Monday, September 4 | Small Leaps and Tiny Bounds

Work up to heaviest single

I completed 10 @ 185, 9 @ 225, 8 @ 255, 7 @ 270, 6 @ 300, and singles at 315, 325, 335, and 352#, and post-surgery PR by a mere 2#. Ha! And then I couldn’t lift 355#. A PR is a PR even if it’s just 2#, I suppose.

5 rounds
7 T&G reps hang muscle clean + front squat + press + back squat + behind the neck press
Work up to 50% of bodyweight

Yup, a modified version of the bear complex. Because bears. This was also a great way to focus on form, specifically placement of feet and hands. I recorded all rounds and reviewed to ensure that: 1. only heels left the ground; 2. hands were not repositioned on barbell; 3. muscle and not power cleans were completed, i.e., no receiving the bar with bent knees; 4. strict presses were completed, i.e., no push presses; and 5., no resting between activities and/or reps each round.

Breathing was critical, and I generally took a breath each activity (with exhalation and quick inhalation at end of each activity). Yup, I could’ve hyperventilated. I did not.

I completed rounds @ 65, 67, 69, 71, & 74#. Weights may seem light but shit got heavy by the 5th and then 4th rep each round, with behind the neck press being the most difficult of the activities. Duh.

Luke was always nearby yet slept through most of today’s workout.




Tuesday, September 5 | Mind Games

I know, I know… I need a day of rest. I also needed to work up a sweat and work off some, I don’t know, beer. Ha!

Luke and I went for a 5-mile hike at the Arboretum. As you enter the site a large sign reads: DO NOT APPROACH BEARS. Uhm, if you need to be told not to approach bears you should approach bears, as we don’t need you and your progeny in the gene pool.

10 rounds
50 unbroken double unders
Complete 1 pull-up each time there is a break in 50 double unders
When finished 10 rounds, complete 1 pull-up for each remaining rep in round when there was a break in double unders

In other words, if one completed 35 & 15 reps one of the rounds one would complete 1 pull-up before beginning next round and complete 15 pull-ups when all 10 rounds of double unders are complete. Confused? I’m not.

I completed 50 unbroken double unders rounds 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, & 10. Whew. I broke at 45 round 2 (5 reps), at 48 round 7 (2), and 19 & 38 round 9 (31 & 12). Yup, I lost my focus round 9. Dammit. That meant that I completed 4 pull-ups during 10 rounds and finished with an even 50 pull-ups.

I took 12 minutes to complete 10 rounds and finishing time was 17:36. I completed pull-ups in reps of 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 2, 3, 3, & 2, 2, 2, & 2.

That was fun!

Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones were incredible, and I enjoyed every episode. Iron Fist was shit, and I had to make myself watch (although I certainly multitasked whilst doing so). I’d very much like to watch the Defenders and, as a purist, feel compelled to watch the four main characters in the series. I’m watching Luke Cage now — and it might be the best of the four! The music alone tells a compelling story.

It’s my third day of teaching at AB Tech and a student told me I was his favorite teacher. Made. My. Day!


Thursday, September 6 | 100 HPS

I rested yesterday! ‘Twas a very rainy start to the day, so Luke and I went for two, 1-mile walks. The clouds cleared and it turned out to be a glorious day! Yup, Luke and I went for two more walks for a total of close to 6 miles. I logged over 25,000 steps yesterday.

‘Twas a very cool 47 degrees at 8 o’clock when Luke and I began our 6.25-mile hike at the Arboretum and Pisgah National Forest. I remembered to bring gloves and a thin hoodie. Uhm, my hands will likely be cold between now and the middle of March. Dammit. The leaves have not yet started to change. I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful in Asheville, and I’m glad I’ll be able to explore on weekdays and (hopefully) avoid too many tourists.

10X10 hang power snatch, working up to heaviest set of 10 unbroken reps

Today’s focus was on form; thus I recorded each set and reviewed prior to completing next set. Oh, and this was a day that I appreciated having .5# weights.

I completed sets @ 65, 67, 69, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, & 85#. Yup, I bumped the weight more than 2# for last set, and I’m glad that I was up for the challenge.

I successfully experimented with hand and shoulder positions, incrementally bringing my hands farther away from collars and almost ending with hands at inner ring. What a difference! This may help once I completely recover and (perhaps) add overhead squats beck to repertoire.

