February 2015


I am retired. But I haven’t yet missed a day’s work because this would have been my weekend anyway. My last day of work went well. We watched a movie, Office Space, and laughed every time the printer jammed. I will never print another envelope. The thought is refreshing. I made it out the door without crying, which was a miracle. I believe I took all my personal effects with me.

We had company, the freezing golfers, who showed up a few minutes after I got home. Ted had to get back home but Bob stayed an extra day. Unfortunately, it was too horrible to play golf so we had to go downtown and get lunch and then wander around and end up at Kaminsky’s for dessert. I love having to end up at Kaminisky’s.

But today it was time to head back to the gym for another round of lunacy known as CrossFit. But, I have erased the 5.15 AM alarm from my phone. It is set for 7.15 AM now, mostly to remind me to get ready, not to wake up. I had a short cup of coffee and had checked my Facebook and writing forum, along with my email, before the alarm went off. I finished getting ready in a leisurely fashion and headed out the door to a sunlit morning.

Betsy was coaching and I was the only person there. There had only been two people at 5 AM and no one at 6 AM. Since the WOD wasn’t the Open workout, people may have been saving themselves. Even I looked at the Open workout and noticed that I could actually do it as written for a scaled old fart. I just would have had to do sit-ups and the snatches could be just ground to overhead. AND the old fart men had a greater weight than the old fart women. Something that the Masters Garage Games didn’t seem to find possible. But the Open did.

Since it was just me, Betsy asked what I would like as a warm-up that wouldn’t make me overheat, which sometimes happens. I said I didn’t much care but would like it to not have any bear crawls. She said she could manage that but she had me doing this backwards stand on one leg and rotate the other leg thing that I simply couldn’t manage without using a PVC pipe for support. My balance really is much better than when I began, but it still isn’t that great. I have no idea if that is anything it is possible to recover or I’m just stuck being old.

Then we discussed the WOD and once again I didn’t know what something was. I assumed I might figure it out, but it sounded so ludicrously dangerous, that I hoped I would be wrong. I wasn’t.

Today’s WOD as written:
Partner WOD Friday!!!

30 Simultaneous Partner Jumping Lunges
30 Lateral Partner Burpees
30 Alternating Partner Wall Balls(20/14)
30 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
30 C&J(135/95)

So the first problem was that I didn’t have a partner and Betsy didn’t dress to be able to work out. So I was doing this by myself. I always think I can’t do something and then get pushed into doing it. What I was most worried about was how much time I would be spending not doing anything. Without a partner to be doing whatever, it was just wasted time. I can manage 12 wall balls at a crack, tops. Having to rest in the middle means that it takes me far longer to do the three more than just the three more. It takes me another 45 seconds to a minute while I get my heart rate back down. But Betsy said we had all the time in the world and what did it matter. So I stuck with doing really half the reps on each move.

However, I just did walking lunges. The lateral burpees were supposed to be with one partner on the ground and the other hopping laterally over him/her to do burpees first on their left and then on their right and do as many as possible and then that person lies on the floor while the other jumps over them. This just sounds like an opportunity for me to either fall over or jump onto someone and really hurt them. But I didn’t have a partner so it was all moot. I did walking in and out burpees.

I then did my normal wall balls with a 10# med ball to an 8’ line and then used a 2” band for pull-ups since old farts are always excused from the chest to bar. Then I hit my snag. Since I knew the clean and jerks would be where I fell apart, Betsy said she would rather see me use a lighter bar and do more of the reps throughout. So I dropped back to just a 33# bar for these.

I managed all the lunges and even got in a few burpees before I started beeping. Then I rested and got some more burpees, rested and got to 14 and rested. Then I finished number 15 and got 8 wall balls and rested. My heart rate was 171 and it took some time to get it down but then I finished that. I went to the rack and got my heart rate down again and then began the pull-ups. I did 9 and my arms still had more pull-ups in them, but my heart didn’t. I stopped and looked and my heart rate was 181. Whoops. That’s considerably higher than mid 160s. I got it down and finished the pull-ups.

Then to the clean and jerks. I was determined to do them in sets of five but I was beeping at the end of the third rep each time. But I got to five and then rested. I figured if I could get my heart rate a little lower before I began again, that would work better. It didn’t seem to matter. I was beeping at the end of three again. So I figured if it didn’t matter, why try. I got down to 152 and began again and finished the whole thing in 11.21.

