Running Backwards

The dogs had we awake at 3:30, and then again at 5:30, and all three were full of piss and vinegar. I arrived at CFZ at 9:15 already in much need of a nap. I greeted everyone, and then worked on mobility in preparation for today’s met-con.

We spent 10 minutes working on handstand holds and walks. To be honest, there didn’t seem to be that much interest from folks in doing so, including yours truly. The met-con was enough of a workout, and I didn’t want to smoke my shoulders prior to doing 50 pull-ups.

It appears that Michael Kelley noticed the I stopped by CFZ yesterday evening, prior to picking up Luke from Doggie Village, and erased my name and incorrect time for yesterday’s met-con. Jeff and Michael Kelley had written 10 minutes and change. Ha. Ha. Ha. While writing names on the whiteboard, Michael Kelley asked, “Do you even want you name on the board?” I responded, “No.” This shall remain in effect until further notice.

Nonetheless, many were curious as to what weight I was going to use, what specific activities I was going to perform, etc. I remained relatively quiet.

For Time
400m Run
50 Pull-Ups
50 Push-Ups
400m Run
50 Sit-Ups
50 Squats
400m Run

Scale up each movement however you wish. This is a requirement. Examples include: Adding a weight vest, do chest-2-bar pull-ups, perform weighted squats, etc.

I very much liked this met-con. Those who scaled up appropriately had a very challenging, rewarding, and exhausting experience. I also liked that no one was doing the exact same thing.

400m Run backwards wearing 26# weight vest.
50 Pull-Ups, 7 reps wearing weight vest and remaining chest to bar
50 Push-Ups, weight vest and hands placed on 45# plates
400m Run backwards wearing weight vest
50 Sit-Ups GHD
50 Squats wearing weight vest
400m Run backwards wearing weight vest.

The weight vest came unattached and painfully hit lower back during first reps of pull-ups, so I removed and finished with C2B. Michael Kelley was kind enough to fix weight vest so that I could continue to use. Pull-ups were moderately challenging.

I did pushups in reps of 10 (out of the gate) and as few as 1 (last rep). These were very challenging.

GHD sit-ups are always challenging, as I tend to get light-headed when doing so many during at met-con. I completed in reps of 20, 10, 10, & 10.

Air squats were the least challenging. I completed in reps of 20, 10, 10, & 10.

Running backwards while wearing a weight vest ending up being the most challenging of all of the activities, as I haven’t run with a weight vest and/or backwards in quite some time.

I completed in 23:03. And I was spent. Darren was kind enough to offer me a dry shirt!

I begrudgingly coached the Community WOD, and there were quite a few in attendance, including two newbies. The WOD was 12-minute AMRAP of 10 wall balls, 10 kettle bell swings, and 10 burpees. Just before the met-con, Michael Kelley sarcastically said, “Wall ball shots and burpees? Sounds familiar, as we did that just yesterday. You couldn’t come up with something different? There are many regulars here and they just did something like this yesterday.”

Uhm, the Community WOD is for visitors and not for the regulars (even though all are welcome to attend). I suggest you program and coach the Community WOD, Michael Kelley. There, I said it, and I feel much better having done so.


Yesterday was a loooooong day, as I was awake before 4am and didn’t get to sleep until after midnight. Stupid New York cabbie. Stupid American Airlines. Stupid JFK Airport. Stupid Michael Kelley.

As Ginger, Max, Luke, Zac, and Meg awakened me at 5am (and once I’m awake, I’m wide awake), I decided to attend the 6am session, coached by Fatty McFatterson, aka Michael Kelley.

I prefer structured mobility. Just saying.

Front Squat
2-3 Warm-Up sets
3×3, last set heavier than last time.