Strict HSPU
Max unbroken reps

Eight. That was it. And that’s okay, as it’s progress.

10-min ARMAP
35# 1-armed KB manmakers; opposites shoulder as well as nose must touch ground each rep; 1 rep = r+l arms

This was tough! I completed is sets of 5 reps, although it’s likely that I completed 6 reps during the round of 10 to 15. I finished the metcon with 8 unbroken for a total of 28 reps. Keep in mind that’s 56 pushups and squats.

I worked up a very nice sweat. Yay!

The same people who say that recipients of DACA should follow the rule of law are the same who support the illegal behaviors and pardon of Arpiao. And that asshole in chief.



May the Fourth be With You.

Sunday, July 2 | Arms

I took Luke for a “local” walk this morning, traveling from our house to Carrier Park and then French Broad Park. Yup, we turned around and followed the same course in reverse.

I waited until lunchtime to work out.

Bench Press
10 @ 75, 9 @ 85, 7 @ 95… 3 @ 145, 2 @ 155, 1 @ 165#
Immediately complete max reps strict and unbroken HSPUs

Whilst I’m not liking bench press more I’m hating bench press less. It’s often a psychological challenge when the weight gets heavier, you know, because I don’t have a spotter.

I was pleased that I was able to complete all rounds without failing. I did attempt 170# just for the hell of it and, well, had to bail. Crash, boom, pow!

I completed 1, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, & 2 strict HSPUs. If rest were allowed I most certainly could’ve completed more. Every workout should have an intention.

10-min AMRAP
20/leg bicycles
Max rep strict pull-ups*
1 strict HSPU
*Score = total # of pull-ups

My, how I miss a pull-up bar, for the yoke is ungainly and it’s exceedingly difficult to keep grip. Uhm particularly when hands are sweaty from having just been placed behind sweaty head. Ha!

I completed, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3, & 3 strict pull-ups for a score of 42. As I completed a total of 10 round, that was also 200 bicycles per leg and 10 strict HSPUs in addition to 14 performed earlier in the workout.

The most challenging activity? Bicycles! Oh, my aching core…

Monday, July 3 | Pisgah

I am obsessed with both the album and the song “Take All My Loves” by Rufus Wainwright. I. Can’t. Stop. Listening. I had the album on repeat as Luke and I walked 5.25 along the Blue Ridge Parkway. As I knew I’d be completing a grueling workout the next day, I rested.

I am almost halfway through 30-day challenge of playing 4 octaves of major scales. I practiced “Boating” by Bartok, one of my favorite pieces. One of my favorite ways to truly learn a song is to play the notes without making any sound. Huh? One must press the keys without making a sound. It take much discipline.

Tuesday, July 4 | “1776”

I had a difficult time sleeping, as I felt a pain in left hip/buttock. I was convinced it was arthritis and that I’d never be able to exercise again. I took 2 Aleve and the pain eventually subsided. In celebration of the Fourth, Luke and I went for a 4-mile walk in Carrier and French Broad Parks. The first thing we saw was a sign written in Spanish, English, and Arabic that said “No matter where you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.” I love Asheville!

I programmed the following in celebration of Independence Day. (I wish we were independent of that idiot currently in charge of the country.)

Complete 100 reps of the following:
– 20″ box jumps
– 45# sandbag hang power cleans
– Hand release push-ups
– Lunges
– 45# sandbag push presses
– 44# kettle bell sumo deadlift high pulls
– Abmat sit-ups
– Abmat back extensions
– 20# to 10′ wall ball shots
– 35# KB swings (pull + snatch)
– 45# sandbag front squats
– 60# KB stiff-legged deadlifts
– Knees to 90
– 45# sandbag bent over rows
– No clap burpees
– 176 double unders

Didya do the math? That’s 1776 total reps. This. Was. Difficult.

As I knew this was going to be a test of endurance, I paced myself from the start. It was very hot in the garage, and I sweated profusely. I consumed 3 bottles of water — and used a half a roll of paper towels. Often the most challenging thing was keeping grip on kettle bell and (most difficult) yoke.

I kept track of elapsed time.

