Getting back to the box…

Being sick sucks. Add in work craziness and it sucks more. And right before the Open! Arrgh.

CFG_Open_Badge_2016Anyway, today was my first workout in nearly a week. I felt like crud over the weekend and between my cold and work stuff couldn’t get in Monday or Tuesday this week… thank goodness for Wednesday!

Though I’m still not 100% I felt like I needed to get something in ahead of the Open 16.1 announcement tomorrow and the “Friday Night Lights” format at CrossFit Continuum every Friday of the competition. I also needed to get out of my house for a bit – a side effect of working from home!

So I made it to a 9:30am class after a morning meeting. Huzzah!

Arrived and watched the 8:30 class finishing up with Danielle, Todd and his wife, and Mike. They were doing the last part of the workout. And the 9:30 class trickled in… John, Maria, Joel and Jodi, Andrea, and one or two other folks. Plus Heather was there to coach today, which is always fun. She’s a bit under the weather but did great anyway.

kettlebell-swingWe started with a 500m row and then did “Death by Kettlebells” for 10 minutes. Every minute on the minute you did 1 kettle bell swing, then 2 on the 2nd minute, 3 on the 3rd, etc. Until you got to 10. But in-between you got to do a rotating cast of exercises – 10 squat to stands, 10 hollow body rocks, 10 pogo jumps, 10 Cossack squats, and 10 inverted push-ups… I was tired after just doing that much with a 53# kettle-bell. 🙂

Then we got to the real workout, which was Clean & Jerks:

  • Five sets of 3, increasing – Clean & Jerks

We had the option of doing power cleans or squat cleans and push jerks or split jerks so long as we kept consistent throughout. And we were told to go fairly light if we were doing the open workout on Friday. So I went with 115# on the bar to start and didn’t get higher than 125#.

clean-pull-illustrationHonestly after doing Jared Enderton’s class a few weeks ago I’ve been trying to work more of the things we learned into my regular routines… so I used today’s workout to do that a bit. I did hook grip on the bar and squat cleans. Though gravity still sucked, I did better I think with my form on the squat cleans more consistently. I need to breathe better in the middle of that, but at least the hook grip is feeling better.

I don’t feel like I did as much as I needed to  but am exhausted afterwards (a side effect of having a cold) so may take a little nap today if I can find the time.

When we were done with that we worked with double unders again in the form of another “Flight Simulator” run – 5-10-15-20-30-40-50-down again with double unders.

I just used it to laugh at myself as I attempted to get one of the suckers. 🙂

And now I’m back home again, tired. My body is telling me a nap is in order. I must listen.

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Some days…

So today should have been a good day for me. I got some stuff done for work, survived my morning meeting, and was headed into Crossfit Continuum for a noon workout. Today’s workout was front squats – I should be able to do that! HA! My body had other plans.

I arrived in time to catch the advanced class wrapping up and discussing food cravings, which was entertaining. Girl Scout Cookies seem to be a vice for a few of us. 🙂 And it was just me and Joel for the noon class with Coach Isaac, so we got a leisurely start.

We started with a 500m row and then did Spider-man Lunges, squat-to-stands, a minute front squat hold with a PVC pipe, and some knee hugs before starting in on our front squats. Easy progression today:

  • 10 sets of 1 rep with increasing weight

20160218_125729I did a warm-up with 135# on the bar and felt ok or so I thought… Then I did…

  • 185#
  • 195#
  • 205#
  • 215#
  • 225#
  • 235# (stop)

The 185# felt heavy and my lower GI system was not happy for some reason, but I fought through it. I got through 225#, took a break, and went back to 235# on the bar… and there I stopped. Quite honestly I got it up in a front-rack position and tried to go down into a squat twice – but barely got started before my body said “nope”.

Usually I can fight through it, but today that wasn’t happening. I get these lower GI issues now and then at home, but this is the first time they’ve hit during a workout. Not sure what brings them on, but all I can do is ride them out. It’s lovely.

Getting old sucks, but it’s still better than the alternative so far as we know.

