Two dolla and 5 cent

I finished Ken Burns’ “The War” and began Ken Burn’s “National Parks”. It wasn’t until last night, when I went to my Lululemon gym bag to retrieve my iPad, that I realized that I left my iPad at CFD. Gah! I quickly posted a message to CFD Coaches page on Facebook, and Alison let me know that I had indeed left it on a box at, well, the box. I considered working out at CFBC and then driving to CFD, but then thought, “Why not kill two birds with one stone.” The strength at CFBC was also back squats and the metcon looked just as grueling.

Uhm, things have changed since I was a regular 6amer in that it was so very, very, very quiet. I was the first to arrive, and I made sure to greet everyone. I felt almost guilty for being energetic, so I reined in my enthusiasm. I used the quiet time to stretch and work on mobility, and I’m glad that I did, as the session didn’t include mobility.

Rachel led today’s session. We warmed up with 2 rounds of 500m row, 15 air squats, and 10 pushups.

Back Squat

I will admit that I didn’t thoroughly review the instructions, namely to do singles at 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, and 90%. I warmed up and did reps at 135, 165, 185, & 205 and failed at 215#. I honestly didn’t much care for attempting a second time, as 205 is 87% of 1RM.

I honestly tried to mind my own damn business, but I couldn’t help noticing that Brian, who was working out to my right, wasn’t squatting below parallel. I recorded one of his back squats to show him, and he agreed with my assessment.

7 rounds for time
7 push jerks (155/105)
7 chest to bar pull-ups
7 burpees

Okay, so I did split jerks just yesterday, so there was no way in hell that I was going to do 49 even remotely heavy lifts. I instead focused on making this a fast metcon, and I set my goal to do all rounds unbroken. I settled on 95#. In retrospect I coulda shoulda push jerked 105 or even 115. Better safe than sorry!

Even push jerking just 95# was nonetheless a challenge. I did complete all rounds of push jerks unbroken, and mixed things up as well. For example, for the first round I intentionally did not receive the bar and instead slowly lowered it to my shoulders. I received the bar for remaining rounds. For the third round I focused on using the dip when receiving as the first dip of the push jerk. This became quite exhausting – so it’s the last time I did that! I split jerked for the last round. And it was good.

I did the first 5 rounds of chest to bar pull-ups unbroken. For the sixth set I paused at the bottom of the bar before the last rep, and for the last set I paused at the bottom of the bar for the last 2 reps. The most challenging part of the chest to bar pull-ups was jumping to the bar, as I mistakenly chose one of the highest pull-up bars.

I love burpees. Even though I did burpee box jumps yesterday, I still enjoyed each and every of today’s burpees.

I jokingly said, “I’m not enjoying this” after the second round, and I said, “I’m still not enjoying this” a few more times. Just trying to keep things light, folks!

I completed the metcon in 11:20.

I spent 11 hours at CFS painting, and the lobby, hallway, and 3/4 of the workout room. That’s about 2K square feet, folks! I also spoke with the architect, and I’ll have the plans tomorrow to give to the Town of Apex. The architect assured me that there would still be more than enough time to open as scheduled on March 1. That’s just a week from Friday! I’ll be finishing the painting tomorrow, and will begin and possibly finish putting down the flooring as well. The landlord has to install additional lighting and do a few minor repairs. I’m so very, very excited!

Burpees? Box Jumps? Ok!

I worked out at CFD before coaching the 10 and 11am sessions. I’m going to miss the CFDers, and I hope they will all visit me at CFS.

I warmed up with shoulder and wrists stretches, walking down-dog, and mountain climbers and grasshoppers; the same warm up I later led.

Split jerk

Today was all about form. I started light, added a mere 5# each set, and (of course) recorded all sets. I changed the camera angle to view from left, right, front, and back. I lifted sets @70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, & 100#. I no longer step back with my left foot on the dip. Good. I take my time with the dip. Good. I land with back, left ankle and front, right ankle turned out. Good. I drop deeply under the bar. Good. I need to continue to lunge longer with my front, right leg, as my knee is slightly in front of my ankle. Dammit, I’m not perfect after all. Yet.

7-min AMRAP
6-count burpee box jumps, 32”

This was a tremendous amount of fun! Burpees were as strict as they could possibly be, i.e., I paused for a moment at each count. One: jump from top of box and squat and place hands on floor. Two: kick feet back and land in plank with tight and amazingly sculpted abs and ass. Three: drop chesticles and cheek to floor. Four: pushup to plank and again marvel at amazing tight abs and ass. Five: Jump feet to hands. Six: jump and land on box.