– 20″ box jumps | 4:46
– Hand release push-ups | 12:25
– 45# sandbag hang power cleans | 15:56
– Lunges | 19:19
– 45# sandbag push presses | 26:30
– 44# kettle bell sumo deadlift high pulls | 37:46
– Abmat sit-ups | 40:20
– Abmat back extensions | 44:50
– 20# to 10′ wall ball shots | 54:13
– 35# KB swings (pull + snatch) | 1:03:57
– 45# sandbag front squats | 1:12:30
– 60# KB stiff-legged deadlifts | 1:18:46
– Knees to 90 | 1:24:31
– 45# sandbag bent over rows | 1:31:10
– No clap burpees | 1:44:14
– 176 double unders | 1:49:17

A few things to note:
— The use of the sandbag for push presses and bent over rows, in particular, added a whole new dimension to the workout. As previously mentioned, the sand is always shifting in the sandbag, and I never knew what to expect. I had initially considered using a 45# barbell but am glad I did not.
— I slowed down considerably beginning with wall ball shots. I was having a difficult keeping the equipment dry enough to handle.
— Luke got bored and was sometimes a distraction. One time I walked to the top of the garage stairs to let him inside. Jeff then let him outside with me again, per Luke’s request. He wasn’t laying outside garage when I was finished SDHPs so I went outside and called him. Jeff had let him in through the front door and then let him outside once again. He joined me for some Abmat sit-ups.
— The most unbroken reps I completed were lunges, and that was a mere 50.
— I completed 50 lunges forward and then backward. Reps were total and not per leg.
— I told myself to not complete 5 or 10 reps at a time, but often did just that.
— There were many times today when I told myself “mind over matter,” but it was truly matter over mind. I just couldn’t complete another rep of wall ball shots, push press, bent over rows, etc., not matter how much I wanted to.
— I often sat on the box to rest. I often had to gather additional dry paper towels.
— My shirt, shorts, socks, and shoes were drenched midway through the workout. I was quite literally dripping, and often had to wipe the floor to avoid slipping.
— I may have completed 110 KB swings. Yup, I lost count.
— So that I wouldn’t lose count during burpees, I completed sets of 10 and marked on paper. I finally caught my second breath 30 reps into the round. By the way, even though there was no jump and clap on the count of 3, burpees at this point in the workout were fucking miserable. And I love burpees.
— Double unders would’ve gone better if I didn’t keep catching rope on box, paper towels, and squat rack. Dammit. I kept count: 32, 65, 87, 120, 149, 175, 176. Yup, I failed the very last rep. Dammit, dammit.
— Even though I attempted to stay hydrated, I was nonetheless parched and I sounded like Kathleen Turner when I told Jeff that I wanted to go to lunch.




Wait, what?

IMG_0304You can skip to the end of this blog if you’d like. I know that since I stated that you’ll likely do so. Go ahead. I’ll wait.


I’m having a difficult time dragging my ass to the box (usually when I see the programmed workout).

TUE APRIL 04, 2017 | BS

Strength/Skill Development
Back Squat (10 – 8 – 6 – 6 – 6 )

Set 1 – 10 reps @ 60%
Set 2 – 8 reps @ 65%
Set 3 – 6 reps @ 70%
Set 4 – 6 reps @ 75%
Set 5 – 6 reps @ 80%

I didn’t, of course, lift prescribed percentages. I completed last set of 6 reps @ 185#, and was pleased. That’s a lot of back squat reps. Good thing the metcon didn’t include back squats. Wait, what?

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)

3 rounds for Reps:
-One minute of
 back squats 135/95
-Rest one minute
-One minute of
chest-to-bar pull-ups
-Rest one minute
-One minute of
 power cleans 135/95
-Rest one minute

This is a main site WOD. I scaled to 115#, and that was plenty heavy enough. I completed 22, 18, and 17 back squats (a rather precipitous drop), 17, 16, and 16 chest to bar pull-ups, and 13, 12, & 12 power cleans.

My legs were toast, and not the raisin kind that I like so much.

Uhm, 150 wall ball shots, along with rowing, were programmed Wednesday. Even though I prepared to go a session, I just couldn’t rationalize more freaking squats. Not two days in a row.

THU APRIL 06, 2017 | DL

Strength/Skill Development

15 minutes to find 1RM

The warm up consisted of double unders and med ball carries. Don’t get me started.

Heavy deadlifts today. Good thing the metcon didn’t include heavy deadlifts. Wait, what?

