“You look miserable.”

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I’m exhausted. There, I said it. Yes, I need a rest day.

For the first time in a very long time, I’m sore. I do believe this is because of the stress the accessory work is putting on my body. It’s quite a good feeling…

As there were more than a dozen in attendance, I once again had the honor of sharing a rack with Woody. Again, I very much enjoy working out with Woody, as we are of similar heights and lift similar weights. He also is very responsive to coaching, and immediately implements suggestions. At one point I patted his shoulder and said, “I’m going to start charging you for one-on-one coaching.” Ha! I would very much like to provide grammar one-on-one coaching for Michael Kelley. He continues to say “like” excessively and incorrectly. It’s not like I want to punch him in the throat. I want to punch him in the throat. And I may very well do so.

Strength
Press
Take 15 minutes to work up to a 3RM

I successfully pressed 3 reps @ 75, 95, 105, & 115#. I almost lifted 3 reps @ 125#, but failed on the third lift. Oh, if only there had been a coach present to provide direction and support, but there was not.

Nonetheless, all but the last lift felt solid.

Conditioning
50 KB pushups
5 Rounds
15 KB high pulls
15 KB swings
15 KB goblet squats

Uhm, yeah, so there weren’t enough 52# kettle bells to go around, and someone had claimed the 60# kettle bell. Michael Kelley instead insisted I do the following:

Conditioning
50 KB pushups
5 Rounds
15 dumbbell cleans
15 dumbbell jerks
15 dumbbell squats

Michael Kelley said, “You can use the 30 or 40 pound dumbbells.” He’s a dumbbell if thought I’d choose 40# dumbbells.

No one had claimed the 70# KB, so I got to use that for pushups, i.e., I had to use the thickest KB; thus pushups were more challenging for me than for my peeps.

Michael Kelley announced that there was a 20-minute time limit. My goal, then, was to complete in less than 20 minutes. This was a dreadfully awful metcon.

I liked the KB pushups, and completed in reps of 15, 10, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1. Yes, my shoulders began to get smoked by the 40th rep.

Dumbbell cleans were challenging. I completed rounds 1 – 4 in reps of 14 & 1, and the last round in reps of 10 and 5. Yes, I usually completed the 15th rep as a single so that I could then immediately jerk.

I completed rounds of jerks in reps of 15 for round 1, 10 & 5 for rounds 2, 3, & 4, and reps of 7, 5, & 3 for the last round. Yes, that means I did additional cleans.

I completed all rounds of dumbbell squats unbroken, although I struggled with placement on my shoulders the first round.

I began doing split jerks by the 3rd round, and Michael Kelley had to remind me to not bring the dumbbells back down to my shoulders until after both of my feet were under my hips.

I was very tempted to take off my shirt, but I did not do so. Next time, perhaps.

I completed in 18:19, and was completely spent. I give this metcon a 2 for enjoyment, 9 for difficulty, and 8.5 overall. No, I don’t have to add the scores and divide by two. It’s my scoring, and I’ll do whatever the hell I want to.

Many people were visibly exhausted when they finished the metcon. Michael Kelley said, “This is our last long metcon in a while. Starting next week we’ll be doing metcons that are heavy and short.” “Like you, Michael Kelley,” I quietly said. Michelle heard me and guffawed, and this made me giggle like a school girl. Michael Kelley, please notice that I correctly used the word “like”.

Prior to picking up Luke from Doggie Village, I completed accessory work.

Sled Pulls
3 x 3 straight-legged forward, backwards, and dead-lift

I put 65# on the sled, a pound less than 60% of 110#, the weight I pulled just yesterday.

While the pulls were easier than yesterday, I still find pulling that damn sled exhausting. Leah observed and said, “You look like you’re miserable when you do that.” I said, “I am.” Michael Kelley, notice that Leah also used the word “like” correctly. Leah later asked, “If you’re so miserable, why do you do it?” Good question, Leah. Let me get back to you on that one.

50 weighted GHD sit-ups and back extensions

I held a 15# plate. I completed sit-ups in reps of 10, 8, 9, 8, 8, & 7, and back extensions in reps of 15, 15, 15, & 5.

