First, last-place finisher!

I taped my left ankle and then rolled up my sock.
Dave made a chalk outline of my “dead” body.
The rope burned through the sole of my shoe.

Before I describe the disaster that took place today, I’d like to first discuss my progress with yoga. I’ve begun to once again regularly attend a power yoga session at least once and sometimes twice a week. I last attended this past Tuesday.

1. I am the most “bendy” (my yoga instructor, Heather’s, term) that I’ve ever been. Not only can I bend and place the palms of my hands under my feet, I can also bring my chest to my quads.
2. For the very first time ever I was able to place my forehead on the ground while in pigeon pose.
3. For the very first time ever I was able to stack my legs.
4. I can now easily transition from crow pose to plank position.

I think I may be just a wee bit egocentric. Every time Heather says “pause here” I hear “Paul’s here.”

As you may have gathered, I rested yesterday. I’m always tight after a day of rest, so I arrived at 5:45 this morning to allow time to stretch and roll – and to tape my left ankle.

Josh led today’s session, and he began with 30-second warm up drills. Thanks for including burpees, Josh! You’re a gentleman and a scholar.

Josh next demonstrated a couple of different ways to climb a rope. He’s tall and he has good technique, so he made it look far easier than it is. I gave it a try, and climbed to the orange mark on the rope – and what I thought was the 20’ mark. I descended and Josh said, “That’s the 15’ mark. You’ll need to climb to the ceiling for 20’.” I replied, “Then I think I’m scaling to 15’.” I have no fear of heights. Hell, I don’t even have a fear of falling. I just knew that 20’ was going to be a long distance to climb.

Josh suggested that we jump as high as we could, grab the rope, and position our feet. Uhm, yeah, so I can like jump maybe a foot and a half. Great! That means I only have to climb 18.5’!

To the best of my recollection, I’ve only climbed a rope as part of a metcon on 2 occasions, once at CF908 and once at CFKoP. I didn’t particularly enjoy doing so on either occasion. I end up battered, bruised, and humiliated. Today was no exception!

AFAP
30 clean & jerks (155/105)
20’ rope climb ascent after 5 C&Js

Thus, 6 rounds of 5 C&Js and a rope climb. I warmed up C&Js and settled on 115#; about 80% of my bodyweight, 75% of 1RM power clean, and 70% of 1RM C&J. Heavy enough for you, bitches?

The first round of C&Js went reasonably well, and I focused on dropping under the bar, pushing my hips back, dipping under the bar for the jerk, and locking my elbows at the top of the jerk. The first rope climb, well, was a challenge. I attempted to stand up straight (while still dressed fabulously), but my Inov8s kept slipping. I quickly determined that I might actually be losing ground if I stood up, so I had to use my arm – and particularly my forearms – much more than I wanted to, and had to make far too many pulls to make it to the top.

Yes, to the top. Once I made it to the 15’ mark I challenged myself to climb to the 20’ mark. I thought, “Hell, I can do this at least once.” I climbed 20’ for remaining rounds.

The second round of C&Js and rope climb went okay. Just okay. Nothing more, nothing less. C&Js were starting to feel pretty damn heavy.

As Josh was watching (of course), I missed the 3rd clean during the 3rd round. Josh said, “You’re a f@cking loser, Paul! I can’t believe we’re letting you join the box! You shouldn’t be allowed coach this sh!t. Grow a pair!” Okay, that’s what I heard. What Josh actually said was “Drop under the bar.”

The 3rd rope climb was painful in many, many ways. Even though I had taped my ankle, I could tell that the rope was burning my flesh. With Josh encouraging me to stand up, I knew it was to my detriment to do so. After sliding down the rope, I took a moment to regroup. I decided to call it a day. I don’t mind an occasional DNF.

I don’t know what compelled me to do so, but I stepped up to the bar. I then became obsessed with the ring finger on my left hand, as it had gone cold and numb. I muddled through another 5 C&Js and yet another rope climb.

Four rounds done, two loooooooong rounds to go.

