“Helen” (and Steve Dodge)

Friday, November 13

As I coached all sessions except at 6 am, well, that’s when I worked out. Coach Nick led the session and we began by practicing headstands, handstands, and vertical ring holds. Fun!

Ten athletes attended the session; thus, I knew that I’d have someone to partner with for the workout. I looked at Kevin and said, “I choose you.” As we were gathering equipment I noticed that he had partnered with Stacy. Dammit. I asked Jaclyn if she had a partner. “Heather,” she replied. Holly had partnered with Melissa. I asked, “Who doesn’t have a partner?” Silence. I asked again, “Who doesn’t have a partner? There’s an even number of people so I know that someone is in need of a partner.” Silence. I asked one more time, “Who doesn’t have a partner?” Steve Dodge, whilst sitting on the rower, bent his head and dejectedly said, “Me.”

Poor Steve Dodge. He’s partnered with me before.

Metcon (No Measure)
Take up to 10 minutes practicing headstands, handstands, and/or vertical ring holds
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
Partner WOD
30-min AMRAP
– 13 calorie row
– 13 plate presses (45/35)
– 13 weighted squats (45/33)
– 10 burpees
– 3 rope climbs

Partners alternate activities

Steve began with row. He’s a strong rower. I immediately began trash talking with Jaclyn. And anyone else, for that matter.

Uhm, a 13 calorie row, 13 unbroken plate presses, 13 unbroken weighted squats, 10 unbroken burpees, and/or 3 rope climbs don’t present much of a challenge for yours truly. I worked very quickly. This didn’t allow very much rest time for poor Steve Dodge. Ha! I enjoyed working out with and “encouraging” him with such remarks as “Does someone have a cigarette? I have time for a smoke while Steve climbs the rope.” We completed 9 rounds + 50 reps, i.e., 2 rope climbs shy of 10 reps.

Saturday, November 14 (just a month until my birthday)

CFS once again hosted “Barbells for Boobs,” a fundraiser for breast cancer research and awareness.

I led the 8:30 and 9:45 and Jeff led the 11 session. I felt pain in my left wrist whilst warming up clean & jerk so I decided to not complete “Grace” and instead only complete “Helen.”

Helen (Time)
3 Rounds for time of: 
400m Run 
21 Kettlebell Swings, 53# / 35#  12 Pull-ups

I last completed this benchmark October 18 of last year in a time of 9:37. My fasted time was 9:00 June 13 of last year. I didn’t, however, recall my previous times. I also didn’t set out to achieve a new PR.

It was a beautiful day. I quickly ran 200m, turned around and head back to the box. I had run almost 300m when Meghan passed me heading toward the turnaround. She said, “Oh, my god.” Ha! As I was returning to the box for second round of swings and pull-ups Lorraine was starting her second round. She looked at me and said, “Oh, my god.” Ha!

I completed 21 unbroken kettle bell swings all 3 rounds and wisely completed some reps as snatch and press. I also wisely didn’t complete all 12246962_10153207497332196_2970132378379652080_nreps as snatch and press. I completed the first 2 rounds of pull-ups in unbroken reps. I had every intention of completing the last round in unbroken reps as well, but dropped off of the bar after completing 10. Jeff said, “That’s 10, just two more! You can be the only person to finish in under 10 minutes.”

I did so, in 8:52. Jeff entered my score into Wodify and said, “Paul got a PR.” I asked, “I did?” That was a very nice surprise!


Monday, November 9

I coached all morning sessions, including 11:45, as well as the 5 and 5:15 sessions. I gently requested that Jeff lead the strength and conditioning sections of the 6:30 session. He obliged.
Metcon (Weight)
Every other minute for 10 rounds
1 power clean
1 front squat
1 push press

Increase weight as form and execution improve

This went much better than expected. I began at 95# and worked up to 155#. The last round felt awesome. Yup, I probably should’ve gone heavier.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
10-min AMRAP
1 inverted burpee
1 Abmat sit-up
1 Abmat back extension
1 inverted burpee
2 Abmat sit-ups
2 Abmat back extensions
1 inverted burpee
3 Abmat sit-ups
3 Abmat back extensions

Wow, I witnessed far too many people rushing through the back extensions, i.e., not holding for a count of “one-one thousand.” I did not. I worked consistently and finished 15 rounds + 1 wall crawl, 16 sit-ups, and 1 back extension.