I had pizza with pepperoni, spinach, and mushrooms for dinner tonight, and it was wonderfully delicious.

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Coach, coach thyself!

It was quite a fun morning at CFZ. Michael Kelley and I are actually getting along quite well, and I don’t feel the desire to punch him in the throat nearly as often as I usually do. This can’t last long…

I received a HUGE compliment from a certain someone this morning, and I’ve been smiling about it all day long. I would like to share, but I’ll have to ask that certain someone if this is acceptable. I did share with Michael Kelley if for no other reason than to make him feel inferior, if that’s possible.

Strength
Low Bar Back Squat
65% x 5; 120.5|120
75% x 5; 138|135
85% x 3; 157|160
95% x 2; 175|175
105% x 2 x 2 x 2; 194|190

All percentages are based on last weeks 5RM (This is taken directly from CFZ page. Michael, “week’s” is possessive, not plural.)

I based percentages on 185#. Michael Kelley said, “Lift 190 for your last reps.” I should’ve checked his math, as I would’ve lifted 195 instead of 190#.

I shared a rack with Woody, and I’d do so again, as we worked well together. All lifts felt good.

I need to focus more on myself and less on others. I know, right? I’m for too altruistic. I need to be much, much more selfish. This will be a challenge for me, but I’m willing to give it a try.

For whatever reason, I have gotten out of the habit of putting my thumb over the bar when doing back squats. What? When did this happen? I looked around me and noticed that most athletes were also putting thumbs under the bar. What? How did the coaches let this happen? As I only coach strength one day a week, Wednesdays, and we’ve been doing nothing but dead-lifts, it is quite obviously Michael Kelley’s fault.

Conditioning
“DR. PRON”
AMRAP 12
5 Pull-ups
7 Toes-2-Bar
9 Box Jumps

In celebration of Alex’s successful defense of his doctoral dissertation, Michael Kelley created a metcon consisting of Alex’s three favorite activities.

I contemplated not doing this metcon, and had communicated my desire to not to do so to Michael Kelley last night as well as this morning. He didn’t believe me. It was once again a big hot mess this morning, as there were a dozen in attendance. Uhm, we have about 7 or 8 boxes. Michael Kelley somehow acquired a 30” box for me, and I thought, “What the hell. Have fun with it!” And that’s what I did.

I completed all rounds of pull-ups unbroken, as well as the first three rounds of T2B. I remained on the bar for T2B for all rounds, although I only completed 3 T2B the last full round before having to drop from the bar. I completed all rounds of box jumps unbroken. However, I didn’t focus on quickly rebounding off of the floor until the third round, when it dawned on me that I wasn’t doing so. I blame Michael Kelley. Less playing with your junk, more coaching, please.

This was quite a challenging metcon, and I tried to lighten the mood – and share my misery. I kept an eye on the clock, and when just two and a half minutes had passed I yelled, “Only eight and a half f@cking minutes left, folks!” Later I yelled, “Six and a half minutes. We’re not even halfway f#cking there!” This continued until the hell was over.

I completed 9 rounds + 5 pull-ups + 1 T2B.

I am very tempted to say something in regard to apples and oranges, but I will bite my tongue instead.

It’s Monday, so it’s accessory day. I got to work at 5:40.

Sled Pulls
3 x 3, straight-leg, backwards, and dead-lift

I put 105# on the sled, and it felt very, very heavy. To make matters worse, I had to turn the sled around two times for each rep, as there was a group of people kicking around a soccer ball at the far end of the parking lot. Damn it. I did get a drink between rounds, as I desperately needed the rest.

As I was completing a round of dead-lifts pulls, with straps between my legs and hands very close to my junk, Nathanael said, “It sure would be nice if you had two hooks to hook the end of the straps on.” “Or a larger penis,” I replied.

L-Sits

I completed these on the pull-up bar rig as the 5:30ers were doing the metcon. I completed holds of 10, 10, 10, 15, 15, & 20 seconds. My abs (of steel) were on fire.

