I might have to start calling her “Rowna”

I’m once again composing this post as I’m sitting on the deck wearing New Balance Minimum shoes, lululemon shorts, and my “To The Second Tree And Back” tee shirt. It’s well above 70 degrees. And it’s December.

I’m still not my usual self, although I doubt that many people other than Jeff and Michael Kelley can tell the difference. I’d be a wonderful actor. Or comedian. Or therapist. Being a coach is, in its purest essence, a combination of all three of these professions.

I arrived at CFD at 8:30, and was quite surprised when Paul K. pulled into the parking lot shortly after I had arrived. Thinking that he had a private coaching session I asked, “Are you meeting someone?” He replied, “You!” Paul got the times confused, and thought that the first session began at 9 instead of 10. I informed him of his HUGE mistake, and invited him to join me for my workout. He declined. He’s smart. He instead completed the posted WOD. Paul, I apologize for not providing more coaching, particularly during the rowing.

While Paul was working on the rings and rowing, I was warming up and getting ready for “The Grinch.” This was particularly appropriate today, as I’m not feeling very much in the Holiday Spirit.

“The Grinch”
12, 11, 10… 3, 2, 1
Dead-lifts, 225#
Ring dips
Wall ball, 20# & 10’ target

I completed this WOD the day after Christmas last year. I lifted 205# for dead-lifts and completed in a time of 20:54. I’m stronger than I was a year ago, so I was determined to finish in a faster time and with the Rx weight for dead-lifts. I sets goals to complete all rounds of ring dips strict and unbroken, wall ball shots unbroken, and dead-lifts in no less than 5 reps at a time, if applicable, and to also complete no round in more than two sets.

I’m glad that Paul was the only other person in the box, as I did an excessive amount of grunting today.

I completed all rounds of ring dips strict and unbroken and all rounds of wall balls unbroken. The following is round of dead-lifts and reps completed:
12 – 12
11 – 6 & 5
10 – 6 & 4
9 – 5 & 4
8 – 5 & 3
7 – 5 & 2

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 – unbroken

Dead-lifts, obviously, were far more challenging that ring dips or wall balls. Duh.

I had written 12  11  10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1 on the whiteboard, and erased each round, with the exception of the last two, as I completed. I needed the brief rest time.

I completed in 17:10 – 3 minutes and 34 seconds faster than this time last year and with a heavier weight for dead-lifts.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m pretty f@cking awesome. No exclamation point need, as I’m stating a fact.

I coached both the 10 & 11am sessions. Dave had scheduled ring dip skill-building and then a rowing WOD. I’m smarter than Dave – and much better at time management – so I knew that there wouldn’t be enough time for rings. I’m also much better looking than Dave. I almost forgot to mention.

Ten and nine attended the 10 and 11am sessions, respectively. I led both groups through a 15-minute warmup consisting of shoulders stretches using a band on the pull-up rig and yoga focusing on lower back and hips. Most folks seemed to enjoy, and all certainly saw an improvement in range of motion and flexibility.

I next had two from each session who I knew were good rowers demonstrate proper form, namely Amy (I love Amy, if you haven’t already figured that out for yourself) & Kristin and then Murphie & Jeff.

Rona, who attended the 11am session, let me know that she was anxious about rowing, as she hasn’t had much practice doing so. I smiled at her and said, “You don’t need to worry about a thing. I’ll break it down for you. You’ll do awesome, I’m sure!” And she did! More in a moment…

Today’s WOD was 4 x 1K row with up to 4 minutes rest between rows. I knew this was going to be grueling, as this is very much like an endurance WOD. To motivate folks to focus on form and pacing, I let them know that there was a burpee penalty of 10 burpees for each second under or over 5 seconds of the time of their first row. During the third row, I let folks know that I would forgive burpee penalties if the last row was their fastest. Quite a few people from the 10am session (I’m talking to you, Henry, Jason, and Camilia) had to do burpees. Thank you for being honest.

Jeff kicked ass and took names. I take all of the credit for his excellent rowing form.

Rona (aka "Rowna") and Coach Paul!
Rona (aka “Rowna”) and Coach Paul!

I was, however, most proud of Rona, who incidentally was one of the slowest rowers. As a vertically challenged person myself, I know what a struggle rowing can be. She was the last of the 11amers to finish, and I was by her side the last 150m or so. She was bound and determined to not have to do any burpees; thus, she wanted to ensure that her last row was her fastest row. And it was! Upon completing, she reached over and grabbed and held my hands, all the time while smiling widely. The class erupted into cheers! I am exceedingly proud of Rona, and delighted that the other athletes demonstrated such support and kindness. It makes me proud to be a coach and a CrossFitter.

Dave, may I coach the Christmas Eve or day after Christmas sessions? Will you program “The Grinch?”

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