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WOD The Hell Are You Trying To Do?

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Quote of the Day: “There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.”

- Thomas A. Edison


Crossfit is hard.

I know, duh, but let me finish… Crossfit is hard, dammit.

There, I’m done.

I see I will need to explain….

Since I joined Crossfit this summer, my progress has been … not as good as I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I go 3 times a week and 3 times a week, I get hammered, but that is the idea. The problem involves a couple of things:

1. By the end of the week, I tend to let the Friday workout … how do I put this… it involves a saying that rhymes with “duck fat.”

2. There is not a lot of time to figure things out before the workout starts and by the end, I am a wadded up piece of toilet paper so it is all I can do to crawl to Truckasaurus and whine all the way home.

So the way I solved #1 was to move the workout to the 9:00 AM session. This involves getting up at 7 and leaving by 8:15… yes, for a 9:00 AM class. I am a perpetual organizer and it takes me forever to get ready for ANYTHING!

I discovered that waiting to the end of the day, or even the middle of the day, was one of the things stopping my progress: I had too much time to talk myself out of it.

For #2, now that is interesting. I thought about showing up early but that just meant trying to get a coach to take the time to work with me when they had a class going.

I made a pitiful attempt to show up early and stay late but I was just not getting the training I needed. Something needed to be done.

This came to a head last week when I was going the back squat and a woman gave me some advice… basically informing me that I had it all wrong. Crossfitters are good at that.

The ensuing discussion involved what I talked about yesterday about being too strong and powering through the wrong moves. She suggested I show up to Rory’s class on Tuesdays at 9:00 AM because she is a form-Nazi.

OK, a few things about this one…

1. I could use a form Nazi.

2. Tuesday is NOT a day I normally go to Crossfit (I go to the gym to get my $10 a month worth of Planet Fitness goodness.)

3. If I did a Tuesday, then my weekly schedule would be M-T-W-F. Fuuuuuu….

4. Rory is a professional Crossfitter… I mean, like competition level. She is 14th best in the world or something. And THAT’S something!

My decision was simple: I would show up, do an extra workout, and learn from this super-Crossfit goddess who I am sure I will end up hating like morning traffic.

When I get ready for a workout, I really get ready. I look up the Workout Of the Day (WOD) (I know..), and have made a spreadsheet with all my maximums along with a handy little chart that breaks down the percentage weights at each exercise (so I don’t have to recalculate what 40% of my max is, etc….)

I print out a copy and write down the strength exercise (ex. #1) and the main WOD (ex. #2). No need to add “vomit, cry, and piss all at once at the end” because that would just be a waste of printer ink.

I did this for the Tuesday workout and with that in hand, I showed up to the 9:00 AM session ready to WOD up… let’s forget I wrote that and never use it again, what do you say?

The first thing I notice is that there are only a couple of people (this happens a lot when I show up 20 minutes early) and it looks like one of the trainers was getting ready to lead the class.

“Isn’t Rory teaching the 9:00 AM?”

“No, she is teaching a powerlifting class.”


You Crossfitters might recognize this: when you are ready for a WOD, I mean, you have researched it and gotten your head around what particular flavor of suck it is going to be, to change things up completely at game time is… not the best feeling in the world.

Suddenly I was NOT doing the WOD I thought I was and instead, I am doing something I had no clue about.

Me and surprise don’t get along all that much….

The class filled up pretty quick and I quickly realized what it was: a group “form” class, taught by a well-qualified form Nazi. In other words, just what I needed.

As I warmed up by putting my shin against the wall and other foot forward, I learned two things.

1. I am not as flexible as I thought… by a long shot.

2. The class apparently doubled since the last one so I guess the word is getting out.

Today’s focus was the clean and jerk.

Yes, the most technical move in the Crossfit arsenal.

I will not go into the specifics about the class but it was another one of those “Take everything you know about this move and forget it, you have been doing it completely wrong” kind of classes.

Basically for the clean and jerk, you take the bar from the ground, pull it up by standing up with your arms straight, ducking underneath the raising bar and catching it on your chest (or Adam’s Apple, you know, whatever…), as you practically squat, then stand.

That’s half the move.

Then, assuming you got this far, you hop the weight up and once again duck underneath it but this time, you “catch” the weight with straight arms and by this time, you had better have split your feet forward and back or your day just got worse.

In this most-awkward of all awkward moments, you shuffle your feet together until you are standing with the full weight over your head.

Meanwhile, your spleen should be shooting out your ass….

Then you let it drop like it was on fire.

I got about 10% of this right but Rory, being the good coach she is, phrased it like this..

“OK, there you go, I’ll take that clean and jerk for a first attempt.”

God forgive me but I took that obviously stretched praise and smiled a little to myself as I searched around for my spleen.

It didn’t get much better than that, improving incrementally until I couldn’t lift an eyebrow.

It may sound funny but I kept forgetting what to do next. Obviously, when you get this down, it’s all fluid movement but while you are learning it, they break it down for you and you try to perfect each step.

I would forget what was next. It was like I was suddenly retarded (OK, MORE retarded…) to the point Rory started yelling at me when I paused.

“Just do it! Don’t think about it, just go!”

Then I would do something totally stupid and feel the warm burn of embarrassment.

I think I made what could almost be considered a passable clean and jerk by the end and I was so happy that I didn’t even blink when she transitioned into a core workout.

Wait, a core workout? I had just destroyed my abs yesterday and now we were doing planks with plates on our backs for a full minute. Great, just when I got my spleen back in….