Score = 272

I honestly don’t know how it would be possible to complete 16 rounds unless, of course, one altered time and space.

Tuesday, November 10

I worked out at 7 am merely because only Danielle attended the session and I didn’t want her to work out alone. I’m just that nice.

Back Squat (Establish 10RM)

I did a few reps at 135 and 185 and then went for it. Ten reps at 205#. I was feeling very weak but nonetheless attempted 215. I completed 4 reps and racked the bar.

Metcon (Time)
Cash in 3 min (accumulated time) plank hold
100 double unders
25 knees to elbows
3 wall crawls
25 knees to elbows
100 double unders

150 double unders (both rounds), 15 strict knees to elbows (both rounds) and 5 wall crawls (must be nose and chest to wall)

Yup, I completed Rx+. Strict knees to elbows are much more difficult than strict knees to elbows. I began with 3-minute plank; no resting for me! I began with about 75 unbroken double unders and then completed remaining about 25 reps at a time. I completed toes to bar in sets of 10 and 5 and then completed 5 wall crawls. Nose to wall. The next round of knees to elbows I completed in sets of 5, 5, 3, & 2. I was getting winded! I nonetheless often strung together as many as 30 unbroken double unders at a time. Yay!

Time = 11:37

Wednesday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day)

What an exhausting day! I coached all of the sessions except 9:30; thus, that was my only time to work out. Coach Deborah did a very nice job of leading. Thanks, Coach Deborah!

Veteran’s Day = Hero WOD

McGhee (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
30-Minute AMRAP of:
5 Deadlits, 275#
13 Push-ups
9 Box Jumps, 24″

In honor of Corporal Ryan C. McGhee, 21, was killed in action on May 13, 2009 in central Iraq.
To learn more about McGhee click here

I last completed this workout July 30 of last year with a score of 18 rounds and 21 reps. I set a goal to complete 20 rounds. Yes, 20 rounds. I was excited to attempt, as I remembered how challenging the workout was − but I know that I’ve gotten stronger, particularly with deadlifting.

I set up my station near the garage door, as it was a beautiful day and I wanted to enjoy the sunshine and cool breezes. The barbell was on a platform, with the box to the left. I lined up two rows of 10 poker chips. The clock counted down and we began.

The first round of deadlifts went well and, dare I say, felt light. Well, at least lighter than I expected. I quickly completed five reps, dropping each rep from the top. I then quickly completed 13 unbroken pushups and 13 box jumps. Yes, 13. Dammit. I thought, “I was only supposed to do nine. Why did I do 13? Should I subtract four and only do five reps the next time? No! It’s a hero WOD! It’s your mistake, so live with it.” So that’s what I did.

I was exceedingly (yes, exceedingly) pleased that I was able to complete all rounds of five deadlifts “unbroken.” I put unbroken in quotes because, whilst I did drop form the top, I did immediately set up for the next rep. No rest for me!

I completed the first 17 rounds of 13 pushups in unbroken reps and broke up the last rounds into 2 or 3 sets. I nonetheless rested very briefly.

I completed many of the rounds of box jumps in unbroken reps but did miss a few reps in that I didn’t fully extend hips before jumping off of the box. Yup, I redid reps.

I had completed deadlifts and some of the pushups of the 11th round when Coach Deborah announced that we were halfway through the workout. I felt a sense of relief, feeling confident that I’d be able to complete my goal.

I completed 20 rounds with one minute left. I completed five deadlifts and 10 pushups. Yay!

Score = 20 rounds + 10 reps

105 deadlifts
270 strict pushups
180 (actually 184) box jumps

I worked steadily and rested very briefly. ‘Twas a good day.

IMG_2436 IMG_2435

Stick to your plan, Stan(ley Tucci).

Sunday, November 8

Metcon (Time)
Complete 50 reps of the following:
– Back squats
– Cleans
– Sumo deadlifts
– Power jerks
Complete 400 double unders

– Use one barbell at 65% of bodyweight
– You may complete reps in any order and may break up work however you’d like

I coached at 9:30 and worked out at 11 (as CrossFit Kids was being held). This was a physically and psychologically challenging workout, and I liked it!

