May 2013


So, I found these cute little 1″ clips and thought I could maybe turn a PVC pipe into a pseudo-bar and add just five pounds to each side and finally have a ten pound bar. But, I forgot to bring them to the box on Thursday and so I had to wait. I put them IN the car so I didn’t have to remember them at 5.45 when I am spectacularly less that fully alert.

I tried to use them with a PVC pipe and the plastic is just a bit more than 1″ in diameter so they won’t work. Next plan is to take the clips to Lowe’s and see if they will work with a 1″ dowel rod and then I can really have a usable bar that will give me some flexibility. Right now, until I can manage a 42# repeat lift, I have to build little towers for my bar. But if I could put ten pound plates on the end of a dowel rod and have them stay, I would have a 20# bar of the right height. I sure hope this works. I was building little towers two days in a row now.

I looked and since it is Friday, today is Partner WOD day and there was a bit of pause as I studied it. There was simply no way. But they keep saying there is always a way. So I asked if there was a way that I simply couldn’t see. Well, there was a way for me to scale the WOD, of course. There just wasn’t any way for me to do a partner WOD.

Our warm-up was a 200 meter run and then lunge down the mat and I figured out how I bruised my knees. It isn’t the burpees, I hit the mat on my lunges a little aggressively sometimes. Who knew? Then ten air squats, bear crawl down the mat, ten cherry pickers, and end with dislocates and passthroughs. We then did ten minutes of stretches of choice.

The WOD as written:
Partner WOD Friday!
– 5 minute AMRAP:
5 Med ball Tosses to partner 20/14# (Partners will be 20′ apart)
50′ Partner Wheelbarrows (Partner 1 down mats, Partner 2 back)
– 200 meter run with barbell 135/95
– 5 minute AMRAP:
Ground to Overhead 135/95
– 200 meter run with barbell 135/95
– 5 minute AMRAP:
5 Med ball Tosses to partner 20/14# (Partners will be 20′ apart)
50′ Partner Wheelbarrows (Partner 1 down mats, Partner 2 back)
During the Med ball tosses, if the ball touches the ground, there will be an immediate penalty of 10 Burpees.

The score will be the total number of reps accumulated in all 3 AMRAPs.

My issue was throwing the med ball, lifting the weight, running with a weight … well, I had many issues. But how to deal with the wheelbarrow thing? I just knew I didn’t know enough. So when I asked, I got an answer.

Med ball toss against the wall, bear crawl down the mat, parking lot sprint, weight of choice.

I tried a ten pound med ball and couldn’t make the distance. I’m so glad I stuck with the baby ball because even with that I was beeping. Then bear crawl down the mat and I made 23 on the first five minute AMRAP.

The 200 meter run was with the partners carrying one bar in whatever manner they chose. I therefore used half the weight of my bar for my parking lot sprint/stroll.

I asked Coach Jason if I could throw in a one minute rest after the “run” and before the next AMRAP. He didn’t care cuz it was my time. I managed 30 ground to overheads in my five minutes and was pleased with that and then did another parking lot stroll and one minute rest.

On the last AMRAP, I got three complete rounds with five second left and a heart rate of 165 so I had to be happy there. My score was 71 in 20.25.

There were two other teams. Cindy and Todd got 69 which is really funny for the married couple. Candace and Ricky did really great together, but Ricky couldn’t put Rx down because they used a 14# med ball and guys were supposed to use 20#.

The 5 AM class only had three people there and they all worked as a team. We had five people and I knew I was working alone. We had two men and two women, but the married couple prefers working together so there was that to contend with.

Partner WODs need to have larger pools of people for the partners so that like-skilled people can work together. I’m still unhappy with these, but not nearly as unhappy as before. I feel sorry for anyone stuck with me and we have said they all have to play Pass the Patti and the loser gets me for a partner. It is funny, yet it does make me feel sad. I’ve never been the booby prize before and it isn’t a great feeling.

Today I worked really hard and was covered in glow so much it was dripping everywhere. Now, for a couple days of rest before I’m back at the box. Maybe some of my bruises will fade by then.

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I looked at the WOD last night and it was horrible but I think I have finally stopped obsessing about what I can’t do and really know that it is all scalable and someone will figure out what to do with me. So I didn’t worry about it.

