Getting Crossfit, Day 8: Brookdale Park and Bear Crawls

Wednesday, June 17th


     Today I am trying a slightly new technique in my blog entry. This week's entry will be more interactive with readers. To involve you all, I encourage you to insert your own words into my blog at points where I write "(insert here)." This way my pain and suffering can be adequately described while keeping the blog appropriate for readers of all ages, or not, depending on your word choice. Excited?!

     Throughout this week, Crossfit trainer certification training is being carried out at "the box."

Note to newbies: In Crossfit, your "box," is your home Crossfit gym. Mine is Guerrilla Fitness: Crossfit Montclair. As I become increasingly Crossfit cool, I will use more and more Crossfit slang. But don't worry, I won't leave you in the dust. I'll be sure to keep you up to date on just what I'm talking about via my coined "note to newbies" excerpts.


     As Crossfitters become more and more addicted to the rutheless training that they endure daily, many want more than just a sub-three-minute Fran. Many want to leave the conventional world of fitness entirely, as Gregg has, and open Crossfit gyms of their own. In order to do so, you must become Crossfit certified. Crossfit certification training courses take place all over the country. Throughout a week of seminars, demonstrations, and tests, nearly one hundred Crossfitters from all over the world will achieve official permission to become a Crossfit trainer. 
     However, as Crossfit's popularity continues to boom, the demand for Crossfit certification is skyrocketing; it's becoming harder and harder to book your spot in a Crossfit certification course. To give you some idea of how difficult it is, Bill, who is second on my box's hierarchy of command to Gregg, couldn't even manage to book a spot in the seminar at his own box! Apparently, training sells out within minutes of being announced. But Bill fans of the world, don't worry, he'll be getting his Crossfit 2 cirtification next week in California. And while he complains bitterly about how he'll have to fly accross the country instead of staying in his home town, we all know he's pumped to show off his guns at the beach.
     As I learned more about the Crossfit cirtification process, I became honored to know that it was being held at my very own box this week. Cirtification training is a very big deal in Crossfit, so I'm sure they only do it at premier Crossfit locations. And my box was one of them. 
     Well, since cirtification was taking place at the box, my Crossfit sessions were being held at Brookdale park, a nearby park complete with a track and chicks to show off to. At 4:45 PM, I headed over  to the park eagerly anticipating today's public Crossfit session. I was going to smoke everyone. As 5:00 rolled around, I became a bit worried that there had been some miscommunication; there were no other Crossfitters to be found. Only seconds before I decided to take my day's workout to the YMCA, Bill rolled in with Rhabdo 

Note to newbies: I know it's taboo to interrupt sentences, but I just wanted to let you all know that the name Jason is merely an idea deeply buried in history. Jason is, and forever will be Rhabdo and Rhabdo only. In fact, after this note to newbies, you will never see or hear me ever refer to him as Jason again. Wait, who's Jason anyway?

who sportingly wore a sleeveless cut off. I wasn't the only one pumped for the public workout. His bulging muscles made me want to run and hide. Standing next to him made me look like Screech from Saved by the Bell. Impressing the ladies was out for me. After a brief warm up, we checked out the WOD.

"The Waterboy"

WOD
2 rounds for time of:
20 Clapping push ups
Sprint the sideline
Walk the end zone
20 Burpees
Sprint the sideline
Walk the end zone
20 Sit-ups
Sprint the sideline
Walking-lunge the endzone
Spint the sideline
Bear-crawl the end zone

    Holy (insert here)! That was a lot to remember. While it looked very difficult, I was sure I could smoke the opposition with the amount of runs interspersed throughout the workout. Before start time, Carlos and Rob joined us. 

Note to newbies: In this WOD, I'd be competing against Crossfit Montclair's finest. However, Rhabdo and Carlos are top-heavy strength specialists. I reasoned that whatever time I sacrificed doing the strength segments, I'd more than make up during the running.

    "Alright guys, GO!" Bill announced. We were off. I finished clapping push-ups surprisingly quickly. I was second behind Rhabdo with Carlos no more than a split second behind me. We were off down the football field sideline. Though the workout specified sprinting, I went at about 85%, this WOD would be a long one and I would need some gas left in the tank if I was going to finish strong.
    After the first sprint Rhabdo led me by around three feet. He impressed me on his first run. I doubted from the beggining that he could sprint. In fact, I reasoned that with arms like his, he would probably move faster on while walking on his hands than sprinting. 
   As we began walking the end zone of the football field, I had a forboding feeling that the perscribed walk might ruin the intensity of the workout for me; maybe would rest make this WOD too easy? My question was quickly answered by the burpees. Though I was feeling the burn at burpee fifteen, I showed no weakness to my peer of Crossfit warriors. I took the lead by a considerable amount on the second sprint. So much so, in fact, that I thought I wouldn't even be challeneged in this WOD by the Wednesday at 5 crew. I walked the opposite endzone and started my sit-ups well before the rest of the crew did completed their sprint. I was cruising through this WOD, or so I thought.
   After the third sprint I figured I could take my time on the next endzone walk. After all, I didn't want to be the guy that power-walked the endzone, that was cheating. Well, it turns out that I was supposed to power walk, and I learned it the hard way when Carlos caught up to me before the next sideline sprint. But I was far from worried. I'd dust him on the next run and he'd be an afterthought, right? True to my word, I did dust him on the next run, but come bear crawls, I'd learn that he was far from an afterthought.