My strategy consisted of always completing 5 reps of an activity; thus, doing so for 10 rounds. I always completed in the following order: cleans, power jerks, back squats, and sumo deadlifts. I interspersed double udders throughout the workout, completing 50 reps at a time (until the end of the workout when I completed 100 reps). I began with 50 double unders and completed after reps of 20, 30, 40, 45, & 50. Double unders left me gassed! I was, however, able to complete as many as 50 unbroken double unders at a time.

What surprised me the most was how easy power jerks were compared to back squats — and sumo deadlifts! Huh?

Time = 25:02

Steve Dodge’s daughter wore a shirt that read “Awesomeness Run In The Family.” I asked, “Whose family?” Ha!

The candid picture is of my very good friend Jay and me. I’m much better looking.



Wednesday, November 4

I worked out at 7am, and I’m quickly discovering that this is not at all the best time of day for me to do so. I’d much prefer working out at 6 am on an empty stomach as opposed to 7 am on an exceedingly empty stomach. I just run out of steam too fast.

J.T. (Time)
Handstand Push-ups
Ring Dips

In honor of Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Taylor, 30, of Little Creek, VA, who was killed in Afghanistan June 2005
To learn more about J.T. click here

I last completed this workout this past May in a time of 10:05. That was fast. Today was slow. I struggled with everything, particularly handstand pushups. I started off somewhat strong, completing 11 unbroken and kipping reps. However, I was only able to complete 2 unbroken reps the last round, followed by 7 singles. Gah!

Time = 13:54

Yup, almost 4 minutes slower than last time. Dammit.

Friday, November 6

For the first time in a very long time, I worked out solo.

I practiced strict and kipping muscle ups. Good times, good times.

Metcon (Weight)
EMOM for 10 minutes
3 OHS @ 65% of 1RM

I completed reps at 90#, and the struggle was real. I recorded to ensure that reps were good. I was able to complete unbroken reps up to 9th round. Uhm, I knew that I didn’t squat below parallel the 1st rep so, you know, I did it over.

9-min AMRAP
1 parallette pass through + parallette pushup + 8 lateral parallette hops
1 GHD sit-up 
1 parallette pass through + parallette pushup + 8 lateral parallette hops
2 GHD sit-ups
1 parallette pass through + parallette pushup + 8 lateral parallette hops
3 GHD sit-ups

Wow, that was tough! I probably have some explaining to do. After completing parallette pass through I would complete another parallette pushup, jump feet between parallettes, then jump to right, left, left, right, right, left, left, and rich, ending with feet once again between parallettes. That may have been the most difficult part of the workout. I managed to complete all unbroken, i.e., no pausing between hops.

I also managed to complete all rounds of GHD sit-ups in unbroken reps.

I completed 11 rounds + parallette complex + 6 GHD sit-ups.

That’s 72 GHD sit-ups, yo.

I wouldn’t program this for members. I’m just that nice.

Saturday, November 7

Coach Deborah was kind enough to lead the 8:30 am session so that Jeff and I could complete hero WOD together. (Thanks, Coach Deborah! Nice job with unassisted pull-ups, too!)

Scooter (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
On a 35-minute clock with a partner:
Complete as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of:
30 double-unders
15 pull-ups
15 push-ups
100-meter sprint
Then, 5 minutes to find a 1-rep-max partner deadlift

For the AMRAP, have one partner work while the other rests, switching after a full round is completed. If you’re performing without a partner, rest 60 seconds between each round, and find a regular 1-rep-max deadlift.
Partner Deadlift 
Max weight

Jeff went first, and did an awesome job trying to keep up with me. Ha! I completed most rounds of double unders in unbroken reps, all rounds of pushups in unbroken reps, and 5 rounds of pull-ups in unbroken reps. Steve Dodge got all up in my business during my 6th (probably his 2nd or 3rd) round and used my Speal bar. He left it a sweaty mess. I found my hands slipping from the bar so I paused to chalk.

Speaking of Steve Dodge, he and Fernando were working out beside Jeff and me. Whilst completing shuttle runs and as Steve was completing pushups I pushed ever so briefly to thunk his head. Yup, that’s a thing. Fernando finally got double unders!

Jeff and I completed 14 rounds + 42 reps. As Jeff was completing his last pull-ups I got the deadlift bar ready.

