Hit the Road

My body is conflicted right now. On one hand, I am sore and my knees and shoulders are grumbling a little bit. On the other hand, I’ve been in the gym four times, and that’s with a conference that lasted from Wednesday through Friday in Bellingham, WA, followed by a super-lazy weekend.

Let’s recap.

Thursday, Nov. 1st
Independent Workout at the Hotel Fitness Center

I woke up early to get my workout in on this particular day. The fitness center at my hotel was small, but adequate. I warmed up for a few minutes on the elliptical machine, then went through some dynamic stretches. For my warm-up, I used a light dumbbell to go through some sumo pulls (one arm at a time), then did some squats with the dumbbells overhead to work on balance and core, and threw in a few burpees. For my quick workout, I just did the following:

3 rounds of:
21 sit-ups
14 hand-release push-ups
7 overhead squats with 12lb. dumbbells

It was a really short workout, and I finished in under ten minutes. I still managed to get really sweaty in the short time I was in the center, so that’s a good sign, I think. I wrapped up with some stretches, and then it was off to my conference for the entire day. Surprisingly, I even made it to the breakfast buffet where there was still much bacon and sausage for me to enjoy.
Oh, and later that night, I danced for a good while, and I’m going to count that as something because I wore wedges.

Monday, Oct. 5th
CrossFit – WOD: Iron Oxide

Before we started this workout, Coach gave us the heads-up that the first half was all mental. It was. We started out with a seemingly easy exercise, which went like this:

Every 30 seconds for 5 minutes:
3 Back Squats
*bar may not be racked for entire 5 minutes
The total count worked out to 30 reps. However, we could not do more than 3 reps in a 30-second span. Therefore, we spent a lot of time holding the barbell across our backs. My hands started to tingle during the first half, and I had to readjust quite a bit to find a good grip that didn’t cause my old shoulder injuries to ruin my circulation. I got through this portion with 50lbs.

Next came the following:

10 rounds for time of:
3 Power Cleans
1 Box Jump (for me, modified to a step-up) – maximum height
10 Double Unders (or 3x single unders)

I came out of this portion of the workout with a time of 8 minutes, 2 seconds.The load I used for the power clean was 50lbs., and for the box, I added a weight plate to make my step-up 21 inches. I did single unders because I suck at jump roping.

Tuesday, Oct. 6th
CrossFit – WOD: Dueling Banjos (a.k.a., “Quite Nearly Hell”)

The good thing about WODs is, once I’ve survived through a workout, I get this feeling of, “Even though I scaled back and made some modifications, I got through that.” It’s a bit crazy. Especially when one considers what Tuesday’s workout looked like.

We started with rack jerks, which are basically the jerk lift with the bar starting behind your back. We did max weight for single reps, and repeated the single reps five times. I worked up to 75lbs. I need some more speed and punch before moving up in weight, that’s for sure.

The biggest challenge came next. It was broken into four rounds, for overall time. Those rounds went, simply, like this:

1. 510m Run (around the block)
15 Overhead Squats

2. 300m Run (down to the corner and back)
15 Overhead Squats

3. 510m Run
15 Overhead Squats

4. 300m Run
15 Overhead Squats

Coach has a real funny way of crafting a mile run into a workout. As I told a close friend, this workout was like running a beer mile, but instead of chugging a beer between the runs, you had to lift weights. And the thing about overhead squats is, they’re incredibly difficult for me! I used the 22lb. bar, and with 15 reps on top of already aching legs, it was a miracle I didn’t fall over. The form is coming, and I am glad to be improving both flexibility and balance with this type of exercise. Running is still the bane of my existence, but I doubt that will ever change. Good news, though: no asthma attack in the middle of any of my laps!

Overall time: 14 minutes, 20 seconds.

Wednesday, Oct. 7th
CrossFit – Partner WOD

Tonight’s workout was kind of fun. Maybe I think that because it came right after the hellish running workout.

We started with some standing rows. I got up to 60lbs. comfortably and did several sets of 7 reps. In between those, we all practiced “skin the cats” on the rings.

Funny story about “skin the cat” is that in junior high, we learned how to do this move as part of the gymnastics unit. In evaluation, I got all the way over, but instead of dropping down to the floor or reversing so I was in my starting position, I just kept rotating until I popped both my shoulders. It was the worst dislocate on the rings in gymnastics history, I’m sure (“dislocate” actually being a move, not a thing that I did to my body). The creepy thing is that there was a mild moment of hurt, but then I felt fine. Same thing happened several years earlier when I rolled my left ankle. Momentary hurt, then nothing. Granted, now I know I have a ton of scar tissue in that ankle, and I know my poor coordination and lack of judgement is what has caused my shoulders to be in the state they currently are.

Anyway. Back to today’s gymnastics practice. Coach spotted me the entire time, and I could tell in an early pass that my shoulders felt really weak and unstable once I came around. I modified the rest of the time, going only halfway over, keeping the shoulders stronger. I could definitely feel my body wanting to make that same stupid mistake of going all the way around without letting go, so thank goodness for a tentative coach.

After all of that came the 14-minute partner workout. We had an “Every Minute on the Minute” of:
P1: Max calorie row
P2: 10 kettlebell swings + 5 Ring Push-ups

We switched tasks every minute, so each round was performed 7 times. My partner and I hit a maximum total of 139 calories burned on our row, which we blame partially on being the shortest team. 😉 For KB swings, I challenged myself up to the 16kg. bell, although it was quite a bit heavier than my usual 12kg. Still made it through, although I know my height at the top of the swing suffered. Ring push-ups weren’t too bad, although I did them from the knee to focus on keeping my arms and shoulders stable and strong.

I felt good after the workout, and I was very thankful that we had a larger group tonight, as it meant more stretching at the end. Each of us calls out a stretch to perform. I picked straddle split tonight, and it kind of makes me giggle to hear my big burly male teammates groan about some of the stretches I call. Coach said it best when he told the new guys, “The dancer will always bring the pain during the stretches,” to which I responded, “Well… I could have called out ‘Wheel.'” Then I got a lot of blank stares so instead of explaining, I demonstrated. (And it actually felt really, really good tonight to move into bridge/wheel.)

After tonight’s workout, I met up with Snugs to try out a sushi place by my house. It’s the “funky” one, connected to what seems to be a divey little cafe. The sushi place has great reviews on Yelp, and after dinner, I could see why. We got an order of salmon sashimi, and it was some of the best I’ve had in the Northwest. All the rolls we ordered were delicious and well-made, and as it was a weeknight, we pretty much had the little joint to ourselves. Not a bad way to round out the day.

I’ll leave you with one take-away from tonight’s dinner conversation. Snugs and I were discussed working out, and he mentioned something about how supplements, like protein, could be really screwy in terms of what it does to people’s bodies. However, they can get people in good physical shape, even with the side effects. I thought about it for a second and said, “Yeah, but I guess there’s really a difference between being ‘in shape’ and being ‘well.'”

We both agreed that being well is a much better priority to have.

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