The 5th round was grueling. I missed the 25th rep, i.e., the last rep of this round, in that I didn’t come anywhere close to locking the bar overhead. Without resting nearly long enough, I attempted the C&J again, and while I came closer to locking it out overhead I still wasn’t able to do so. Josh said, “The jerk isn’t your friend.” Does this mean that you’re not my friend, Josh? You know, because you’re a jerk? Hugs! I was resting, bent over with hands on my quads. I had barely enough energy to raise my right arm and extend my middle finger. We both chuckled. I finally was able to complete the C&J.

I climbed that damn rope a 5th time.

Five more C&Js, each done one at a time with a rest between reps. I was dreading climbing that damn rope.

I was oblivious to ever other person, but evidently Eric and I were neck and neck. Josh said, “It’s a race, Paul!” I replied, “He’s got this one. I’m not even going to try.” And I didn’t. I struggled to the top, estimating that it took me 83 pulls (that might be a slight exaggeration) to reach the 20’ mark. My time was 14:25, and I was the last of the 6amers to finish.

I dropped to my hands and knees, and quickly realized that my forearms were so tired that I couldn’t even remain in tabletop position. I moved to child’s pose. Even that hurt, so I rolled onto my back. “Josh,” I said, “I suck at rope climbs. My forearms are weak. I either need to climb the rope or masturbate much more frequently.”

Josh led the group through some shoulder stretches, but I was too spent to join them. My forearms were swollen, and my hands hurt. I couldn’t even remove the clips from the bar, and had to ask for assistance.

I like workouts that kick my ass. This. Kicked. My. Ass.

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Bucking Fox Jumps

Short entry today, folks, as there typically isn’t a strength segment at CFBC on Tuesdays for me to take time to discuss. Deedee led today’s session, and the focus was on the (dare I say) exhilarating metcon. I was very much looking forward to this, and I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.

20-minute AMRAP
5 ring dips
10 box jumps, 24”
15 American kettle bell swings, 52#

Now that my shoulder is completely healed, ring dips don’t cause any pain. Although I prefer burpees, I also truly enjoy ring dips.

My goals for ring dips were to do all rounds in unbroken reps and to complete strict until I absolutely had to kip, i.e., I found myself kipping in order to lock my elbows. My goals for box jumps were to do all rounds unbroken and to stand at the top of the box and rebound off of the floor, i.e., to not extend hips as I was jumping off of the box. My goals for KB swings were to complete the first 5 minutes of rounds in unbroken reps, and then do complete in reps of 10 & 5.

I did complete all rounds of ring dips unbroken. Once again, this wasn’t a lofty goal. I did complete as strict reps until the last 2 rounds.

I missed 2 box jumps, but other than that box jumps went very smoothly. I know I loudly land on the box and I do so selfishly, as it helps me set a rhythm. I also completed the last set of box jumps very quickly and in order to do so I did extend my hips as I jumped off of the box. So sue me.

After completing the first 5 minutes of KB swings unbroken, I set a new goal to complete unbroken until 10 minutes. I was able to accomplish that (damn it) so I set a goal to make it to 15 minutes. I was once again was able to accomplish that goal (damn it) so I set a goal to complete all rounds of KB swings unbroken. And I did just that.

I met goal for ring dips, missed goal for box jumps (due to 2 missed jumps), and exceeded goal for KB swings.

I completed 13 rounds + 16 reps (5 ring dips, 10 box jumps, and 1 KB swing).

70 ring dips
140 box jumps
195 KB swings

It’s weirdly silent at CFBC some mornings, and today was one of those mornings. While the music was certainly loud enough to hear, it wasn’t LOUD. I grunt loudly when I’m exerting myself, and I became very self-conscious of doing so. I was delighted when I heard a couple of others grunt. To lighten the mood, I occasionally interjected comments. For example, when “Feels Good, Inc.” by the Gorrilaz began to play I said, “This feels anything but ‘good’. The Gorrilaz are taunting me.” I’m not sure if fellow CFBCers laughed at or with me.