I talked to Craig last night and I get to help with the I CAN Games again. I will be the scorekeeper/recorder. He is using an online system that will give people participating in the games real time access to their ranking and it is supposed to be wonderful. They can access scores via their cell phones and keep track of what they are doing in comparison to the other athletes. I woke up from a sound sleep at 2:15 all in a panic and thinking “This is a field, how am I supposed to have access to the Internet?” and just being a mess.

So, I got out of bed in the middle of the night and sent him an email so that I could stop worrying about it and let him figure it out for me. I still couldn’t immediately fall back to sleep, but he has responded and I will have access to the Internet even from the middle of a field. He is such a good boy. His Mama is proud.

I’m not sure who was supposed to coach our class today, but whoever it was forget to show up. Michael was there for the 5 AM people and he stayed and did our class, too. That was really nice of him. I would have been a bit ticked if I had gotten up after a restless night and not had a class. Thanks, Michael.

So warm-up today was a 400 meter run and I ran a bit farther than 200 meters. I went past the half way point and down to the other driveway for Jiffy Lube and ran through their parking lot. I got back very shortly before Ricky and Ed, and I had to pant for a bit. Michael approached me with a PVC pipe and I explained my frail and elderly status as schmuck. Once I caught my breath I was ready to get back into action. Next was dislocates and passthroughs and if the dislocates were easy, pull your hands in closer to get a good stretch. Then lunge down the mat with the PVC pipe held in the racked position. I could actually do this without a problem. That is freaking amazing.

The WOD as written:
Spend 20 minutes working on Clean Technique.
5 rounds for total time of:
Row 250m
10 Squat Clean to Thrusters 95/65#
15 Burpees
-Rest 3 minutes between rounds. Each round should be an all-out effort.

We were supposed to practice the incremental moves for a technically superior clean using just a bar. Well, hell. That’s my working weight. I got a PVC pipe and what he had us doing wasn’t going to work with an unweighted pipe. There just was no push back on errors. So I went and got my 22# bar. This pleased the coach.

I didn’t really pay attention to the WOD well enough. I thought I was doing cleans with thrusters and missed the whole squat thing or just forgot about it. Damn. I pointed out that my max effort on the front squat was 37# and the bar would be working hard for me and ten reps might be just a tad over optimistic. Michael said to do five squat thrusters and 7 burpees per round.

I started carrying 25# plates over to where I would be working and he just kept looking at me without saying anything. After I got my two little platforms built he understood. I mentioned that the last six inches to the floor made a huge difference and he agreed.

Time started and I could do 2 squat clean thrusters before beeping (I had already explained the whole heart rate thing to Michael so he would understand that I’m not lazy, I’m old). I did two burpees and beeped. I said I would not be able to do more than two at a time. He said to just do a 30 minute cap.

I finished the first round at 5.36 and was really ready for a 3 minute rest. Even after three minutes, my heart rate was still three digits. I did the next round and dropped the bar on one squat. I did not hurt myself or Candace who was standing far enough to my left. I finished that round at 14.13. Again, the rest was welcome and needed. I was getting tired and more tired and yet I had lots of time left. Back at it. When Candace was in front of me doing burpees, I faced the other way so if I dropped the bar again, she was not in danger of being beaned. I couldn’t hop out the burpees anymore and so I walked them out. That way I could do them in two bursts and not die. I finished the third round at 22.22. I was not liking this at all. I was hot and tired and nearly up to cranky. But with a cap on my time, this would be the last round. I ended at 29.35. Michael gave me the option of stopping after the squat thrusters, but I said I was doing the burpees.

After sitting there for three minutes, I asked if I could just do the squat thrusters and burpees and not do the row and sorta do the last round. It wasn’t really the whole round, but it was more than I said I would do. I finished that (with the last two squat thrusters looking pitiful) at 35.08.

It was a long WOD and even knowing that and having a shorter warm-up, we ran over time. I’m not sure how they are going to do this with classes that run back to back. We started our warm-up before the 5 AM people finished their WODs. But these logistic problems are not my concern. I just had to finish my workout – and I did even adding a bit extra.