I worked up to a heavy (for this stage of my recovery) 315#.

Metcon (Time)

Three rounds for time of:
10 Deadlift 275#
50 Double-unders

I debated lowering the weight for deadlifts but instead challenged myself. The deadlifts were heavy. I completed all 30 reps one at a time, often needing to recover during the round. I lost count the last round and likely completed 11 reps. Dammit. I completed first and last round of double unders in unbroken reps and the second round in reps of 15 & 35.

Metcon (Weight)

Not for time:
Bear hug med ball carry 400 meters

I  carried 50# med ball 400 meters, and didn’t enjoy a single moment.

FRI APRIL 07, 2017 | DIPS

Just two attended the 8:30 session, Mado and me.

Strength/Skill Development

Good Mornings (10 – 8 – 6 – 4)
Weighted Dip (10 – 8 – 6 – 4)

Uhm, good mornings the day after heavy deadlifts? My legs already felt dead going into this. Good thing we weren’t also lunging. Wait, what? Weighted ring dips? I’m glad the metcon didn’t include ring dips. Wait, what?

I worked up to last set at 135#. Shit felt heavy. I worked up to 35# KBs and probably could’ve gone heavier.

I am ensuring that, at the very least, I have an enjoyable time.

Coach M.: Deeper, Paul.
Me: That’s what he said.

Coach M: Chest to your thighs.
Me: That’s what he said.

Mado (during the metcon): You can lap me if you want, Paul.
Me: That’s not what she said.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

15min AMRAP
10 Ring Dips
20 Front Rack lunges 155/105#
200 meter run

Front rack lunges with 15# more than my bodyweight? I don’t freaking think so. I settled on 105#. I completed all rounds of ring dips in unbroken reps. I completed first round of lunges in unbroken reps, and remaining rounds in sets of 2 or 3. I had 2 missed reps in that I lost balance one time (left leg) and stutter stepped another time (right leg). I redid reps.

Total = 4 rounds + 13 reps; 50 ring dips, 113 lunges, 800m run

MON APRIL 10, 2017 | “Grace”

My good friend Kevin visited Asheville and attended the session with Jeff and me! In addition, I brought Luke to the session. He was an angel, as is to be expected. The warmup consisted of biking calories on airdyne and back squats, beginning at 50% of 1RM. I began with 95#, as I have no idea what current 1RM is.

Strength/Skill Development

A: Back Squat (15min to find 1RM)

I worked up to a single at 210#, not even close to previous 1RM. And that’s okay! The lift felt solid.

 B: Weighted C2B Pull-up (10min to find 1RM)

I worked up to rep wearing 25# around my neck. ‘Twas truly a chest to bar pull-up, i.e., chest made physical contact with pull-up bar. I’ll leave that right there and go on.

C: Chest-To-Bar Pull-ups (1 set of max effort reps)

I hate to be cheered for. I was cheered for. “You have two more reps!” (Uhm, I had a lot more than two more reps when this was stated. Sheesh.) I completed 21 reps. Again, chest made physical contact with the bar each and every rep. Again, I’ll leave that right there and go on.


Grace (Time)

For Time: 
30 Clean and Jerks, 135# / 95#

Another overrated benchmark. Oh, how I long for a metcon that lasts longer than 15 minutes! I’m wisely still ensuring no damage to spine, so I lifted 95#, rested frequently, and finished in 3:28.


It was four years ago when I opened CrossFit Surmount and changed the name of this blog from “runpaul” to “crossfitpaul.”

I’ve changed the name to “avlpaul” as, well, I no longer have the desire and/or interest to blog almost exclusively about CrossFit. Thus, if someone searches for blogs about CrossFit, my blog won’t show up on that list.

What am I going to blog about? Likely running, CrossFitting, dog walking, and anything else I feel like writing about.

On a scale of 1 to 10 my current interest levels in running, CrossFitting, and dog walking are 7, 3, and 10, respectively. You read that correctly: just 3 for CrossFitting.

So, why not do and focus on the things that I’m passionate about! BTW, that was a statement and not a question.

Getting Back into the Fight



I’m composing this blog whilst relaxing on the deck and enjoying the sunshine. I grow to love this house more and more each day, as the more personal we make it, well, the more it feels like home. The living room couches finally arrived, and if anything the new layout makes the room seem larger. I’m also tremendously enjoying playing my new hybrid piano. It amazes even me that I can not touch a keyboard for months (and in the past even years) at a time yet still sit down and play though all of the major and minor scales. I can also easily pick up repertoire of precisely mastered songs.

