November 2014

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with Craig and his family and friends. We hadn’t seen Frank and Marilyn for a while and so that was fun, too. We had an oven roasted turkey and one done in the deep fryer and both were good. With all those Italian cooks available, the entire meal was delicious. Frankie knew my fruit plate was a turkey but at the end of the day she sadly shook her head and said, “It doesn’t look like a turkey anymore, does it?”

We took the new car and played with the onboard computer and learned a few new tricks with it. Without a destination plugged in, the nav system still tells you what street you are on and if it a non-residential street, it tells you the speed limit and changes as you drive past a new speed limit sign. That was cool. Traffic was light both ways since we took the back way and stayed off 95. It was a fun day.

I set my alarm for 7.15 and was going to sleep in since I was really tired after all that socializing yesterday. But I woke up at 6 AM and decided to go to the box an hour earlier. Since I was up fifteen minutes before the alarm time, I had some time to kill and no matter how much I wasted, I still was ready to go too early. I got to the box too early and was met by the Coach but there was no one else there.

Eventually a familiar face showed up. I knew the woman but couldn’t remember her name. Then Jackson showed up. Ashley was the coach today and Sarah was the holiday visitor guest. I knew I knew her but only seeing her a couple times a year means I can’t remember her name.

It was 34⁰ out there this morning and so it took some doing to actually warm us up. I had my sweatshirt jacket on through the entire warm-up but was finally good enough to take that layer off after we were officially warm.

Today’s WOD as written:
Squat Cleans
5 – 5 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 3
(10 minutes)
5 ring dips
5 chin ups
5 knees to elbows

We were to start out light and work our way up. I did look and my one rep max on a power clean was 57 pounds. I had no one rep max for a squat clean. I started with just the tiny bar. I had mentioned that we were partying yesterday in Hilton Head and when I said something about my son’s box having different sized bars (Sarah needed to know what bars weighed how much), Ashley asked me if he worked out at Reebok on Hilton Head. Fire came out and I explained that he did NOT work out there. They aren’t even supposed to BE there. Whoops. I turned into a raging mother.

I went on with my lifts. I got 22, 32, 42, 47, 52, and 57 with the first three weights done five times and the last done three, as written above. I’m pleased with those numbers. Somewhere in that mess, I was finally warm enough to get my long sleeved shirt off.

Because the ambient air was so cold and because the box is not temperature controlled, the bars were freezing. I wore gloves even for the lifts because I needed mittens, not because I needed the gloves. Jackson dropped the bar and was stunned. He said he didn’t even know he was dropping it but his hands were so cold. I have a second pair of gloves, but Jackson wouldn’t be able to get them on his big hands. Back when I was a nurse, I wore size 6.5 gloves because I have small hands. Most of the doctors wore size 7.5 and I would guess that Jackson would need a size 8 but maybe a 8.5. So, my small gloves wouldn’t help him.

I asked about the difference between a chin up and pull up. Hands are reversed. I’m so uncoordinated, this sounded threatening to me. Something new even after all this time.

When I read the conditioning portion today, I was trying to decide if I should do 4 reps of each move or just 3. Three sounded too weenie. I also didn’t know about chin ups and couldn’t decide if a band was better than a jumping one or not. Then I was there with a coach who didn’t know me. My main concern was getting my heart rate back down by the next minute in order to start again.

I began with 4 reps each, knowing I could back down if needed. On the first round, I grabbed the bar for pull-ups instead of chin ups just by habit. Shit. My heart rate was 163 after the first round when I started with a low heart rate. The clock had some problems and she had to restart it. She claimed we weren’t losing a round. But the clock started over. And we got a longer rest in there.

So I did 4 reps of each move again and remembered to grab the bar backwards. I was using a 1.5 band for the ring dips and a 2 inch band on the chin ups. My knees never touch my elbows, but they get above my waist. I was terrified of slipping off the cold bar and smacking my back on the box, sitting there so I could get into the band for the chin ups. I did not do that.

By the third round, I had to cut back to 3 reps each because my heart rate was too high. I was starting the round with a heart rate of 158 which doesn’t leave much room before I beep at 161. Somewhere around the fifth or sixth minute, I was thinking I was going to just have to drop a minute, but I worked on box breathing and got a heart rate down to 158 before the next minute began.

