“Chelsea” & Michelle

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Yesterday I coached the 6am, 5:15pm, and 6:30pm sessions at CFZ. I think back to my childhood and early adolescence when I was a gangly, scrawny little boy. If you would have told me then that I would not only be running long distances, lifting heavy weights, and performing gymnastic feats of strength, but that I would be instructing others how to do so, I would have laughed in your face. (I wouldn’t, however, have rolled my eyes like someone I know.) Me, a coach? I think I’ll go to my room and practice the clarinet. You don’t get to be first chair first clarinet without practicing.

I was generally pleased with the performance of athletes, more so with dead-lifts than with the met-con.

Many asides today, and here’s the first: Thomas, the not-at-all-identical twin brother of the one and only Michael Kelley, attended the 6am session. He’s been struggling with double unders, so I spent some quality time with him post-WOD. As I’ve said numerous times (and I hear Jack’s voice in my mind when I say this), slow is fast. You’re making progress, Thomas.

Jeff got his first double under, and it was during the WOD. I was observing the group, so I didn’t see the actual double under. He yelled (as he continued jumping rope), “Paul, Paul! I got a double under!” Immediately following the WOD he said, “Now show me how to string them together.” Ha!

Nathanael and Johanna (a married couple and new members) are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Their niece, Hannah, attended the session with them, although she didn’t do the WOD. She probably should have. I don’t know why kids like me so much, but they often do, and Hannah was no exception. She wrote her own name on the whiteboard as well as mine – followed by “is awesome”. She’s obviously a very good judge of character.

Of all of the athletes who completed yesterday’s WOD, I’m most proud of Johanna. She struggled on her last set of heavy dead-lifts, and barely got the first attempt off the floor before dropping the bar and shaking her head “no”. (I call this the “Thomas Kelley”.) She rested, and then failed on her second attempt as well. I could tell that she really wanted to successfully complete the last set, and that she was getting frustrated. Just before her third attempt, I said, “Use a mixed grip, Johanna. Your brain will know how to place your hands. Set your back. Roll the bar to your legs. Keep a neutral neck. Take a deep breath. Now lift!” She did. She did three times! You were spectacular, Johanna!

Other accomplishments: Kabool had the most explosive dead-lifts, Kristin finally kept her neck neutral, Nicole H. is mastering wall ball shots, Leah is overcoming some of her negative self-talk, and the list goes on and on.

But enough about everyone else – let’s talk about me!

While I didn’t work out prior to the 6am session, I did arrive at the box prior to the 5:15pm session to complete the requisite dead-lifts. After warming up, I lifted sets of 3 reps @ 285, 305, and 315# – a PR, and 95% of my current 1RM of 330#. And the lifts felt easy. I’m confident I can achieve a new dead-lift PR in the upcoming weeks.

I left the box at 7:40pm, arrived this morning at 5:50am, and Lauren and Michelle arrived shortly thereafter. Michelle was undecided as to what to do today, so I gently persuaded her to join me for the benchmark WOD “Chelsea”.

Every minute on the minute for 30 minutes:
5 pull-ups
10 pushups
15 air squats

The last time I did this WOD was at CFD almost a year ago. Back then I completed rounds in between 37 and 44 seconds. Today was an entirely different story…

My ideal goal was to complete all rounds unbroken, although it was more of an aspiration than a realistic goal – or so I thought.

Michelle was positioned to my left. I completed activities under the pull-up bar directly facing the clock so that I could keep track of and record rounds.

I completed the first round in 36 seconds, and thought, “Okay, that was fast, but I’m sure I’ll slow down.” Uhm, my first round was my slowest round. My times for the remaining 29 rounds were 34, 35, 34, 35, 34, 34, 34, 33, 33, 33, 34, 34, 34, 33, 34, 33, 33, 33, 33, 33, 33, 32, 32, 32, 31, 31, 31, 31, & 30! I got faster, not slower, and my last round was my fastest round!

I ensured that my chin was above the bar for every pull-up, that my chest and cheek touched the floor for every pushup (left cheek for odd and right cheek for even-numbered pushups, respectively), and that all squats were done with proper form.

The last time I did this WOD I made it through round 23 of pushups unbroken, and then fell apart. Not today. I did all 30 rounds of 10 pushups unbroken, as well as all rounds of pull-ups and air squats.

My total work time was 16:32.

Do I sound a bit excited? I am. Am I boasting a little? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Hannah thinks I’m awesome. She’s obviously a very good judge of character.

Michelle did and awesome job, completing 23 rounds! (If you are unable to complete a round within 60 seconds, you complete that round, and then wait until the top of the next minute to begin again.) There were many times when she completed her last of 15 air squats with less than 5 seconds remaining before the start of the next round. She nonetheless ran to the pull-up station to start to begin. After the WOD I said, “I got more rest than you did, Michelle, as I had more time between rounds to catch my breath.” She replied, “Yes, but I got longer periods of rest when I wasn’t able to complete a round in a minute.”

She was kind enough to pose with me for a post-WOD picture. (Thanks for taking, Lauren!)

For perspective, that’s 150 pull-ups, 300 pushups, and 450 air squats.

2 thoughts on ““Chelsea” & Michelle

  1. I am SO glad my buddy “Kip” showed up today to help me kick that b*tch Chelsea’s a$$!
    Thanks for coaching me today WHILE working out.
    Paul. Is. Awesome. I am a very good judge of character.

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