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Monthly Archives: July 2013

I’m no Samson …

double underSee that blurry picture? That’s me, skipping. It may or may not be a double-under, but if it’s not, there was one just around the corner. This is astonishing to me.

First off, I went and had a short back and sides this morning – just because I’m fed up of having hair that gets into things and has to be tied up all the time. Enough, I thought.

Then I went to open gym. I hate open gym – it’s an exercise in humiliation or, as I prefer to call it, sustained goat training. Today’s goats were pull ups (still nowhere near) and bench (still awful) and they remain goatlike.

Over the weekend Coach David posted about ordering speed ropes for double-unders. Now I can’t do double-unders but I contemplated whether getting a new rope would encourage me to make the attempt. The thing is, I’m ‘attempting’ so much stuff right now that adding in one more humiliation (goat number 7) seemed a little unlikely. Then I wandered past a charity shop on the way to meet a client and as it was raining, wandered in rather than waiting outside in the rain. There was a Reebok speed rope for £4.00. Well, what harm could it do?

Absolutely f***ing none, it turns out! I got my first double-under within seconds of my first attempt. Then I got 11 more – all singles but I nearly got two in a row … Double-unders, no problem ….

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Re-mojo WOD!

25 july 2013I couldn’t have guessed it would be GI Jane With Balls that renewed my confidence, but it was.

Before the WOD we had tech practice on handstands, handstand push-ups or walking handstands. This didn’t strike me as a likely scenario, but after some one-on-one coaching from Barney, I found I could actually kick up into a headstand against the wall, using abmats as a support for my head, and once up there I could stay balanced for a good long time without any support. That was a surprise! Although, on reflection, it shouldn’t really be much more difficult for me to balance on my hands than on my feet, as the level of proprioception is about the same. The swollen blood vessels in my eyes are a surprise though – I didn’t think I’d been inverted anywhere near long enough for that to happen.

The WOD – nicely named GI Jane With Balls is100 ball-slam burpee pull-ups for time. Nasty!

Gold was 9/7 kilo medicine balls. Not possible for those who don’t have a strict pull-up of course. Silver scale was the same medicine balls but jumping pull-ups from a box. Bronze was as silver but no pull-ups at all.

I decided to try silver, although I had no great hope of it, so I took a 3 kilo ball and put it beside my box so I could scale part way through if I had to. It was a hot and horrible exercise in grit and willpower – and also a test of basic maths under pressure.

Somewhere between 60 and 50 reps I forgot to rub off the whiteboard mark to show I’d completed a round of ten, so I decided to go for twenty reps and then erase two marks. When I’d finished I thought about it and now I think I miscounted and only did 19. So I’m pretty sure my time is for 99 reps, not 100.

Somewhere around 77 I decided it would be nice to scale, but I couldn’t find my 3k ball in my peripheral vision. Then I remembered Barney striding over to yell at me to keep my spine straight in the ball slams and of course he’d taken my baby ball away to stop me wimping out. So I finished the WOD with my original scale in 20:33 minutes. Not fast and not pretty, but done.

Just to repeat myself:

• 100 ball slams
• 100 burpees
• 100 jumping pull-ups.

Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I’d be able to do that – and in 20 and a half minutes too!

Bruises – no, but nice eyeball congestion
Wishlist – today I’m happy with what I got!
PB – well, even one headstand would have been a personal best so to get to balance for as long as I did, four or five times in a row, was rather exciting.

Today I love Crossfit – scarlet eyeballs and all.

25 tips for new Crossfitters from Crossfit Tidal Wave

anti agingRight here – interstitial commentary from me.

#3 – well yes, unless you’re pregnant, training for something else, have a health condition, or are masters age – all of which can drastically change how you train. I train three times a week, but I do two sessions on one day, to ensure I get 2.5 to 3 days between Crossfit workouts – I need them! Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have, I had fast recovery, but that’s no longer true. Everything is scaleable including wodding around YOUR best recovery time. See #5 for more ideas

#9 – I don’t know how to do this. I feel humiliated to be scaling after a year, and I expect to be scaling for the rest of my life. Of course I wish I’d found Crossfit earlier, but also I wish I had a different body, and lacked the neurological problems that make it really difficult for me to master new skills. That’s a stupid, self-defeating attitude, but I can’t shake it. It’s easy to say don’t be ashamed to scale, but hard not to have those feelings, especially when everybody else is progressing so much faster.

#10 is good. I do this a lot, I have to. Oddly, I’m not ashamed of that, even though I look like the Crossfit village idiot most of the time, I’m just ashamed of my paltry results. Clarification is awesome – it changes a WOD from an exercise undertaken with doubt to a partnership with the process.

#15 also ‘Don’t you feel out of place?’ ‘Aren’t you too old for that shit?’ and ‘How long do you think you can keep doing that insane stuff?’ Do I look like a care about those questions? Seriously? Talk to the lats, because I’m not listening!

#19. Nice if you can. This is like #9 for me. I totally see it in everybody else – myself … not so much.

#22. Yes. Yes. Yes. Grow your own food. Make your own food. Eat what you grow and make.

#25 well yes, although Crossfit got me on day one. If it doesn’t work for you – get out. It’s tough enough when you love it, doing Crossfit with hater attitudes must be soul-destroying

I’m adding #26 – chart your own progress. Mine has been amazing (for me) although the only thing I can point to as a ‘gained goal’ is strict press ups. The things I could never have put on the goals board (improving lateral coordination, being able to stand on my right leg without falling over) are massive, massive gains and I need to remember them when the WOD is tough or when, like this week, the lift is my worst and weakest. I don’t Crossfit for anybody else, just for me and I am making progress!

Goat training again

shut upSo it’s been another couple of weeks – I am still struggling to find anything exciting to say about Crossfit. I am going along, but nothing to say. Some time in the recent unblogged past we did Bernard again. Bernard (RIP) was a chicken. Why s/he has a WOD I don’t know – but I do know s/he must have been a very evil chicken whose wrongs we must expatiate through suffering. Bernard is 16 pull-ups, 50 front squats, 16 pull-ups, 50 power cleans, 16 pull-ups, 50 kettle bell swings, 16 pull-ups, 50 wall balls. Ugly, evil, chicken.

I’m plagued by a dodgy calf – I get a couple of days where it’s fine and then it tightens up again and the muscle has to be rolled for ages … years of running on scar tissue and so I get to do mobility every week but I’m down to wodding once, and maybe barbells if the muscle is in agreement.

This week we did a nice lifty WOD: 15 deadlifts, 10 front squats, 5 shoulder to overhead and a 50 metre bear crawl, three times – I opted for the bronze weight (20 kilos) and my time was 10:34. Nothing much to say about that – except that before we wodded we benched and I was once again humiliated by my poor performance. Hate bench.

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Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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Elizabeth Merritt Abbott

Short posts by a midwestern, writer, reader, and occational crossfitter.