Michael Kelley Taught Me Something Today.

What if you didn’t blog – and no-one noticed? I hyphenate “no-one”. Ask me why.

This blog is going to be all over the place. Just so you know.

The weather in NC has been absolutely gorgeous. While taking Luke for a walk yesterday evening Jeff said, “Why do you like Michael Kelley so much? You’ve had best friends in the past, but none that you’ve liked as much as Michael Kelley.” I blabbered for a moment, not really stating an actual reason, and then said, “Perhaps it’s because he’s openly affectionate. He says ‘I love you’ and I know he means it.” It might also be because he accepts me exactly as I am. I also accept him exactly as he is, although I wish he were less fat. Whoomp, there it is.

I did work out yesterday, if that’s what it can be called. We began with snatch practice, and I just couldn’t drop under the bar. My hips ached. I became so frustrated that while others practiced snatching I put the bar on the rack and practiced overhead squats. We next practiced power cleans, beginning with a lighter weight on the bar and then adding 10 or 5# every 30 seconds or so. I teamed with Alex. I was able to power clean 155#, albeit on the second attempt. As that’s my current 1RM, I’m okay with that.

Now that my shoulder is almost completely healed, I can noticeably tell just how weak I’ve become due to favoring and babying my shoulders. The prescribed meton didn’t interest me in the least: 400m run, 200 double unders, 400m run. I completed 3 rounds of 100 double unders and 400m run. I have gotten so used to extending my right arm far away from my body when I do double unders that the rope is now hitting me on the left side of the back of my head. That hurts.

Wasn’t that boring? I agree. I’m not the biggest fan of dynamic effort days.

Today is the one-year anniversary of our adopting Luke. He’s a wonderful addition to the family, and Jeff and I are delighted with just how awesome of a dog he has turned out to be.

It was also on this date three years ago that I had my first encounter with Michael Kelley. Having just read my blog for that race, it’s of interest to note that there is absolutely no mention of him.

Michael Kelley was at the race as a representative of Lifestyle Family Fitness. He was my friend Tegan’s personal trainer, and she facilitated the introduction. He had one goal: acquiring clients. While I can’t recall the exact conversation, I do recall him unequivocally stating: I can make you faster. He offered me a free massage with a happy ending one-hour training session. Yes, Michael Kelley was the first person to introduce me to CrossFit, and for that I will be forever grateful.

I’m not certain when or even how we became friends, for at that time I was only seeing him during our weekly and then bi-weekly coaching sessions. I suppose I discovered his fondness for me when I informed him that I would no longer be using his services and would instead be joining a local CrossFit (at that time not yet determined). His girlfriend, Britt, informed me that he was devastated, and that he had spent numerous hours lying in bed under the covers while eating pretzel M&M’s. We exchanged numerous email messages. Michael Kelley pleaded with me to reconsider and to continue using his services. I did not acquiesce.

I completed Foundations at Triangle CrossFit and then discovered CrossFit Durham. Michael Kelley occasionally attended sessions at CFD and then began attending the Saturday endurance WOD I coached as well as coaching a mobility WOD himself later that day.

I remember the exact moment that I said these four words: I hate Michael Kelley.

As I was talking shit about Michael Kelley, Dave teasingly said, “You love Michael Kelley.” I immediately responded, “I hate Michael Kelley.” As faithful readers know, that phrase became a running joke. I would post “I hate Michael Kelley” on Facebook and Michael Kelley would then post “I hate Paul Potorti”. I would look for opportunities to state “I hate Michael Kelley” in blog posts. I considered hiring a skywriter. We eventually exchanged phone numbers and began sexting. He would even call me just to talk. Weird, I know.

When Michael Kelley opened CFZ and no longer attended sessions at CFD I was certain our friendship would gradually, well, just end. I had no intention of leaving CFD for CFZ, but that’s what I did. And even when I began my membership at CFZ I had no intention of coaching there.

Michael Kelley can sometimes be quite persuasive…

I’m often asked why I call him Michael Kelley and not “Michael” or “Mike” or even “Mike Kelley”. I don’t know why, so stopping asking.

Aaaaaand I’m back.

I was once again the first to arrive at the box this morning. I chose the Ellie Goulding playlist on Pandora. Regular attendees at the 6am session may have realized that I often chose the playlist based upon my mood. I was in an Ellie Goulding “Lights” kind of mood this morning, and many people commented on how much they liked the songs. I’m an auditory learner and communicator. More about this in a moment…

When Michael Kelley finally arrived he greeted me by saying, “Good morning, Paul” and then placing his hand firmly on my left ass cheek. His hand remained there for quite some time, and perhaps he was expecting me to ask him to object, remove his hand, move away, or even grab his ass. You’re funny, Michael Kelley. Next time put your hand on my junk and see what happens then.

ME Upper
Seated Barbell Press

Head Coach Michael Kelley changed the scheduled programming yet again. I expected today to be 1RM split jerk.

What the hell is a seated barbell press? I positioned a 20” box behind the rack. I would then take the bar off of the rack, sit on the box, press the bar overhead, bring the bar down to my “shelf”, stand up, and then re-rack the bar. Good times, good times.

I warmed up with the bar and then 75, 85, and 90#. I then did singles @ 100, 105, 110, and 115#. That’s 92.5% of 1RM, so I’m pleased. I was also pleased that my left shoulder didn’t cause me to scream in agony.