I had the pleasure of being sandwiched between the always delightful Nicole and Inez. Inez and I shared a moment, and Michael Kelley got very, very jealous. I’m not sure, though, if he was jealous of me or jealous of Inez.

Separate intention from impact

Warning: I’m going to vent. Leave is you so choose. You can always visit another time. I won’t vent until the end of this blog, though, so feel free to continue reading until you get angry.

Jeff and I watched the women’s Olympic weightlifting finals. For the first time in my life I actually knew what the athletes were doing. Jeff excitedly said, “They’re doing snatches? I know what that is! They’re doing clean & jerks? I know what how to do that!” I couldn’t help but yell at the screen, “Lock it out! Lock it out!” I also had an opportunity to watch some of the men’s gymnastics. Again, I know so much more about gymnastics than I did just four years ago.

CrossFit. Yes, CrossFit.

A very bad stormed passed our way last night and took down a pear tree in our front yard. First thing this morning Jeff and I spent about two hours removing the tree, including sawing, throwing, heaving, cutting, clipping, sweating, and swearing. The two of us work well together. It was actually somewhat fun to accomplish this task. Fun, but exhausting…

Luke was impatiently waiting for me to finish this task so that I could then take him for his Sunday walk. As the weather was cooler than it has been, although still quite humid, he had no interest in walking, and we began our 4-mile foray with a 1-mile all out sprint. We did fartlek the next 3 miles, usually running but sometimes walking between sprints. I love to run, but Luke loves to run. It was a very fun run. Fun, but exhausting…

I immediately went to CFZ for skill building, working on snatches and, for a change of pace, clean & jerks. There were quite a few present. I only offered assistance when I thought and/or felt like it was wanted. This included wall ball coaching for Brooke and Claire and kipping pull-ups coaching for Brooke. By the way, very nice job, Claire and Brooke!

Michael Kelley observed a few lifts and recordings of lifts that I shared with him, and provided much appreciated guidance. For whatever reason, I’ve been forgetting to look straight ahead when I do snatches. That one thing, looking at a fixed target on the wall, immediately helped my performance. I showed him a recording of a 125# clean & jerk. He said, “You need to open your hips a little sooner. You need faster elbows.” I said, “If I were a coach I’d say, ‘You’re showing significant improvement, Paul! Your timing is much, much better, you’re waiting to bend your arms, your squat depth is incredible, and you’re very explosive on the jerk. You could improve by opening your hips just a little more and by getting your elbows under the bar just a little bit faster.’” He replied, “At this point in your lifting you only need negative comments.” You are so very, very wrong. Nonetheless, I appreciate the fatback. I mean feedback.

I don’t say it often (or perhaps often enough): Thank you, Michael Kelley. Now shave that damn beard, as it makes your face look that much fatter.

I treated Michael Kelley to dinner last night. He had a salad, a porterhouse steak, a lobster tail, a grilled chicken breast, green beans, and a sweet potato. I kid you not. I took the opportunity to broach a topic that I’ve been reluctant to discuss with him, specifically my concerns regarding CFZ. He’s the head coach, and I don’t want to tell him what to do. Okay, that’s not entirely true. Nonetheless, I thought he was going to react negatively to my suggestions when in fact we were in complete agreement.

Thus, going forward I have permission to state to all in attendance that only coaches may offer coaching, particularly doing metcons. Quite a few folks have taken it upon themselves to coach others. Yes, I know their intentions may be sincere, but it can lead to confusion and contradictory information for the athletes.

I’ll take yesterday as an example. During the 10:30 WOD that I coached there were a few people who had attended the earlier session who were milling about during the metcon, i.e., in the midst of the athletes. I found myself often having to walk around them. I said, as I’ve said in the past, “You my cheer, but you may not coach.”

Thus, going forward only folks who are participating in the session will be allowed to be in the area where people are working on skills or conditioning. As there is plenty of space at the entrance to the box, athletes will be asked to wait there. Again, everyone is welcome to cheer.