I had a stack of 5 poker chips, and I would move one poker chip when I completed 5 reps. I did, however, have to shout the number out loud to keep track.

I completed 44 reps. The added 2”, as I usually jump 30”, added just that little bit of extra challenge that I needed.

Many of the 10amers had arrived as I was putting away my equipment. I said, “I’ll go around the corner to change into my CrossFit Surmount shirt, as I don’t want any of the men to feel inferior.” I’m just that nice.

Today’s skill at CFD was practicing double unders. I made sure to play my “Jump” playlist, and Chad (Holla!) enjoyed the songs – and dancing – more than anyone else. No surprise there.

I can’t recall the last time I spent that much time just focusing on double unders. I truly enjoyed doing so, and I hope all of your who attended enjoyed as well.

The conditioning was an AFAP of 30 reps of GHD sit-ups, ring dips, toes to bar, double unders, and OHS. If I hadn’t done a chipper yesterday, I most certainly would’ve completed this metcon. I challenged athletes to do as many of the activities unbroken as they possibly could, and that the metcon should be fast, fast, fast. Many, but not all, listened to my guidance. What I liked so much about this metcon (and Jeff agrees) is that it showed strengths and weaknesses. For example, most athletes are unable to string together toes to bar. (A quick shout out to Henry who was able to do so during the metcon with a little bit of coaching that I provided as he was briefly resting.) The next most difficult activity for athletes was ring dips. I had to constantly remind people to use full range of motion. Delts below elbows.

A couple of athletes scaled up for OHS, including Brock and Chad. Many scaled down, and were smart to do so.

Einar, I had to call no rep on your 29th OHS. Make sure you break parallel, with crease of shorts below knees. Henry, I applaud you for completing the metcon Rx. I want to have a conversation with you about whether this was the wisest choice. (Hint: it wasn’t.) You should really friend me on Facebook. Rosa’s my friend.

We came home, got Luke, and went to CFS to meet our friends Paul and Heather, as Paul made parallettes and a plate rack for me. Thanks, Paul; very nice craftsmanship. I still like Heather much more than I like you. Much, much more. Michael Kelley also visited because he’s nosy and a somewhat good friend who’s not at all fat and wanted to help. We had been there just a moment when Steve, who I knew was coming to pick up a tee shirt, and 3 other folks arrived to see the space! Location, location, location. I spackled the walls in preparation for painting.

Yes, you’re welcome to stop by tomorrow and help paint.

I win!

Luke getting ready for a walk in the snow.
Luke getting ready for a walk in the snow.

“Don’t you usually work out at Zeal on Saturdays?” asked Kirk. “No,” I resoundingly replied.

For the very first time ever, I attended the 9am session at CFBC. Many of my friends were in attendance, and I shall rank them now. Number 1: Jules. Number 2: Cassie, Alexis, Nikki, Lynn, Jill, Kirsten, Kirk, Greg, and Jason (tied). Number 3: Everyone else except Josh (tied). Number 4: Josh, as he didn’t “stretch” me.

Kirk led us through a brief warm up, reviewed standards for movements, and “suggested” that we completed 10 reps of each of the activities. I admit to not doing so.

For Time:

  • 20 Pull-Ups
  • 30 Hand Release Push-Ups
  • 40 GHD Sit-Ups
  • 50 Jumping Air Squats

Rest 3 Minutes

  • 50 Double Unders
  • 40 Kettelbell Swings (53, 35#)
  • 30 Sandbag Shuttles (1=10 meters carrying 50, 25#)
  • 20 Burpee Ball Tosses (30, 20#)

For the Burpee Ball Toss, perform one burpee, one slamball/med ball clean, and then throw the ball over a designated pull-up bar without hitting the bar. (Yes, motivational consequences will be assessed for hitting the bar).

Kirk demonstrated the burpee ball tosses and explained the penalty: 10 walking lunges holding med ball overhead. Ouch. Kirk admitted that he missed 2 of the tosses. Ouch.

I did a few pull-ups, GHD sit-ups, and KB swings, and then attempted the burpee ball tosses.

If I had known that this was today’s WOD, I wouldn’t have done yesterday’s WOD that included med ball cleans and double unders. Just saying.

I attempted a few burpess ball tosses. I took me 4 attempts before I managed to throw the ball over the pull-up rig without hitting the bar. I feared that this was going to be a big (as in the size of Michael Kelley’s ass) mess.

Kirk said, “This is a bodyweight exercise, so you should be able to do all activities unbroken.” This, however, was not my strategy.