I’ve also noticed some as-yet-to-be-determined “friendly” competition. Been there, done that, ain’t gonna do it again. I’ve made it a point to not look at the whiteboard the following day to see how I compared with others, and I’ll continue to do so. Faithful readers know that I’d prefer to not even have my name on the whiteboard…

While I was completing the 9th or 10th round of KB swings I thought, “I should really run the Umstead Marathon in March.” Where the hell did that thought come from?

 

Pastor Paul

Do you like the title of today’s post, Amy?

Josh led today’s session, and began by leading us through 30-second drills and then focusing on mobility. I love burpees, Josh. More burpees, please. I mean it. More burpees.

One of the things I like so much about CFBC (and that I always liked at CFZ as well) is the focus on stretching and mobility before an athlete attempts any activity, whether it be a pull-up, muscle-up, or overhead squat. Speaking of which…

Strength
Overhead Squat
5 @ 75% of 1RM, 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, 1

I learned much today, and when I think about how I’ve struggled with the OHS in the past, I will blushingly mightily state that I’ve made significant progress. I continue to learn, and today was no exception. Yup, I recorded all lifts. Yup, I asked Josh to review all recordings. Yup, I asked Kirk to record 1RM OHS. Nope, I’m not requesting review by Michael Kelley. His fingers are too fat to use the scrolling feature of Coach’s Eye anyhow.

My major goal today was to squat below parallel on the very first attempt, i.e., not use the first squat as a warmup. I warmed up with the bar, and then did 5 reps at both 65 and 85, 85# being 75% of 1RM. Josh noticed and noted that my heels begin to turn in while I’m rising from the squat. He asked to see the bottom of my weightlifting shoes, and at first I thought he wanted to see if I would kick my foot behind me or raise my leg in front of me to look at the heel. (If you’ve ever seen the episode of “Murphy Brown” where they try to determine if Miles is gay, you’ll know what I mean. I’m really dating myself, aren’t I?) Josh thought that the heel of the shoe might be slippery, and that was what was causing my feet to move. Ha! Nope, it was my own brute strength. Josh explained and demonstrated a foot position that he thought might be of benefit, namely placing my feet vertical with my toes pointing directly forward. I completed 3 @ 90#, and the squats felt, dare I say, much more solid. Thanks for the suggestion, Josh! More burpees, please. I actually completed 5 squats, as I felt that 2 were questionable in regard to depth. Upon review, only 1 squat was a failed attempt.

I continued with 3 @ 95#. Upon reviewing, it’s clear to see that my heel did begin to turn inward once again. There’s so much to focus on! I next completed 3 @ 100#. Keep in mind that 100# is about 70% of my bodyweight. My heels did turn in slightly, but less than with previous 3 reps.

I did 1 @ 110#, and Josh observed and confirmed that the squat was a good rep. Next up was 1 @ 120#, my current (as of last week) 1RM. I went up on my toes a little bit, but it was still a successful squat.

I take much time setting up, i.e., after push jerking the bar overhead, I confirm that my arms are active, that I’m gripping the bar with a hook grip (did you notice, Josh?), and that I think about pushing my hips back before taking a deep breath.

With 125# on the bar, I said, “One twenty-five.” Josh said, “You got this. Sorry. You don’t got this. Do good.” Just before I squatted Josh said, “Same as before. Hit that depth. Stay in the heels.” I squatted below parallel and Josh said, “Good.” I began to rise and Josh said, “Up, up, up!” I rose, extended my hips – and then felt the bar fall behind me. I dropped the bar behind my head.

Hell, I couldn’t have even extended my arms that far behind my body in the very recent past.

I’ve reviewed the lift quite a few times, and I honestly don’t know if the rep would’ve counted. I did rise, I did extend my hips and finish the lift, but I also dropped the bar behind me. Regardless, I wanted another attempt.

I didn’t, however, want to clean the bar to the rack, so Josh was kind enough to do so. Thanks, Josh! I shall do burpees as payment.