Muscle memory, folks. Sound familiar?

Strength/Skill Development
A1: Suitcase Deadlift (4 x 6 each arm )
*Use farmer carry bar, and stand on 12inch box.

A2: Single Arm Dumbell Press (4 x 6 each arm )

I hadn’t completed suitcase deadlifts whilst standing on a box, so this was a new and generally good experience. I worked by myself, began with 75# and worked up to 125#. Could I have gone heavier? Yup, but I’m erring on the side of caution.

I completed sets of single arm DB presses at 25, 30, & 35#. I asked Coach Marc if I should complete last set at 35#, given that the previous set was a challenge, and he said, “No, forty.” So 40# DBs ’twas. I did have to pause between 4th and 5th reps, but did complete all 6 reps.

Metcon (Time)

For time:
225 pound Deadlift, 21 reps
400 meter Run
225 pound Deadlift, 18 reps
400 meter Run
225 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
400 meter Run
225 pound Deadlift, 12 reps
400 meter Run

Running, yay! More 225# deadlifts, yay? (Yup, I would’ve programmed Rx at lighter weight and made this a sprint.)

I dropped every deadlift from the top, and I’m glad that I did because shit got heavy by the end. I completed all 21 reps without leaving the bar, but did rest briefly during rounds of 18 and 15 reps. I surprised myself and completed last round of 12 reps without leaving the bar, having told myself just before the start of the round that I should complete if reps of 7 or 8 & the 5 or 4.

Time: 13:10

That’s still pretty fast. Imagine what I’ll be able to do when I’m fully recovered from this freaking surgery!


Strength/Skill Development
A1: DB Box Step-up (4 x 6 each leg )
*Height over weight
*Hip below knee 

A2: Bent Over Row (4 x 6 )

I was the only athlete present at 8 am, and I informed Coach Marissa that I would work out on my own. And then one by one more folks started to arrive. Uhm, there were eventually seven of us, including myself, at the session.

Yup, tardiness pisses me off, as it’s not fair to the folks who arrive on time. Two arrived a full 10 minutes after the session had begun.

I completed box step-ups using 25, 30, 35, & again 35# dumbbells. Half of body weight, bitches.

I completed bent over rows at 95, 105, & 110#. I had planned on completing last set at 115# but Coach Marissa said I shouldn’t since the barbell didn’t touch my chest each rep the previous round. I did, I assure you. I’m not going to get in an argument, so I completed last set at 110#. (As an aside, as a coach I would ask instead of tell, e.g., “Did the barbell touch your chest each rep?”)

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10 Burpees
15 T2B
20 Air Squats 

Finally, a body weight metcon! One of the few times I feel strain in my neck is when hanging from the bar, so I got approval to complete toes through rings instead.

That may have been a mistake. Ha!

I was only able to complete the first round of TTR in unbroken reps, and by the final round was completing just 3 or 4 reps at a time. All burpees and air squats, of course, were unbroken. I also made sure to sing, dance, and ask, “Do these rings make my butt look fat?”

Score = 6 rounds + 14 reps

I had planned on running Friday but my BFF Brian made a trip to Asheville to pick up the chaise and I then asked if he’d like to go for a hike. He, Luke, and I went for an awesome 90-minute hike (interspersed with some running) at the Arboretum.


Three rounds of:  
Wall-ball Shots (Reps), 20#
Sumo deadlift high-pull (Reps),  75#
Box Jumps, 20″  (Reps)
Push-press (Reps), 75#
Row (Calories) 
1-minute rest

I’ve completed this benchmark numerous times, that last time whilst wearing a 20# weight vest. That wasn’t going to happen today.

This has happened to me on more than one occasion as of late: Whilst walking to the box I find myself turning around and going back home. On all occasions thus far I’ve managed to talk myself turning back around and getting my ass to the box. Once that hurdle has been jumped I’m good to go.

Coach D. led the session. It took 30 minutes to warm up and get everyone (including the stragglers) set up.

I didn’t look up nor could I recall previous PR. I told myself that I’d take it easy and never get too winded. I accomplished this.