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I had a nice long weekend and ended up eating way too much junk. It was great. I had cake three days in a row and I usually have cake no days in a row. We went to two parties and celebrated the freedoms provided by those who served their country in the armed forces. Semper fi.

I was unable to sleep in on any of the four days I was off so I was sound asleep when the alarm clock went off this morning. Of course. I mean, why not? But I dragged myself out of bed and got to the box for fun and games.

Warm-up was a 500 meter row and then ten air squats and inchworm down the mat with a push-up at the bottom. Grab a PVC pipe and do ten dislocates and then lock it overhead with arms fully extended (like in a snatch) and lunge down the mat. I was dizzy at the end of the mat. This should have been a sign. I’ve been doing this without being dizzy for a while. Then we did passthroughs and started the WOD. However, Coach Kim suggested we roll out our triceps on the bar before starting. I love doing that.

The WOD as written:
Front Squat
3 sets of 5 reps – heavy
For time:
21-15-9
Snatch 115/85#
Wall Ball 20/14#

I looked last night and my max lift on a front squat was 37# and that was one rep. I asked Kim where she thought I should start. I took my shoes off so I could keep me toes up and my weight on my heels. I led with my butt going down and with my arms coming up. I kept my feet in the right place and my back was straighter and my arms were high. I was only using a 22# and did five okay. I rested a minute and did them again and it was still okay. Although we weren’t supposed to be adding weight, I did. I put on five more pounds and did the last five with 27#. My arms were shaking when I set the bar back on the rack, but I did them.

So, the weights for the WOD are simply out of my league – for now. With everything involving up and down movements, I said to Kim that if I got too dizzy I would just stop. She said if I got dizzy to just do dips and do a snatch press and push press with the wall balls. I really wanted to do the moves, since my weight is nothing. I have a 3.2 pound PVC pipe and a 4 pound wall ball.

I also lowered the reps by three for each round so I did 18 – 12 – 6 for my reps. I got the first round done doing full squats with both moves but by the end, I was really getting dizzy and had to sit. I did three more snatches and had to sit. I did three more and had to walk outside in case I puked. I did deep breathing and managed to calm my spinning head. It was while promenading in the parking lot that it dawned on me that my left ear has been plugged up all weekend and it might be affecting my equilibrium which is iffy at best.

I went back in and picked up my little pipe and did dips instead of squats. I should have done nine more at the end, but I didn’t think of it until after I had been sitting around breathing heavy for a few minutes. But with the modified move, I really could have managed nine more reps of each. But I finished out my third round at 13.15. Not my best day at the box, but not my worst either. So I’m happy with myself for at least showing up.

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I have donated both time and money to the local food bank. I’ve sorted food at the distribution center and written a check. And for this, I’m punished. Oh, not terribly punitive in nature, but I get begging snail mail at least every month asking for more. Apparently, since I’ve donated more than once, I must be an easy target.

It isn’t just these people. We had to actually threaten legal action to get March of Dimes to stop calling here. Dick was one of the Mothers who sent out mailings one year. It was disastrous in terms of actually collecting any money. We spent more on postage than we got back in funds and the charity would have received more money if we had just sent it all to them and called it quits. That doesn’t even take into consideration the time and effort behind the campaign.

Then they wanted him to do this again. He said no, I said no, we both said no and they called nightly asking again and again and again right up until we threatened legal action to finally get them to stop.

When you give to a charity, it means you get on their mailing list and will be bombarded with requests until the sun goes nova or perhaps our galaxy collides with another, which ever comes last. All the begging gets tedious and it must be expensive. I know how much it costs for us to print and mail things at work.

And it isn’t even just charities. Speaking of work, the corporate office has a list of “touches” that are supposed to make me feel like a valued customer and happy with the services provided. They recommend … now get this … fifty fucking “touches” per year which seems more like sadistic mauling, if you ask me. Our office does not do the fifty touches, but we send out more crap than I think is reasonable. I’ve tried to mention to the bosses how this is just spam as far as I’m concerned.

The corporate office cannot fathom why so many people opt out of email correspondence even while recommending that we carpet bomb clients’ inboxes with repetitive, useless, unread, deleted emails. Because these emails are important to the company, they feel they must be important to the clients. Just like all the other spam that reaches my inbox.