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However, not everyone wants to be cheered for – including yours truly. For example, when I was doing the metcon yesterday quite a few people provided encouragement. My immediate thought is always, “This isn’t a competition. It’s just a metcon. I know what I’m doing here, and I don’t need anything from anyone but perhaps the coach.” Going forward, any athlete may request that they not be provided encouragement. This would include encouragement from folks attending the same session as well as folks standing by. You merely need to shake your head “no”. Coaches, of courses, will continue to coach. Coaches, of course, will continue to provide direction and support.

I have visited quite a few CrossFit boxes and I’ve never been coached by anyone who wasn’t a certified CrossFit coach. As a coach, I’ve never offered coaching at any other box unless it was explicitly requested, e.g., a Running Clinic.

I know, I know, everyone means well. We need to separate intention from impact.

Ex-communicated

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An enjoyable, productive day at CFZ! I worked out solo from 8 to 9 – and I liked doing so.

Strength
3 x 3 sled pulls; forwards, backwards, dead-lift

My goal was to do all rounds unbroken and with fast transitions, and I did just that. For whatever reason, I find the backwards to be the most exhausting.

Maximum rep floor presses; 30# dumbbells
25 pull-aparts; blue band

I completed 30, 20, 15, & 20 presses. I wasn’t, however, able to complete more than 15 unbroken pull-aparts. Those are tough!

Jeff says that I now have a chest. I like to save I have chesticles.

Michael Kelley appeared shortly after 9. He really needs to shave. He looks like a hippie. Or a singer of country music. He then taught me how to speed bench. I had to remind him that I’m an auditory learner, and that he had to not only demonstrate but also explain what he was doing. Nonetheless, I think I’m going to enjoy speed press, and I’m anxious to try with weight on the bar.

I attended the 9:30 session coached by Michael Kelley.

Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes
3 burpee muscle-ups

We were allowed to choose our own bodyweight activity, and burpee muscle-ups were an obvious choice. I did indeed complete all 30 reps, and felt strong from start to finish.

My good friend Paul A. was struggling with muscle-ups.

Me: Paul, use your hips! This will improve your lovemaking abilities as well.
Paul A.: But you don’t use your hips!
Me: I know. I don’t have to. I merely need to remain stationary to please my partner. I just stand there. I’m that good.

I really wanted to do the conditioning consisting of running 400m with a medicine ball, wall ball shots, and pull-ups. When the WOD was posted last night I replied, “I claim the 30# medicine ball.” K. stated, “Woah woah woah. I didn’t know I needed to call dibs. I’ll rock, paper, scissors you for it.” I’m a coach, and I should defer to the needs of the athletes. I stated, “It’s yours. I’ll just do the wod solo later today or tomorrow.” And that’s what I intended to do. When K. arrived he asked if I wanted to use the 30# medicine ball, and said that he’d do the WOD at 10:30. I’m not going to get into a pissing match. You want it? You use it.

I completed a modified version of the main site WOD instead.

Conditioning
4 rounds for time:
30 jump and touch (jump to a target 1’ above reach; for me that was a pull-up bar)
20 dead-lifts, 185#
10 HSPUs

This was grueling. Jump and touches were relatively easy, and once I got into the swing of things after the first 5 or 6 of the first round, I completed the remaining rounds unbroken. I was nonetheless winded after each round.

I took a smart approach to dead-lifts in that I completed all rounds in reps of 10, 6, & 4, resting as long as I needed to before stepping up to the bar. I was also occasionally pouring cold water on the top of my head. Each time I finished a set, even sets of 4 reps, I felt light-headed.

Oh, and I took off my shirt about 3 minutes into the metcon.

I should’ve known better than to attempt HSPUs after doing so many muscle-ups just moments earlier. I did the first round in reps of 4, 2, 2, 1, & 1. I completed 2 the second round, and then switched to negative pushups using 45# plates. Even though I had completed 2 HSPUs, I did 10 unbroken negative pushups the second and remaining rounds.