Since the time started over, I thought we were going to be finished after minute 8 because we had a minute that wasn’t on the clock, but we went one more, which I think means we did 11 rounds which didn’t kill me anyway.

As I wrote my scores on the board, I put after the squat clean numbers, “master” for my conditioning. Ashley said who wrote masters. I was there with a teenager and a visitor (who said she graduated from Summerville High School in 1996 which was a year before Joe graduated from high school). I explained that women didn’t write scaled when they used some lower stuff. I had no more control over my age than I have over being a woman. And besides, it makes me feel better. Ashley liked the idea.



I am thankful for my parents who insisted I always do my best, try again, don’t give up. I’m thankful for being raised with love and caring. Always having enough but not being overindulged.

I am thankful for my big sister who has protected me since the day I was born. Who has led the way, given examples. I’m thankful for the guidance, insight, and laughter.

I am thankful for my little sister who has been my playmate since she could move. She let me boss her around when no one else would and gave me a taste of tempered power. I’m thankful for her giggles, confidence, and laughter.

I am thankful for my husband who chose me for a lifetime of togetherness. I’m thankful for the lean years, the fat years, and all the years in between. I’ve had a life many can only dream of because the center has remained steadfast. I’m thankful for the joys, the laughter, the love.

I am thankful for my older son who taught me how to be a mother. The fragile preemie taught me a fear I had never known before. The happiness of seeing that so small being turn into a boy, a youth, a man has been awe-inspiring.

I am thankful for my younger son who has taught me patience like nothing else on Earth could. The boisterous funny child turned into a terrifying teen and solid man capable of meeting any challenge. The roller coaster ride was unlike anything in any amusement park.

I am thankful for my daughters-in-law who have taken over the day to day task of my sons. They love the men I raised and for that, there is no better blessing than pure gratitude.

I’m thankful for the grandchildren who have given me the opportunity to love unconditionally without all the responsibility their fathers entailed. They are simple joys without constraint. The toothless grins turning into superheroes goes too fast.

I am thankful for all the friends I have had through this long life. I’m thankful for the girlhood friends, the young mother friends, the retired friends. I’m thankful for the friends from around the world that I know only through the miracle of the internet. I’m thankful for the support, caring, sharing, and camaraderie.

I am thankful for all the years I spent being a nurse, saving lives and conquering disease. There is no better thing in the world than helping others who are in need and this occupation gave me a chance to help others with a basic, terrifying need – overcoming illness.

I am thankful for the few years I spent teaching, spreading knowledge to those who sought it out. Another way to better the world is by sharing with seekers. Education of the enquiring mind is a gift well worth the effort.

I am thankful for the years I’ve spent in administration work. While there is no glorious end product to producing a report, the time has been well spent when I didn’t have the energy to continue in previous paths but was not ready to quit walking the path at all.

I am thankful for the years I’ve spent in sports. I loved racquetball for as long as I could. I am grateful for CrossFit and the ability to achieve new things even at this late date.

I am thankful for living in a society that believes in freedom. I’m grateful for those who keep me safe and for the men and women whose jobs ensure I have had this opportunity to live the life above.

Happy Thanksgiving.Thanksgiving-Day-Pictures-Free-3


Like Alexander, I had a horrible, terrible, very bad day yesterday. We get automatic updates on our work computers and something looking like that screen said I had an update. I did it. It was not legitimate. It took us nearly an hour for tech support to be able to get on my computer since it was so overtaken. Then it took two more hours for tech support to try and then bumping me up to “the labs” so my computer could be fixed. There was some talk about wiping it and starting over. I have 38 more days to work and the thought of rebuilding the computer was nauseating. But, after three hours, I was fixed. Bless you, tech support.

My big sister had a small vacation and returned last night. I had a question for her while she was gone, so she called on her return. She answered my question in under 15 minutes, but we talked for two hours anyway. I love my sisters. I love talking to my sisters. I love being with them more, but we are scattered around the country. But if I can share anything – time, sound waves, air – with my sisters then I am happy.

