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Crossfit Challenge Week #2: Computer hands get a beating

Another week has flown by in the CrossFit Challenge. Another week of learning and pullups and being very humbled and excited over and over again.I explained a few things and kicked off the CrossFit Challenge last week, if you want to catch up.I hit up the Tuesday and Thursday 4:30 WOD’s right after work. Ok so let’s take a closer look at Tuesday’s WOD .

Walk Out Planks

These were a new part of the buy-in that I hadn’t done yet. They’re a great warm-up and a nice core workout. Here’s what you do:

You get into a push-up position with your back nice and straight. For the plank part walk your hands out as far as you can go in front of you without breaking form. When you get as far as you can go, walk your hands back to the pushup position. Do that as many times as prescribed in the workout or till you can’t do any more without breaking your from. You don’t want to hurt your back. That’s a walk out plank.

Getting Closer to Skinning the Cat

I touched on a move in my first post called Skin the Cat. I’m still not sure why it’s called Skin the Cat but it’s an impressive looking move. As part of the buy-in we hop up on the rings and work your way from hanging right side up to upside-down with your knees tucked in.  So at this point you’re hanging upside down in a ball off the rings. Sometimes we throw in a Candle for fun where you are hanging from the rings and you put your legs straight up in the air. It was pretty unnerving the first few times as it feels like you’re going to fall on your head. Going back to a tucked ball to finish off skinning the cat, you let your legs hang down in front of your face hanging upside down. Check out the video link above to see what I mean because that probably didn’t make any sense.

I can’t go that deep on it yet, but I’m getting there. I got my legs right around and hanging down a bit for the first time and I was pretty stoked with that. I feel like my arms are going to pop out of their sockets if I go to far so it’s just seeing how far I can go with it from here. Every day it’s a little bit more.

Computer hands don’t like pull ups

Apparently I have little baby-like hands that spend all day typing on a computer. Try putting scraping those hands on a rough, metal bar for 15 deadlifts and then 35 kipping pull-ups. They don’t stand up well, to say the least. I haven’t developed the necessary grip and callouses to get through the pull-ups unscathed but it’s coming. I could only do a few when I started and I’m up to 35 in less than 20 minutes. The recommended workout was 70 pullups but I had to drop to Zone 1 this workout to get it done.

Alright, on to Thursday’s WOD.

Easy at first glance

So we did Cindy. Yup that sounds terrible doesn’t it? It’s actually a workout called Cindy that a lot of CrossFit locations do. It’s pretty standard across the board. 20 minute AMRAP of 5 Pullups, 10 Pushups, and 15 Squats. Remember, AMRAP stands for As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible. That means you get a time limit to do as many rounds of the workout as you can. The squats weren’t weighted but that doesn’t mean their not hard. It just means you have to go faster and do more. It seemed easy until my arms were toast and I was doing 1 pushup at a time.

I ended up doing 8 rounds, so 40 pull ups, 80 pushups, and 120 squats. That was officially most pullups, pushups and squats I’ve ever done in a day. My hands from the pull-ups were once again ragged but the rest of me felt stellar. Another awesome workout to add to the books.

60 km August Challenge – I’m at 20km

Every month there’s a challenge. Last month, it was working on your Goat. Your Goat is that thing that you just can’t get. I was trying to get double-unders where the skipping rope goes around twice for every jump. So far I’m at 2 or 3 and then the rope catches and I can’t get past that. It’s all about timing and I definitely don’t have that yet. My Goat now is pull-ups. Getting the rhythm down for my kipping pullups will let me do a lot more pullups for those exercises. They totally kill me right now. Kipping means that you use momentum to bring your body up to the bar. If you have the rhythm down you can use the momentum from one to go straight into the next. I can get up for one but then I get stuck and have to start over. Definitely a huge energy sap.

This months challenge is to run 60km, or 2km a day. I don’t think I’ve made 20 km yet and I’m supposed to be over 30. I have some catching up to do. My routine the first 2 nights was to hit up CrossFit and then head out for a 6k run. The runs weren’t too long but doable and a nice length for after a workout. I broke my routine the last workout by not going out for a run so this week I’ll be getting back into it. Every habit needs a trigger so I’m making CrossFit my running trigger. I suppose I could just go out and do two 30km runs but I think that would hurt more than it would do good!

Humbling experience

One thing I have to constantly remind myself of when I go to the CrossFit WODs is that I’m almost certainly going to be humbled. I’m not going to be the fittest person there. In fact there’s a really good chance that I might be the least fit person there. I’m probably not going to be able to do all the workouts right away. I’m going to have troubles with things and have to practice them to be able to get them right. But that’s the whole idea. If I already knew how to do all the workouts and could do them easily, what’s the point of going to CrossFit and learning something new.

I’ve read so much about failure and persistence. I’ve learned that grit is possibly the most important thing at determining your success in life.  This is what that feels like. This is what it’s like in real life. This is what walking the walk is. No more talking. Time for action. Time to fail, get back up and keep on going. If you can’t fall, get up and try again, what can you possibly accomplish?

Beginner’s Mind

The experience so far has been humbling but I know I will get better. Every class I get learn something new. Every class I get better technique that lets me lift more and do things faster. Every week I get stronger. But, no matter how much I go, I’ll never know it all. But that’s not my job. Katie at CrossFit Nanaimo, that’s her job. She knows CrossFit inside and out. That’s what she does. My job? I’m to be the best student there is. I’m the sponge that wants to learn how to skin the cat, do double-unders and nail multiple kipping pull-ups. I have to remind myself sometimes to think like a beginner but it can be so valuable. Even if you are the expert in what you’re doing, what happens when you start thinking like it’s your first day?

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Katie has a shirt that says “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. ” She says it once in a while. I love the saying. It’s saying whether you quit or not is up to you. It’s all in your head and it’s your decision. When you hit that edge and you feel like you can’t pump up even half another rep, you probably can do another one. You just have to want it bad enough. Do you want it as much as you want to breathe?

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