Dropping the weight on this really helped. I can only get three ground to overhead done with 45# that would have meant two more rest periods in there and would have ticked me off. Not that I couldn’t do it, but that I have to spend so much time recovering. Moving less weight really was the key here.

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We had an ice age through here yesterday and rather than drive on icy roads with a car noted for not being good on icy roads, I worked from home. I actually got far more done than I would have been able to do in the office. No one talked to me and the phones didn’t ring. I didn’t get any email. I just worked. I couldn’t make Excel and Access talk to each other because apparently Microsoft doesn’t think that’s a good idea. Even though I thought it was an excellent idea, I was outvoted. Access talked way too much to Word and babbled incessantly and so that didn’t work either. But I, like Thomas Edison, learned much by learning what didn’t work.

Today is the last day. It is the last day of work which also means it is the last day I have to wake up at 5.15 AM and head off to the box in the dark. It is the last time I have to stop at a very long light after someone turned right on red 45 seconds ago. It is the last time I will get to see the moon shining over the Carolina pines as I head out. It is the last time I have a gorgeous sunrise blinding me on the way home.

It was supposed to be ⁰F 32 this morning and so the first thing I did when the alarm went off was check the temperature. I wasn’t driving to the gym on icy roads. See above. But it was a blisteringly hot 36 out there and so the roads were wet, but not iced. And I don’t have any bridges to cross. The people here do not know that bridges freeze before the roadway. The Southern climate makes that esoteric information. But I am from the frozen tundra North. And I know.

There were four brave souls at the 5 AM class and just me at the 6 AM class. Kim was coaching and she had me doing a variety of stuff to get warm. It worked. I had my jacket off by the end of the warm-up. I cannot do circles and so I asked about the jump over the box thing to give her time to come up with something for me. I get dizzy enough with shuttle runs because of the spinning at the end of each shuttle.

Today’s WOD as written:
A.
6 min amrap

10 push press @ 45%
10 c2b over 55 regular pull-ups
Rest 6 min
B.
6 min amrap

10 OHS @ 50% max
10 over the box jumps
C.
4 rounds of
Row 250 all out rest 2 min. between rounds

I RXd the rest, everything else was scaled. I used 33# bar for the moves, a 2” band assist for the pull-ups, and a 20” box and did step-ups.

My bar was 50% rather than 45% for the push press but I only did 8 of each move. I could get one thing done and rest and get the next thing done and rest and my heart rate was too high by the 6th push press or the 6th pull-up after the first round. But I would impatiently work to get it back down and then go back and start some more. I got a score of 3+2 and ended with a heart rate way too high. But I had a six minute rest.

I moved the box from the rack to the floor. I know I said I would do that side step thing, but this was supposed to be more difficult than a simple box jump, so I did the more difficult actual step-up rather than the side step. I remember to switch the lead led half way through on each round.

I also cannot get anything less than 75% of my one rep max for an overhead squat. So I racked the bar and did front squats. I used the same bar because 67# is my one rep max on a power clean. It was possible to get the squats done without stopping and although I beeped by the end (after the first round) I was okay. On the first round, I got the squats and step-ups done and had a heart rate of 159. Amazing. But I had a heart rate of 120s to start. So after that, it was one move complete, rest, next thing done, rest. I got a score of 3+8 on this one.

The times for the 5 AM class on the rowing was in the 50+ seconds range. The rowers were programmed to count backwards and give an accurate time for each round. I wanted the same times at they had so I asked if I could do 200 meters instead. That should put me at the same times. And it did. I had scores of 53.4, 54.9, 56.8, and 56.1. My heart rate was low to start and the two minutes got it back down, but not as much as the beginning.

And now I am off to my last day of work. Last. Day. Work. Then it is up to me to find something to do with all my time. All of it. Up to me. Those phrases keep going through my head. I have had three distinct careers in my life. I was a nurse, a teacher, and a secretary – all girl jobs. Maybe I should look for something rough and tough to do in my old age.

This is a lie. It's cute; but a lie

This is a lie. It’s cute; but a lie.

It was 19 degrees out there Friday and I could not make myself go to an unheated gym and work out. I didn’t like the WOD and so I felt like I was avoiding something but the reality was it was too damn cold. Even with my gloves on, the bar would have been freezing cold and throwing it overhead seemed like a really bad idea. I stayed home.