I can’t recall our starting weight. With 20 seconds left Jeff said, “This is the last rep.” We successfully deadlifted 545 pounds. Uhm, so I quickly grabbed 2, 5 pound plates and we successfully lifted 555 pounds. Yay!

Coach Nick completed the workout solo during the 9:45 session. Jeff led the deadlift portion so that I could complete partner deadlift with Coach Nick. Yay! Coach Nick and I successfully deadlifted 535 pounds.

That. Was. Fun!




Monday, November 02

Racked And Loaded

I worked out with the 6am athletes, and it was a full house. Coach Nick admirably led the session.

FullSizeRender-77Thruster (From the rack)
Take up to 20 minutes to establish 2RM

My goal was 165, just 5# less than 1RM. Whilst it did take two attempts do so, I nonetheless achieved my goal. Yay! A new 2RM!

Almost everyone achieved PRs, and it was a sight to behold. There were a dozen athletes in the 6am, 5:15 pm, and 6:30 pm sessions, and all achieved new 2RM PRs. Incredible!

Metcon (Time)
1, 2, 3…8, 9, 10
Plank rows/arm (35/25)
20, 18, 16…6, 4, 2
Abmat sit-ups
Metcon (Time)

FullSizeRender-76 FullSizeRender-79As all of the 35# dumbbells were in use, I volunteered to use kettle bells. Uhm, this made the workout that much more challenging, I assure you. My goal was to complete all rounds of both activities in unbroken reps and I would’ve achieved this goal if I hadn’t lost my balance on the KBs the very last round. Dammit. I nonetheless worked very quickly, and always completed rows with right (weakest) and then left (strongest) arms.

As if often the case, Luke was by my side the entire workout.

Time = 6:06

As we do the first Monday of every month, the coaches met for a workout. Coach Marni programmed and led the session, and it was tough. It. Was. Tough.
5 rounds for time, varying order each round:
250m row
5 power cleans (135/95)
10 box jumps (24/20)
15 wall balls (20/14) (10/9)
20 KBS (44/35)
Rest 60 seconds between rounds

Round 1 | row, BJ, KB, PC, WB | 3:45
Round 2 | PC, WB, BJ, KB, row | 3:49
Round 3 | WB, KB, row, PC, BJ | 3:19
Round 4 | KB, row, PC, BJ, WB | 4:25
Round 5 | BJ, PC, WB, KB, row | 3:09

Uhm, I don’t know what happened the fourth round, and I don’t know how I managed to complete the last round so quickly. I felt ill-prepared to start, and the first round was rough, particularly the power cleans. Speaking of power cleans, I did each and every rep one at a time and even missed the fourth rep of the first round. I also missed a wall ball shot the first round, but did complete remaining rounds in unbroken reps. I intentionally missed a few box jumps to see if Coach Marni would correct me (as I often do during Coach WOD). I didn’t, however, count missed reps even if they were done intentionally. I completed all rounds of KB swings in unbroken reps and completed rounds of rowing in 26 strokes or less. Yay!

Tuesday, November 03

Release The Hounds!

I was a difficult morning due to wallet being stolen. Yup, you read that right. I worked out with the 11:45 athletes. I desperately needed the release.

Power Jerk (5×5 @ 75% of 1RM)

I completed all five rounds of five reps at 125#. Power jerks felt awesome today!

FullSizeRender-78Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
12-min AMRAP
9 box jump overs (24/20)
6 hand release deadlifts (185/133)
3 strict toes to bar

What I gasser! I completed all rounds in unbroken reps and focused on resting briefly between activities. Strict toes to bar were just that, and one can only complete so quickly.

Score = 10 rounds + 10 reps

That’s 90 box jumps overs, 61 deadlifts, and 30 strict toes to bar.

Ashton was the only person to attend the 4pm session. That’s unusual. So that she didn’t have to complete the metcon alone I once again completed, although I scaled to 20″ box jumps, 155# deadlifts, and strict knees to elbows.

Score = 9 rounds

That’s 90 more box jumps overs, 54 more deadlifts, and 27 strict knees to elbows.

Wow. Just, wow.

Take me home Country Roads!

Wow, I’ve been too busy to blog! That and I couldn’t get any WiFi connection in WV.