I will admit to being exhausted from the start of this metcon. I was facing a group of folks when doing dead-lifts, including Jeff and Burt, and they had no choice but to observe. Burt’s hilarious, and I truly enjoy joking with him. As I approached the dead-lift bar for the third round, I pulled down the front of my Lululemon shorts to just above my junk. Keep in mind that I was shirtless, so all present got a good look. I don’t know what overcame me. I truly don’t.
I completed the metcon in 13:10. I was done for the day.

But wait, I wasn’t done for the day, as I coached the 10:30 session, and, like the 9:30 session, it was a full house of probably 16 or so folks – including Ashley Thompson Denton. Yes, Ashley Thompson Denton! She looked as awesome as ever, and can that girl squat.

Amy used a 14# ball for wall ball shots. Nice job, Amy! (She really wanted a mention on my blog, so there it is.)

I was most proud of Jeff (not my Jeff) for challenging himself with wall climbs for skills, Nicole for powering though the last round of pushups, and Burt for carrying a 45# plate for 400m runs. That’s hardcore.

I led the Community WOD, attended by six visitors as well as Kristin (who’s not a bitch), Nicole (who’s also not a bitch), and Jeff (who can sometimes be a bitch). It was called “Burpee Hell”, and Jeff says it was the hardest Community WOD I’ve ever led. Four rounds with a minute rest between rounds of burpees jumping on plate, burpee with plate press, and burpee box jumps. It looked fun!

Uhm, I jokingly called Kristin a bitch, and she thought I meant it. Folks, if I’m angry or upset with you, you’ll know it. Don’t believe me? Ask Michael Kelley.

I joined a group for lunch, including Ashley Thompson Denton. Yes, Ashley Thompson Denton! Michael Kelley and I, even though seated just a few feet apart, exchanged sexts. CFZ is going to begin offering an 8am session on Saturdays, and I would very much like to coach that session. I’ve stated unequivocally that I do not want to coach three session on any given day, and that I’d be happy to coach 8am, attend 9:15, and coach 10:30 am session; thus, I wouldn’t coach the Community WOD. For whatever reason, Michael Kelley doesn’t enjoy coaching the Community WOD. He suggested that I coach the 8am session, attend the 9:15 session, do accessory work, and then coach the Community WOD.

What should I do? I’ll let all of you decide.

Twinsies!

No, Thomas and Michael Kelley, the title of this blog does not refer to the two of you. Tied-for-my-favorite-person-in-the-whole-wide-world Claire and I both wore our CrossFit Invoke shirts today! Claire was the first to notice. She smiled at me, pointed to her shirt, and exclaimed, “Twinsies!” The only reason I like Alex is because he’s dating Claire.

I think I might be allergic to facial hair. Not my own, but Michael Kelley’s. I’m congested and my throat is somewhat raw. He needs to spend less time shaving his back, sack, and crack – and chest – and more time shaving his face. He is also in desperate need of a haircut. And he listens to country music.

While warming up, Amy (I think she’s a PT) asked, “Do you think it would be okay if I showed you and Michael Kelley some mobility exercises we can use?” I replied, “You’ll have to talk with Michael Kelley, as I’m no longer going to be coaching here.”

Speaking of Michael Kelley, he saved himself from the full brunt of my wrath this morning. Here’s what happened…

I planned on doing sled pulls, and he damn well knew that. I looked for the sled, but it was nowhere to be found. I asked, “Where’s the sled, Michael Kelley?” “Oh, that’s right. Paul A. has it,” he replied. Paul A. has a friend who is a welder who is going to make some sleds for CFZ. “I’m going home, then. Better still, if I leave right now I can make it to CrossFit Durham.” “Wait, wait,” he squealed, “I have an idea.” He grabbed the lid to a large garbage can, a 35# plate, and the sled strap. He threaded the strap through the plate, placed the plate inside the upside down lid that was on the pavement, and said, “Give it a try.” I did, and it worked. You’re a genius, Michael Kelley; a fat genius, but a genius nonetheless.

Wait, I take that back. Not the part about you being fat, just the part about you being a genius. I said, “That’s fine, but I need one hundred pounds.” He placed another 35 and a 25 plate on top of the 35# plate. Uhm, that’s only 95#, Michael Kelley. I came to my own rescue and placed a 5# plate on top of the stack.

