Saturday, June 13
I awoke this Saturday as usual, with my younger brother poking me amidst my
obnoxious yet ineffectual alarm. I wandered over to my
computer to give my latest blog entry a run through before posting it
and then checked the WOD on the Guerrilla fitness home page. It read
21 wall balls
16 wall balls
9 wall balls
While the typical Crossfitter might have sighed, groaned, and/or
screamed at the sight of such a monster, I let loose a bellowing roar.
Running over short distances and sit-ups were strengths of mine, and I
can get by on wall balls just fine. There was no way that Mickey, or ANYONE, was going to touch me today. Vengence would be mine! There was blood in the water,
and I was hot on its trail.
I took off in the pick up
truck to GET IT ON. I was pumped, to say the least. I arrived early, and
would watch each Crossfit Saturday at nine participant come through the
door until I knew that Mickey had arrived. Sure enough, she did in all
her glory, and came complete with a full entourage. Not only were her
adorable toddlers hopping along beside her, but Mickey's husband had
come too, in full workout garb! Was he
ticked off that I insinuated Mickey could beat him, and most men,
up? Was he here to exact revenge as well? There were only four minutes
to go until 9:00 AM. I would have to wait to find out.
After getting the scouting report from Gregg, I learned that
Mickey's husband, Kenny, was a big runner. At around my height with a
lean form, he looked the part. Mickey was the strength specialist and
he was the running specialist. How was I going to beat this tandem?
After what seemed like thirty Crossfitters arrived for the week's
most popular workout time, Gregg ran us through a warm up using med
balls and dynamic stretching. The warm up session was very well done.
Normally, no one notices much less cares about a warm up, but Gregg was
very thorough and had us warm up every muscle while stretching it
simultaneously. I was actually feeling the burn at some points in the
warm up through my legs. As my Crossfit month continues, I can feel my flexibility is steadily increasing.
Before I knew it, it was 9:00. We all lined up along the starting
line before the 800m run. Kenny was waiting, no, itching for Gregg to
say go. He twitched with anticipation. My only hope was that he
wouldn't throw an elbow behind him and level me on the way out.
"Ready?" Kenny already lurched ahead of the line before catching
himself and moving back again. When Gregg yelled "GO!"
I decided to take a back seat and draft on Kenny for the 800. He looked
like he knew where he was going and to be honest, I had no idea where
the 800 meter marker was.
Note to newbies: When running at Guerrilla fitness you take off down
the block to a marked street which acts as a boundary, then turn around
and come back. The markers can be confusing to newbies like you and me.
Kenny was out of the gate like War Admiral at the Pimlico Special. But
I wasn't worried. After all, for those of you not adept in horse racing history, Seabiscuit came from behind and won the
legendary horse race. The race would be long, and I
was happy with being Seabiscuit. As we rounded the corner to head out
to the 800 marker, I matched his speed and followed closely behind him. After the
first 400 meters of our 800, we turned and began tearing back to the gym. Not far behind
us was Mickey. At around meter 500, the run began to hit my legs. This
was an oddity. Typically, I could have kept the pace Kenny and I were running
at much longer, with relative ease. However, I wasn't used to running
after five Crossfit sessions, two soccer games, and three squash
matches, and it took a significant tole on me. Though I was laboring a bit as Kenny
and I sped back into Guerrilla fitness, I made sure I still had some
gas left in the tank.
Comfortable with my position, I took the sit ups at a leisurely pace. I quickly
realized my mistake when Mickey leaped up the stairs, hot on my heels
and started ripping through her twenty-one reps. I picked up the pace and jumped right
into my wall balls.
Note to newbies: When doing wall balls,
women have a lower target from men. In the heat of the moment, it takes
what seems like an eternity longer for the ball to go all the way up to
the mens target and then descend back than it does for the
I finished my wall balls still
slightly ahead of Mickey. Kenny was no longer a threat. I
desperately searched for someone to ask where my next running marker
was, but in the time elapsed Mickey had finished her wall balls and was
off. I quickly took off after her. On the 400 I drafted Mickey
comfortably. Though pulling her hair to get her back with me was incredibly
tempting, I managed to quell my instinct and continued running. At the half way mark of
the 400 I led Mickey by a few strides, but it was far from easy. My God she was fast. I felt
confident as I approached the marker, "Elmwood Street," until Mickey stopped abruptly and turned back
for the gym. "This is marker where you turn" she yelled back over her
shoulder. I stopped where I was and ran after her. At 175 meters left I
was slightly behind her, at 100 I was ahead of her, and come the end of
the 400 I was leading her comfortably. Ha!