I woke up before the alarm went off this morning mostly due to thunder but it might have also been the lightning. The pouring rain was loud, but I don’t believe that is what woke me up although the gusts of winds were impressive. Anyway, when the alarm went off and it was still pouring, I made an executive decision. If there was lots of running in the WOD today, I would go back to bed and go to the box tomorrow since my weekly schedule is all messed up anyway.

It was still pouring when I got to the box and then it let up some, but as bands came through, the rain pounding on the warehouse roof made a rather interesting staccato as a backdrop for the music.

Gabe was there, David was back for day two, and we had two visitors from New Jersey in for the holidays. Scott and Rachael played with us today. He is from around here; she is not. Both were nice.

Since it was pouring, there would be no running out there today. We warmed up with various things. The floor was really wet, but apparently not as wet as it was at 5 AM. Kim laughed when I asked about it. She said when she got there and the entire floor was covered with water that she turned on the fans “because Patti would whine” so I am good for something. The cleaning people didn’t dry the floor, they just washed it. So we warmed up around the remaining water. The humidity is something like 97% so it isn’t like the floor was going to dry nicely.

Today’s WOD as written:
Good Mornings
5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5
For time:
1000m row
20 push press
30 pull ups
40 overhead squats
800m run 1000m row

I wasn’t sure about the weight stuff on weighted good mornings. I’ve done them once upon a time, but it was long ago and far away in a land that time forgot or at least I forgot. Gabe started with 55 pounds so I began with 32 because I figured I was about a half-Gabe for a starting spot. It worked okay. I did 32, 37, 42, 47, and 52 on those.

Women’s weights are always lower than the men’s weights and yet they don’t think of it as being scaled. It is just the women’s version of the WOD. I’m calling my new stuff a Masters’ version of the WOD. My goal is to work just as hard as the young’uns. But not harder.

I knew without anyone telling me that I was finishing with a row rather than a run in the 60⁰ rain. But that was changed for everyone. There was an addition that the barbell should be 50% of body weight for men and 40% for women. I just use whatever weights I can manage.

I knew that I was dropping the rows to 800 meters each and then I vacillated on how many reps I should do. Yesterday, I worked 80% and I could do that today, as well. Today is OH squats and I have just started being able to do them with a bar. 80% of 40 equals 32 which is still lots.

Another option was available and I took it.
800m row
15 push press 33#
20 pull-ups 2” band (minimal kipping)
25 OH squats 22#
800m row

I managed the push press broken in half and then I wanted to get the pull-ups 10 and 10 and managed the first 10 but my heart rate was 170. I had to wait too long to get it back down so when I beeped again at 4 or 5 I knew I wasn’t going to get to ten. I stopped after 6, rested for a shorter time and then finished them.

My plan was 5 overhead squats at a time. I actually was able to work my plan. My heart rate was in the high 160s as I finished each set, but I could recovered relatively quickly and get back to work. I was back at the rower about the same times as the kiddies were getting to work on that part. I did not rest after my last set of squats and I beeped for the entire time I was rowing. I stayed almost constantly at 163-165 so I wasn’t over the mid-160s the cardiologist recommended as my top limit.

Gabe finished first although Scott gave him a run for his money and wasn’t far behind. I finished in 19.33 and Rachael finished ten seconds later. David was done shortly after that. I was smack dab in the middle of the pack again. I worked really hard and it was fun to actually have a chance to not be the biggest loser and finish last. I had a goal and pushed in order to compete with people young enough to be my kids. No teenagers there today, but all these people were younger than Joe, my baby.

When I wrote my numbers on the board, I did not write the dreaded scaled. Just as women can’t help being XYs I cannot help being old. I get to do the masters version of WODs. And when I am working with a masters version, I RX it. That’s my story anyway.


It rained all day yesterday. I was forced out into the rain but did not melt. We did figure out how to use the defroster on the new car. That was a plus. I was hoping for more information and so went to to get it and they have revamped their entire website and so now I don’t have any information. But it was a pretty picture. It also took forever to load. Nothing in life is ever easy and nothing ever stays the same. Sigh.

It was supposed to be in the mid-60s this morning with light fog. It was the right temperature but there wasn’t any fog I could see. That was nice. Last week we were freezing at the box and I wanted mittens. Today, we had to have the fans on again. Nothing is easy and nothing stays the same. Sigh.