Tuesday, October 27
Don’t Be A Jerk

Clean and Jerk 
10 total reps , completing 1 rep every other minute.
Work up to your heaviest set, increasing weight as form and execution improve.

I worked up to 155 but was only able to clean and not jerk 160. Dammit.

Metcon (Time)
3 wall crawls
9 KB swings (53/35)
12 deadlifts (185/138)
48 lateral bar hops

This was challenging yet fun! I completed all wall crawls, KB swings, and lateral bar hops in unbroken reps. Forty-eight unbroken lateral bar hops after deadlifting isn’t easy. Just saying. I completed the first round of deadlifts in unbroken reps and the remaining three rounds in reps of 8 & 4.

Time = 7:29

Wednesday, October 28
Just Two Rounds

25 burpee pull-ups
25 burpee box jumps (24)
25 burpee toes to bar
25 burpee plate presses (45)

I stepped it up a notch by completing the first round of burpee pull-ups and box jumps with a twist. Yup, a twist. ‘Twas dizzying! I also completed all rounds of activities in unbroken reps. Yup, nary a rest with the exception of short rest as transitioning from one activity to the next.

Time = 22:56

Friday, October 30
Kristin’s Getting Married!

Hang Power Snatch (Establish 3RM)
Take up to 20 minutes to establish 3RM.

Gah, this was difficult! I worked up to 110, and whilst a PR still not all that heavy. Stupid snatches.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
14-min AMRAP
11 hang power cleans (@ HPS 3RM weight)
33 double unders
33 air squats

This went much, much better than expected. I had no set goals going into the metcon and this worked to my advantage.

I completed five rounds of hang power cleans in unbroken reps. How the hell did that happen? I did fail on the last rep of the fourth round and completed other rounds in reps of 7 & 4 reps. Yay!

I completed all but one round of double unders in unbroken reps. How the hell did that happen? Did I already say that?

Whilst not overly challenging, I did complete all 33 air squats in unbroken reps. What I did also did, however, was complete the last 10 reps very quickly. Fun!

Score = 7 + 9
That’s 86 hang power cleans and 231 double unders and air squats. In just 14 minutes. Yay!

Saturday, October 31
Country Roads CrossFit

Jeff and I visited CrossFit Country Roads in Lewisburg, WV. It had been years since I’d visited WV and downtown Lewisburg had changed dramatically and for the better.

I had contacted the owner, Bimbo, ahead of time and he was very gracious in his invitation to join them for a workout. Jeff and I thought that there was a scheduled workout at 8:30 but instead it was Bimbo, his wife Laura, and Christian. All three are preparing for the War of the WODs and invited us to work out with them. And a very challenging workout it was.

First, it’s an awesome space with ample equipment. Bimbo and Laura were both friendly and welcoming — as box owners should be with other box owners!

We completed a very good warmup and then spent 15 minutes practicing handstands and front levers. I also practiced back levers. Yup, I still have it. Ha!

7 rounds
1 minute work; rest 30 seconds between activities
5 burpees + 5 box jumps overs
25m shuttle sprints
5 toes to bar + 20 double unders

Yes, seven rounds. Wow! None of us kept track of meters or rounds and reps. I do recall, however, rowing 300m+ each round, completingat least 2 rounds of 5 burpees + 5 box jump overs, and beginning (and sometimes finishing) third round of toes to bar. I have no idea how far I sprinted.

Bimbo and Christian actually jumped over the box. Uhm, I’m not going to even attempt to do so.

It was nice to workout — and also keep up — with such strong athletes. I completed the most shuttle sprints (duh) and the most rounds of toes to bar and double unders each round. Yay!

That’s about 2K row, 70+ burpees, 70 box jumps overs, 70+ toes to bar (all in unbroken reps) and 280 double unders.

I was a sweating and swearing mess. Jeff and I stayed and talked with Bimbo and Laura. Yup, I also gave some pointers for rowing and offered to host a running clinic.


At my mother’s suggestion, Jeff and I traveled to the old farm in Renick’s Valley. As I said to Jeff, it will be the very last time in this lifetime that I do so. Our old house had been torn down and replaced with a doublewide, and many of the building were in a serious state of disrepair. It was both depressing and disconcerting. 12182589_10153186131747196_3013828652458855206_oMy niece’s wedding, on the other hand, was an awesome event!