For whatever reason, I had not recorded last week’s FSs. Michael Kelley recalled that I lifted 190# for final set. He must read my blog or something. I warmed up with 5 reps of 95 & 135, and then did 3 reps of 165, 180, & 195#. During my last rep of 180, Michael Kelley “coached” me, saying, “Up, up, up!” While completing last rep and racking the bar I said, “I got it.” He replied, “You don’t like when I don’t coach you, and you don’t like when I do coach you.” Let me state this clearly, Michael Kelley: I just don’t like you. Hugs! Chad was kind enough to provide encouragement during my last heavy set of 195#. Thanks, Chad! You’re my favorite coach! By the way, 195# is 88% of 1RM and 120% of my bodyweight. I guess 3 reps should feel heavy. Yes? I said, “Michael Kelley, I just did 3 reps of 195 pounds.” He said, “I’m disappointed in you. You should have lifted 200 pounds.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of effective coaching and encouragement!

High Bar Back Squat
1×20, heavier than last time

I wasn’t looking forward to this, as I knew the weight was going to feel very heavy. And it did. I completed 20 reps of 175#. I had to frequently rest between reps, and that’s okay. Yes?

Wall Ball, 20#

While Michael Kelley had written “Paul Po” on the whiteboard, he was smart enough to also have written “N/A”. He’s smarter than he is good looking, but that’s not saying very much. I’d estimate that his IQ is the same as his waist size: 48.

This was a fast and furious met-con, and I liked it very much. For the first time in ages, I think I may have gone out too fast. Egad! My goals were to complete all rounds unbroken, and to complete the met-con in less than 5 minutes. I did not complete all rounds unbroken, but I did complete in less than 5 minutes with 14 seconds to spare. (Shhh! Don’t tell Michael Kelley my time.)

I completed rounds of 3, 9, and 15 unbroken, and round of 21 wall balls in reps of 5, 6, 5, & 5 and burpees in reps of 7, 5, 4, and 5. This was exhausting! My score = 8.

If time permits, 1-3 sets of weighted planks.

I completed 2, 1-min held planks with 35# & 1, 1 minute and 15 second plank with 45#.

My left arm and bicep are feeling much, much better.

It’s true what they say: Opposites attract.

My fellow 6amers know what the title references.

I coached the 6am (and attended an evening) session at CFZ. Again, I’ll state that I’m concerned that I’m over-coaching. I’ll count on all of you to let me know if this is indeed the case.

Of note: Michelle completed sumo dead-lifts successfully and pain free; Burt didn’t hurt himself on box jumps; Lauren moved closer to the box prior to jumping; John and Chad are both strong; Chad jumps too high when doing double unders; Claire is very consistent; and Alex likes to walk like a farmer.

I was as disappointed as I imagine Lauren and Alex were when they missed last set of 3 heavy dead-lifts. Some days it’s just not meant to be, so please don’t get too upset. K? K.

I finally saw an orthopedist, and I am pleased that I did. I have a mild case of bursitis in my rotator cuff and slight inflammation in my left bicep. I got three, count them, three shots of steroids. My shoulder already feels much, much better! I’m supposed to take ibuprofen and avoid lifting with left arm for the next 10 days. I think I’ll skip the ibuprofen. K? K.

Michael Kelley and I exchanged the following sexts…
PP: If I go 2 z 2nite will you promise 2 ignore me?
MK: Sure
PP: I’d say thank u but I’m ignoring you.

Only three of us attended, including Jeff, Greg, and yours truly. Michael Kelley was blaring shitty country music, and my ears began to bleed. I warmed up with lacrosse ball and KB focusing on hamstrings – and of course that’s what Michael Kelley asked us to do. I moved my box toward the door, then into the lobby, turning my back to him and then removing him from my sight. He tried flirting with Jeff, thinking that this would annoy me. It didn’t. In fact he spent much time “coaching” Jeff tonight. Again, it didn’t annoy me in the least. Jeff’s not attracted to fatties.

2-3 warm-up sets
3×3, last set heavier than last week

After completing sets of 135, 225, and 265, I completed sets of 3 reps of 275 (originally planned on 270, but as warmup was 265 this just seemed silly), 290, and 320#. Uhm, that’s my “current” 1RM! Yet another PR, and I do not have Michael Kelley to thank, as he ignored me. Wait, he was supposed to do that. He did, however snap a photo and did say something like, “That was okay.” Again, I don’t listen to him.

Barbell Bent Over Row
4 x Max Reps @ 40% of 3RM Deadlift, rest 60 seconds

I didn’t complete barbell bent over rows, as I’m following my doctor’s advice. Kind of.