Gabe is off this week and so he slept in again and joined us at 6 AM. Sarah Ann was there again and so was Jackson, so the kids showed up. Then Maribel arrived and David came to join us on his first day at the box. So there were six of us and six rowers. This all worked out perfectly.

500 meter row, slow and easy
Ryan complex down the mat
leg swings front to back and side to side, 10 each
plank clocks clockwise and counterclockwise
20 sit-ups
20 supermans
500 meter row, 100 fast, 100 slow, etc
5 back bends or bridges

After all this we were declared warm and we began our day.

Today’s WOD as written:
Abdominal Work

5 rounds
1 minute on/1 minute off
10 rounds
100m row
10 kettlebell swings (heavy)
rest 1 min in between sets

The abdominal work was whatever we wanted to do. Leslie had not liked having to come up with her own work at the 5 AM class, so Coach Kim listed several different options. We could do any of the options and choose as many as we wanted or we could stick with one thing for the entire time.

Because of all the rain and the high humidity, everything was covered with a film of water. I began with weighted sit-ups and when I picked up a med ball, it was all wet and I was afraid I would drop it on my face. I had to dry it off to use it, but I managed 16 without dropping it on my face. Then I did modified V-ups and got 22, then I got a little frisky and did knees to elbows forgetting about the slickness and that the bar would be slippery. I managed 11 but had a heart rate way too high at the end, my next thing was plain sit-ups cuz I was pooped even after a minute of rest and I got 21 of them. I finished with twists and counting both the right and left as one, I got to 20.

We warmed up with some light kettlebell swings that allowed Coach Kim to make sure everyone had the form correct.

When I looked at the conditioning portion of the WOD bright and early this morning, I could figure out immediately what to do to make a masters version of the WOD. I didn’t mention it and I didn’t whine. I already had my own plan and I would follow it. There is no reason I couldn’t manage the WOD as written, but I couldn’t manage it in the same time frame as people young enough to be my grandchildren. I’m sick of feeling beaten up.

As Kim was walking around, I did say I was doing the masters version and she asked what that was. My workout was 80 meter row and then 8 Russian kettlebell swings at 25#. Then a minute rest. And my heart rate was too high for much of the WOD because I was working really hard.

I finished the entire thing at 16.42 there are nine minutes of rest built in. I rowed as hard as I could for the first five rounds or so, but my heart rate was in the 170s by the time I got done with the kettlebell swings. It would take me most of the minute to just stop beeping and then I would start the next round with a heart rate of 155 or so and it was wearing me down.

I opted from rounds 6 through 9 to row easier and take a few more seconds on that part and still be able to get all the kettlebell swings in without having to pause. On the last round, I went all out because I could rest when I finished.

Gabe and Jackson were done before me, but not by a whole lot which means less than a minute. Maribel finished just seconds after me. Sarah Ann and David are both new and they finished close to each other as well. I’m not supposed to compare myself to anyone but who I was yesterday and that’s great in theory. In practice, it is hard not to notice that everyone has gone home and you are the only one still struggling with the WOD. I’m sick of being the last one done. I want to work just as hard as the younger people. But I don’t want to work harder. I’m not them. My workouts should reflect who I am and today, I got it perfect. I wasn’t sure if I was cutting myself too much slack or not enough. But finishing in the middle of the pack makes me think I was spot on. When I wrote my scores on the board, I didn’t write scaled after it. I wrote masters.

I had sweat dripping down my face and I was panting like a lizard on a hot rock. I worked hard and to capacity. I didn’t over work to exhaustion trying to keep up with the kiddies. I’m pleased with my day.

It was so hot and muggy after being so cold and I had worked so hard, I couldn’t stand it. So I threw the top back on the gokart and headed home with the wind cooling me off. I was almost cooled down when I got to the house.


I used to be much younger. Hell, decades ago, I was really much younger. But that was then and this is now. I am, today, as old as I have ever been. I’m also the youngest I will ever be. What a disconcerting thought. I’m facing so many different issues with aging and mortality that I’m in a complete stew. I am feeling mortal and old. And as a woman, there is nothing worse to be than old. We old women are useless and invisible.