I said to Kirk, “I’d like to do hand release pushups, GHD sit-ups, and jumping air squats, if that’s okay with you.” He replied, “Do whatever you want, Paul.” I considered dancing or breaking out in song. Show tunes, specifically.

Kirk wisely staggered the start, and I began 2 minutes after the clock began.

Twenty unbroken pull-ups presented no problem. I was not, however, the first to complete the 20 reps (I’m talking to you, new Facebook friend, Greg). My immediate thought was, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. I shall crush you and all your minions. Or is that the singular ‘minion’?”

Thirty unbroken hand release pushups also presented no problem, even after 100 pushups with toes on med ball less than a day earlier.

I knew damn well that I wasn’t going to do 40 unbroken GHD sit-ups. I completed in reps of 20, 10, 5, & (you guessed it) 5. I also knew damn well that I wasn’t going to do 50 unbroken jumping air squats. I completed in reps of 30 & 20. The clock read 6:27. I thought, “That took me far longer than it should have. Six minutes and 27 seconds? I was really that slow?” I had forgotten that I had started 2 minutes after the clock began. Oops.

I rested 3 very long minutes. I was anxious to begin.

I began double unders when the clock read 9:27. I did 3 and missed the 4th, so I started over. I completed in reps of 41 & (you guessed it) 9. I’m so very happy that my ability to do double unders has returned! I feel like a boy at a toy store. Or Michael Kelley at a Coldstone Creamery.

I began to obsess over the upcoming 20 burpee ball tosses, and kept thinking, “Leave something in the tank.” I completed in 4 sets of 10 reps, and, in retrospect, I’m very happy that I did.

Just as I was to begin shuttle runs Kirk realized that I didn’t have a 50# bag to carry. He quickly grabbed one from the shelf and handed it to me. Of all of the activities, I enjoyed the shuttles runs the most. (Sorry about the elbow, Cassie!) However, I didn’t run as fast as I would normally have, as I still wanted to make sure I had enough energy for burpee ball tosses.

I found a 30# slam ball and a space at the pull-up rig directly facing my nemesis. Remember her? I completed a burpee, positioned the slam ball, did a slam ball clean, and easily tossed the ball over the pull-up rig. It almost hit Alexis. Damn it. My aim isn’t nearly as good as it used to be. I gotta start shooting squirrels again.

I’ll cut to the chase: I successfully completed all 20 burpee ball tosses. Yeah! I looked at the clock and it read 20:13. “Not bad,” I thought. “Not good, but not bad.” Pirate Greg asked, “How do we determine time?” I misunderstood his question and said, “Record total time. As everyone rested 3 minutes, there’s no need to subtract that time.” He rambled on and on (and on and on) and he eventually said, “But we started 2 minutes after everyone else. Shouldn’t we subtract that time?” It was then that I finally realized that my time was indeed 18:13 and not 20:13. Much better, yes? Yes.

I occasionally like trash talking, and today was just one of those occasions. Nikki and Alexis, who had started 2 minutes before I had, were seated nearby when I finished. I said, “I crushed you.” “Yes, but we used the men’s weight for kettle bells, 44 pounds,” said Nikki. I corrected her and said, “The men’s weight was 52 pounds.” Nikki replied, “I meant the men’s master’s weight.” My nemesis said, “You used the women’s bar for the pull-ups.” She was referring to the lower of the bars, you know, because I’m short. I said, “That’s the men with big penises bar. The taller bar is for the men with small penises.”

Score: Paul, 3 and Nikki & Alexis, 0.


Uhm, yeah, so like I’m not always the most organized person. I agreed to coach at CFD for my friend, Erin, yesterday morning. Uhm, yeah, so like I coach at CFBC every Thursday morning. I didn’t realize the conflict until Wednesday evening. Fortunately, Kirk was kind enough to cover for me. Muchos gracias, Kirk!

I did indeed coach the 6:15 and 7:15am sessions at CFD, and as usual had a wonderful time doing so. The strength focus was the dead-lift, specifically 3 reps @ 65, 70, 75, 80, & 85# of 1RM. Neutral neck, athletes! I’m not going to tell you again. Or will I? Chances are I will. The metcon was 20-15-10-5 KB swings and pull-ups. I very much liked this programming, as it allowed ample time for a warm up, workout, and cool down.

I saw many friends and even made a few. I also sold 2 tee shirts. You should really buy one. Yes, I’m talking to you.

Uhm, yeah, so I kinda had a workout yesterday in that I helped tear down the wall at CFS. The open space, now 2K sq. ft., looks enormous! I immediately imagined myself working the area. I’ll get exercise just walking the length of the box.

