My weekend was spent writing, knitting, and one whole evening was spent talking to my sister in Arizona. I especially loved that part. I hate being so far from my sisters. I have no idea how the pioneers managed to leave all their past behind and move out west. No matter how good we are at writing, letters are simply not the same as hearing a sister’s voice.

But my weekend wasn’t finished since today is a holiday for me. I still had to get up at the crack of dawn to make it to the box for 6 AM. The past couple days I slept in closer to 8 AM and it was lovely. Even to make it to a 8 AM class, I’m going to need an alarm to make sure I get up. In the summer, it won’t be a problem, but sunrise happens too late and on cloudy days, there isn’t enough light to wake me.

The parking lot was full when I got there, but for 6 AM there was just me and David. And Betsy was coaching and Chris was shadowing her. He just got his Level 1 certificate. He started at CrossFit Summerville soon after I did. He was a powerful athlete then and has only gotten better in the interim. More on this later.

David skipped Thursday last week because he was too sore to move, but it wasn’t shin splints for him. It was all the squatting involved, especially Wednesday, my rest day. He made a later class on Friday and that’s why I didn’t see him then. Both of us were moving better today.

We warmed up and did lots of this and that. Then we did more stuff and then we did three rounds of holding an air squat for a timed by the clock 3 seconds at the bottom, burpees, and some knee tuck jumps that I opted out of. My shin splints are nearly healed and I saw no reason to bounce like that and aggravate a nearly healed boo-boo. I subbed. We were now officially warmed and certainly toasty.

Today’s WOD as written:
Back Squats 5-5-5-5-5
AMRAP in 10 minutes
1 parking lot sprint
6 slam balls (40/25)
6 ground to overhead (135/95)

I changed my shoe for the entire day today and was a bit more even. David wears running shoes and Betsy had him take his shoes off for the back squats to try to get him more into his heels. We were to get to about 70-75% of our last three reps from last week. That meant math. It was about 6.15 AM by the time I was supposed to be doing math. There is no justice in the world.

I began with a bare 45# bar and then went 55, 60, 65, and 70. I got all my reps in by concentrating on chest up and knees out. Even my last rep at 70 felt solid today. I was low enough in my squat and my knees weren’t trying to cave in on the rise.

When I looked at this last night, I began my strategy but had no idea what my goal with the back squat weights would be. I did know what my strategy for the WOD would be and I implemented that. I wanted to get all the slam balls done without stopping and all the ground to overhead reps done without having to stop. At the Masters Garage Games I managed three at a time on the ground to overhead move and then had to stop. But what I was going back to was more ground to overhead and today I was going for a parking lot stroll. I should be able to get four done. Maybe. I could wimp out and do three. Or I could man up and do four.

I did tell Betsy I was going full masters on this one. She looked at me. I told her scaling was dropping the weight but keeping the reps the same. Masters was dropping the reps, too.

So my plan was a parking lot stroll and at the beginning this is always really, really hard. At that point in time, I have the heart rate to at least jog. But if I do, I have no heart rate for the next move. I strolled. Then I would do 4 slam balls with the 25# ball which I can manage. Then I had to sit and box breathe to get a heart rate in the mid 140s range to be able to get the 4 ground to overhead done. I was using 42# for my bar.

After the ground to overhead my heart rate would be really high, but I would just walk out the door into the ⁰F 44 weather. It kept me cooled off for the entire WOD. I would get my heart rate down to low- to mid-150s while walking and then could immediately do the slam balls. After box breathing, I could manage the ground to overhead and then start over again. My score was 4+2. I was coming through the door with just five seconds left and had to “run” to get to the ball and do one slam ball rep because damn it, I wanted it.

I have always noted what the other athletes around me are doing. When Chris first started, I was back squatting with a 20# bar and he was back squatting 200#. I told Betsy he used to be able to do ten times more than me. He asked my one rep max and I told him. He laughed and noted that he was not up to doing a 1,000# back squat. It made me feel good to know that I have manage to work this hard for this long and show real improvement.

Today, David was also using the 25# slam ball for his stuff but he was using a heavier bar. I’m not sure what, but I think it was 85# which was essentially twice my weight on that part. He was also keeping the rep scheme as written. He is young enough to be my son. He hasn’t been doing CrossFit for very long – just weeks. He was a weightlifter before, but with really bad form. I can see what he did amazingly well today and where he was struggling. I hope he stays long enough to see real improvements for himself. It is so much fun when the magic happens.