Honestly, all of us know how to find our favorite charities and donate to them. All of our clients are more than passingly aware of our presence since we are a money business and everybody is watching their money these days.

And that last part is a big piece of the charity problem. Even those of us who are lucky enough to have some spare cash have just come through (at least I hope we are through – they [whoever they are] keep saying things are better) a bad downturn in the economy. Those with money left over are less sure they aren’t going to lose it in another recession/crash/downturn or whatever other euphemistic name we give to “lose lots of your accumulated money” the next time it happens.

The uncertainty and the aging of America as the baby boomers finally retire, are drying up funds for the charity organizations. So they need to repeatedly ask for donations to keep funding their projects. And, because charity has become big business, they have lots of overhead which costs cash.

I’ve listened to the TED talk about the necessity of marketing for charities and how they must spend money to get money. I understand. But I’m far less likely to donate to even beloved charities if they are going to continually nag, badger, beg, or touch me for more funding. It feels like any check sent in to help now is making a lifelong commitment where they get access to my wallet or heartstrings. I feel like a cad each and every time I’m minding my own business and one of these people begins to beg. My answer isn’t based on that, however, it just ruins my day and makes me less likely to sign up for more of this with another charity in the foreseeable future.

Yesterday we were talking about a new pricing scale for CrossFit Summerville and I don’t really have to worry about it because I’m grandfathered with the old price scale, which tickled this grandmother, but there you go. I was confused about the time limit and said something about wanting to participate four times a week as soon as the partner WODs end and three times a week until then. Coach Kim was talking about months per subscription but insisted I could do a partner WOD. I explained my issue with last week and she asked if I could even DO a handstand and I said no. She said I would have been holding a plank or something. They would have figured out what to do. And if my heart rate was too high, we would have modified further.

So I decided to go to the box this morning even after looking at the WOD last night. I did write on the webpage that she promised we could scale this somehow. She wrote back the hows and it was all things I could figure out. The parts that freak me out are never the parts that people who aren’t this old and feeble worry about.

I read the WOD over several times, figured out my own workaround and slept peacefully. My biggest problem this morning was breakfast. I eat a banana as soon as I wake up for a little fuel and I only buy enough for each WOD. Since I hadn’t planned on going today, I had to have cantaloupe and hope for the best.

Warm-up was a 250 meter row and then ten cherry pickers, ten ring rows (did all ten without stopping), ten squats, 3 minutes of rope work (still no double unders in sight), lunge down the mat (managed without beeping), and end with dislocates and passthroughs. We used the PVC pipes to practice the moves involved in a snatch and then prepared for the WOD.

The WOD as written:
EMOM for 7 Minutes:
1 Hang Snatch (just below knees) + 1 Snatch (from floor) @ 80% of your 1RM Snatch.
Partner WOD Friday!
6 rounds for time:
4 15′ Rope Climbs
30 Wall balls 20/14#
50 Double-unders (Single-unders still don’t count!)
– Only one partner working at a time.
– BONUS: Each team will have a “Pet Rock” A pet rock is a 45# plate. If your Pet Rock touches the ground at any point in the workout, you will immediately take your penalty of 5 Man-on-Fire Burpees each.

I used the 3.2 pound sand filled PVC pipe but could actually do the move with that and managed to complete my squat sets without harm.

I italicized the portion of this WOD that would have freaked me out. It is what did me in last week. I cannot continually stress myself or my heart rate goes too high. I rest frequently and Kim even said yesterday that when I was beeping I would have been able to rest, of course. So after reading and rereading the directions, as a one-time English major and author I used my reading skills. I don’t have the strength so I used my wits. I sat on a box and like any good grandmother, held my pet in my lap. It really was enough stress between movements for this Little Old Lady.

Cindy and Todd were partners, of course, since they are married. They also needed to leave right at 7 so they only did five rounds. That meant Ricky was stuck with me.

He did two rope climbs, I did two sets of rope progressions and hauled my fat ass from the floor to a standing position six times. Then he did 15 wall balls and I did 10 (with the baby ball) but he misunderstood and did another ten. He did forty double unders and I did 40 singles. I could do more on the singles and so we switched this up a bit.