Before I talk about the final attempt, note how much direction and (when necessary) support Josh provided. It was the perfect balance, and just what I as a coachee needed. Well done, Josh. More burpees, please.

I didn’t wait very long before making one final attempt. Josh once again observed, only this time he left me to my own devices. I did take a step back with first my left and then my right foot, but I also locked the bar overhead with my hips full extended. Both Josh and Kirk reviewed, and said it was a successful attempt; thus a new 1RM of 125# for OHS. That’s about 85% of bodyweight, bitches. Twenty more pounds to go…

As we were preparing for the metcon, I said, “The snatch is my menesis.” Yes, “menesis”, not “nemesis”. Maybe I should refer to the snatch as my “gaymenesis”. I like that.

I just received a text from Jeff wherein he referred to me as “snooky bearlicious”. That’s a new one.

Conditioning
AFAP
5 power snatches (95/65)
20 wall ball (20#, 10’ target)
10 PS
15 WB
15 PS
10 WB
20 PS
5 WB

I usually attempt to split the difference in the weight, but today knew that even 80 was going to be too heavy, so I began with 75#. Just before we began, I aksed Josh “Should I just go with 65#?” He replied, “Let’s see how the first round goes, and if your form is shitty we can take off the 5# plates.” My form was shitty. Very, very shitty. Explosive diarrhea shitty. Josh was justified in taking off 10# after the first round, and that’s what a good coach should do.

I completed the round of 5 PS unbroken, but, again, with shitty form. I completed the round of 10 unbroken as well, the round of 15 in reps of 9 and 6, and the round of 20 in reps of 6, 5, 5, & 4. All rounds of wall ball shots were done unbroken, although I didn’t hit the target on 2 attempts and had to redo.

I talked far too much during this metcon, saying such things as “I’m really not enjoying myself right now.” My time was 6:45.

Josh said, “I need to spend some time with you on snatches, particularly your set up and finish.” I’m all in, Josh!

 

Happy Baby and Sh!t

As I didn’t arrive at CFD until after 9:30, I didn’t work out until noon. As always, I very much enjoyed coaching the 10 and 11am sessions, and here are some of the reasons why:

1. Amy Scott sometimes shows her pretty little face. This alone keeps me at CFD.
2. There is more than enough space and equipment for all athletes. Given that there are usually larger crowds on Sundays, this is much needed and appreciated.
3. As I’m the only coach on Sundays I generally have free reign. Thus, if I need to slightly modify the workouts, e.g., time limits, fewer reps, etc., I can do so for both sessions. I always let Dave know, and he always seems to understand.
4. Perhaps most importantly, CFD athletes are genuinely appreciative of my coaching. Not a Sunday goes by that someone doesn’t compliment me. Yes, I know I already have a big ego, but I still sincerely appreciate occasional praise.  Today, Gail, who I had only coached this past Thursday (along with 26 other people) and today, told me that I was a very good coach. Beth, who I coached for the very first time today, sent me a very nice message. And Erica, who I had coached as part of a Living Social event, complimented me – and asked if I could coach additional days at CFD. Ha!

Strength
Front Squats @ 85% of 1RM
3-3-3-3-3

As I required of athletes when I coached, I did reps on the minute. I based percentage on 205, so I lifted 175#. The weight did feel heavy but manageable. I recorded the lifts and reviewed after completing all sets. I was pleased that I was able to lead with elbows, knees, and hips, and to avoid raising my ass before lifting. As is to be expected, my hips were below parallel at the bottom of each and every squat.

Conditioning
21-15-9 dead-lifts @ 1½ bodyweight
40-30-20 double unders
21-15-9 burpees

I lifted 220# for dead-lifts, and completed the first round in reps of 11 & 10, the second round in reps of 5, and the last round in reps of 6 & 3. I glanced at the clock after completing the first round, and realized I had done 21 dead-lifts in less than a minute.