Which means it has been almost a week since I’ve been to the gym and even so, waking up at 5.15 AM was a real struggle. But I did manage to drag myself out of bed and get dressed. Today, it is ⁰F 59 which is much better, at least in theory.

I looked at the WOD last night, figured how to scale it and stopped worrying about it. I got there this morning and Ryan was coaching the 5 AM class and then he and I took the 6 AM class with Kim coaching.

We warmed up while the 5 AM class finished with the WOD. It took a long time to get through. There is 16 minutes of built in rest and so that sucks up a lot of time. They were offered a chance to quit at 4 rounds, but I believe everyone there managed all five.

We warmed up around them and then were prepared to hurry through the day, since we already knew it was a long day of work.

Today’s WOD as written:
A. 

2 deadlifts @ 60% of max every 15 second for 5 minutes
B. 
5 rounds
5 HSPU
10 burpees to 6″ OH
15 wall balls
30 double unders
Rest 4 min between rounds

The first thing I did last night was figure out what my deadlift weight was going to be. I was to use 84# and I went with 83# today. I warmed up a little with the empty bar. My problem is my heart rate. I started with heart rate in the 130s instead of in the 110s. I like to begin with at least a fighting chance. I knew I might have to rest one of the 15 second rounds. Maybe more. But with a high heart rate to start, I was pretty sure I was doomed.

Ryan was working with “significantly less” than his 60% and still found this difficult. It was either at 3.00 or 3.15 I had to sit one out. My heart rate was too high to keep going and the rest in between rounds wasn’t enough. But it was the only round I missed. So I only did 38 deadlifts rather than the 40 as written. But I did them at the real 60%.

For the next part, I did HSPU from a 20” box, regular burpees, 10# med ball to an 8’ mark, and 2:1 on single unders. I also cut back the reps because I wanted to be able to do a move without stopping. So I did 4, 8, 12, 24 and did 80% of the reps.

We knew how long it took the 5 AM class and we tried to start earlier because Ryan had to leave to take their daughter to school. Even starting a bit earlier wasn’t enough. Ryan was only doing four rounds. I was happy with that as well. I would have run over doing the fifth had I chosen to do it.

Since we were rushing to start, my heart rate was too high to begin with. I got through the HSPU and the burpees and then rested, did the wall balls and rested, finished with the single unders and had my built in rest time. My heart rate kept going over 170, but I could finish each move. I remembered to switch the lead leg on my walked in and out burpees.

My times were: 3.32, 3.21, 3.16, and 3.03 with a total time of 25.12 (and 12 minutes of that was rest). I have no idea how I managed to get better on each round. I know that on the first round, my heart rate was the highest at the start of any of the rounds. I also missed a jump with the rope and it was the only time I did that.

Maybe I got to where I could game my heart rate a bit better. I waited for it to get to 148 and then could get the wall balls done without stopping and I just went to 159 so I wasn’t beeping when I began the single unders because I had a 4 minute rest after.

What I noticed mostly was that I was so hot, I wanted to rip my shirt off. At least I didn’t have knee socks on today or I would have melted. I was dripping wet and sweat was running into my ears. I was miserable. And it was too cold to work out on Friday and it will be cold again by Wednesday. There is no pleasing me.

funny_deadlifts

Because I didn’t have to workout yesterday, I had extra time in the morning and rather than waste it here, I left for work and figured I would leave early. That did not pan out as expected. I had to work all day at work yesterday and even left late. I spent 46 minutes and some seconds on hold mostly, but talking to someone and being shunted off to the next person at Pitney Bowes. The stamp machine company has very little competition and their customer service has never been thrilling. But they now know I am retiring and my credit card is no good and so they should use the new one. Great. I knew it was going to be an odious task. Talking to them always is.

I looked at the WOD last night and just shuddered. And then I remembered that I haven’t yet died while working out, so I could probably do this as well. I knew last night when I looked that I would ask for a time cap.

Even so, I could not fall asleep last night. It has been a week since I had to get up at 5.15 and I kept thinking how early that was and how I really should fall asleep and then another boring and yet somehow compelling thought would stray in. I did that for almost an hour. Thankfully, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep.