10 Box Jumps
15 DB Push Press
20 Double Unders

Having seen the 6amers do this WOD, I knew I’d enjoy it – and I did! I give it a score of 9.5. Michael Kelley had written my name on the whiteboard, and I erased it. He once again wrote my name on the whiteboard, and I once again erased it. He gave poker chips to Jeff and Greg, but didn’t even offer any to me as he knew I wouldn’t accept. I didn’t want him to be able to count the chips and know my rounds.

It became quite obvious that he was counting my completed reps. I thought he was making marks on the whiteboard, but he was instead moving chips from one pocket to the next. As he’s usually playing with himself, I didn’t notice.

I recorded completed rounds in my own notebook.

One goal was to attempt 30” box jumps quickly, i.e., quickly springing from the floor to the box. Another goal was to do all push press, albeit one-armed, fast and unbroken. Another goal was, of course, to do all rounds of double unders unbroken. My last goal was simple: keep working. I saw far too much rest from the 6amers.

For the first time I was indeed able to do fast, 30” box jumps. Yeah! Michael Kelley can’t do that. It’s called gravity, Michael Kelley. You’re fat, remember? I also don’t jiggle when I jump.

I completed all rounds of right-arm push press unbroken, using 30# dumb bell.

I completed all but the first 2 rounds of dus unbroken, completing 15 and 19 (19!) unbroken the first and second rounds, respectively.

I kept working the entire 12 minutes.

I completed 8 rounds + 7 box jumps.

Fast Pressing

While stretching my calves, hamstrings, and hip flexors, I overheard MK talk about how the other groups did yesterday’s WOD outside, and how most of them got 7 or more rounds. That’s comparing apples to oranges, as walking with bar overhead vs. holding bar overhead and doing step-ups are two entirely different things. My calves wouldn’t be so damn sore today if I had walked with the bar overhead.

I dislike the song “Payphone”, as I can’t imagine anyone actually using a payphone. I am listening to both the movie soundtrack and OBC recordings of “Once”. Incredible.

4×5 (sets across), heavier than last week

I lifted 85# last week, so I went conservative and lifted 95# today. For this first time that I can recall, MK emphasized speed – and I hadn’t been doing this prior to today. All 4 sets felt relatively easy. Lauren was kind enough to record third set, and she said, “That was fast.” MK observed last set and said (and I may not be recalling this correctly, as I tend not to listen closely when he talks), “That looked too easy.” (He may have said, “That looked too fast.”) He asked, “How much heavier is that than last week?” I said, “I lifted 85 last week and 95 today.” He scoffed.

Form, consistency, and then intensity. Right? Right.

Chest to bar pull-ups
3 on the minute x 10 minutes

I used my own weight vest. Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so. The other weight vests are smelly. Mine is not. I asked MK how much weight I should use, as last week I completed all 30 reps with relative ease. I was thinking 10#. He suggested 5#. I went with 5, and probably should’ve gone with 7.5 or 10#.

Michelle brought up the topic of CrossFit competitions, and mentioned that there should be weight categories. I wholeheartedly agree! And here come the haters. “You’re at an advantage for bodyweight activities. You can run fast. You have endurance.” And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’ll never compete. Never ever evah.

I completed all 30 reps with full range of motion and had less of a bend in my lower body than last week. After the last rep of the seventh set, MK once again scoffed at me. I asked, “Why the look?” He replied, “Do you really need to lift your chin for a chest to bar pull-up?” I jumped back up on the bar, didn’t lift my chin, dropped from the bar and said, “If I don’t lift my chin I hit my nose on the upper bar.” It’s self preservation. I’d rather lift my chin and not bloody my nose. Right? Right.

My drawing of pull-up bars.

For time
100 Kettlebell Swings

Last night I posted on Facebook that I was going to use the 70# KB. I had no intention of doing so, although I had every intention of using the 62# KB. And that’s what I did. I positioned myself at the end of the box facing the clock. As I was taping my hands, MK walked to the KB, looked at the weight, and said, “That’s not 70 pounds.”