I had intended to go to CFBC this morning. Zac, Meg, and Luke decided to awaken me at 3:30am. You read that right. I had been up late last night watching Ken Burns’ “The War”. This morning was one of the rare mornings when I was able to close my eyes and fall back to sleep. I slept until 6:45! I spent most of the day at CFS cleaning, putting together shelving, and prepping walls for painting.

I worked out at CFS this afternoon. I had been wanting to attempt a WOD that I coached at CFI, and today seemed like as good a day as any to do so.

10 rounds for time:
10 medicine ball cleans, 20#
10 pushups with feet on medicine ball
30 double unders

That’s 100 med ball cleans and pushups and 300 double unders. I stretched, ran 400m, and set up my station. Given that I had all 2K sq. ft. to myself, I didn’t have to worry about anyone getting in my way.

My goals were to do med ball cleans and pushup unbroken and to finish in less than 20 minutes. With the big-ass garage door open and the tunes playing loudly on the big-ass sound system, I began.

I did all rounds of med ball cleans and pushups unbroken. Surprisingly, med ball cleans were more challenging than pushups, and I often had to convince myself to keep going until I had completed all 10 reps. At the start of the last round I did a med ball clean and thought, “I don’t think that I squatted deeply enough. That rep didn’t count.” See, folks, I even judge myself.

I alternated putting my right and left cheeks to the mat for pushups. Yes, the 9th and last reps were often challenging, but I was able to lock my elbows and maintain plank without dropping to my knees. (I thought of you, Amy Scott!)

Double unders? Don’t mind if I do! I completed 7 rounds unbroken, and for the 3 rounds that were broken I nonetheless completed in 2 sets, e.g., 10 and 20 reps.

My time was 16:51.

If all goes as planned CFS will be opening 2 weeks from today. I’m so very, very excited!

Don is sporting a CFS tee shirt, as am I. We look dashing.
Don is sporting a CFS tee shirt, as am I. We look dashing.
My landlord gave me shelves. How nice of him!
My landlord gave me shelves. How nice of him!
Michael Kelley is sporting a CFS tee shirt. He looks fat.
Michael Kelley is sporting a CFS tee shirt. He looks fat.


I was feeling a wee bit run down this morning. Zac, Meg, & Luke did not want me to sleep past 4:15. We bathed Luke last night, so he was particularly fluffy and delightful-smelling this morning; thus, I didn’t mind snuggling with him for a few moments before getting out of bed.

I arrived at CFBC at 5:45 to find Nikki had already written the WOD on the board and was ready to go!

We warmed up by rowing 500m and then doing some dynamic stretching. The rowing felt painful, and I couldn’t help beginning to dread the upcoming 500m row.

Push Press


In other words, we were to establish new push press 1RM maximum. I set my goal to push press without pain. I’m delighted to say that I accomplished my goal! I lifted reps of between 3 & 5 @ 95, 105, & 115#, and then lifted singles @ 125, 135, and 145#. Ten pounds shorts of 1RM, but certainly an accomplishment in and of itself.

Lifting one’s bodyweight over one’s head causes one’s brain inside of said head to play all kinds of, well, mind games. Today was no exception.

Yes, I did somewhat struggle with 145#, but Nikki yelled at me and reminded me to put my head through the window. Thanks, Nikki!

Cash in row 500m
Chest to bar pull-ups
Burpee box jumps, 24” 30”

As I was warming up, Nikki asked me to demonstrate. She said, “Paul is using a 30″ box because he’s an overachiever.” I replied, “It’s not because I’m compensating. Rest assured.”

As I mentioned, I was dreading rowing. Given that I often focus on keeping strokes/minute low, I set my goal today to keep s/m above 30. I averaged 31, and rowed 500m in 1:48. Rowing, for whatever reason, felt wonderful. Nonetheless, I was winded as I got off of the rower to being chest to bar pull-ups.

I did all rounds of pull-ups in between 9 (first rounds) and single (last round) reps.

Burpees, you say? I love burpees in any shape, form, and/or manner. I challenged myself by increasing box jump height to 30”. While I’m glad that I did so, let me unequivocally state that the burpee box jumps were taxing. I did miss 1 jump.

I called time at 6:40. Not as spectacular as Daryl’s push presses by any means.

Prancing Twinkle Toes

“That was awfuuuuuuuuuuly wonderful!” Truer words, stated by yours truly, have never been spoken.

Kirk led today’s session, and it was, well, awfully wonderful.

Kirk first led us through a meaningful mobility session. It appears that he watched me warm up prior to the session and did the same or similar activities. Ha! Great minds think alike.