Given that I always keep a running count, the only number of reps for any activity that I can recall is for wall ball shots: 25, 24, & 25. I can usually complete quite a few SDHPs, many box jumps, fewer PP, and well, I can only row so fast.

I set an aspirational goal to break 300. I completed 103 reps the first round, so I had a cushion. I truly surprised myself by completing 101 reps the 2nd round. This gave me a boost of confidence, so I set a goal to match my 1st round score.

And that’s what I did, completing another 103 reps the last round for a grand total of 307. Yay!

Most importantly, I worked at a steady (and for me) somewhat slow pace.

Corey, one of the owners of CFA, reached out to me to schedule a meeting to discuss coaching opportunities. I’m torn, for I’m kinda sorta enjoying not having the responsibility of coaching, and I also haven’t missed coaching (as I was certain that I would). I’m enjoying being a semi-retired househusband who completes projects (more in the pipeline) throughout the year. Whilst I’d like to coach endurance, I don’t think CFA is going to have enough members who would commit to attending on a regular basis. I’ll discuss all of this, of course, with Corey.


Afterschool Special

It appears that I’ve gotten out of the habit of blogging. Uhm, given that I’m not working out as much this should be expected.

I’ll try not to bitch or whine. Promise. I promise that I’ll try.

THU MARCH 23, 2017

I planned on working out at 6:30, then 7:30, then 8:30, and then noon. And I just couldn’t make myself go. I did, however, keep myself busy by taking Luke for a very long walk, cleaning, and organizing. But not working out. I was finally able to talk myself into attending the very last session of the day, the 5:30 session.

There were four very young men and one woman (Amy) also present. And one of the young men was just plain rude, as he belched loudly and repeatedly and not once did he excuse himself. It annoyed the f@ck out of me. It was also quite embarrassing, as a husband and wife were in attendance to observe the session.

In addition, it was noted on more than one occasion that I was much older than all of those in attendance. No, I didn’t feel old. Not sure why it was even worth mentioning.

Strength/Skill Development

Jefferson Deadlift (5 x 5)

I worked up to a set of 5 @ 300#, my goal, and completed 3 reps @ 315#. I am much stronger when my left, dominant leg is forward and my left, dominant hand is in overhand grip.

For Time:
Deadlift 225#
10 to 1
Handstand Pushup
1 to 10

One other male attempted the workout as prescribed. Yup, that’d be the belcher. He also stripped down to his shorts. Oh, I forgot to mention that he didn’t wear shoes or socks. Disgusting.

Ten deadlifts and one handstand pushup, nine deadlifts and two handstand pushups, etc., ending with 1 deadlift and 10 handstand pushups. I haven’t completed that many handstand pushups in months, and I was a little concerned as the metcon began. I completed the round through six in strict reps, and then began kipping, ensuring that I didn’t put too much pressure on my neck.

Time = 14:29

I shan’t ever attend a 5:30 session again.

Want to know if I finished faster than the belcher? Yes. Much faster. But I’m old.


FRI MARCH 24, 2017

Double Unders Skill Practice
-30 seconds on 30 seconds off for 4 minutes

As the final event of the CFG Open includes double unders, the workout was changed to allow for practice. Not instruction or a tutorial, just practice. Not what to do, but some of what not to do. I’ll leave it at that.

Strength/Skill Development

Romanian Deadlift (4 x 6)

Uhm, deadlifts two days in a row. Why, I ask? I was paired with a very chatty visitor. I completed final set @ 195#, if memory serves me.

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

AMRAP 15min
-10 Turkish Get-Ups 53/35#
-15 V-Ups
-400m Run 

I warmed up to 53# KB but just wasn’t feeling it once the metcon began. I did a few reps with 44# KB and then decided to f@ck it and just use 35# KB. I was able to then complete reps very quickly. I completed all V-Ups in unbroken reps and, well, I ran fast, completing 2 rounds + 24 reps.

As Jeff was in town, we took Luke for a very long walk Saturday.

SUN MARCH 26, 2017

It was a nice, warm morning, so I headed to the Arboretum to explore some new roads. Yup, I stayed on the gravel roads and didn’t run any single trails. I love the Arboretum, and the views are just stunning. I ran up and back four for a total of eight miles, running the last, downhill mile in 5:49—and that included a dead stop to open, go through, and close a gate. It was an awesome run, and I’m feeling more and more prepared for Ragnar.