As the weight was heavier than what I typically use, my goal was to complete in reps of 10, and with the exception of the first round (20 reps), that’s what I did. Even though I taped and chalked my hands, I had a difficult time keeping grasp of the KB handle. I also felt an occasional twinge in my left bicep, so I wasn’t overly aggressive with swings.

At one point Chad, John, and I were all swinging in the same rhythm, and I began to imagine the three of us doing a synchronized swimming routine. I would, of course, have to be the person that’s flipped out of the water.

I completed the KB swings in a time of minutes and seconds. I did not call time, nor did I give any indication that I had completed my last swing. In fact, I completed quite a few more rounds of 5 or more swings. MK asked, “What was your time?” I said, “I’m not done yet.” I did, however, have to let Lauren know that I had completed the swings, as she began to cheer for me during additional rounds. MK said, “I know what you’re doing. You don’t want your time on the board.” MK has a remarkable grasp of the obvious.

I give this met-con a score of 4.

I was confused…

My gnephew (gay nephew [I’m his guncle]) Domonic states that the first song you hear on any given day determines the outcome of that day. The first song I heard this morning was “Vacation” by the Go-Go’s. Yes, I desperately need a vacation from work, and may very well need a vacation from CrossFit. I feel rejuvenated when I do so. Just saying.

My calves hurt this morning, most likely due to the 500+ double unders I did yesterday. I arrived early and focused on loosening up calves and hamstrings, and then did requisite warm up.

Low Bar Back Squat
3×3 (heavier than last week)

I warmed up with 5 reps of 45, 95, and 135, and then did 3 reps of 160, 170, & 190#. All sets were heavier than last week, as I don’t like to make too big of a leap between my second to the last and last sets. Lifts felt fine. I completed using racks on pull-up rig for a change of pace, as I want to get used to starting with hands closer together when taking the bar off of the rack, moving hands out, and then moving hands back in before resetting on rack. And that’s what I did. MK noticed and said something, but I ignored him. I do that sometimes. It saves much time.

Partner Glute Ham

I had the distinct honor of partnering with Alex, and I completed 3 sets of 12 reps. This felt like a met-con, and my glutes and hamstrings were most certainly activated.

1 Hang Power Snatch
20m Overhead Walk
2 Hang Power Snatch
20m Overhead Walk
3 Hang Power Snatch
20m Overhead Walk
4/20m, 5/20m, etc.
Immediately followed by:

MK likes snatches and toes to bar, probably because these are two things he’s relatively good at doing. Just saying. (I sure would like to see running, rowing, wall crawls, ring dips, ring pushups, muscle-ups, handstand pushups, etc. in a met-con. Just saying.)

Anyhow, this met-con was a big hot mess. We were supposed to have completed the met-con outside, but as it rained (every so lightly) we completed inside. Instead of an overhead walk we did step-ups to a 45# plate. MK had initially said that you couldn’t put the bar down, but evidently this rule only applied if we were to have completed the met-con outside. Are you confused yet? I certainly was. Oh, wait, and the step-ups were 10 each foot, i.e., step up to plate with one and then the other foot for one rep. Oh, and it was a good idea to switch feet, perhaps alternating or doing 10 on one and then 10 on the other. Are you confused yet? The weight was to have been the same weight used for “Hope”, i.e., 75#, but as I thought we couldn’t drop the bar I chose a more manageable weight of 65#. Did I mention that if the bar was dropped there was going to be a burpee penalty? At least that’s what I thought. Somewhere along the way that idea was discarded. I almost forgot, we were instructed to do hang full snatches, and not a hang power snatches. If we could. Or if we wanted to. But, as I later learned, it nonetheless had to be a hang snatch – even if the bar was on the floor prior to the snatch.