He did two rope climbs, I did 2 sets; he did 20 wall balls and I did ten; then he did 25 double unders and I did 100 singles and had a heart rate of 178 by the time I was perched with the pet rock in my lap and could look. I have no idea how high it really was. That was too much.

He did two rope climbs, I was still too pooped to move, he did another, I did the last. I went and got 5 wall balls, he did 15, I did ten. Then we tried him with 35 double unders and me with 60 jumps. This actually worked the best.

Ricky did two rope climbs and I did two progressions. I must have looked really bad because he asked if I was all right and I said I was but I was lying. I just wanted to puke. But I got calmed down while he did 20 wall balls and I could do my 10. Then his 35 double unders and my 60 jumps.

He did two rope climbs and I did one progression and looked pitiful so he took over and did one more. Then I did ten wall balls and he did 20 so I started with 60 jumps and he did 35 double unders.

So I started the rope climbs and managed both of mine so he only had to do his two. Then I did ten wall balls and he finished. I did 60 jumps and he did 35 double unders and we finished in 30.56.

I understand that sitting with a 45 pound plate wasn’t the intention. But I could have literally just had it sitting on the 12″ box instead of me sitting on the box and holding the plate. That, too, would have fulfilled the letter of the law. Last evening Kim had said we could have two pet rocks and I suppose I could have stood and held a 10 pound plate, but I feel like I worked as hard as I could and still managed to not puke, which is always one of my goals. So even though I was subversive, I was happy with my performance.

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We went out to a wine tasting last evening and I had only one glass but some extra snacks that were quite tasty. I tried to find the WOD on my phone on the way home, but it wasn’t showing up and so I had to patiently wait to look.

I have decided to start looking at them all as a challenge and realize that I’m more powerful than I give myself credit for being. I keep going back and I keep improving. These WODs aren’t insurmountable. I can do this. I know because I keep doing it.

But once again I had to watch a movie to see what in the hell I was going to be doing. With a name like man maker, I assumed it would be horrible. After looking at the movie, I decided I was doing this without weights because lunging with weights is how I hurt my knee and it is 95% better now, but still not perfect.

So the first thing we did was a 400 meter run which I can’t do so I did a 200 meter run and got back and panted like a lizard on a hot rock and was trying to recover before the 400 meter people returned. I did that recovery thing and then we did lunge down the mat and I managed to make the whole way without beeping. Ten cherry pickers and then inchworm down the mat with a push-up at the bottom. When we broad jump down the mat, Ricky can make it like five or six huge jumps or something ridiculous while it takes me twice as many jumps. Even though he is taller, he doesn’t have the same flexibility as this old broad. So on these, I can beat him because I can really get my feet up to my hands since the one thing I still have is some flexibility. It always cracks me up to have something or anything that I’m not the worst at. So I love this one. We ended with dislocates and passthroughs.

We then went through ten reps of each of the separate movements included in a snatch using just PVC pipes.

The WOD as written:
Spend 20 minutes working on Snatch Technique.
6 rounds for Time:
Run 200m
5 man makers
– Pick a DB weight that will be challenging.

I worked a bit with a sand filled PVC pipe and got to feeling centered. I tried just an overhead squat with the bar. I managed one. I tried more and was falling apart. I repositioned my feet and worried about them and my arms got all noodly, which is now a term, and I couldn’t manage the squat. So I pushed up on the bar while squatting with my feet in the right place and I eventually got three reps in a row, so I managed Monday’s skill.

Our man makers were with dumbbells of weight of choice and I choose 5#, but had 3# ones close by just in case. I never used them. It was from an upright position, jump to a plank with hands on the barbells. Full push-up with chest to floor. On the plank portion, lift one weight to armpit and back down, another push-up, pickup the other weight, jump back in, rise and bring the weights to shoulders as you do a squat, rise up and push the weights overhead. Repeat.

I started out with a 200 meter run/walk, but I was walking for half the distance to try to keep my heart rate under 155 so I could actually do some of that shit when I got back. I managed one full rep and was beeping. I rested, did a second rep, was beeping. I said to Coach Kim that I was going to have to rest after each movement, she said just do three. I said something about the run and she said just do a parking lot sprint. Well, hell. I could manage a parking lot walk and on the way out it had to be really slow because my heart rate was too high after the man maker.

