Getting CrossFit, Day 20: Almost there

Tuesday, June 30th

    While checking the WOD this morning before my the Tuesday at 7:00 PM session, I stumbled across an entirely new dimension of Guerrilla Fitness: CrossFit Montclair. Directly below each "WOD," there is a link entitled "comments." Before clicking that link today, I had mistakenly assumed that the comment section was merely to post your results from that day. While many CrossFitters often do leave their daily results, results themselves don't even scratch the surface of topics discussed in the section. Comments are where it all comes out: everything from trash talk, to gushy congratulations, to Guerrilla Fitness gossip. Now, I wouldn't want to air to readers unfamiliar with the characters at Guerrilla Fitness some of the funnier posts, as many of them are inside jokes, but here's a sequence that you all will appreciate.

Tuesday
:

Strength Training:
Front Squat 3x5


WOD
"Wha Wha WHAT??"
3 rounds of:
800m run
15 Push Press (95lb RX)
30 Knees to Elbows

Comments:

Michele: Front squats followed by metcon that includes 3 800m runs! Wha Wha What is right! It will kill Mickey to know she missed this one while on vacation. I already did my good deed for the day -- helped a turtle cross the road on my bike ride this a.m. -- so that means I don't need to be nice to Gregg

Gregg: I miss Mickey. Michele, when will you be leaving on vacation?

Michele: Well now that's just mean. How about you do this WOD with me a 6 p.m.?

Joe G: Someone needs a beat down!

Gregg: It's on Michele.. even though this WOD's in your favor.

Michele: It's a sign of weakness to make excuses before you even start the WOD Gregg.

    This of course culminated into a heated, action packed Tuesday at 6:00 PM WOD, which left all Thursday at 6ers completely exhausted, but pumped after a great workout which was fueled by Gregg and Michele's grudge match.

Note to newbies: Michele and Gregg's is a storied, epic rivalry akin to mine and Mickey's (save the fact that their's is two sided, whereas in mine, I merely try to hold on as Mickey blows me away). Typically, Michele dominates cardio-heavy WODs, while Gregg has his way with those that are more strength intensive.

    Well, after a day of brewing, the showdown at 6pm was another chapter of grand proportions in the history of Gregg vs. Michele. I was downright upset that I missed it, but it was painfully obvious who came out on top. As I ran up the GF steps to check on the victor I was greeted by Gregg who was as happy as Peewee Herman in a child daycare center. "HI PETE!" he said, gleeful to the point where I almost expected him to hug me.

Note to newbies: Gregg is a very self-deprecating kind of guy. Despite some fantastic results in various CrossFit, you'll never hear him boast... unless he just beat Michele at her own game.

     He couldn't disguise his delight. As I warmed up and completed my strength section I listened to Gregg's rundown of the action as Michele moped in the front office. The 6pm WOD seesawed back and forth between the bitter foes. Michele soundly defeated Gregg on the opening run, only to see Gregg catch her come the first round of exercises. Though Michele regained the lead on the second run, Gregg was in hot pursuit, and after another set of exercises, again led her going into the third run. Though Michele managed to regain a subtle lead in the final run, the difference was nearly indecipherable as they entered the final sets of exercises. Michele enjoyed a subtle advantage, but Gregg's determination shined as he heroically rallied to end the workout a full twenty seconds ahead of his nemesis. The smile that followed his victory wouldn't leave Gregg's face for some time.

     After listening to the tale, Michele said "see if you can beat Gregg, he had the best time today" in a doleful, melancholy tone, "actually, try to beat Rheo, but his time isn't really a person time. I think he's an alien."

Note to newbies: Jason Rheo probably isn't an alien, but I agree with Michele in that he is not human. I watched him do an eight minute "Helen" with his shirt off. He is 180lbs of steal. For reference, he got a around 17:40 on the WOD today. Gregg got just over 20 minutes. Rheo had the record by a full two minutes. Damn.

    Once Gregg returned from cloud nine, he mentioned "Pete today is a WOD for you, man!" I groaned, knowing that I would have high expectations in the running oriented workout, and didn't have my running shoes.

    Skylar and I would be the only ones in the Tuesday at 7 crew. He's a hard worker and enthusiastic supporter during WODs. I would be glad  to go to battle beside him tonight. After learning the proper form on front squats, and performing  three sets of five, it was game time. Skylar and I lined up along the entrance and were off. I took off at a relatively high pace, making sure to save energy for later in the workout when I would need it. I felt fine as I flew by cars, the construction site, and an apartment complex on my way out to the 800m marker. On the way back I felt my calves and hamstrings begin to tighten: the sign of an inadequate warm up. Knowing that it was too late to worry about that now, I pressed on and yelled encouragement to Skylar on my way back to Guerrilla Fitness.