I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to clarify. Any questions? No? Good. On to my performance…

I completed the first 4 rounds unbroken, and didn’t put down the bar. I quickly discovered that it was easier if I did the step-ups as rapidly as possible, so that’s what I did. I kept seeing people drop the bar, so I said to MK, “I thought we weren’t allowed to drop the bar.” He replied, “Only if we were outside. We’re inside, so you can drop the bar.” Well, okay then. And by the way, I hadn’t noticed that we were inside, so thanks for that, MK. I began dropping the bar after the step-ups, but still did all rounds of step-ups unbroken. I made a big mistake the fifth round in that I allowed the bar to drop to the ground after the fifth snatch so that meant I had to power snatch it again before doing step-ups. My mistake. I didn’t make the same mistake the sixth round. I’m smart like that. I just barely managed to complete 7 power snatches before 7 minutes had passed and we were instructed to do toes to bar. I did the first 15 unbroken, and completed 39 total. I must learn to string together. Oh, I also noticed that some folks were doing toes through rings. Huh? How did that happen? I would’ve much preferred to do that.

I give this met-con a score of 5.

I was recording my totals and MK asked, “How many did you get?” I didn’t say a thing. As I was getting ready to leave he asked again and I said, “Enough.” I’m going to be a conscientious objector and not record scores on the whiteboard. I have my reasons. Faithful readers probably know what my reasons are.

Vacation all I ever wanted.

Man, do I feel surly. Does it show?

Jumping Deads and Double Unders

Oh, what a difference a day makes. I have newfound perspective, and I am no longer disappointed in my performance at yesterday’s WOD. As Jeff said, “It’s just a WOD. So what if you didn’t do as well as you would like to have?”

This morning I took Luke for a 2-mile walk that turned into a run, as he was full of piss and vinegar and insisted on completing a fartlek workout. I had originally planned on doing a triplet that included running. Uhm, no.

I arrived at CFZ at 10. I spent 20 or so minutes on mobility, focusing on shoulders and hamstrings, and then completed overhead squats. I recorded every round. I completed 5 reps of 45, 45, 65, 65, 75, 80, & 80, and then 3 reps of 90 & 95#. I then jumped up to 115#, and had 3 failed attempts and 1 successful lift – another PR. I failed the first attempt because I didn’t squat low enough. I bailed on the second attempt, and dropped the bar in front of me. I bailed on the third attempt and dropped the bar behind me – the first time I’ve ever done so. I finally got the fourth attempt.

I completed a few muscle ups. MK feigned interest and provided suggestions. Until my left arm is completely healed, I’m going to avoid muscle ups. Maybe.

I practiced box jumps at 32, 34.5, and 36”, and then practiced double unders, completing 75 unbroken. It appears that my right hand revolves 2 times for every 1 time my left hand does. Huh?

10-8-6-4-2 jumping deadlifts, 150# alternating 100-80-60-40-20 double unders.

I completed in 10:03. This was quite challenging, and my score is a 7. I completed as many as 55 unbroken dus (the first round) and also completed rounds of 40 and 20 unbroken.

Thanks for cheering for me, Kristin! I’ll return the favor, I promise.


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Today did not go as planned, and I made need a redo.

I took Luke for a long walk this morning, and was rushed getting to CFZ. I arrived at 9:20, and MK informed us that the first group would be doing the “CrossFit for Hope” WOD at 9:40. I had no intention of going with the first group, as I knew I’d need time to warm up. I planned on counting my own reps. John didn’t have a partner to count for him, but as he is recovering from an injury (cut to his hand), MK insisted that he go the second round. (I’m still not quite sure why MK thought an additional 25 minutes would be helpful for John.) Thus, I began the WOD without having snatched or thrusted 75# and without having done one single pull-up. I did a couple burpees and box jumps as part of the demonstration of proper form.

Three rounds of:
75 pound Power snatch
Box jump, 24″ box
75 pound Thruster
Chest to bar Pull-ups

On a positive note, I completed activities with little pain in left bicep and/or shoulder. On a positive note, this was one big, hot mess – so much so that I seriously contemplated stopping after 2 rounds and giving it another try later that day or tomorrow. (I may very well redo tomorrow.)

Burpees | 20, 18, 17 – I should have completed a minimum of 20 each minute.
Power snatch | 12, 10, 8 – Uhm, just 8? Miserable.
Box jumps | 24, 17, 15 – Box jumps were surprisingly difficult, and I had 1 missed attempt.
Thrusters | 12, 12, 10 – Easier than power snatches. I should’ve been able to complete more.
C2B pull-ups | 15, 11, 11 – Meh.