I am a CrossFitter and we are boisterous and bold. Dear God, how do I be useless and invisible and boisterous and bold at the same time? These are totally dichotomous positions. If I were drawing a Venn diagram, there would be absolutely no overlap. They do not match up. I am both. I’m in a stew.

I read an article at Tabata Times and it made me think once more about my current conundrum.

I have always been competitive. Cheri, stop that maniacal laughing. My sister will lovingly call it obsessively competitive. Is that better? Maybe I’m at over-the-top competitive. I hate to lose. I hate to be less. My comfort zone is the winner’s podium holding the gold medal. I’ve only played once in a place where there were medals and I don’t possess any gold ones, but it is my preferred place.

When I began CrossFit, I cried nearly every single time I went. I usually waited until I got home. I used to be young and fit and play racquetball as an A player and win many if not most of my games, even playing against the boys. I had a wicked serve and trick backhanded Z-shot that died in the front corner. I played hard and I played to win. I had the bruises and even some serious injuries to show for it.

I was 59 when I began CrossFit. I was the fattest I had ever been in my life and weighed more than I had when I was nine months pregnant. I had been power walking and riding a bike and unable to lose the weight, although I had stopped gaining. I thought I was in reasonable shape. Then I joined CrossFit and could do absolutely nothing. I had spotted a neighbor as he lifted weights 25 years ago. That was the closest I had ever come to the bar.

Now I was supposed to be fit in all ten areas and here I was, old and useless. But because I put myself in the middle of this space, I was no longer invisible. Everyone could see how pitiful I was. As I held on to a PVC pipe to keep from falling over as I lunged down the mat, everyone had to wait for me to get to the other end. And then they had to wait for me to catch my breath.

I can do monumentally more now than I could a couple years ago. But even with all this improvement, I still have a muscle that doesn’t seem to want to behave appropriately. My heart has been checked out. There is nothing wrong with it except that it has been beating for 62 years and it is less efficient. And when it is taxed, instead of pumping harder or stronger, it pumps faster. There are only two ways to get the proper cardiac output. You either increase the stroke volume or you increase the number of strokes. That’s simple math.

And so I’m old and feeble and my heart rate goes too high. This isn’t anything I actually have control over in the gym. I can make sure it never goes too high simply by doing nothing, but I choose to do CrossFit even if I do it poorly.

Am I a self-defeating athlete? I think I am. I know that I’m in a room with kids and young adults. I’m old enough to be their mother or even grandmother. My children were both old enough to participate in the Masters Garage Games. How can I overcome this disadvantage?

The article linked to above mentions the new or out of shape athlete. I’m not new to CrossFit and that is part of my problem. My brain knows this stuff but my body can’t keep up. I’m not ever going to be the fastest or strongest. I will always be the oldest unless some even older nitwit decides to join and isn’t frightened away by the WODs as written. Or too injured when attempting to try the WODs as written. That happened to me at first. I was always banged up.

But I’m competitive and I kept coming back. I could see the improvements even through the injuries which were all minor. I’ve had far more serious injuries playing racquetball (and no one in the media wrote up the dangers of the game).

Why do I keep trying to compete with others at the gym? My only competition is me. I’m the only person there who is like me. There are a couple men in their fifties, but I’m the only person there over 60. I’m the only one eligible for Social Security this year. I’m in a class by myself. And here is a problem for me, if we aren’t competing with each other, why are we writing our scores on the white board? What’s up with that if it is not for comparison’s sake and to see who had the best score for the day or if Todd could beat Cindy’s time?

I work as hard as I can each and every time I show up. I whine about how difficult it is because it is always too difficult for an old woman. I work. I work really hard. I have achieved more than I thought possible when I was panting, leaning on a crutch, as I lunged. I’m never going to be young again. My heart is stronger, too, but it will never be 30 again either. I am boisterous. I am bold. And when I’m at CrossFit, I’m not invisible. It might be those crazy socks.


