So far this week has proven to be the normal amount of crazy, but that will go up a notch for various reasons starting tomorrow. As such, I thought it would be good to catch up a bit on the last few days. And then I have some odd observations about personal language and my fitness journey.
Saturday we went up and cheered on many folks at Girls Gone Rx in Denver. All the ladies killed it and it looks like they had a lot of fun at the same time, so that was fantastic.
Sunday afternoon I went and did Yoga with Vanessa and her daughters at Continuum. They are all much more flexible than I, but I did my best and had fun trying to get past the friction of practicing to be flexy again. 🙂 Thank you V!
That gets us to this week…
My Monday morning began with a 2 hour meeting, so there was no room for the usual crossfit class at 8:30 or 9:30. As such, I ended up attending a 4:45 class in the afternoon with Coach Nicole. As the class happened to involve burpees and running, two of my least favorite activities on the planet, I think everybody was a little surprised to see me. 🙂
There were quite a few folks there – Deana & Marino, Chris, KB, Steve, Nancy, and the new guy – Ryan or Brian. Might have been one or two others, but it was a good group. 🙂
We started with one of Nicole’s special warm-ups and did many things. I think there was a 200m run in there and some Russian dips, plus some banded pull-downs, kip swings, banded pull-aparts, and some other things. My body really is struggling with Russian dips on the floor, but this video from CrossFit HQ and Camille talks about why you do them and how they should look. Mine looked more like an elephant seal flopping around on the ground — and Nicole tried valiantly to help me get past my neurological block. 🙂
Like many things I’ve encountered in crossfit, this is an area where my brain and my body simply are not communicating. My brain can visualize what needs to be done. I can watch Nicole and others performing a Russian dip. But when it comes time to translate from my head to my body, I struggle mightily.
It’s a good challenge and eventually I’ll figure it out. (Thanks for your patience Nicole!)
From there, we talked about the workout itself.
- Five 2-minute rounds of:
- 10 burpees
- 200-m sprint
- Max-rep burpees
- Rest 3 minutes between rounds
Um. Sure. Running and burpees. Ugh. But I did it. 🙂 My rounds looked like this:
- 10 burpees, 200m run, 7 burpees
- 10 burpees, 200m run, 6 burpees
- 10 burpees, 200m run, 3 burpees
- 10 burpees, 200m run, 0 burpees (barely made it back to the door as the 2 minutes ran out)
- 10 burpees, 200m run, 3 burpees
- Total score: 19
Honestly, my goal each round was to complete the 10 burpees and the run. Everything else was gravy. By round 3, my calves were turning to rocks (especially my right one) and I tried rolling it out on a kettlebell but it didn’t help a whole bunch. Round 4, I walked the 100m back to the door because my right calf felt like concrete — which is why I had zero burpees after the run.
Not my best workout. 🙂 But I finished, managed to hit my personal goal of the 10 burpees plus run each round, and got a few extra burpees in. I’ll take it. Other folks were doing 10+ burpees after their runs, but definitely not me. 🙂
Great work 4:45 class and thank you Nicole for the encouragement!
Tuesday Shoulder Killer
This morning I was back to the box at 8:30 with Coach Lara for another workout. Today’s was a hero WOD and we definitely worked hard.
We had another good class full today – Dave and his daughter Star, Dallen, and Katie.
Started with the same warm-up as was on the books for yesterday:
- 500m row
- 20 banded pull-aparts
- 5 windmills (I used a 2.5# plate)
- 10 kip swings
- 10 straight-arm banded pull-overs (sort of a lat pull-down with a band on the rig)
- 5 Russian dips (awful again, but may have managed a couple)
- second 500m row
After that, we warmed up our overhead squat and I knew I was going to be in some trouble. Empty barbell and Lara was drilling us to make sure our pinky finger turned in when we gripped the bar, so our armpits pointed forward. When I do OHS, my shoulders want to go the opposite direction — and like the Russian dips, it’s a bit of a neurological challenge to convince my body to get into correct form.
We also tested some rope climbs and warmed up bench press a little.
Today’s workout is “JBo” – named for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jeremie “JBo” “Bubba” Border who perished in action in Afghanistan back in 2012. One of our members knew him, so this hits closer to home than some hero workouts do. They’re always tough, but a personal connection really drives it home the reality of what these men and women have sacrificed for our country.
From the CrossFit mainsite:
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jeremie “JBo” “Bubba” Border, 28, of Mesquite, Texas, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), based in Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan, died Sept. 1, 2012, in Batur Village, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire. He is survived by his parents, Mary Border and Robert Harris; sisters, DeLaynie Peek, Katie Border, Ashley Harris and Amanda Pereira; nephews, Robbie and Kayden Pereira; and brothers-in-law, Jason Peek and Roberto Pereira.
- JBo – 28 minute AMRAP:
- 115/75# bar
- 9 OHS
- 1 legless rope climb, 15-foot rope, beginning from seated
- 12 bench presses
- 95/65# bar
- 9 OHS
- 1 legless rope climb
- 12 bench rpesses
- Fitness (20 minute AMRAP)
- 45/35# bar
- 9 OHS
- 1 lay-to-stand on the rope
- 12 bench presses
Yeah, this was a doozy. And with my OHS issues, it got hairy quickly. So my version of this workout became:
- 28 minute AMRAP
- 9 overhead squats
- 45# empty bar for 2 rounds
- 10 reps with PVC pipe focusing on form for all other rounds
- 1 rope climb, using j-hook
- 12 bench presses with a 95# bar
- Total: 8 rounds plus 21
Lara focused on the “pinkies in, armpits forward” approach for the OHS and I simply could not keep good form even with the empty barbell. OHS has been an on-again off-again goat over the last 5 years, so I’m not too surprised. Moving back down to a PVC pipe hurt my pride a little, I will admit, but I knew it was the ONLY way I was going to figure out the form we were working on.
My rope climbs were pretty good until my shoulders got really tired about round 5 or 6. I had a hard time pulling, but managed to get the one climb each round.
And bench press. You wouldn’t think that 12 “light” bench presses would have been such a challenge, but wow they definitely were. I did the first round unbroken and that was a silly thing to do. After that I was breaking it into 6 and 6 or 4-4-4 or 5-4-3 or 3-3-3-3 or whatever the hell I could push. They got very challenging towards the end and Lara was kind enough to spot for me. 🙂 I failed my last rep as time ran out in the 28 minutes.
So total reps: 88 OHS, 9 rope climbs, and 107 bench presses. Yeah, the volume was higher than I thought.
When I was done, I did a little Crossover Symmetry, which helped for a bit — but now that I’ve been sitting down I have to admit that my shoulders are on fire. 🙂
Great work 8:30 class! And thank you Lara for the coaching and spotting!
Language and Mental Will
Lately I’ve noticed myself falling back into some old habits. Whether in my head or out loud, I often hear “I can’t” or “I won’t” or various swear words equating to “$@#$!# this” when I’m in the middle of a workout. Usually I start out fine and as my body gets less happy, my language gets less happy.
Some of this is due to my own physical challenges, whether it’s with a lack of flexibility, skill, or strength. Some of it is due to my pre-conceived notions about what I can and cannot accomplish.
For example, I hate running and burpees. I’m bad at overhead squats. I can’t do double-unders. Etc.
“Hate.” “Bad.” “Can’t.” These are all negatively charged words. And though I fight through them most of the time, it’s a constant battle.
Somehow I need to find a way to change the language I use to be more positive. Anybody have any ideas on how to do that? Let me know.