     I tried not to glance at the clock as I scaled the stairs to my 95lb RX'd barbell for push presses. Gregg and Reiko cheered me on. With such a small class, I had the benefit of one on one instruction from Gregg as Skylar hadn't returned from the run yet. While I'm sure my form wasn't perfect as I find it difficult to "stay back on (my) heels" while doing push presses, it was certainly acceptable, and after fifteen straight presses I hopped onto the bar for some K2Es (knees to elbows). I tried a slightly new technique on the K2Es and used a swinging kip to get my knees all the way up to my elbows. Gregg commended me on my form as I ripped through the first set. Though I could've done the thirty reps straight, I forced myself to hop down the bar, if only for a moment, after twenty five reps and shake out my forearms before finishing up the final five.

    I yelled some encouragement to Skylar, then tore off on 800m number two. I've said it countless times: shoulder intensive exercises and running combine to create torture in its most intense form.

Note to newbies: Look for Jack Bauer to make his prisoners reveal information through making them do push presses combined with running on the next season of "24." I think Gregg got this workout from some investigators who worked at Guantanamo Bay.

    Running out to the 800 marker was very difficult, and I was sucking some serious wind, but as I turned and continued back to CrossFit Montclair, I felt much better. The blood must have returned to my legs from my shoulders. Gone was the stiffness in my calves that had occurred during the first run. I finished the second half of that 800 far quicker than the first half, and was back in the gym before I knew it. This time, however, my form suffered from my fatigue. "Come on, Pete, get your head through at the top of those push presses." I tried again only to produce an even more miserable push press. "Pete, those don't count, come on," Gregg said. He was right, I needed to pick up my game. I wanted to take pride in this workout. I took a short pause to refocus, then used my legs to explode into the bar. "THAT'S IT!" I went on to do two extra push presses at the end to make up for my poor earlier reps.

    During the second set of K2E's, my forearms were burning from gripping the bar, but I fought on. I told myself I would do twenty, then pause and do the final ten. I pushed myself to do twenty six instead, then paused only for a second before knocking out the final four. I was pushing my threshold.

    I again averted my gaze from the timer as I embarked out on the last run. My shoulders and upper body were heavy from the lifts, and I struggled a bit to get going. I wasn't going particularly fast, but I was breathing hard. Though I told myself I wouldn't, I walked a few steps at the half way marker. Disgusted after my short break, I pushed harder as I ran back to the box. Jason Rheo wouldn't have slowed down.

    I returned to the gym panting breathlessly, and took a quick glance at the timer before bending over my barbell. It read 14:23. "Pete you're going for a record time!" Gregg said. With that in mind I grabbed my barbell and battled hard as I did push presses. I originally planned on splitting it up into three sets of five, but refused to let myself put the bar down after I had taken the short rest on the run. I did nine on the first set, then took a brake before performing six more to finish off the presses. "Plenty of time, buddy," Gregg said as I hopped up on the bar with 16:00 left on the clock. I used the same kipping technique on the K2Es and finished the WOD somewhere in the 16:30's, good enough to beat Rheo's record by a full minute.

    Gregg was ecstatic for me as I lay in my now all-too-familiar post-WOD heap. I reached a major accomplishment in my CrossFit career. But after a few gasps for air, I remembered that my work wasn't done. I sprung up from my collapsed state, and ran out the door out to where Skylar was finishing his final run back to the box. "COME ON SKYLAR!" I yelled as I ran next to him. Gregg and I pushed Skylar through as he finished the WOD in a very impressive 21 minutes. I felt like a true CrossFit member of Guerrilla Fitness as I exchanged fist pounds with Gregg and Skylar after we were finished.

    "Pete, you got a minute?" Gregg asked as I gathered my stuff, "lets go over the muscle-up. You've got to get one before you leave." I was game. A muscle up was definitely next on my list of CrossFit goals. Gregg stayed an extra thirty minutes teaching me the proper technique and tricks to getting a muscle up. Is there a personal trainer at Gold's Gym who would do that for any of you? No. Though I didn't manage one today, I am getting closer every time. "It's coming, man. We'll keep working on it." We will.

My Time: 16:32 RX

Next Workout: Thursday, July 2nd

Sadly, it will be my last blogged entry at the box.

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