Yesterday, I had a massage and could get full range of motion with my right arm/shoulder without any twinges at all. As I was checking out, I mentioned this and some guy standing there looked over at the gray-haired old lady and said, “You should be able to Zumba then.” I looked back aghast and said, “I do CrossFit.” Then he looked at me stunned and asked about tire flips and what not. I’m glad he didn’t ask about rope climbs and Atlas stones. But it was fun to see the look on his face.

I got several errands taken care of yesterday, but it shot the whole day, leaving me little time or energy to get any writing done. So I didn’t get any writing done. I did get some knitting done and had to rip out a few rows and managed to get the stitches back on the needle which is a new PR.

Coach Jason had the 5 AM class but he was already dressed in his cop outfit when we got there. He had to leave and teach a class to cops instead of to athletes. What a multifaceted guy. Sherry was coach for our class.

Gabe was there today because he didn’t have to work. Sherry was able to coach because she didn’t have to work. Melissa was there because she didn’t have to work. They are all usually at the 5 AM class. I was there because I don’t like later in the day even though I didn’t have to work either. Sarah Ann was also there.

We did a lot of stuff to get warm. I still hate doing a plank clock in both directions but I can actually DO a plank clock in both directions without collapsing, so that is an improvement. It was, eventually, time to get to the day’s work.

Today’s WOD as written:
Dumbbell Strict to Push Press Ladder (10/5)
AMBAP in 10 minutes:
Buy In:
8 deadlifts (225/155)
500m row
1 mat OHWL w/plate (45/25)
5 heavy tire flips
1 mat OHWL w/plate (45/25)
500m row
8 deadlifts (225/155)
* after the buy in, continue with burpees until time runs out
your score is the number of burpees completed

There was just so much to try to understand while reading this. I knew what a ladder was. I even knew what the 10/5 meant. I didn’t really know what the move was. It was taking ONE dumbbell and doing strict press with the right arm and then strict press with the left arm. Then, add five pounds and repeat and ten pound increments for guys. When it was no longer possible to strict press, do a push press and use the dip to get the weight up. At the lower weights, stop at ten reps per side. At higher weights, try to get to five.

The low weights were really easy and then I got to 15# and it was really easy with my right arm, but my left arm acted like it had never seen a weight before. I managed the 20# as push press with my right arm and could control the weight coming back down. I could manage the 20# with my left arm going up, but had to have help to get it back down without crashing into my shoulder. I was going to stop there but was encouraged to try the 25#. I could get three reps push pressed on the right and my left arm just refused to go up.

I was going to not even post anything here today, as a reflection of my score. This is another total defeat day. I’m at the box with all these younger people. It really isn’t right to expect both a 16 and a 61 year old to do the same stuff. I know better. I know I have to scale. I know that I’m pretty much in charge of my own scaling. I know Sherry really doesn’t understand the whole concept at all. I know it means more than just dropping the weight to something possible. I also know I hate burpees. I didn’t know exactly how to make this suck the least. I chose poorly and there was little in the way of help and absolutely no discussion because no one but me seems to see this as a problem.

AMBAP in 10 minutes is As Many Burpees As Possible. Isn’t that cute?

I used 83# for the deadlifts and 10# for overhead walking lunges. I did figure out OHWL this morning after a bit of hesitation, mostly because of the weights involved. I should have cut back the reps and mostly, the meters on the row. I know how slowly I row and I knew it would take up way too much time in this. I was working to full capacity. I know this because I was beeping and had to stop four times to get my heart rate back down. I was not sandbagging. I am old.

Gabe finished the buy in first and he was doing RX. He got 38 burpees. So his score was 38. My score was zero. 0. Nothing. I worked to capacity for ten minutes and got nothing.

It’s not like I wanted to do a bunch of burpees. But I would have like to at least have been able to get back to the deadlifts. I was still rowing when time was called. I knew it would take me way too much time on the rower. Having 6 deadlifts, 400 meter row, ¾ of the mat, and 4 tire flips would have given me enough work to go with the time and possibly have gotten a few burpees in. But instead, I didn’t cut the rep scheme and no one else seems to understand that I’m freaking old. But I do. And I knew better. But since I’m the only person who whines about this, I always feel like I’m being a weenie and chickening out. So I keep the rep schemes that work for someone one quarter my age.

