Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One for "Mick"

Some days things just come together.  A lot of the time you could say I'm kind of "chasing it" energy wise during Crossfit workouts.  I feel like I do well, and much better than when I started.  But in general there comes a time in many WODs where I hit the wall and it takes everything I have to push through and get it done.  There's no mystery there...I still have a long way to go before I would say I'm fit, and my sleep during the week is horrendous.  So once in a while when I crush a workout it feels damn spectacular...ESPECIALLY when it's a WOD of this magnitude.  Today was no fuckin joke, and I surprised even myself when I had some breakthroughs along the way.

WOD - "McCluskey"
Three rounds of:
9 Muscle-ups
15 Burpee pull-ups
21 Pull-ups
Run 800 meters

This was a "Hero WOD" - one that is named after a soldier who died defending our country.  This one was for Jason "Mick" McCluskey of Oklahoma who sadly died at the age of 26 in Afghanistan.  I think of where I was at 26...I hadn't even met my wife yet...so much of my life hadn't started yet.  At 38 I have a lot to be thankful for, so I was happy to lay it all on the table for Mr. McCluskey one time.

The scaling for this one was pretty cool.  Sara had us grab a pair of 35-lb dumbbells.  For muscle ups we did a pushup while holding the dumbbells, then at the top of the pushup we did a dumbbell row with each arm.  For burpee pullups I did a burpee then jumped up on a box and did a jumping pullup.  The regular pullups I did with 1.3 thick bands (the .5 was being used so I sucked it up and used a smaller one for my second one)

When you look at this WOD it's pretty crushing.  I love the 21-15-9 rep scheme, and it's very cool how they reverse it here...but adding the run is sadism at its finest.  Being the massochist that I am this one had my name all over it.

3...2...1...Go! I got a solid pace going and purposely didn't go to failure on the first round of pullups.  I broke it up into 6-5-5-5 and it went pretty smoothly.  The huge surprise came during the first run.  I ran out to 6th Ave, kept a steady pace, and by the time I rounded 24th St I realized that I didn't need to stop and walk...I just kept running...and running...until holy shit I rounded back onto 26th and finished the first run UNBROKEN.  How sick is that?  I've never run more than a block at a time in my entire life! I was sizzling on adrenaline and cruised through the second round, that is until the pullups.  By the second half of the set I was doing 1-2 at a time, but I got it done and out I went for run #2.  BOOM!  Unbroken again...what the hell was happening?  What an incredible feeling to run this consistently for this long...I sailed back in after the run and kept plugging away.  I could tell this one was running long, but if the firebreathers were putting up times of 25+ minutes I knew I was going to clock in at about an hour, which was fine with me...as long as I finished.  Somehow I got through the pullups again and I raced toward the door.  Then a pretty crazy thing happened...

...Wayne is the coolest of the cool.  An elder gentleman who started Crossfitting a couple months back.  We've had some pleasant exchanges about the challenge of Crossfit and we've seen each other at the Black Box many times, as we both come several times a week.  Anyway Wayne had finished the WOD already, but as I passed him to head down the stairs he said "I think I'll come along for this round."  I couldn't believe it.  He was DONE.  Something about my taking forever on these WODs possesses people to do extra rounds.  I don't know who is more demented...but obviously I was flattered that Wayne gave THAT much of a shit about me to join me for the final run.  As it turned out my pace was so rocking that he easily walked beside me as I ran, but hey I RAN, and once again...UNBROKEN!

WOD Time - 54:21

The encouragement, feedback, and general comaraderie at the gym has been humbling to say the least.  I'm having a blast with Crossfit...and there's no doubt a lot of the above has to do as much with my progress as any physical gains I've had.  This is turning out to be quite the life experience.

I don't know how well I honored McCluskey's memory, but I'm satisfied that if I had the chance to meet him I'd be honest when I say I gave this one absolutely everything, and it gave me back even more.

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