Double unders were a mess. I didn’t have my speed rope with me, so I used one of the trial Rx jumps ropes that Dave has. Big mistake, as the rope was far too heavy. I was only able to string together 15 at the most and often did just a single freaking double under. Dammit.

I love burpees, I truly do. I completed all rounds unbroken.

My time was a disappointing 9:22. Damn jump rope.

Dear Michael Kelley,

Hello! I promise that I will make every attempt to see you this coming Saturday.

Your friend,
Paul 

Kelly Time!

As I’m used to working out at 6am most mornings, waiting until 10:30am to do so was a workout in and of itself. I’m reading “Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Lincoln”, so that helped to pass the time.

We saw our good friend Kelly’s car as we pulled into the CrossFit Coastal parking lot, and we were warmly met by Kelly and her daughter, Ameron.

I warmed up a little on my own, and then Zeke announced that we had 20 minutes to establish 1RM snatch or clean & jerk or, if we were doing “Outlaw”, 20 minutes to establish both snatch and clean & jerk 1RMs. Jeff was working with a novice, and I eventually ended up coaching him through the clean & jerk. I clean & jerked my bodyweight and called it a day.

I was expecting a team workout, and was looking forward to doing so with Jeff, Kelly, and Ameron. We instead completed the following.

As fast as possible
100m walking lunges holding 45# plate overhead
90-sec plank hold
80 double unders
70 Air squats
60 Abmat sit-ups
50 box jumps, 24”
40 pushups
30 pull-ups
20 burpees
10 handstand pushups

The standard movements were not discussed. I had barely set up my stations when the time began.

I briefly rested after lunging 50m and 75m. As we were walking outside on the pavement, I did not touch my back knee to the ground.

I mistakenly thought we were to do 90 double unders after lunges, and began to do so. I struggled at first because I wasn’t using my own rope, but then managed to string together as many as 40 unbroken. As others entered the box and began plank hold, I realized my mistake. I finished double unders and then held plank for 90 seconds.

I broke air squats into sets of 25, 15, 10, 10, & 10. I knew box jumps were coming up. I completed sit-ups unbroken.

I just did many, many box jumps yesterday, so I took it easy, doing in sets of 20, 20, & 10. Pushups went well, and I completed in reps of 10, 10, 10, 5, & 5.

I completed as many as 15 and as few as 2 reps for pull-ups. The bar is so high that I had to stand on a 24” box to reach the bar, and I think I may have inadvertently used a box that someone was going to use for jumps. Sorry!

Burpees are always fun, and I did in 2 sets of 10 reps.

My shoulders were aching by this time, and I was only able to do the first 2 reps of HSPUs unbroken, and the remaining in single reps.

My total time was 19:09.

I very much enjoyed seeing Kelly and Ameron! As Jeff and I will be spending much time in Wilmington in the future, we’re going to give CrossFit Wilmington a try as well.

I don’t have a Claire to spare

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I checked into CFZ on Facebook and took a picture of the cubbies. I did this for one of two possible reasons: To show how many CFZers now have weightlifting shoes or to show that I had cleaned out my cubbie. You decide which reason.

I made sure not to overindulge yesterday. I didn’t gain an ounce. Michael Kelley informed me that he gained 9.4 lbs. I let him know that I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

I may or may not have informed Michael Kelley that I was going to work out early this morning, and he let me know that Claire would be joining me. As I didn’t want Claire to have to work out by herself, I arrived at CFZ at 5:40am. Unfortunately, Claire was unable to attend, and I had the box to myself.

Today was a day when I wouldn’t have minded someone joining. I know, right?

My shoulders are incredibly sore, so I spent much time warming up. I very much wanted to do “Klepto”, but I didn’t want to do squat cleans.

4 rounds for time
27 box jumps, 24”
20 bar-touching burpees
11 front squats @ 80% bodyweight, 115#

Having warmed up front squats, I knew it would be unrealistic – and possibly risk injury – to do unbroken at a heavier weight. My goal was to do all 4 rounds of box jumps and bar-touching burpees unbroken. I recorded the entire workout and shouted times (and an occasional obscenity).