From there we did some skill work – handstand push-ups or handstand holds. I did 4 strict handstand push-ups and a short hold and called it good.

The three of us did a lot of talking today. Joel worked through his progression of front rack one-legged lunges (one left, one right = 1 rep) and got through his series before doing some handstand holds.

So it wasn’t a great day of training I’m afraid. I got a little done, but that’s it.

Guess we’ll see what next week brings. This weekend we’ll do some yoga and maybe I’ll do some sort of at-home workout on Sunday just to keep moving.

Hope everybody has a great day!

Burpee Pull-overs? What?

Apparently I’m getting back to work at the box after two weeks of no workouts at all because today was my 4th workout in 5 days. Tomorrow will be a rest day I think, but I’m not feeling as bad as I did yesterday so I think I’m on the right track.

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1Today didn’t start all that well, but I made it in for an 8:30 workout with Coach Heather at CrossFit Continuum. We had a fun group – Lori, Sam, Ashley, Sarah, Mike, and myself.

Started with a 1,000m row or 800m run. Figured I ran (walked) yesterday, so a row would be ok. Took about 4:20 this morning – not my fastest, but that’s ok. We then did some roll-to-candlesticks, Cossack squats, inchworms, knee hugs, and maybe one or two other things. Not too bad.

The workout today made up for that however. It was a 20 minute AMRAP…

  • 10 burpee pullovers
  • 30 squats
  • 60 seconds of handstand hold

You may be asking “what’s a burpee pullover?” I know I did. Well, maybe this will answer your question. It certainly answered mine. 🙂

We attempted a couple of those. And I have to say I was able to get my knees to the bar but not pull myself over – which is honestly further than I expected to get. So instead I got to work on one of the modifications:

  • Burpee knee raises (knees to elbows or knees to chest)
  • Burpee strict toes to bar

I can do knee raises, but decided to go for the toes to bar which are a little harder. And though they weren’t exactly strict, I did do them one at a time through the workout.

February 16, 2016 at 1020AMSo I ended up doing:

  • Burpee toes-to-bar
  • Air squats
  • 60-second handstand hold on the wall

Folks in earlier classes were getting 2-4 rounds in 20 minutes. I was shooting for 2+ and managed almost 3 full rounds.Got through 2 rounds + 10 burpee toes to bar and 30 air squats. Ran out of time just as I was getting ready to go to the wall for a handstand hold.

The holds were interesting. I did the first one all in one go – but the second one I could only make 40 seconds for the first part, then did another 20 seconds to round it out. Shoulders and forearms were getting cranky.

Mike managed to do quite a few of the burpee pull-overs. They weren’t pretty, but he got through it, which was better than any of the rest of us. 🙂

When we were done, we were supposed to do “Flight Simulator” which is all about double-unders. You do 5 – 10-15-20-…-50-45-40-…-10-5, taking a break between each mini round. And if you fail at any point you have to restart. Mike was working his way down the ladder when I left.

I am still working on double unders, so used it as practice time. Might have accomplished one or two but I’m still figuring them out and couldn’t tell. And that’s ok.

It was a good workout today. I sweat a ton, which was good. And everybody worked hard, which was also good. 🙂 Great work everybody!

Thanks Heather for a fun one – and hopefully Drea and the 9:30 class had just as much fun!

Oh My Quad!

Mondays are rough, especially when your body is telling you that you might have pushed it a bit too hard too fast over the weekend. 🙂

deadpool-valentinesWe did the Friday Night Lights workout on Friday night and Kiana’s WOD on Saturday. I was already hobbling around on Saturday afternoon. We took Sunday (Valentine’s Day) as a “rest day” to have chimichangas and see Deadpool. (Yes, it was fun – irreverent, violent, cheeky, sarcastic, and all the rest you’d expect a Deadpool movie to be.) And I was still hobbled yesterday.

Been trying to roll it out on a foam roller, but that’s not done any good. Even rubbing Deep Blue on it last night didn’t help much. I’m hobbling around like an old dude!