When the alarm went off, I dragged myself from my warm and cozy bed and readied myself to face to the ⁰F 33 temperature and hoped I wasn’t all alone again. I wasn’t Charlie was there and we had a visitor from Massachusetts – Jason. We discussed the peril he faces driving back home across states who were snowed upon and yet do not regularly deal with snowfall. It really does make a difference.

We warmed up as best we could in the cold building and were declared ready. I had my jacket off and my heart rate up, so I guess I was.

Today’s WOD as written:
first

20 rep max back squat
then
DOWN & BACK CHIPPER

Men 40-49 and Women 40-49:
For time:

50 box jumps (24 / 20 in.)
25 toes-to-bars
50 wall-ball shots (20 / 14 lb.)
25 ring dips
50 wall-ball shots (20 / 14 lb.)
25 toes-to-bars
50 box jumps (24 / 20 in.)
Men 50-59 and Women 50-59:
For time:

40 box jumps (24 / 20 in.)
20 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots (20 / 14 lb.)
20 ring dips
40 wall-ball shots (20 / 14 lb.)
20 toes-to-bars
40 box jumps (24 / 20 in.)
Men 60+ and Women 60+:
For time:

40 step-overs (24 / 20 in.)
20 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots (14 / 10 lb.)
20 bar dips
40 wall-ball shots (14 / 10 lb.)
20 toes-to-bars
40 step overs (24 / 20 in.)

I asked what sort of percentage of a one rep max I should work toward on the 20 back squats. Kim said whatever I thought I could manage would be what I should do. We could warm up to one try to get the 20. I warmed up with an empty 33# bar and then put on 20# and did a few more reps. Then I went to the board and looked. Molly had done 83# and Cory had done 55#. Really? If Cory, young, fit, and able had done 55, what in the hell was I thinking. Kim said she thought I could do my weight and that Cory could have done more. The deal was that once you picked up the bar, you did 20 reps. You could pause, but you couldn’t rerack.

I got to eight or nine. Then I had to pause. By 13, my heart rate monitor was yelling at me and I successfully ignored it. I started doing two reps at a time, but I was on odd numbers so I had to pause one last time at 19 but I got the whole 20 done and had a heart rate of 170 after I racked the weight. I had thought I might try 63# and I believe I would have failed at that weight. So I’m very happy with this.

And then on to the next thing. I’m in the last group. Once again, I had to look up a video online to see what in the hell something was. I’ve been at this for over two damn years and all of a sudden there is all this crap I don’t know again. But I searched on CrossFit step overs and found a little video. I believe I’m going to use this as a master’s scaling option from now on. You stand on the box, drop your right leg to the floor, get back up on the box, drop your left leg to the floor, stand back on the box, etc. I like it. Well, comparatively speaking.

Instead of toes to bar I did V-ups, and we don’t have bars for bar dips. I believe they would be considered easier because they would be stable and not wiggling all over the damn place like the rings do. I did dips from my 20” box instead. Last night, what most got me was the 80 damn wall balls. They just suck the life right out of me. How would I do 80? This was madness. I’m a very old woman, decrepit and scared by everything. And here was my nod to old age, 80 wall balls.

The first thing I noticed was that Kim had put a time cap on this sucker. Good thing. It kept me from a total panic. We had 20 minutes. Jason actually RXd his stuff. Charlie put in some scaling on the toes to bars and ring dips. None of us managed to complete the whole thing in the 20 minutes.

I had to pause once on the step-overs but I did so at rep 25. And then it was pretty much downhill from there. I got into the teens on the V-ups before I had to pause, but it was just momentarily. And then came the wall balls. I got 12, had a heart rate of 170 and got it down to low 150s, did that again, managed to get 8 and rest and then 8 and rest. I got the box dips done with just a small rest in the teens and then I had to do 40 more damn wall balls. This time I did them in four sets of ten and had a heart rate over 170 after each set. Time was running out. I managed the V-ups with some and pant and some and pant and eventually, they were done. I rested some and began the step-overs. There was about 70 seconds left to the time and my heart rate was 172. I had to stop. I got it down to 160 and finished out moving. I got 16 of these done before time was called.

I had no idea I could do this much work in 20 minutes. If there had been a 25 minute cap, I would have finished the damn thing and I would have thought it would have taken me much, much longer. I know I benefitted from choosing V-ups over knees to elbows and my sub out for the equipment we didn’t have made life easier, too. But I was working as hard as my old, fat ass would let me. And I got more done than I thought I would. I didn’t like doing it, but I love having done it.