Total Score = 212

I haven’t been this disappointed in my performance in a very long time. Just saying.

Oh, I coached the 10:30 session and the Community WOD. Today’s CW was a half “Chelsea.”

Glute ham what?

What a looooong day; thus, a short entry.

I arrived at CFZ at 4:50am, so that I could work out prior to coaching the 6am session. That’s dedication sprinkled with stupidity there, ladies and gentlemen. I’m a self-proclaimed “early morning person”, but working out that early in the morning is even difficult for me. Just saying. I was also feeling a wee bit sore due to “Chelsea”. I stretched and worked on mobility for a solid 20 minutes before starting squats.

Front Squat
2-3 warm up sets between 40-60%
3×3, last set heavier than last time

I warmed up with 95, 135, & 155, and then did 3 reps of 165, 175, and 190# — yet another 3RM PR. FS felt great!

High Bar Back Squat
1×20, heavier than last time

I remember feeling lightheaded last week, so I only increased weight by 5# to 170#. And that was more than heavy enough. After just 10 squats I thought, “Uhm, yeah, so you might have to rack the bar.” I was convinced that I was going to have to do so, but struggled through all 20 reps. In my notebook I recorded, “Thought about quitting. Lightheaded.” For perspective, 170 is 74% or 1RM and almost 120% of my bodyweight.

I elected to not do today’s conditioning, even though I very much wanted to do so. Again, my body can only do so much. I did truly enjoy coaching this met-con – as well as mobility, FS, and HBBS.

Double Alternating Tabata
Deadlifts, 60% 3RM
Lateral Hops

Perform 20 seconds of deadlifts, take 10 seconds rest, perform 20 seconds of lateral hops, take 10 seconds rest. Repeat this process for 16 rounds (8 rounds each movement)

Five attended the 6am and 6:30pm sessions, and 6 attended the 5:15pm session, including many of my friends. Oh, you want to be named? Okay, here are just a few: Nicole, Kristin, Thomas, Chad, Paul A., Leah, Kabool, Claire, Michelle, and the list goes on and on. Oh, and Jeff. And Michael Kelley made an appearance and participated in part of the 6:30pm session.

Things I said to Michael Kelley:

  • Your knees don’t move in as much as they used to when you squat. It may just be that I can’t see them because they’re covered in so much fat. 
  • It would be better if you could hold the dead-lift bar vertically instead of horizontally, as vertical stripes are thinning and horizontal stripes make you look that much fatter.
  • Please reposition your bar so that you’re not facing the clock, as others will also need to see the clock and they won’t be able to see around your huge ass. 
  • You remind me of Jane Fonda. 
  • Your hiney hurts? As big as your hiney is that must hurt really badly. Oh, your knee hurts.

There were many more comments, but I just can’t seem to recall… (Help me out, Kristin.)

Michael Kelley asked me if I would hold his cankles (not a typo) while he did glute ham developers. I asked Kristin to record the gay porn. Notice how Thomas sneaks into the pictures.

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“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.

Forth and Back

Meg & Zac were particularly feisty this morning, and I was WIDE AWAKE at 4. My feet hurt, so I arrived at CFZ at 5:30 to allow extra time for mobility. I received the following text from Michael Kelley at 5:32: Aaah can u run warmup for me

I checked in via Facbook and posted I’ll be leading the warmup, as Michael Kelley over-ate. I then replied to that post with I mean overslept. You know, because Michael Kelley is fat. And lazy. More fat than lazy.

He arrived promptly at 6am and, as I knew he would, allowed us to spend solo time working on mobility. We then held handstands. I did not, however, hold for a long as I could have, as I didn’t want to exacerbate the issue with my left shoulder and bicep.

Speaking of my left shoulder and bicep, I’m no longer experiencing any pain in my bicep and just a slight pain in my shoulder. The movement that hurts the most is when I put my arm behind my back, e.g., putting on or taking off a shirt. I’m going to keep my appointment with the orthopedist nonetheless.