I sped through my sit ups with ease and continued to wall balls. Mickey
was in hot pursuit. The excruciating pain I experienced in my shoulders
was beginning to impact my wall ball speed. However, I fought through
the misery and was off on the last run. During her wall balls Mickey
gained on me and again was right on my tale for the 200. I tore down
the street to the 200 marker, and sprinted back. I could nearly feel
Mickey's breath on the back of my neck as I ran. Upon returning, I
reckoned that my head would likely explode if I finished the workout at
the pace I was going. Then I reasoned with myself; exacting my revenge
on the Crossfit goddess would far outweigh an exploded head. I fought
If it was possible, my heart rate rose even higher during
my sit ups. Anxiety consumed me as I desperately pursued the final sets
of the WOD. I was slightly ahead of Mickey and jumped right up for the
last nine wall balls. She looked like Rocky Balboa as she sped through
her sit ups. I'm sure was driven by the thought of how obnoxious my
blog would be the next day if she lost the WOD. Nevertheless, by the
time she began her wall balls I was three reps ahead of her. Only six
more! I could taste victory, but her wall balls were much faster than
mine! I lost count of how many she had done in my peripheral vision and
focused on simply banging out my final reps as fast as I could. At
number nine I let out a war cry and watched my wall ball reach the ten
foot high target and begin to descend. Mickey did the same and we
watched for what seemed like an eternity as our balls raced against
each other for the floor. I tried yelling at my ball to hurry, but no
sounds escaped my breathless lungs. After a resounding thud, it was
over. In my exhaustion I could hardly tell where I was, much less whose
wall ball would hit the floor first.
I turned around, hoping, hell, PRAYING that someone would tell me
my ball hit first. I
dared not breathe in all the excitement. "8:05" Jason said pointing at
Mickey. In the slight pause between him announcing Mickey's and my
score, I prayed to any god that would listen to make my time lower than
her's. "8:04" he then said pointing at me. I collapsed the floor
let a cry of victory erupt from what little air I had left in my lungs.
Still breathless, I ignored the rolling eyes of Crossfitters and
wallowed blissfully in the pool of sweat the
quickly accumulated around me. While I lay, completely motionless save
my heaving flanks, lost somewhere on cloud nine, I'm sure that Mickey
probably went and
did fifty one armed pull-ups. No matter though, I had settled the
score! Or so I thought.
Instead of the usual cool down stretch following an intense Crossfit
session, Gregg instructed all Crossfit participants to form a circle in
the middle of Guerrilla Fitness. My legs felt so heavy I thought I
would need a fork lift to pick me up. "Ok, guys. We're going to do
straight armed planks." I nearly fainted thinking of doing yet another
exercise. Between my heaves, I looked across at the circle at Mickey
who smiled back at me menacingly. She might as well have licked her chops in gleeful anticipation as Gregg began the countdown to when the
planks would begin. I was an injured wildebeest and she was a hungry
lioness. I was fresh meat and she was ready for the kill.
Despite desperately seeking for ways to manipulate my form on the plank
to ease the burn in my back and shoulders, I knew that beating Mickey
twice in one day was about as likely as pigs flying. As my high school
soccer coach said, "lightning only strikes once." As I
bit back the tears and dripped sweat from my exhaustive effort, I
looked across at Mickey who looked incredibly relaxed. "Feeling tired,
huh?" I asked her, knowing that unless I psyched her out with mind
games, a victory was hopeless.
"Nope, I've got another ten
minutes in me." She responded, laughing at me as my face turned beet
red. She was too tough. Mind games were out. Defeat was inevitable.
After five minutes of standoff, I collapsed, capitulating to gravity,
once again a victim of Mickey's unrelenting wrath. She would go on for
another six minutes and beat everyone else in the class with ease.
In summary of today, Mickey is an exemplary member of everything that
Guerrilla Fitness and albeit the entire Crossfit philosophy stands for.
She is an incredible competitor, very fit, and most of all, a great
sport. As we raced the various runs in the day's WOD's, she had the
sportsmanship and class to direct me and tell me where the markers of
the runs were, verbally, all while racing and competing against me at
the same time.
newbies: When you are running, completely exhausted, speaking is
incredibly onerous. Her helping me was more telling of her Crossfit
sportsmanship than you might think.
So I have a new
goal as my Crossfit experience continues; not only do I want to equal
Mickey's (unmatchable?) level of physical fitness, but I would like to
emulate the exemplary, sportsmanship-driven competitor that she is as
well. I challenge you all to do the same.
Next workout: Monday, June 15
Status of goal: Progress, though incomplete