So today I went in for a 9:30 workout expecting just to do some mobility and try and loosen the knot in my left hamstring. Yeah, right.

The girls went with me because they had the day off from school. Mickey did the workout with me and AJ played with the kids. But as soon as I got in and spoke to Larry and Lori, I got the feeling I was just going to have to suck it up and do the workout. And that’s what happened.

We were definitely not alone with Coach Stacy – we had Lori, Lisa, Deana, Andrea, Brent, Karen, Monica, Dan, and Joel… plus a few others. Coach Bill came in to help cheer us on as well, which was nice.

February 15, 2016 at 1144AM (1)We started with a 10 minute warm-up where we did one movement each minute. I won’t remember them all, but it was a good mix – one-armed kettle bell thrusters, wall balls, air squats, thoracic high fives, roll-to-candlesticks, headstand to push-up, bounding, jogging forward and backward, etc…

Once that was done we gathered our equipment for the WOD itself… For time, fast and heavy:

  • 21 dumbbell thrusters
  • Run 400 meters
  • 18 dumbbell thrusters
  • Run 400 meters
  • 15 dumbbell thrusters
  • Run 400 meters

When I got there, Larry suggested to go lighter than the 45# dumbells he used. So I started with 25# kettle bells, decided that was too light, and shifted to a pair of 35# kettle bells. It was light enough I could do a good rep scheme and not kill my shoulders.

February 15, 2016 at 1144AMSo how’d I do? Well, running and I don’t get along all that well even when I’m not hobbling around, but I did ok with the thrusters. Stacy said to shoot for 15 minutes, but definitely less than 20. I split the difference and hit 17:05. Not awful, especially considering I walked most of the 400m runs. 🙂

Mickey came and “ran” the last lap with me, which was nice. We did run the last 50-100m or so anyway. I was walking fast for the rest of it anyway!

Once all that was done, we did another ROMWOD. And I felt a bit better about it today. It is still slow and a little boring, but moving through a few static positions one at a time AFTER a workout was a lot more satisfying than doing it INSTEAD of one for me.

Crowded room though with about 10-12 of us on yoga mats. 🙂

So my hamstring is still a mess, but I’ll keep working on it today. May have to resort to sitting on a lacrosse ball before long.

Have a great day folks!

Kiana’s WOD 2016

This has been a weekend for community, family, and love.

kianaA few years ago our crossfit community was rocked by the death of Kiana O’Neil, a young lady filled with love and light, taken too soon from her family. In each of the years since that loss, we have done Kiana’s WOD to not only keep her memory alive and show respect to the family but raise funds for the Kiana Rae O’Neil scholarship fund which will be given to worthy high school graduates starting in 2017.

It’a always an emotional time and this year was no different. It’s the third year we’ve done the workout and it’s never easy. And I think that’s kind of the point.

Though we do the WOD at our home box CrossFit Continuum every year, we’re not alone. Folks have been doing it across the country and contributing to the cause. My hope is that the WOD becomes a traditional one done in the community in perpetuity. That would be a lasting tradition to honor Kiana’s memory I think.

Yesterday I arrived with my girls mid-morning and we were set for a mid-afternoon heat with Evelyn, who was working a half day that day. And we walked around, talking and spending time with the many participants who came. We cheered on every heat and waited for our turn. Though it was emotionally charged, there were lots of smiles and the camaraderie you’d expect for any big event at a crossfit box.

The workout is the same as it’s been every year since it was founded.

Four Rounds for Time:

  • 2 Squat Cleans #185/125
  • 15 Pushups
  • 99 Double Unders
  • 12 Sit-ups 23
  • Deadlift #185/125
  • 13 Box Jumps 30/24″

Scaled, Level II:

  • Squat Clean #135/95
  • 99 Single Unders
  • Box Jumps 24/20″

Scaled, Level I:

  • Squat Clean #95/65
  • 99 Single Unders
  • Step Ups

We had every possible level imaginable of participants again this year and it was amazing. We cheered everybody on to the end.

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That’s a picture of our heat – a combination of fantastic people and only one of MANY heats throughout the day.