Split Jerk
2×1 @ 70%
2×1 @ 80%
4×1 @ 90%
All based on most recent 1RM Split Jerk

I treated my BFF to a movie this past Sunday evening, and we saw “Pitch Perfect”. We sat in the next-to-last row, and seated behind us was a group of a half dozen or so teenagers. They spoke out loud during the movie, and it annoyed the shit out of me. There were numerous times when I whispered to Michael Kelley, “I’m going to say something to them.” He would reply, “Calm down” or “Take a deep breath”. Little did I know that it was bothering him as well, and he eventually exploded. He made a very loud “Shhhhh” sound and then said, “You’re talking here (raising his arm high above his head) and you need to be here (lowering his arm)”. I used this is an opportunity to ask them to be quiet. The theater was deathly quiet for the remainder of the movie.

I was only able to split-jerk 145# last week, but I was able to clean and jerk 160# a month or so ago, so I based percentages on 155# and rounded up.

I have to repeatedly look at the whiteboard when I coach to remind myself of the sets and reps. I admit to being quite confused this morning.

I did 2 unbroken reps @ 110 (108.5 is 70% of 155) and then did 2 unbroken reps @ 125 (124). Before doing 4 unbroken reps at 90% I asked, “Are we supposed to be doing these one at a time, Michael Kelley?” He rolled his eyes and sarcastically said, “Yes, you’re supposed to be doing 4 unbroken reps at 90% of your one rep maximum.” What an ass and what an ass.

I previously mentioned that I’m an auditory learner. I listen to music throughout the day, and the only time I need complete silence is when I sleep. I learn best when the coach talks to me. I dislike when and am annoyed by people who speak loudly in public, and this includes not only movie theaters but concerts, public transportation such as airplanes, restaurants – I guess really any public setting. Two lovely and delightful individuals (you know who you are) tend to be quite loud when they talk, and even louder when they talk to each other. I try to block their conversations from my mind, I truly do. I also, however, talk to myself when I lift, particularly complicated lifts like the split jerk and snatch, and sometimes even do so aloud – and not out loud. I need this reinforcement, and I need to hear myself. The decibel level had continued to rise throughout the morning, and I was having a very difficult time concentrating. I turned up the music hoping that this would help, but I believe it may have caused them to talk even louder. Instead of politely asking them to lower their voices, I exploded, e.g., just like Michael Kelley. It sounded something like this, “You and you, quiet down. I can’t hear myself think. Get out of my head!” Michael Kelley immediately approached and said, “That was mean.” In retrospect, it was, and I apologize. I only speak for myself, however, when I request that the two of you use your inside voices when working out when others are present. Pretty please.

Whew. Back to the split jerks. I lifted 4 singles reps at 140#, and recorded every lift. I focused on extending forward, right foot and landing on the toe and pointing out the heel of the back, left foot. I immediately reviewed all of the recordings. What I didn’t notice, however, was that I ever so slightly move my left foot back when dipping just before driving the bar overhead. WTF? This causes me to go on my toes. WTF? Michael Kelley had noticed earlier but hadn’t said a single word until after my last lift. I then re-watched all 4 lifts. Yup, I did the cha-cha each and every lift. I may need to visit Peter H. for some coaching.

3 Strict Chin-Ups
5 Handstand Push-Ups
7 Pull-Ups
9 Hand Release Push-Ups

Why the hell would the Head Coach program so much upper body work? Hadn’t I just done 117 pull-ups and 145 hand release pushups a mere 3 days ago? Also, 3 strict pull-ups were originally programmed.

I have lost the ability to do handstand pushups, most likely due to my long recovery from my shoulder injury. My form was shitty at best. I completed all rounds of chin-ups, pull-ups, and hand release push-ups but only the first round of handstand pushups unbroken. By the second round of HSPUs I was doing them sloppily and 1 rep at a time. I said, “I have to learn kipping handstand pushups.” Michael Kelley heard, “I don’t want to do kipping handstand pushups.” Get your hearing checked, Michael Kelley. Or learn to read lips. Upside-down lips. I completed 6 rounds + 3 chin-ups. As Michael Kelley would say, “Whatever.”

Jeff then arrived carrying Luke’s birthday cake. As you can see, it’s in the shape of a bone and has orange and blue lettering and decorations, as those are my and Jeff’s favorite colors, respectively. The cake was homemade by Kristen from Doggie Village, and she informed me that it is edible by humans as well as dogs.

Michael Kelley said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if you bought one of those cakes for a human?” I said, “Your birthday is February 22, right?” He nodded his head. I said, “I’ll get one for you, but it will be in the shape of a different kind of bone.”

Before picking up Luke from Doggie Village, I stopped by the box to practice split jerks. I kept the weight light @ 75# and worked on form. Yes, I recorded every lift. Yes, I asked Michael Kelley to critique. For the most part, I didn’t lift my left foot when I dipped. I also extended my right leg out so that my knee was above my ankle. Lifts felt and looked much, much better.

As I wanted to practice kipping handstand pushups, I joined the 5:15ers for the metcon. This time my focus was on learning the new way of kipping handstand pushups; thus, I took my time with chin-ups, pull-ups, and hand release pushups. I was in a particularly good mood, so I made sure to add commentary throughout the metcon. You’re welcome.

Michael Kelley actually taught me something! Thanks, BFF! I completed a mere 4 rounds + 3 chin-ups and 4 handstand pushups. Once again, all chin-ups, pull-ups, and hand release pushups were done unbroken. Yes, I’m that spectacular. Fabulous might be an even better adjective.

A very good day indeed. (Happy Anniversary, Michael Kelley!)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s