MON MARCH 27, 2017

Strength/Skill Development
Paused Front Squat (Build to heavy triple. )

(3 second eccentric/3 second pause in bottom/”x” stand from
pause /1 second at top)

I set a goal to complete the reps AS PRESCRIBED at bodyweight. I was able to do a little better than that, completing a set at 155#.

Uhm, I witnessed many athletes not completing as prescribed, and particularly not holding bottom of the squat for a count of one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand. Uhm, I even witnessed a male holding the bottom of the squat for all six reps for perhaps a second. But, hey, at least the weight was heavy, right?

Metcon (Time)

For Time:
9 – 7 – 5
-Squat Cleans (165/115)
-Ring Muscle Ups

I overhead the coach telling an athlete that the programmed weights are based upon what the elite athletes at the box are able to do, and “everyone else can scale.” Well, okay then. I warmed up FULL squat clean and settled on 125#. In retrospect I probably should’ve lifted at least 135#.

On a much more positive note, I was able to complete a muscle up on my very first attempt, and I haven’t done muscle ups in about a half a year! I even did a few strict reps.

I dropped each of the FULL squat cleans from the top but worked at a consistent rate. I noticed a male athlete completing the first round as power cleans. I minded my own business and didn’t say a word.

I began with six unbroken muscle ups! I was then usually able to string two or three reps together. I did, however, complete the last set as 2, 1, 1, & 1. Ha!

Time = 11:22

TUE MARCH 28, 2017

Uhm, overhead squats were programmed, 60 of them to be exact. Uhm, I had enough squatting with Monday’s front squats and full squat cleans. I decided to go for a run instead.

For an added challenge, I wore a 20# weight vest. I ran from the house to Carrier Park, did a loop and ran to the dog park and back for a total of 4 miles. My goal was to run at 8 mpm pace and I averaged a 7:59 mpm pace.

I almost forgot to mention that I weighed myself just before starting the run. Keep in mind that I had been awake for hours and had eaten both breakfast and lunch. I weigh 140#.

I don’t want to weigh much more than that, as that run was a struggle. For reals.

Sluggish, lazy, stupid, and unconcerned


The title refers to lyrics from one of my favorite Frank Ocean songs. As today (March 22) is my mother’s 83rd birthday, the song is particularly appropriate.

Be yourself.

Faithful reader(s) may have noticed that my blogging has decreased somewhat, as has my CrossFitting. I’ll say this now to get it out of the way: I’ve become bored with CrossFit.

I didn’t attend a Saturday session, as the Open is still underway and folks were completing 17.4. Been there, done that, don’t want to ever do it again. Jeff and I instead took Luke for a long walk at The Biltmore. I didn’t work out Sunday, because, well, I didn’t feel like it.

I attended the noon session at CFA Monday for no other reason than Jeff asked me to go with him.

MON MARCH 20, 2017

Strength/Skill Development
20 EMOM STO (10 x 2)
EMOM 10 minutes:
Strict Shoulder Press x 2 reps
-Build to heavy double

Immediately followed by…

20 EMOM STO (10 x 1 )

EMOM 10 minutes
-Push Press x 1
-Build to heavy single

So much shoulder to overhead! I was happy that I was able to complete reps with no pain in neck and/or shoulders. I started presses @ 75# and added 5# a round, finishing the last set of 2 @ 110#. I did the same for push presses but failed twice @ 150#. That’s okay, as I was able to push press a little more than my body weight.

Jackie (Time)

For Time:
1000m Row
50 Thrusters, 45#
30 Pull-ups

Uhm, I just did Jackie a few weeks ago at Pisgah, and I had no intention of completing yet again. There are many overrated benchmarks, and this (along with Fran, Grace, and Annie) are the most overrated.

As I never broke a sweat, I went for a 5-mile trail run at the Experimental Forest. And it was good!

TUES & WED MARCH 21 & 22, 2017

I had planned on working out Tuesday but when I saw the workout, well, I didn’t. I planned on working out on Wednesday but when I saw the workout, well, I didn’t. I was, however, longing to run.

As an aside, I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday holding down the fort as custom closets were installed in the master and various house repairs were tended to. As another aside, I have been taking Luke for three walks a day: a 30-minute walk first thing in the morning, a long (sometimes 90 minutes) walk in the late morning or early afternoon, often including a trip to the dog park, and another 30-minute walk in the evening.