1-2 warm-up sets
4×5, sets across

There was much confusion as to what weight to lift. Michael Kelley finally explained that all 4 sets were to be of the same weight. This is only the second time I’ve been able to do presses since the injury, so Michael Kelley suggested that I go light. I did 5 reps of 45 & 75, and then put 85 on the bar. Michael Kelley asked, “How much did you lift last week?” I replied, “One-fifteen.” He said, “Then lift 80.” “I can lift 85,” I replied. “Then lift 85.” I did, an all four sets felt light and easy. Michael Kelley is one of those two things, and it ain’t light. He observed my third set, and said nothing. Not a thing. Nada. He walked away, and I said, “Michael Kelley, I know you were watching. How were those lifts?” He replied, “I sometimes forget that you need some feedback. The weight is too light. If I don’t say anything at all, that means the lifts were good.” I asked, “So, no news is good news?”

I can’t help but observe my fellow CrossFitters. What I could choose to not do is comment. This morning, I chose to comment. Chad was push pressing. I know it, you know it, and the world now knows it, Chad. Sometimes you’re too damn strong for your own damn good. I observed Lauren’s second set, and on her fourth or fifth lift I could tell she wasn’t going to be able to lock the bar out overhead. How did I know this? Her facial expression said defeat. I was, however, convinced that she could finish the lift. I made sure to observe her third set, and all five lifts were spectacular! As Mr. Miyagi said to Danielsan, “Don’t forget to breathe.”

Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
3 Reps on the minute x 10 minutes — strict!

I completed all 30 reps, and pull-ups felt relatively easy. I kinda sorta like C2B pull-ups, as I don’t feel the need to lift my chin. (I have one chin. Someone I know and loathe has two chins.) I counted down most of the minutes, as Michael Kelley was too busy preening and prancing. I did occasionally dance. It’s in my nature to do so. After completing the activity I said, “I have yet to work up a sweat.” Because, well, I hadn’t yet worked up a sweat.

1 Burpee, 1 Kettlebell Swing
2 Burpees, 2 KB Swings
3 Burpees, 3 KB Swings
4/4, 5/5, etc.

Starting today, I’m going to rank met-cons on a scale of one to 10, not on difficulty but on how much I enjoyed. I give this met-con a nine. It was challenging – and fun!

I chose a 62# kettlebell and did all swings American style. My goal was to do all activities unbroken, to begin each round of kettlebell swings with a swing, i.e., not swing to my waist before the start of the first swing, and to complete 10 rounds.

I completed 1 burpee, turned around, grabbed the kettlebell, and did 1 swing. I thought, “That’s not very efficient.” After I put down the kettle bell, I walked directly in front of it and did 2 burpees. I then took 2 steps backwards to the kettlebell and did 2 swings, and moved in this same manner for the remaining rounds. I was pleased that I could indeed start each round of kettle bell swings with an actual swing, although it also took a loud grunt. And I don’t care. I. Don’t Care. I Don’t. Care. I. Don’t. Care.

Less than halfway through the met-con, Michael Kelley said, “I’m seeing a decrease in speed.” I exclaimed, “I’m not slowing down, Michael Kelley!” He said, “I know. You started at one speed and you’re keeping that speed.” Was that a compliment, Michael Kelley? Do you also think I’m pretty? Do you? Do you?

I began the round of 10 with about 2 minutes remaining. I thought, “Just finish the round of 10. If you have anything left, keep going – but don’t stop once you start.” I paused briefly after completing round of 10 kettle bell swings, and there were still about 35 seconds remaining on the clock. I rested 3 seconds and began the round of 11 burpess, completing them quickly and unbroken. I ran backwards to the kettlebell and managed exactly 1 more swing.

Total = 10 rounds + 12 reps (11 burpees + 1 kettle bell swing); 66 burpees & 56 kettle bell swings. We were all lying (not laying) on the floor gasping for air when all was said and done. John looked at me and said something (“Good job”, perhaps?), but I was too oxygen deprived to comprehend.

As there was still time left, we did 100 tricep pulls. I abhor tricep pulls. I completed in reps of 25, 20, 20, 15, 12, & 8.

Michael Kelley will be out of town tomorrow through Friday. I shall not miss him one iota. True story.