Though this was less about how we did as individuals, I’m happy to say that I finished the Scaled II version of the workout with a further modification – a combination of 20″ box jumps and step-ups. It took me 30:46 to complete, and by the end I was surrounded by friends and athletes cheering me on, but I finished.

This day and workout is all about Kiana’s family. Monica, Dan, Kaila, and Ava are regulars at our box and amazing people. The rest of the family who come from all over Colorado and elsewhere are just as amazing. We love them all and will try to honor Kiana’s memory forever.

She is missed. But she will not be forgotten.

Love and light.

Friday Night Lights and the CrossFit Community

Every now and then I’m reminded of how awesome our crossfit community is. 🙂

Last night I attended another first for me – a local “Friday Night Lights” event bringing together folks from all over the Colorado Springs area to work out together and hang out. But what made it even better was the fact that this one was doing something cool for my wife’s charity – Street Petz.

Street Petz

12438965_1869321693294211_4293293771062178003_nStreet Petz is a group of volunteers who go out every Thursday, rain, snow, or shine, and give out food, vaccines (if it’s warm enough), and other supplies to homeless folks with pets in downtown Colorado Springs. My wife Evelyn and her CSU Vet School classmate Dr. Youkey started Street Petz and the C. Springs chapter is one of (if not THE) most active chapter the nonprofit has in the United States.

My wife, our daughters, my mother-in-law, and a small but fierce band of friends and volunteers bag food in gallon bags. They give out hundreds of pounds of cat/kitten and dog/puppy food in those bags every week and our garage looks like it could feed an army of pets. But it goes really fast and they run out frequently.

Friday Night Lights and CrossFit Decimate

One of our volunteers and a good friend, Marilee, also happens to be a crossfitter, a crossfit coach at CrossFit 719, and a community organizer for efforts like Friday Night Lights and Faith Rx here in the Springs. She set this event up with Alex and his wife Silvie at CrossFit Decimate as the first Friday Night Lights event of 2016.

And the call went out – bring pet food! The box whose participants bring the most food will get a prize!

The Experience

Honestly I was not sure what to expect. We arrived and the place was packed – people were parking all over and I think they had a turnout of somewhere between 60 and 80 people from seven different boxes. We saw folks from our box (CrossFit Continuum), CrossFit 719, CrossFit SoCo, of course CrossFit Decimate, and I’m not sure who else. But it was crazy!

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The workout itself happened in multiple heats. It was a partner WOD and you worked in one of four different lanes. Apparently there were maybe as many as 10 different heats that went, so some folks were doing it multiple times.

20160212_202946The workout was a good one…

  • 60 partner wall balls
  • 50 partner step ups with a kettle bell in goblet squat position
  • 40 partner deadlifts
  • 30 partner toes to bar (one person worked while the other hung from the bar)

I don’t think anybody came close to hitting that 15 minute time cap and the heats went VERY fast.

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We had some friends from Continuum with us… Caleb & Megan went first and did awesome. My wife Ev worked with Audra from CrossFit SoCo and they kicked butt. My daughters Mickey and AJ worked together and did great.

And Caleb partnered up with me when it was my turn. There was a bit of confusion with the sign-up and the little gal who was going to be my partner ended up going in the very first heat, which was fine. So I was without a partner until Caleb jumped in.

20160212_202958As the first real workout I’ve done in two weeks, I have to say it kicked my butt. We were at sea level for 10 days and apparently that was enough to throw my system out of whack at altitude. I started to feel it during the step-ups with a 53# kettle bell on a 20″ box and it only got harrier from there. By the time we got done, I was seeing spots and my head was swimming. Not my favorite post-workout feeling at all!

After a while of sitting on the floor watching other heats go, my head settled down – but it took a while. I was bummed I didn’t get to sample the BBQ that was on hand or the beer from Rocky Mountain Brewery – but we may have to make a run back down that way to sample the cider that my wife said was pretty tasty! I just didn’t feel like adding alcohol or food to a spinning head was a good plan. 🙂

The Result

Between everybody who donated food, Street Petz ended up with almost 700 pounds of pet food. It was amazing!