I had four more man makers things to do when it hit me that I was doing an extra push-up with each one. I would push-up, pick up the right weight, push-up, pick up the left weight, push-up and then walk back in. Damn. I stopped that shit as soon I realized I was cheating by doing more. What a dumb way to cheat.

For the last four rounds I did manage 1.5 man makers, rest, 1.5 and then parking lot thing. I finished up in 19.03.

I have a bruised left knee and I have no idea when that happened. It looks much better with all the dirt, grime, and sweat showered off. And, just in case it matters, I did check in the shower, and those did NOT make me turn into a man.

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Yesterday after the box was rather uneventful here which is much to my liking. We did have some rain and some ugly clouds, but no real storms and for that I’m grateful. I’ve seen what even a small not really a tornado can do and I am so happy to be out of the tornado belt. Of course, I moved into the hurricane belt, but we aren’t to that season yet.

I got some writing and editing done yesterday as well which made the day somewhat productive as well as languid and safe. Then, because I can’t NOT look, I looked.

Today’s WOD was simply going to be ludicrous if not ridiculous and/or completely impossible. I have seen this thing before and I didn’t like it then, either. But my goal is to go to the box every Tuesday and that would mean I am supposed to be there today. So I set my alarm and had difficulty falling asleep, was up at 2 AM for no good reason other than to obsess about this, and made it to the box all tired and cranky.

Warm-up was a 1000 meter row and I got that done in under 6 minutes which is better than it used to be, so that was nice. We then spent ten minutes stretching everything because today’s WOD was going to use everything and we needed to be limber and loose and warm and crazy to even attempt this.

The WOD as written:
“Filthy Fifty”
For Time:
50 Box jump, 24″/20″
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20/14#
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

For the love of God – what fresh new hell is this? Well, it isn’t fresh at all. It is an old WOD and beloved by sadists, masochists, and jocks everywhere or something like that.

Kim was coaching and she assured me we could scale this. We talked about doing some things for 20 reps and some for 30 or doing all of them at one rate or another. She left that part up to me. I chose to do 25 of each thing which it turns out, was actually doable for me. Glad I didn’t weenie on the 20 reps that was on offer. I did the tortuous twenty-five.

Box jumps were on a 14″ box and I managed to get in 14 before I started the beeping crap. I did 11 to finish, but I beeped through the last few which meant I had to wait longer for my heart rate to get back down before the next move.

I had never tried a jumping pull-up but I managed to actually do them. Probably with very little finesse, but they got done. I did 8, 9, 8 to get them in. KB swings were with a 10# KB and were 13, 12 and done. Walking lunges always just beat my ass. I thought I could do them in two swoops, but it took three anyway. But my last pass was just 2 more so I could immediately start the next thing.

I had an option of doing just sit-ups here, but I did knees to almost chest level which is much higher than I could get last time I tried this. Then I could almost get them parallel to my waist, so this is better. Three sets with 9, 8, 8. Push press was with a 22# bar and 9, 8, 8 and very wobbly on the last two. Supermans were switched out for the back extensions.

My nemesis is the wall ball (see next round) and I used the baby ball. I can really break parallel on my squat with the lighter weight and really hit the mark with my throw. But they make me sick. I keep closing my eyes and that helps some, but they still make me sick and they make me beep. I did 7, 6, 6, 6 to get these damn things done.

While struggling with wall balls, I asked Kim if I could just do 25 push-ups instead of burpees and she said yes. I don’t know if I could have actually managed 25 burpees here. I did big boy hand release push-ups 9, 8, 8 and staggered over to the jump rope. I didn’t even attempt a double under. I might be able to do these at some future date, but I simply do not have the power to do them now. And here the ratio is four to one, so I did 50, 50 on the single jumps and finished in 27.07.

My guaranteed to hold rubber band gave out about half way through the WOD. My pony tail was still in place, but the looped hair was unlooped and hanging down my back and sticking to me and swatting me with each jump. I guess girly girls with long hair aren’t supposed to be this awesome. But, I am.

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