Who knew I could “skin the cat” on the rings?

Today has been nuts, but I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that I’m exhausted and still have a long way to go before I’m done. But crossfit went pretty well, which surprised me. My wife went to the 5am class and came back with a sore hamstring so I’ll admit to some trepidation about going in today – but I went anyway.

spiderman-lungeWhen I got to Continuum for the 8:30 class, Coach Drea was headed out the door and handing off to Coach Larry, which was fine. All the coaches at Continuum are awesome and I enjoy working with Larry, so life was good. It was me, Caleb, Hannah (new gal on her 2nd day at our box), John, Jack, and Melissa. Small class, but perfect for what we had to do.

We started with a 400m jog and got back in to do some overhead walking lunges, Spider-man lunges, squat-to-stand, towel-wring-outs, PVC pass-thrus and maybe one or two other things… But we wanted to mobilize our shoulders and our hamstrings for today’s workout.

That workout was 10 rounds for time:

  • 3 deadlifts
  • 1 back tuck or skin-the-cat on the rings

For the deadlifts, we could pick any weight but they needed to be something heavy enough to be challenging for 3 touch and go reps. So I went with 225#. Heavy enough I had to focus on form but not so heavy that I was killing myself on every rep.

skin-the-catFor the gymnastics movement… we worked on it for a while before we got started. It was interesting. I haven’t done anything like it in crossfit before. It’s not like ring dips or ring muscle up progressions – it’s more like toes-to-rings and beyond. (The gymastics WOD site has a good video showing it being done.)

I came in curious if I’d be able to do it at all. I haven’t attempted anything like it since probably elementary school some 30+ years ago now.

It turns out that from the lower rings it was fairly easy. And I even tried it on the high rings (high enough I had to get a step on the rig to reach it) and managed to get my knees over my head. I’m still not comfortable trying to lower all the way down that direction, but I was shocked I could do it at all.

Based on the leaderboard when we came in, folks were taking 4-9 minutes to get the workout done – so this was a quick one. We loaded our barbells and were off to the races. Caleb and I shared a set of low rings for that part of the workout but we had a small enough class size it didn’t slow us down much.

I was done with my 10 rounds in 7:30. I kind of surprised myself actually. My skin-the-cats were not all that pretty by around round 5 or 6 because I’d swing my feet up and catch them on the rings to help myself all the way over. But I was able to touch and kick back over the other direction pretty easily every time.

Some of the deadlifts felt better than others, but it seemed fairly consistent. Larry was on me about rounding my shoulders forward and I corrected that fairly quickly.

So it was good. I did a movement I’ve never done before and somehow managed not to kill myself in the process.

Great work everybody and thanks for the encouragement Larry!


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