Kirk demonstrated GHD back extensions and went over form expectations for thrusters and Abmat sit-ups. He then said, “Your goal should be to do all activities unbroken, including the thrusters.” I scoffed at him. He said, “Take your time with the thrusters. It may be the sticking point for some of you.” Indeed.

4 rounds for time:
Run 400m
20 thrusters, 95#
10 GHD back extensions
20 Abmat sit-ups

I had considered doing GHD sit-ups, but as there were 7 in attendance and 4 GHD machines, I didn’t want to be “that guy”. In retrospect, I’m glad that I completed Abmat sit-ups.

Uhm, I can’t recall the last time I did 95# thrusters, let alone 80 reps. I warmed up with the bar, and then put 2, 10# plates on the bar and did 5 or so reps @ 65#. Kirk noticed that I had 2 more 10# plates at the ready.  He asked, “Are you going to use 85 pounds for thrusters?” “No,” I replied, “I’m going to begin with 95 pounds but drop weight if I need to.” I’m smart like that. I completed 5 or so reps @ 85 and then, after adding 2, 5# plates, 5 or so reps @ 95#. Perhaps I shouldn’t have done so many reps before I was about to do 80 more?

All rounds of Abmat sit-ups were done unbroken, and as I mentioned to Cassie (who attended the 7am session), I thought of her for each and every rep. She recently accused me of cheating on my reps, as I merely touched my toes and didn’t ensure that my shoulders were in front of me knees. I did ensure that my shoulders were well above my knees, Cassie, and I just about kissed the floor in front of me each and every rep. Are you happy now? Are you? Well, are you? Hugs!

GHD back extensions were also done unbroken, and that should come as no surprise.

Yup, I ran all rounds of 400m without stopping. Running, however, became quite a struggle as my legs felt like jelly after doing so many damn thrusters. My lower back also began to hurt, most likely due to back extensions and kissing the floor when I did sit-ups. I blame Cassie. Are you happy now, Cassie? Are you, are you, are you? Hugs!

Notice that I’ve saved discussing thrusters for last. Even though Kirk had sent the WODs to the coaches earlier in the week and had posted the WOD last night, I had in my mind that there were only 10 and not 20 reps of thrusters. Oh, if only.

Before I talk about thrusters, I’d like to share how full of self-doubt I was this morning. I was convinced that I’d have to lower the weight for thrusters. During the third 400m run I seriously considered not even doing the last round. I kept thinking, “I wish this was the last round. I don’t know that I can do 40 more thrusters. I’m weak. But at least I’m not fat like a certain someone. If his Lululemon shorts could talk, well, they’d scream.”

As I mentioned to Michelle, I planned on completing thrusters in sets of 5. I completed the first round in reps of 10, 5, & 5. Not too horribly bad. I completed the second round in reps of 5. Still not too horribly bad. I completed the third set in reps of 10, 10, 3, 3, 2, & 2. And I was still somewhat pleased with myself. Yes, I cleaned the bar 6 times – but I cleaned the bar without experiencing pain and/or allowing myself to take off the 5# plates. Yeah!

The last round was the most interesting. I completed 7 reps. Wow! I completed the remaining thrusters in reps of 3, 3, & 3, and with only 4 reps remaining I thought, “Don’t put down the bar. Do the last 4 reps unbroken.” Kirk was observing and encouraging me, and for that I am appreciative. I completed the 17th, 18th, and 19th reps – but wasn’t able to lock out the bar overhead for the last damn rep. I said to Kirk, “That was the last rep, and I didn’t get it. I’m going to redo it.” I just wanted him to know that I knew it wasn’t a good rep.

I completed the workout in 21:52. While I’m sure it won’t be the fastest posted time of the day, I’m quite proud of myself. I don’t know that I’ve ever done 80, 95# thrusters on any given day.

As we were cooling down, Mike said, “You took off running and prancing.” Ha! Kirsten then added, “Yes, I could hear twinkle toes catching me during the last run.” Ha, ha!

As we were cooling down I asked, “Did your legs feel like jelly when you ran after doing thrusters? Did your back hurt as well? Did you want the third round to be the last round?” When most everyone said yes to all questions, I said, “What a bunch of whiners.” Ha, ha, ha!

“Kirk,” I said, “I want you to know that even if you hadn’t been watching me, I knew that last rep didn’t count. I would’ve redone it regardless of whether or not you were there.” He replied, “I know that. I never question your integrity.” Thanks, Kirk!

Beer for Luke. He's a big boy now!
Beer for Luke. He’s a big boy now!