A huge thank you has to go out to Alex and Silvie Esqueda (owners of CrossFit Decimate) and Marilee Lake (Friday Night Lights organizer) and everyone who participated. It was a good time and nice to meet all the folks who came!

Plus we got to meet this handsome pup!

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Time to move on to the next challenge, which we’ll write about later today or tomorrow. 🙂

 

Two Weeks Away…

You may have noticed I’ve been missing for a couple of weeks. Well, that’s because I had a work trip that took me to Europe for a few days and my wife and I extended that with our kids into a full blown trip to Barcelona, Spain. We were gone for 10 days and we had a lot of fun, but I wanted to relate a few interesting things we figured out along the way.

Kids Can’t Crossfit as Easily in Europe Apparently

One of the things we decided when we were planning our trip was that we wanted to try and hit a few crossfit boxes while we were there. My wife and girls had three days in Paris and we had 5 days in Barcelona, so over the 8 days we figured we’d have at least a few opportunities to work out over that time at some of the local boxes.

Turns out that legally that’s hard to do. Some of the Paris boxes we contacted wouldn’t allow anybody under 16 and all but one of the boxes in Barcelona (out of the 4 we tried) had the same limitation. Apparently the lawyers make it difficult.

In the end, my wife did manage to find a crossfit box in Paris that they all worked out in – the Crossfit Louvre Paris. So a huge thank you goes out to those folks and it sounds like the girls all had a great time for a 6:30am WOD that day. 🙂

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And she got to work out with my youngest on the last day we were in Barcelona as well… They visited Condal Crossfit Barcelona and did an afternoon workout that day.

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So all in all it wasn’t a complete bust. 🙂

We all tried at a different box the day before but it didn’t work out. And I didn’t want to work out the day before we left on another marathon airline flight, so I skipped Condal and stayed at the hotel with our other daughter who was working on homework. We did walk a TON over the course of a few days. Seemed like about a 5k every day. So it wasn’t like we were sitting on our butts the whole time (though I did that in my work meetings for a few days and that didn’t help!).

Even so, they found some cool crossfit shirts at some of the places that we brought home. They found me a cool one from Paris and some other neat ones in Barcelona.

Flying Overseas is Hell on the Knees

Yes, I said it. Hell.

I was fighting a cold when I left and when you add in being stuck in an uncomfortable aircraft seat for 8-15 hours going either way, it’s rough on your back, knees, neck, and pretty much everything else. I was happy to get home this week and schedule some time with my favorite chiropractor – Caleb. (If you’re ever in need of a good chiro in Colorado Springs, CO – check out Northeast Chiropractic Center. They’re the best!)

I’m still a bit stiff and sore in places, but we’ll eventually get back to normal – whatever the heck that is.

It’s been Two Weeks since my last WOD…

I felt a bit like I was going back to church today when I stepped into Crossfit Continuum after two full weeks of not working out. “Hi, my name is Brian Fitzpatrick, and it’s been two weeks since my last workout…” But I was happy to be there.

And we have a new thing where we have an option some days to do a mobility workout or the one that’s posted apparently. Today’s regular workout was five sets of 10 touch and go deadlifts with increasing weight, which probably would have been fine. But getting some movement in sounded better.

So instead of hanging out with Coach Isaac today (and Joel), I opted for the mobility. And it was myself and the four folks who did the advanced class today – Coach Bill, Elizabeth, Jared, and a new guy whose name I didn’t catch but seemed cool.

For 45 minutes we held various poses and focused on breathing.

Was it good? Yes. But it wasn’t yoga. I didn’t break a sweat. And I kind of feel like I needed to break a sweat today. I may look into ROMWOD on my own eventually because I think it IS beneficial. But I’m second guessing my decision to skip deadlifts, which is strange.

Anyway… We’re back. We’ll get back to some sense of normalcy over the next few days and weeks and get back to the groove again.

So you can look forward to more rambling from yours truly!

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