Note to newbies: Bear crawls are a glorified term for running on all fours. You have to use your hands and feet. 

    Not only would I find that bear crawls to be of the most difficult exercises I have ever done, but the track that we were doing them on had an uneven, sharp surface. Sand and pebbles scattered along the track surface exacerbated the stabbing pain that my hands endured from the track itself. Not only did Carlos pass me on this segment, but he had completed the sideline sprint and started round two by the time I had finished. To add insult to injury, as I was convincing myself that it was ok: that I would catch Carlos, Rhabdo flew by me in his bear crawl. 

Note to newbies: When performing this exercise, Rhabdo is hardly a "crawling bear," he's more appropriately described as a "flying bear." I don't think his legs touched the ground throughout the entire 50 yards. He probably could've bear crawled the 50 yard distance four or five times by the time I had completed the feat once. My joking comment from before about how Rhabdo was probably faster while walking on his hands has been confirmed as a legitimate truth.  

    "See ya!" he yelled as he coasted by me, laughing.
    "(Insert here) you!" I yelled back, wanting to cry as I inched on. I had forfeited my fantastic lead and now would have to battle to regain it. Carlos was on the opposite end of the field as me and I would have to make up the lost ground with my runs. When I finally finished my bear crawls my shoulders and upper back burned hotter than wildfire. Needless to say, clapping push-ups were absolute misery. 
    As I finally bopped up from push-up number twenty, I managed to catch Rhabdo and was back in it. Following Carlos' lead, I power-walked the end zone and flew through another sideline sprint. I was closing the lead on Carlos. After another power-walk, arrived at the sit-up station, thank god. As I started rep number one, Carlos finished his entire set and was off. I banged out twenty in good form and tore after him on another sideline sprint. I tried to catch him via power-walking, but some combination of his superior power-walking prowess and my abject exhaustion yielded my efforts futile. However, following the final sideline sprint, I was dead even with him. I grew excited, and nearly forgot about my brain's oxygen debt as I finished the run.
    "GET DOWN THERE!" Bill shouted at me. What? Oh, (insert here)! You've got to be (insert here)ing kidding me. Bear crawls. Carlos didn't even pause after completing the sprint; he leaped down onto all fours and was off. 
    "COME ON PETEY!" Joe yelled. He arrived early for the 6:00 Wednesday class. "Let's go, bud, get him!" 
    "Joe, I cannot (insert here)ing do bear crawls for my life," I panted with my hands on my knees. 
    "OH YES YOU CAN! COME ONNN!!!" I quickly pondered offering Joe money to do them for me, before remembering that I am broke. I slowly picked my up dangling head and gazed at the 50 yard expanse that lay ahead of me. It would need to be bear crawled. (Insert here). I looked down at my hands, completely red due to some combination of blood and the track surface. I groaned as I fell forward onto my exhausted arms.

Note to newbies: A moment like this is where you realize the importance of having the Crossfit community around you while doing your exercises. This is the time that, if alone, I would have seriously considered giving up and not completing the workout, but I wasn't going to let Joe down. 

    The thoughts "(Insert here) my life, (insert here) my life, (insert here) my life," were how I kept the rhythem as I bear crawled the final fifty yards. I had to stop a number of times to breathe, and temporarily alleviate the intolerable agony in my hands. At the fifty yard mark I collapsed in a heap that has become more and more familiar to me as my Crossfit experience continues. Once enough oxygen reached my brain to allow me to think, I thanked god for making sure I didn't die.
    "It's over man! Good job," I heard Bill say somewhere in the blurry abiss that my eyes percieved as I looked up from my oxygen-deprived stupor. In a couple minutes I was able to get up and walk around. 
    Just as my vision returned to me, I watched as Rhabdo completed the last sprint. Like Carlos, he too went right into the bear crawl. It was truely incredible. I could not believe how quickly he scaled the endline. Did this man feel pain?

Note to newbies: No, he doesn't. When he finished he came back to the cluster of Crossfitters comparing times and showed us his hands, the tops of his fingers were bloody messes. To give you an idea of how crazy he is, I suggested he just bite them off and I think he considered it. 

    "Carlos, how the (insert here) did you bear crawl that (insert here) fast?" I managed through pants and dry heaves.

Note to newbies: My vocabulary breaks down a bit when I get tired, which is why I'm relying on you for word choice!
 
    "With theeeeese" he laughed as he showed me the lifting gloves he wore throughout the Herculean task. 
    "WHAT?! WHAT THE (INSERT HERE)?" I learned my lesson, if I had lifting gloves the pain of the bear crawls (half the battle) would have been nullified. Upon returning home made a to do list which made note to get lifting gloves, in addition to a plethora of other products recommended to me by my fellow 5:00 Wednesday Crossfitters. It reads something like this:

"To do: 
Get the following: 
1) Lifting gloves (as recommended by Carlos)
2) A pair of (insert here)s (as recommended by Rob)
3) A shoulder to cry on when doing bear crawls (as recommended by Joe)
4) My mommy next time I feel like complaining about my hands. ( as recommended by Bill)
5) A poncho for Rhabdo next time I rain down tears on his Crossfit workout (... Rhabdo)"

My time: 14:23 (Carlos got somewhere in the mid to high 13's). I probably spent over five minutes bear crawling.

Next workout: Thursday, June 18
      

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