I completed 3 x 3 different types of pulls.

Straight-legged pull.

Backwards pull.

Dead-lift pull. I had to be very careful of my hand placement for this one.

Quite a few times a rock got stuck under the lid, and this made the pulls just a bit more challenging. And that’s okay.

Thanks for taking the pictures, Burt!

No matter how easy the first pull feels, all pulls get progressively more challenging. I did focus on a quick turnaround as well as fast transitions.

This is what the lid looked like when I was done.

I then completed 4 x 25 GHD sit-ups and back extensions, alternating between the two skills. Having done this just Monday, I knew what to expect. My goal was to do 3 of the 4 sets unbroken. Instead, I did all of the sets unbroken. It may have been because Michelle was nearby, and she gives off good mojo. I may have been because Michael Kelley was nearby, and the gravitational pull of his ass helped to ensure full range of motion.

Michelle noted that I was full of piss and vinegar this morning. Perhaps I was…

I was talking trash about Michael Kelley to Michelle when he said, “I don’t listen to anything you say, Paul.” I said, “Michelle, he listens to every word I say.” She nodded her head in agreement. “His ears are as big as his ass,” I commented.

As folks began to set up for the metcon, I said, “This looks fun. Too bad I’m not doing it.” Michael Kelley replied, “You’re not doing the metcon?” “No,” I said, “I haven’t had a day of rest since a week ago Wednesday. Today was just accessories.” He seemed genuinely disappointed, and I think I might know why…

I think Michael Kelley would rather I do the metcon with the group than interfere with his coaching like I did today. As I’ve stated repeatedly, I have a very difficult time not coaching when the opportunity presents itself. Thus, when the 6amers began the metcon, I almost immediately began offering direction and support. “Woody, no need to hold the kettle bell over your head, and be sure you stand up on the top of the box. Jeff, use your hips for kettle bell swings. Amy, full extension at the top of the box. Lauren, what exactly are you doing over there? John, your presses are exceedingly fast! Michelle and Claire, you are both awesome and can do no wrong!”

My coaching style is different from Michael Kelley’s in that I observe and loudly shout direction and/or support whereas he observes (when he’s not texting, biting his nails, or adjusting his junk) and more quietly and less frequently offers direction and support. That doesn’t mean my style is better than his or vice versa, we just have different styles.

During the metcon Michael Kelley approached me and said, “You should always work out at 5 so that we can coach the 6am class together.”

Not gonna happen, Michael Kelley. Not gonna happen.

I rescued a turtle.

Please don’t take off your shirt. I mean it.

Dear Readers,

I’m not quitting. I merely wanted Michael Kelley to think I was. Why, you ask? Because he told me that I could not. His exact words, via sext message, were: U can’t quit.

Michael Kelley, the only time you may use the word “quit” in my presence is when you say to me, “I wish I knew how to quit you.”