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Our new countertop oven is not exactly a toaster oven. We have a toaster. The new small oven is both conventional and convection and it has a rotisserie option. I will probably use that as often as I used the toaster option in the old one – never. But the oven part works well and we have had two dinners cooked in it already. One problem solved.

The rest of our weekend was pretty quiet. We could have gone to Hilton Head for Craig’s Polar Bear event but it was too close to polar and we opted to not freeze on the beach while folks worked out. Since it was Valentine’s Day, it was a partner WOD and intense. There was no way for me to participate in such an event. CrossFit Summerville also had a special event for the day and again it was a partner WOD. My partner plays golf.

Today is listed on the corporate website as a holiday. The markets are closed. I have never taken this as a holiday and the office has never closed. However, since I’m retiring and I get four holidays a year, I said I would use this as one of them. Since I was staying home, the rest of the office opted to also shut down. I have no idea what they plan to do when I retire, but my not being there was cause for a shut down today. I’m that important or something. But I do have the day off which meant I didn’t have to wake up before dawn and get to the box early.

I did wake up before the alarm and had a cup of coffee while I waited for my phone to play its dulcet time-to-wake-up song. When it did, I finished getting ready for my trip over to CrossFit Summerville. It was still cold, but above freezing. Okay, it was ⁰F 33, but that is above freezing although one cannot really tell that when standing around in it.

I was the only person there. If I had been at 6 AM, I would have been the only person there, too, since no one showed up for that time slot. There were 5 people at 5 AM. I studied their times for the day and became a little afraid. I’m not a 5 AM quality person and if those were their times, I was dead meat. We figured out I was reading it wrong and that made me feel better. I warmed up satisfactorily.

Today’s WOD as written:
A.

10 min emom hspu doing one more than last week.
B.
21-15-9
Calorie row
Ring push-ups
Rest 5 min
C.
21-15-9
Power clean @ 50%
Burpees to 6″ OH

I picked the number of handstand push-ups I wanted to do because I didn’t think I could manage 50 of them. One more than last week seemed to be asking for one more per round and not an extra one at the end. So this week I did 50 of them. The first few rounds weren’t too bad. The middle rounds were just dogged work. The last few rounds were really tough with the first few reps okay and then struggling on the fourth rep and having to use herculean will and possible grunting to get the last one done. But I did get all of the reps completed.

I have no idea how old these masters guys are. I know this is where Ryan is finding this type of workout with the three sections. They have either always been in the fitness game or they aren’t that old or both. These things are just beyond me. So the first thing I did was give myself the masters rep scheme of 18-12-6. That means I had 36 of each move rather than 45 but it was still a formidable amount of work to do.

Rowing for calories is simply rowing for calories. Nothing to change there except to pace myself and hope for the best. Ring push-ups are not in my repertoire and so I did real push-ups with one mat under my chest. Kim and I discussed scaling options. If these were too wormy, I would do them on a racked bar. So I had the bar set up as well. But as I did them, she said they looked pretty good so I stayed with the mat.

I had to break the push-ups in half for the 18 and 12 rounds. I also had to get my heart rate down after rowing and before I even started. But I managed to get through this in 7.51 which was double Gabe’s RX time at 5 AM, but he is a beast.

Kim stopped the clock in the middle and I don’t really know why. I was supposed to have a 5 minute rest and then move to the next thing. What was scaring me on the white board was people had written times of 18+ minutes. If it took them that long, I was going to be there until the noon class started. We figured out that they left the clock running and it was their total times for B+C and the 5 minute rest as well.

My time started over again. I have a 67# one rep max on the power clean so an empty 33# bar worked great. I put it on parallettes so it was easy to reach. I did them from the hang. I also did walk in and out burpees and didn’t worry about slapping a bar six inches overhead. I was lucky to be able to just do this much.

Since I began with a low heart rate, I got to 12, rested, and finished the cleans. Then I got on the floor and panted like a lizard on a hot rock. I got my heart rate down, did four burpees and was beeping already. This is simply so disgusting. My brain wants to keep going and my body fails me. I did my box breathing and then did five. I switched my lead leg for the walking in and out part and did them five and four and was done. On the last rep, before I stood up, I got my heart rate down enough to go immediately to the cleans.