Back to that run… There’s nothing like a hard, fast run to get the blood flowing. I began at the house, ran up Michigan to Haywood, and then Beverly, and took a left at Riverview. I then ran the single trail beside the Swannanoa past the dog park to Carrier Park. That was 4 miles. I then jogged the mile home.

The first mile had lots of hills and the third mile included the single trail. Splits were 8:o7, 6:52, 7:03, and 6:52. I was pleased.

Should I take a break from CrossFitting altogether? Should I do my own workouts, since I do have most of the necessary equipment? Should I focus solely on running, as it is the thing that truly gives me the most pleasure?

Trying to Stay Focused

I rested Saturday and Sunday morning spent five hours mulching the yard. I made sure to lift with my legs. Ha!

MON MARCH 13, 2017

I attended the 8 am session, led by Marc, and there was but one other athlete in attendance with me, Eva.
Strength/Skill Development

Overhead Squat (7 x 3)

I’m starting to recover! Whilst not heavy, I was able to complete all sets at 95#. Squatted below parallel and kept arms locked out. Yay!

Metcon (Time)

For time:
500 Meter Row
15 Dumbbell Burpee Box Step-Over (50 lbs to 20″)
30 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
15 Dumbbell Burpee
Box Step-Over
500 Meter Row

I hate rowing. It’s likely that I’ve mentioned this on numerous occasions. I did complete the workout as prescribed. I rowed the first 500m in about 1:55, making sure that I didn’t expend too much energy.

If I had a do over I’d complete the first round of 15 DB burpee box step-overs the same way I did second set, i.e., after stepping over the box placing the DBs on the ground and then turning around to complete next rep. Uhm, I held onto the DBs the first round. Novice.

I completed C2B pull-ups in reps of 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 2, 2, 1, & 1. My hands are still torn from KB swings, so there was that.

Some of the 9 am athletes had arrived and one of them, C., set up a rower immediately beside me as I rowed the last 500m. And then he rowed with me and began to cheer for me. So there was that.

Time = 14:59

Marc and I had talked about rowing and I had promised to share a few tips. As there was about 5 minutes before the start of the next session, I invited him to join me, and I showed him how to determine setting for rower as well as the four elements of rowing: catch, drive, finish, and recovery. Others had gathered around as well, including C., who asked for feedback regarding his rowing form. I talked about the importance of recovery, and using a count of 3 to determine pace, e.g., stroke, two, three.

And then it happened. A STDB said, “You can also count to six instead.” “Six,” I asked, “why?” He replied, “It’s a good way to blah, blah, blah.” I’m sure that my facial expression clearly read disdain.

TUE MARCH 14, 2017

I took Jeff to the airport this morning and was thus able to attend the 6:30 session. Coach Marc led the session and there were five others in attendance.

Strength/Skill Development
A1: Farmer’s Carry (5 x 40m)

A2: L-Sit (4 x max effort hold)

I completed the last round @ 280#.

Metcon (Time)

For time:
1 round of:
30 Hang Power Clean 115/75
15 Ring Dips
Then, 2 rounds of:
20 Hang Power Clean 115/75
10 Ring Dips
Then, 3 rounds of:
10 Hang Power Clean 115/75
5 Ring Dips

Coach Marc suggested that we choose a weight that would allow us to complete the round of 30 in unbroken reps, so I settled on 95#. I intentionally set up my bar at the far end of the box so that the metcon wouldn’t turn into a competition. An individual who perceived me as a competitor set up his bar beside me; thus, we could easily see each other. I once again remained focused on my own workout.

I was the only person to complete the round of 30 in unbroken reps. When individual mentioned above dropped the bar after completing about half of the reps he actually looked at me and said, “Way to go, Paul.” Well, okay then.

I completed both rounds of 20 HPCs in sets of 3, and the first two round of 10 HPCs in set of 7 & 3. I completed the very last round of 10 HPCs in unbroken reps.

Ring dips were a welcome relief, and I didn’t rush through them, only completing two rounds of 10 and the last round of 5 in unbroken reps.

Time = 9:10

The overwhelming majority of folks at CFA are very friendly and approachable, truly they are!

I took Luke for a walk and we stopped by CFA. He got lots of loves from everyone there.