Love,

Paul

~~~~~~~~~~

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Yes, the individual did cry last night. Michael Kelley had a long talk with her. He failed, of course, to inform me of this until today – and even then I had to ask him. It appears that she cried because she was embarrassed by her performance. She also told Michael Kelley that I pushed her too hard. I suppose that only she can determine if this were indeed the case.

I am nonetheless often tempted to quit coaching. Here are my reasons:

1. I “coach” weekdays from 8 to 5, as I am the director of a training department.
2. Coaching takes away from my own training. If I’m serious about competing, that time might be better spent on working on my own weaknesses.
3. Even when I’m not coaching others, I’m often coaching myself. I often workout by myself, and self-reliant when I’m working out with others.
4. I hate Michael Kelley.

I haven’t rested since Wednesday of last week. I did intend to rest today, but instead did tomorrow’s strength. I did, at least, arrive at the box extra early, 5:30 to be exact, to work on mobility. I began squats at 6, and had the honor of being joined by Michelle, Lauren, and Timmy.

Strength
Front Squats
Work up to 3 reps heavier than last week.

I warmed up with 95 and 135, and then lifted 3 reps @ 175, 185, and 195#. I recorded all of the sets.

As I was lifting the set @ 175# I thought, I lifted 170 as my three rep max at the Fitness Challenge held just two and a half years ago. Now it’s a warmup set. How times have changed.

The last rep @ 195# felt heavy, and it was a struggle to lift – but lift it I did! I sent the video to Michael Kelley, and his one-word response was “nice”. Thank you, Michael Kelley, for that meaningful and constructive feedback.

Uhm, that’s 88% of 1RM and 134% of bodyweight.

High Bar Back Squats
20 reps heavier than last week

I’m getting pretty close to being so done with this. I wrote “175 or 180” in my notebook, as I had lifted 175# last week. I put 180# on the bar. To ensure that I achieved proper depth, I began by doing two reps at a time. I’ve reviewed the recording quite a few times. Reps 1 & 2 were good. Reps 3 & 4 were as well. Reps 5 & 6 were questionable, although I do think I broke parallel. Reps 7 & 8 were much better, as I had rested longer before starting. The bar nonetheless remained on my back. Believe me, I was very, very tempted to rack that damn bar. It took every ounce of resolve not to. I kept telling myself, Make it to ten reps, then you’ll be halfway there. Rep 9 was good. What? A single? Indeed, and all remaining reps were singles – and all were good! After the 15th rep I thought, That’s it. That’s all you have. Rack the damn bar. Fortunately for me, Timmy began to observe. I wasn’t going to rack the bar if he was watching me. No freaking way. For my 17th rep he provided encouragement. “Come on,” he said. I replied, “Two more.”

After I completed the last rep, racked the bar, and yelled, “Dear, God!” I kneeled to the floor. Perhaps CrossFit is my religion.

Uhm, that’s 78% of 1RM and 124% of bodyweight.

Michael Kelley arrived and began to clean the bars. I practiced headstands. Today was a great day for headstands, as I felt weightless when I was vertical! I called to Michelle, “Michelle, am I vertical?” Michael Kelley, thinking he was humorous, said, “He wants to know if he’s straight. He’s not straight.” That’s as witty as he gets. Sad, but true.

As I did tomorrow’s strength today, that means I get to do sled pulls tomorrow!

I was honored to coach a group of newbies, along with Jeff, during open gym tonight. Jeff, Shin, Patrick, Angela, Jane, and Parijat. The certainly got a feel for CrossFit! They completed four, 3-min rounds of AMRAP of 3 burpees, 6 box jumps, 9 KB swings, and 12 air squats. They rested exactly sixty seconds between rounds. The women kicked asses and took names. I forgot to take a “before” picture, but I took some during and after. Enjoy!

I’m a quitter.

For a slight change of pace, today’s blog is going to focus more on my coaching inabilities. You read that correctly: inabilities. More in a moment, so keep reading…

I started my morning by coaching the 6am session, and, as has become the norm, there were many in attendance. How many? Fourteen, including two visitors from Georgia, Dan and Karyn.

We started the day with Daft Punk on Pandora and some new or not frequently done activities, including duck walks, opposing arm swings, bear crawls, and one-legged holds – with eyes closed.

We reviewed proper form for dead-lifts, and then athletes attempted to complete 3 reps heaver than last week. I saw some impressive lifts, as well as some form breaks. (I won’t mention any names, Burt. Oh, wait, I just did.) I’m enjoying getting to know and coach some of the newbies, including Timmy (of course he’s first on my list!), Chad2 (I refer to Chad A as Chad1), Amy, Will, and Heather. I remember when I was just starting out, and how important is was for the coach to provide direction and support. I promise to continue to do so – if I continue coaching.

A strength I have when coaching is keeping control of the session. Even though there were many present, the metcon went smoothly.

