-lineartSo what do I encounter at the box? Helen. Yay, Helen. She’s one of the ladies I hate the most not for the movements in the box, but the run involved. I can row for a very long time, but running kills me. And I knew for that fact alone it would be an interesting test.

Arrived for a 9:30 class with Coach Drea and wasn’t alone – it was me, Joel, Danielle, and Jenny, along with another guy whose name I didn’t catch but was doing 16.2.

We started out with a 400m run and came back in for some warm-ups… a 30 second hang in hollow body position on the rig, some Cossack squats, jumping pull-ups, and one or two other things. Then we grabbed a kettle-bell and did some warm-up kettle bell swings before testing out some pull-ups on the rig.

What is Helen? It’s one of those “benchmark” workouts that’s been around for a long time. It’s three rounds for time:

  • 400m run
  • 21 kettle bell swings with a 1.5/1 pood kettle bell (53/35#)
  • 12 pull-ups

Add in the building winds around here today and I knew this was going to be ugly outside. I wasn’t wrong.

kettlebell-swingI managed a time of 21:19. We were supposed to shoot for 12-15 minutes. HA!

Ran the whole first 400m lap and walked the last two. Was having serious breathing issues but never stopped moving. Broke the 1st and 3rd sets of kb swings into 11 and 10, but did the middle one unbroken. And the pull-ups were awful. I did 6-4-2 in the first round, 4-3-3-2 in the second and the last was maybe 3-2-2-2-1-1-1.

Told you… Ugly.

I don’t run well under the best of circumstances and with all the wind around here my allergies and asthma have been kicking up big time. It’s awesome not being able to breathe – not. Funny how I could row 500m in 2 minutes and probably been close to the 15 minute mark for this one.

Anyway – everybody else kicked butt. Probably squarely in the 12-15 minute range for Joel and Jenny and I think Danielle was done in under 20.

I did go back and look at my last Helen score… It was from November 2013 and I had a score of 23:38 (Rx) back then. 21:19 (Rx) is an improvement of more than 2 minutes in two years, so I guess that’s ok. 🙂

But Helen is done for now. We’ll go back tomorrow and see what the workout has in store for us.

Great work everybody and thanks Drea!


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