I had to break them in half but I managed them fairly quickly. Then the damn burpees were back. I did them in six and six and rested on the last one and got my heart rate down in the 140s. I stood up and got the six cleans. I went immediately to the burpees and got three but ran out of steam. I took a couple deep breaths and managed two more. I couldn’t go on and had to stop and take a couple more deep breaths. The room was not nearly as bright, but all I had to do was stand up and give a little jump and clap overhead. So I did. I then fell right back down to the ground. I was done in 11.40 and boy was I done. I don’t know how high my heart rate went because I was too busy trying not to die to look.

But it eventually came back down to a normal rate. My total time was 24.31. My time was not in line with the 5 AM class which means I may have needed to shave off something there to stay in line with them. But then again, I did the entire thing this way and still lived. And I did it all in the light of day.

At the end of yesterday’s WOD, we were talking about our goals and what we expect from CrossFit. My goal is to stay active and fit for as long as possible.

I am used to working out with teenagers, twentysomethings, and folks in their thirties or forties. I’m the oldest person there. Always. Because while there is one member who is older, he never does group WODs, he only does one on one training.

I’m often discouraged because my times are higher or my reps are lower. My weights are always less than what is on the board. I’m old and frail when compared to these much younger people. Hell, some of my socks are older than the people I work out with. They should be stronger and quicker and more able than me. Right?

It is disheartening to have been at this for so long and still be unable to do anything.

It is amazing that someone as old and non-athletic as me can even do a squat, let alone an overhead squat with iron.

And therein lies my problem. It has been said that comparison is the thief of joy. When I look at what this Little Old Lady can actually do, I’m a one percenter. I really don’t know how many people belong to a CrossFit gym worldwide, but even though they are growing, I’m going to guess that membership alone makes us a one percenter. And then among them, people my age are not that common. I’m a rarity. I’m an outlier.

But having said that, I’m also the person who scored dead last in the over 60 women’s scaled version of the Masters Garage Games. That either means I’m pathetic or else it means I have balls of brass for even trying.

And I vacillate like this all the time. I’m awesome because at my age I am a CrossFitter. I’m pathetic because I’m not Head of the Class ever. Yesterday, as we were talking, I said something off the cuff. But if I listen to the words that came out of my own mouth, I should be thrilled. “I Patti RX every WOD I do.”

Each time I show up, I do the very best I can do. My heart rate is an indicator that I’m not holding back. The fact that my heart rate is awful is something I have to deal with on a constant basis. I understand the physiology. My cardiac output (CO) must remain high enough to support my oxygen needs. The formula for that is SV x HR = CO where SV is stroke volume or how much blood is pumped with each stroke and HR is heart rate. One or the other of those numbers much go up to support the needed CO. I have no idea why my stroke volume isn’t higher, but to compensate, my heart rate is.

I can’t work past a certain heart rate without getting light headed. I really don’t want to pass out. I really, really don’t want to have a heart attack. And so I’m stuck with a limit. I work to, and often past, the limit. I’m working as hard as I can. I’m giving it all I’ve got. It’s just that what I’ve got isn’t the same as those decades to lifetimes younger than me.

I know that my satisfaction with myself is based on my own perception. I’m doing more than I could a couple years ago. I’m doing tremendously more than I could do a few years ago. I’ve put in hours and hours of hard work. I’ve been sore and tired and injured and defeated. But I haven’t given up.

I can theorize why my heart muscle hasn’t improved as much as my biceps. Hell, I have no idea about that statement. What I am asking my heart to support is so much more than when I started, that for all I know, it has kept up with the rest of me.

What I can learn to do is be happy with the process. I strive and accomplish many things which were so far beyond my reach when I began this that the only logical conclusion is that I’m not just awesome, I’m freaking awesome. What I take for granted as “normal” now is not the same as what I held as normal years ago. I figured the aging process was such that I was slowing down and heading for slower.

I’m still not fast, but like the tortoise, I don’t quit. Instead, I Patti RX every single WOD I do. I’m out there. I’m giving it my best shot. I need to find the joy in that and stop comparing what I manage to other people’s accomplishments. Even the other Little Old Ladies in the Masters Garage Games didn’t have the same life or same issues as me. Maybe they didn’t sit around doing nothing for decades and then expect to turn into Superwoman in mere months. Or maybe they are Superwoman and I am a mere mortal.

