Tuesday, June 9, 2009

    "Twenty one"
    "Hey Mickey. Wait, what?"
    "Twenty one," she said again with her regular peppy demeanor, "Good luck!" And at that, she left.

    Slightly bewildered, I continued by Crossfit's amazon warrior into the warehouse setting of Guerrilla Fitness. I was greeted familiar faces and met some new ones.

    On my way into the back I caught Jason leaving the workout "Hey Jason, what's up?"
"You'll see, man" he answered. Uh-oh. "This WOD's a fun one," he added.

Note to newbies: Before continuing, I'd like to note that Jason did not say "W.O.D," separated initials for "Workout of the Day," but said "WOD" as if it was it's own word. I am not yet Crossfit cool enough to do this, but after a few more sessions, I plan not only to say the word "WOD" routinely, but to also use Jason's Crossfit alias, "Rhabdo," when referencing him. Again, I'm not quite ready yet... but soon!

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats"

    You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.
    My stomach dropped. The workout itself didn't bother me. I'm a big calisthenics guy. But now I knew what Mickey had been talking about. I felt the confidence I had accumulated throughout the day dissipate in the humid, staunch air of Crossfit Montclair. Mickey managed twenty one rounds in twenty minutes! My goal of beating the Iron Woman was near impossible today.

    "Hey buddy," Gregg said, "looks like you heard what Mickey got," laughing at my downtrodden expression. "Come on, I'll show you the workout." Tail tucked between my legs, I followed as Gregg ran through the foundation workout. The workouts themselves were uncomplicated, but he showed me how to use a band to assist with pull ups as the workout progressed. No way I'd need them. Then we all ran through a warm-up of squats, rowing, and mountain climbers. After a brief stretch, it was game time.

    Gregg set the clock to "20:00" and we were off. As the workout progressed it became readily apparent that I was probably in better shape than my immediate workout neighbors. In fact, my class seemed less crossfit than the one before. There were no Mickeys, Jasons, or Carloses to aspire to. Everyone else used the stretch bands to assist them from the start. However, there was one guy, Tyler, who did a workout with a broken arm. Though his was slightly modified (to account for his injury), he is the epitome of a Crossfit warrior. I commend him.

    It was smooth sailing through the first five circuits. I averaged slightly more than one circuit a minute until I hit a wall. Squats were very easy for me, but push-ups and pull-ups were killing my upper back. After seven rounds, my pull-up form was deteriorating, and I capitulated to using the assisting bands. I must say, bands make a huge difference.
    Push-ups became the main problem. With pull-ups and squats at around the same difficulty (again, using the bands to assist on the pull-ups), push-ups took the vast majority of my time. I would fly through the squats and pull-ups then spend what became minutes on end doing push-ups. By the end of the workout, it was so bad that I was doing ten sets of one push-up to get through the circuits. Imagine that! As a guy that usually does three sets of fifty after a run, I was shocked. It was actually a very curious feeling. I didn't feel short of breath or particularly exhausted, but my arms simply refused to function. By round twelve they had developed minds of their own. There was no warning before they would completely give out under a push-up. By round thirteen the taste of the rubber floor became quite familiar to me... I had become no stranger to collapsing mid push-up.
    "Come on, Pete. One, at a time, Baby!" Gregg yelled. I prayed that if my arms didn't listen to me, they would at least listen to Gregg. "WOOOOOOO!!!" yelled an exhausted Aileen. I pushed on... literally. By round fourteen, I commended myself for doing three push-ups in a row. By round fifteen and sixteen, that was unthinkable. As Gregg said, it was one at a time.

Note to newbies: We're having technical difficulties at the moment, so for pics of the workout

'>click here until we can post pics directly onto the blog. I apologize for them being out of order. Photo Credit: Stephen Nolan

    In the twenty minutes of time, I finished seventeen rounds of the workout. Not bad... or so I thought, until it occurred to me that Mickey had shattered that result by a undeniable four rounds. It was back to the drawing boards if I was going to take her down. "Gregg, next time I have class with Mickey, can we do like... max bench press or something like that?" I asked between gasps. He laughed. "Never mind," I added, "she'll still probably smoke me."
    "Pete, you know she did her pull ups unassisted too?" Gregg added. I gagged on my protein shake, sputtering chunky chocolate gook everywhere.
    "You're kidding me, right?" I pleaded after wiping my face.
    "Nope!" Gregg answered in a chuckle.
    As I walked home, still unable to lift my burning arms, I searched desperately for anything I could think of to garner some remnants of masculinity or pride. After a few minutes a funny thought came to me. If it was this hard to workout next to Mickey, imagine how hard it must be to be her husband! If your wife can do twenty one circuits of calisthenics in twenty minutes, imagine what she could do if an argument ever broke out, not that it would as she's a very nice lady. But that doesn't mean I don't I pity the bully in school who messes with her kids. Then again, if her kids are anything like her, bullying will definitely not be an issue.

Note to newbies: Her kids ARE like her. I saw her four-year-old daughter do a full pull up on the rings. My unborn children are already quivering.

Next workout
: Thursday

Status of Goal: Incomplete