I missed the 24th box jump and missed touching the bar on the 17th burpee of the 1st round. I also found myself pausing before jumping to touch the bar. I completed the 1st round in 3:40.

The 2nd and 3rd rounds went much more smoothly for both box jumps and burpees. After extending my hips, I quickly rebounded off of the floor for box jumps. I did, however, miss the 8th box jump of the 2nd round. I also jumped at the top of the burpee and quickly touched the bar.

I completed front squats in reps of 6 & 5 for the first 3 rounds. Having reviewed the recording, I squatted below parallel each and every rep. I called time at 7:19 (3:39) and 11:20 (4:00) after 2nd and 3rd rounds, respectively. Yes, the 3rd round was challenging, and it was the rest between the sets of front squats that slowed me down the most. I even walked away from the bar, bent at the waist, and put my hands on my quads and rested.

I completed the last round of box jumps unbroken. I had decided to complete the last set of burpees in reps of 15 and 5, but managed to complete unbroken. I had also decided to complete the last set of front squats in reps of 6 & 5, but glanced at the clock before starting and noticed that 14 minutes had passed. I thought, “See if you can finish in under 15 minutes. I somehow managed to also complete unbroken. Uhm, I’m not sure where that came from. I called time at 14:51, so my last round was in 3:31.

Even though I didn’t achieve goals, I’m very pleased with the workout. I certainly worked up a rather good sweat!

Lower, left-hand corner.

Almost everyone did a great job!

I just enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with Jeff, my mother, and Brenda and Larry. I may very well fall asleep while composing this.

Yesterday morning my friend Christine invited me to lululemon to try on some clothes and provide feedback. Lexy picked out the ensembles, and I was impressed with the selections. Even though I’ve been forbidden to buy myself anything until after my birthday and Christmas, I nonetheless purchased an awesome hoodie. As there was only one in stock in size small, I couldn’t very well risk someone else buying. Right?

I’m addicted to lululemon. Admitting I have a problem is the first step. Right?

I arrived at CFD this morning at 8. I contemplated doing “Klepto”, but am a bit tired of squat cleans. I instead did yesterday’s CFD metcon, as I wanted to do something fast and furious. Lexy had also mentioned how much she enjoyed the metcon, so I was all in.

5 rounds for time
3 power cleans @ 75% bodyweight
10 ring push-ups
5 box jumps 30″

My goal was to complete all reps unbroken. I looked at the times athletes had posted and set a goal to complete in less than 5 minutes.
As 108# is 75% of bw, I put 110# on the bar.

Uhm, yeah, so this was indeed fast and furious. I completed all reps unbroken and quickly transitioned between activities. Time = 4:19.

I rested 3 minutes and then did 100 pull-ups.

I competed the first 20 unbroken and the last 10 as single reps. Time = 6:13.

Dave asked me to coach today’s 9 & 10am sessions and I jumped at the chance. I kinda, you know, like coaching.

Dave and I exchanged the following texts earlier in the week.
Paul: Any ideas for Thursday WOD?
Dave: I sent it didn’t I? Klepto. It’s gonna be nuts in there.
Paul: Klepto? I put the jump rope back in the box. Promise! Why nuts? U expecting a lot of people?
Dave: Klepto the WOD.
Paul: Ooooh, that makes sense.

Haha! I had borrowed an Rx rope and I thought Dave was under the impression that I hadn’t returned it.

Twenty-seven and eight attended the 9 & 10am sessions, respectively. I had an incredibly fun time coaching! I led the groups though a 15-minute warmup, reviewed the requirements and demonstrated the movements, gave athletes time to determine weight for squat cleans, and then had everyone do 3 reps of box jumps, burpees, and squat cleans. It took athletes about 20 to 25 minutes to complete, and this allowed a 5-minute cool down.

That’s effective time management. Right?

Today’s shout outs go to Einar (strength), Ami (form), Matt (determination), and Jamie (cheerfulness). Oh, and Dave for his salute to the clock.