The last little fun party was this: a rubber strap with a kettle bell hanging from your waist and in a plank, arms and feet on different boxes (to create a place for the kettle bell to swing.)

45 seconds.


I like the class, I like the instructor, and I think it is the step I need to make in order to move forward in Crossfit. But it means going from 3 times a week to 4 times in the Crossfit gym.

(For those of you than are snorting at that statement, please remember that I run 4 times a week and go to the regular gym twice a week. Not to mention a weekly Insanity class and a hike. That’s not why you were snorting? Oh, sorry….)

So either I am going to have to give something up or up my game.

Hmmm, I wonder what it will be…

Free Advice for Today: “Never open a restaurant.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.



I Guess You CAN Call It A Comeback, If You Want To…

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Quote of the Day: “We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.”

- Blaise Pascal

Ahhh yes, blogging….

My last entry was Sunday, January 6th, 2013 and today is October 21st, 2013. That means it’s been exactly 288 days since I last bellied up to the keyboard and made an idiot out of myself publically… (I now prefer to do so in person most days…)

The question begs, as it always does: do I try to give some kind of recap or just start from today and I have come to a command decision to just freakin’ start and promise not to go 288 days again…

OK, who am I kidding, I can’t just jump in without some kind of explanation.

I know it sounds trite but we all go through phases in our lives and right now, I am going through the “Hey, why don’t I alienate everyone in my life and pretty much shut down” phase so don’t be too offended if you are reading this and I make no attempt to return any form of contact with you (other than this blog). I am hoping that my blog persona stayed in tact while this other trash plays out.

OK, so where am I at right now? Well, I guess it’s safe to talk about my training.

I train.

A lot.

In fact, it seems about the only thing I do consistently these days so let me map out the crazy for you here:

CrossFit 3x per week
Running 4x per week
Gym 2x per week
Insanity 1x per week
Hike 2x per week

I know, that is a lot of x’s per week. You would think I would sleep like a baby but I don’t… in fact, I can’t. What I CAN do is take a sleeping pill but it leaves me drowsy all morning where lack of sleep only lasts… my logic went off the rails somewhere there so I am going to move on…

So training, yeah…. I kind of have excuses for all of them and no, it’s not “hey, I’m all super-healthy and you should be too so buy this, that, and the other from me…”

The CrossFit is simple: I eventually want to open my own gym, or at least work as a trainer and this is the place to start. So every M-W-F, I leave at 8:15 AM, drive 6 miles, and cause the trainers to wonder “Why does the Major show up ½ early for the 9 AM?”

(.. not me, I cannot grow a Paul Bunyan beard nor would I be caught dead redheaded…)

Once the running cools off, I will increase my weekly schedule and go 4-5 times a week because at $165 a month, three times a week is a lot like buying a full membership and only dragging your sorry ass there 12 times a month. That’s about $14 per visit, aka: bullshit.

BTW, the WODs are taking their toll but I am hanging in there. One of my difficulties is that I am too strong (I know that sounds really narcissistic but stick with me here…). Since I came into the program in pretty good shape (post-Insanity, running, weightlifting), I am able to do all the complicated moves WRONG but am strong enough to overcome it.

It other words, I power through the wrong movements so unless there are people nearby telling me I’m a retard, I sometimes ending up doing the details wrong.

Running: I am training for my 28th marathon (Seattle) on Dec. 1. So I run 4 times a week, the most significant being the Saturday runs which are running into the 20-mile range (no pun intended but a welcome surprise!)

(.. cool selfie until you realize that is slobber all over my chin … lovely…)

Once the marathon is done, I plan to cut my running significantly (e.g. ZEROish) so that I can do more Insanity (I know, but are you really going to grab that low-hanging fruit? Of course you are…)

Gym: I pay Planet Fitness $10 a month and not only do I feel obligated to get there at least twice a week, I kind of like my routine that I do there (Warm-up, 1-mile treadmill run, biceps, triceps, all the ab machines, shoulders, chest, back, pull-ups, dips, cool down). The drawback is that it takes a couple of hours. And because I go mid-morning, I have to see an endless parade of half-hearted moms and a geriatric crowd that can only be described as “Cocoonish.”

Insanity: I have done the Insanity program 4 times through and now my beautiful wife and I are leading an Insanity Growth Group class for our church. That means I do a workout exactly once per week which also means, I am tortured in a way that only doing an Insanity workout once a week can produce. Exquisite soreness.

(.. and YOUR workout is my spleen being launched out of my ass…)

As mentioned above, I plan to start the entire program again AFTER I finish the marathon because doing that while I was training… come on, I am CRAZY, not … crazy crazy…(nor am I “cray-cray,” as my son blubbered before I slapped him upside the head…)

Finally, The Hike. I hike with my dog every Friday. This is a good way to stretch and rest the legs before the big Saturday runs and I liked it so much, I made it into another Growth Group for my church. Unfortunately only one person agrees that taking your dog into the woods on late October mornings is a good idea. Toby seems not to mind.

(.. I had no idea how this picture would turn out when I took it… the sun was in my eyes… duh…)

So there it is, my training. Maybe it’s just cathartic to write it out, or to start my blog again, or wallow in the process that is bellying up to the keyboard and doing a good old-fashioned mind dump. But there it is, some of the contents of my skull today.

Lucky you.

Referenced Used:
For the days between dates calculation, I used
For the spelling of “Paul Bunyan,” I used Google. (I got it right, BTW…)
For the Cocoon reference, I searched Google for “wilford brimley movie old people.” (I couldn’t remember the movie…)

Free Advice for Today: “Ever so often push your luck.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


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