My goal for next week is going to be to cut the reps down to something for a masters athlete. I’m so sick of competing with people who are so much younger than me. I’m always found wanting. I don’t do Zumba. I am a CrossFitter and I’m doing really wonderful for me. It is all scalable. I need to scale. I need to stop beating myself up for not being younger. I flipped the tire, I lifted the weights, I should have something to show for it.


The cold crept South and we were freezing down here. Okay, it wasn’t really up to the freezing part yesterday afternoon, but it was too cold for the South. Some nitwit at FOX news stated it had reached freezing in all 50 states. I looked. Hawaii was 74⁰ and I don’t think it has ever reached freezing there. I wanted to ask the author if Hawaii had seceded.

I looked last night and it was supposed to be 27 out there this morning and when I woke up, my phone said it was 36 which wasn’t so bad. But it was all a terrible lie and it was really below freezing and the box is a warehouse without any temperature control. That means we need self control and that’s not very promising. Even after arriving home, getting breakfast, and sitting down to write this it is only 30.

I was swathed in a short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, and sweatshirt and at the end of the warm-up I still had all the layers on. I’m not a real fan of the cold. I moved South and enjoy the higher temperatures all winter and it was hot and muggy in the summer up North anyway. The “brisk” temps this morning with the fan from the rowers was just icing on the cake.

Today, it was me, Todd, and the Jackson two. I had never met the other Jackson before but he is a powerhouse. I asked the regular Jackson who was younger, him or the twins. The twins are younger by two months. Sarah Ann is 16 and she is the younger of the twins. The partner WOD the other day was the youngest and oldest members working together. That’s awesome.

Today’s WOD as written:

5 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 1 – 1
GHD 5 x 20 sec effort
power cleans (135/95)
back squats (135/95)

I knew before touching anything metal that I needed my gloves on. My hands are always cold no matter what. I didn’t need them for hand protection, I needed them for warmth. We warmed up with lighter weights and got to work. I don’t GHD at all, so I was tasked with v-ups but I usually just fall over with those. So I did modified v-ups as my secondary move. We did a set of deadlifts and then alternated with the sit-ups.

My weights were 83 – 103 – 113 – 123 – 133 which means I lifted my body weight. My modified V-ups were 8-8-8-9 and then on the last round I tried real V-ups and still managed 9, and although they weren’t as stable, I did not fall over. At some time during the deadlifts, I finally took off my sweatshirt.

As we were winding up, I asked Coach Kim if I should go 53# and do 18-12-6 or stick with the rep scheme and only use 42#. She thought for a moment and said to keep the rep scheme. What I should have done was the lower rep scheme AND the lower weight.

My plan was to do 10 cleans and rest and then 10 and rest and then one and switch to back squats. It didn’t work out that way. I got the first ten before beeping. Then I got 8 and beeped. I finished and got the bar on my back and managed a few squats and then I was beeping again. I looked at Kim and panicked.

“I can’t drop the bar.” She asked why not. We aren’t supposed to drop the bars with just ten pound plates on them because it breaks the plates. She told me to walk the bar to the rack and work from the rack. It would also let me not have to do the extra cleans and push press to the back move.

I managed to get through this by doing a little bit, having a heart rate of 170 far too often, managing to get it back down to 140s and start again and ratchet up the heart rate too fast. Jackson two did this RX weight and was finished before I was done with the cleans of the 15 round. Everyone was done by the time I finished the entire 15 round. I still had the nine round and managed all nine cleans together but I couldn’t do the squats without a rest. I finished in 14.25 and by that time, both Jackson two and Todd had headed for home.

It took me two months of working out to deadlift 42#. I did 45 power cleans and 45 back squats with 42# today. I should be proud of that. It is a tremendous achievement. I lifted my own body weight in a deadlift today. I should be proud of that. It is one of the markers or goals put out there.

I am proud of what I can do mostly because I have never in my whole long life done this crap before. I get the most upset by my heart rate and my inability to keep working. After the last nine cleans, my heart rate was 173 and I was dizzy. I wasn’t tired. My muscles weren’t tired. Just my heart was tired. And it seems to get to say when all of us – muscles, brain, determination – have to stop. I wish I could be the boss of me instead of being a slave to this whole heart rate issue.


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