I am this person. I am doing all I can. And it is awesome – not for someone my age; not for someone in my condition – it is awesome, pure and simple. I should take credit for that.

Our toaster oven has become ineffective. It still heats and pretends like it’s even hotter and that it will cook your food, but it doesn’t. I could touch a pan that came out of a ⁰F 350 oven and not get burned. We don’t remember how long we have had it, but years and years. We use it all the time because there are just the two of us here. Today, we will buy a new one. And hopefully, the stuffed shells will even taste better when they are really bubbly hot.

After 2.5 years of getting up in the middle of the night to go to the box, today, I got to go to an 8 AM class. These started on Monday, but I was working. They are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I woke up at 5.34 this morning and looked at the clock. And then I rolled over and went back to sleep and the next thing I knew it was 7.11 and I was awake again – four minutes before the alarm went off.

I wasn’t sure how traffic was going to be two hours later. It was a little more difficult to get out of the neighborhood, but the direction of the box and the direction of rush hour are opposites, so the roads themselves weren’t bad.

I saw Kim’s Jeep waiting in line to turn left and so I figured I would beat her to the box but I knew she was right behind me. Amazingly, she was not coaching today, but taking the class. Betsy was coach. Vianca showed up a few minutes late (unless we started a couple minutes early) and so it was girls day. I figured most men would be working by this time of day.

It was below freezing even at 8 AM. There had been only one brave soul at 5 AM and no one showed up for 6 AM. It was ⁰F 29 at 8 AM, but that was pretty much the same temperature as earlier in the morning.

We warmed up, at least in theory, but I was still wearing my jacket. My heart rate was up, but it was still really cold.

Today’s WOD as written:
10 min EMOM 1 clean pull 1 hang clean 1 power clean @ 70% 1rpm
Then
15 min AMRAP
10 chest to bar pull ups, reg pull-up above 55
15 wall balls 20/14
20 box jump 24/20
Then
Muscle up practice for time remaining

It has been a while since I looked at a WOD and had no idea what the hell it said. But I had no idea what the hell that said. I knew I was doing a ten minute EMOM and I knew two out of three of what I was doing. But I wasn’t interested enough to look up and see what the hell a clean pull was. I figured someone would show me in class. Betsy did. It is what it says. From the hang, do the initial pull to the shrug part. Ta da.

What I did do last night, was figure out math stuff. I found out that 70% of my one rep max was 46.9# and luckily, I know how to make 47 pounds with our bars. So that is what I used. I did okay with this except that on one round, I did two hang cleans and then had to do the power clean – over achiever. By the time these were done, I was down to my short-sleeved shirt.

For the conditioning AMRAP, I used a two inch band and thankfully only had to do a pull-up rather than chest to bar stuff. The advantage of old age. Then I used a 10# med ball to an 8’ mark for the wall balls, and I did step-ups to a 20” box. I also lowered the rep scheme to 8-12-16. It still nearly killed me.

I could get each move done without stopping, but had a heart rate in the low to mid 170s by the end and then would have to box breathe forever to get my heart rate down to mid to high 140s and sometimes I just began in the low 150s because it was taking too long. Then I would do the next move. I remembered to switch legs with the step-ups and more importantly, I remembered to start with my non-dominant leg.

I had a score of 3+20 and there was still 15 seconds left, but my heart rate was 174 and I just couldn’t make myself step up to the box.

I could have had fewer reps per move and got a higher score. But really, I managed this. I got through all the reps, rested, got through all the reps. It’s not supposed to be easy. So I believe this was scaled correctly. I really didn’t have any more to give at the end of each move.

It was already four minutes after the hour when we finished with the WOD, so we didn’t have any time left over for muscle ups. Darn.

My sister, a kindergarten teacher, posted on Facebook that she did squats with the kiddos because she wanted to watch them as they touched their toes doing a phonics lesson. For each letter of the alphabet, they put their hands over their heads as they said the letter, then touched their shoulders as they said the sound, and then touched their toes as they said a word which began with that letter. So she did 26 squats. But she has morning and afternoon kids, so she did 52 squats. She could barely walk.

Today, I did 48 slightly weighted squats with the wall balls and 48 step-ups as well. I should have no trouble walking tomorrow since this is not a terrible amount of work anymore. I know I’m always the weakest person in the class and I’m always the oldest person. It is nice to hear from the outside world that my CrossFit stuff might actually be working. I hope it is.

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