Muscle Memory

Get ready for some lengthy posts, folks, because I got nothin’ but time.

I didn’t begin taking piano lessons until the 9th grade. While I had been studying music for three years prior to taking up the piano (clarinet, if you must know), the piano was quite a challenging instrument. I took private lesson from my very first mentor, Linda. (She and I reconnected via Facebook!) As many pianists my age had been studying for years, I had much to learn. I practiced daily and for hours at a time. I was a music major my freshman and sophomore years of college, and during that time I practiced as many as 6 hours a day. It’s been years and years since I’ve studied so dutifully, yet I can sit down at a piano after months have passed and easily play all of the major and minor scales. I can also easily play songs that I’ve played in the past, particularly holiday tunes. Why? Muscle memory. I don’t really have to think when I play the piano. I just sit back and enjoy myself.

Pose running? Muscle memory. Muscle-ups, rings dips, back levers? Muscle memory. Back squats, front squats, dead-lifts? Muscle memory. Clean & Jerks? I’m getting there. Snatches? [Silence.]

Yesterday I surprised my BFF, Michael Kelley, by attending the 11:30am WOD at Zeal, and I was joined by Angela, John, Cindy, Terri, and Mandi. Michael Kelley led us through mobility, including Spiderperson and squats of some sort. He also stated, “Everyone is a little gay. I’m 80-20, and my 20 percent is all for Paul.” I kid you not. That’s what he said. I. Kid. You. Not.

It’s not wonder that I love him so.

Front Squat
Work up to heavy rep (90% of 1RM)
3 x 3 @ 80%

Yes, I know I did heavy front squats Monday, but when in Zeal do as the Zealots do. I was able to match current 1RM of 205, but failed one attempt at 215#. I shouldn’t have been so greedy and should’ve attempted 210#. Sets at 165# felt very good, and I focused on keeping the bar in a not-gay line, keeping my elbows up, and thinking about how much Michael Kelley loves me.

Agility, one of the 10 general skills of fitness, was the next focus. Michael Kelley had duct-taped PVC pipes to boxes in some strange configuration. We jumped over boxes, jumped over a pipes and then back, etc., then did a few shuttle runs and did the same thing in the opposite direction. It wasn’t nearly as confusing as I’m making it seem. We immediately rowed as many meters as possible in 60 seconds. I rowed 311m. That’s pretty damn good, particularly given how short I am.

Michael Kelley invited himself to join me for lunch. I had a burger with pimento cheese and a fried onion ring. Michael Kelley had two burgers. He had consumed both burgers before I had consumed ¾ of mine. He does eat with his mouth closed, so I don’t mind all that much.

As Luke is at Doggie Village today (so that Jeff can pick him up this evening), I attended the 6am session at Zeal this morning – much to Michael Kelley’s delight. It was very nice seeing Claire & Alex, John, Lauren and Tim, and Heather.

Oh, I bet you’re wondering about my left elbow. I should’ve mentioned this sooner. I feel hardly any pain at all! Nonetheless, I don’t want to risk hurting myself, so I didn’t join the group for snatch practice.

Strength
GHD sit-ups
5 x 20

I haven’t done this high of a volume of GHD sit-ups – or that many reps in a set – in quite some time. The last 5 reps or each set were a challenge. As I’m so abtabulous, I was able to successfully complete all sets with full range of motion.

Ring dips
10 reps on the minute for 5 minutes followed immediately by 10 band pull-aparts.

Others did 5 reps on the minute for 10 minutes, but I wasn’t really paying attention to Michael Kelley and got confused chose to do 10 reps for 5 minutes.

I gave Michael Kelley a full-on frontal hug just before leaving. I think I felt 20% movement.

But wait, I’m not done! I’ll be coaching at BC this evening, so I wanted to get a sense of the workout, including the warm up, before doing so. I arrived as the 7amers were in the midst of the conditioning. Alexis, Martin, and Julia looked strong! I only saw Chris when he was resting. Joe was there, too. That is all.

As I was the only person to attend the 8am session, Nikki (!) and I worked out together. Could my day possibly get any better?

photoClean and Jerks
5 x 5

Nikki and I took turns completing sets and providing feedback for each other. Josh appeared (with Caleb in tow) and also provided meaningful commentary.

I took my time with the warm up, making sure that my elbow wasn’t going to cause me grief. Fortunately, it didn’t. I then completed sets @ 105, 115, 125, 130, and 135# (94% of bodyweight and 85% of 1RM).  I’ve made significant progress on the push jerks. Josh commented that he was pleased with how deeply I was dropping below the bar. I focused on not moving my left foot back before dipping, and I was mostly successful – with the exception of the 4th round. Uhm, muscle memory.

I remain very excited about opening my own CrossFit. I’ve noticed that I no longer say, “I’m thinking about opening my own box.” I say, “I’m opening my own box.”

That’s commitment.

With some prodding, I’ve committed to running the 10th Umstead Trail Marathon. As a previous winner, my entry is free. I’m going to be training using the CF Endurance method; thus, I won’t be running any longer than 35 miles in any given week. Josh, Kirk, and Nikki have agreed to join me for some or all of the training. Any other takers?

My friend Maggi posted the following response to yesterday’s post: Keep reminding yourself to enjoy this part of your journey!

I’m doing just that, Maggi!

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