Except, that is, for my lack of correct instruction for the plate burpees. Having done what were called plate burpees in the past, I instructed folks to do a burpee and then jump and land on the plate. Uhm, I was immediately corrected by the regulars who evidently had done plate burpees in the past. I have no recollection of having done so. Anyhow, you do a burpee, lift and press the plate overhead, bring the plate to the floor, lather, rinse, and repeat.

I should have tendered my resignation at the moment. I would have avoided the debacle that happened later. Let’s call that my first strike. Everyone knows that when you get three strikes, you’re out.

The metcon looked tough, and I tried my best to encourage people. Nonetheless, I asked for a show of hands at the end of the day for those present who thought I should be fired. All hands were raised. (This may or may not have happened.)

As I was unable to leave work in time to make it to the start of the 5:15 session, I decided that I would do the metcon when the 5:15ers, including Jeff, started, and dead-lifts afterwards.

Conditioning
4 Rounds for Total Reps
1 min Plate Burpees
1 min Toes-2-Bar
1 min Double Unders
1 min rest

I used a 45# plate and substituted toes through ring for toes to bar. Why, you ask? Because my damn left shoulder is hurting, just behind that bumpy thingy. Know what I mean? Ugh.

I had no other goal than to work continuously, and I did not achieve this goal. Whaaaaaat? I. Did not. Achieve. This goal.

Jeff and Brooke (read her blog!) have become BFFs, so I didn’t want to come between them. Jeff was to Brook’s right, and I was to her left.

The first round of plate burpees began, and it seemed as if everyone was going at the same pace, for I could hear the plates being placed (or dropped) on the floor. I think I completed 14 reps the first round, and I do believe that Brooke completed almost if not as many as I did. I completed the first round of toes through rings unbroken, although I can’t recall how many. My damn jump rope was tangled, and it took me a good 15 seconds to untangle. I also once again struggled getting double unders started. Once I did, I went on and on. I completed a total of 100 reps total for the first round.

Plate burpees went smoothly for the remainder of the rounds, and I completed a minimum of 12. My mistake was dropping from the rings – when I really didn’t need to do so. It was always a struggle to grasp the swinging rings.

Oh, as an aside, Paul A. was doing “Fran” and he was directly across from me during the first two rounds of the metcon. I was as focused on him as I was on my own performance, and there were many times when I had to keep myself from coaching.

As another aside, I shall not comment upon the Kristin-Thomas interactions. You two really need to get a room, albeit a room with a GHD machine.

Double unders went reasonably well the last three rounds.

I completed 100, 90, and 92 reps for a total of 382. (I can see you smirking now, Michael Kelley. You are an ass.)

Strength
Dead-lift
I’m frustrated. There, I said it. I lifted 225, 255, 275, and 315#. I attempted 325#, and failed. I lowered the weight to 320#, and failed again. I also realize that at this stage of my development my gains are going to be incremental and not exponential (as my gains were when I was beginning).

For whatever reason, I was compelled to offer to coach the 6:30 session metcon. I know not why. Michael Kelley, of course, quickly took me up on my offer. Imagine that.

There were at least three people present that I don’t recall coaching, although I might have done so during a Community WOD.

During the third round I said, “Write down your time and rest for a minute” – after toes to bar! Athletes were smart enough to correct me as they completed double unders.

That’s strike two.

One of the individuals that I know I haven’t coached before spent time at the beginning of the second round putting her hair up in a rubber band. “Well, then,” I thought, “that’s a waste of time.” She did the same thing at the start of the third round, and I said, “You need to spend less time fixing your hair and more time working.” Ouch. That must have hurt.

At the end of the WOD I saw her crying, and I think it’s safe to assume that it was caused by my harsh words. Let’s see, I have masters in Communication Studies with an emphasis in interpersonal communication, I’ve been a teacher/trainer for well over twenty-five years, and I’m a huge proponent of Situational Leadership. And I said, “You need to spend less time fixing your hair and more time working.”

Strike three. I’m out. Out, out, out.

I know that no one can make someone feel an emotion – it’s merely a reaction to something someone has said or done. In this particular instance what I said and did.

We’re starting Westside Barbell next week, yet I feel the overwhelming urge to take a one- or two-week hiatus from all things CrossFit.

Oh, earlier today Michael Kelley asked if I was a quitter. Uhm, I quit running races, and not just marathons but all races, about two years ago. So, yes, I’m a quitter.