Yesterday (Saturday) I got to spend the day doing some crazy CrossFit stuff with my friends. It started with a meet-up at Matty's place at about 6:30am, where he showed me his Egg Genie, a Ronco product that hard-boils your eggs in a snap. Hard boiled eggs are a staple of the Paleo diet, to which both Matty and I subscribe, so we both probably had a bit more interest in an appliance that facilitates that than normal people. We also ate thick-cut, peppered bacon. Delicious--and necessary for energy, or something. (Work with me.)
Anyway, then Alyssa, Ben, and Emily arrived, and the 5 of us took off for Ventura, specifically for CrossFit Ventura, which hosted an affiliate gathering. People from "boxes" (CF affiliates) all around the area came to support the event, which was a friendly team competition consisting of three WoDs (workouts of the day) for 2-man, 2-woman teams. With my Team CrossFit Academy coach Eric's permission, I joined Matty, Ben, and Gretchen (who came separately) in representing Paradiso CrossFit (http://www.paradisocrossfit.com/
) in the tournament.
Thanks to Ben, we really did have the best team name: The Clock Blockers. The best part about it is that when people yelled it to cheer us on, they invariably ended up saying something a little bit different--at the top of their lungs. Fantastic.
I had been a little bit nervous about accepting Matty's invitation to be on the team, because Matty, Gretchen, and Ben are friggin' monsters. Matty is a big, strong monster, Gretchen is a lovely, sylphlike monster, and Ben is a sweet, friendly monster. But they are all unbelievable athletes and CrossFitters, and I was definitely the weak link in the chain. No, I'm not being falsely modest. I am totally fine with it, both because they are all such wonderful people and also because they inspire me to do my best.
And apparently my best was good enough, because our team came in first out of something like 15 teams! We placed first in the first two WoDs and second in the third WoD. The first WoD was 3 rounds of a 400m run as a team, and then kind of a modified two-person Fran. When we got in from the run, Ben went to the pullup bar, as did Gretchen, to do 25 and 20 pullups respectively. While they pulled up, Matty and I did thrusters--each thruster took a second off our overall time, and since we block the clock, baby, we wanted a low time. But thrusters also tire you out and make it harder to do pullups, so in the second and third round I did many fewer to make sure I finished my pullups soon after Matty finished his. So we ended up with the fastest time in that event.
Then, the second event was a mile run, with our entire team carrying one 95lb bar. If we put the bar down or tried to hoist it to our shoulders, we had to do 5 burpees each. The name of the game there was just to keep moving and to switch positions when our grips got tired. We had some competition in our heat; the next fastest team pulled into the lead on the first or second lap (we had to run the course was a quarter mile/400m, so we had to run it 4 times). But we just kept right behind them and pulled into the lead somewhere in the 4th lap. They tried to make a comeback, but they dropped the bar and had to burpee, so we pulled away and ended up fastest there too.
The third event was pretty funny: AMRAP (as many reps as possible) in 5 minutes of assisted muscle-ups, assisted handstand pushups, and air squats. Each muscle-up counted for 5 points, each pushup for 3 and each squat for 1. So our strategy was for Matty to help Ben do as many muscle-ups as possible. Ben has muscle-ups on his own, as do Matty and Gretchen (monsters, I tell you) but the goal here was quantity, so assisted was the way to go. (For those of you who don't know what a muscle-up is, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAE6lCIkDNE
Or just do a search on youtube on "muscle-up." There are tons of videos.)
I explained muscle-ups to my mother and she said, "Can't be done." That's definitely how it feels when you don't have one. But I felt that way about pullups for a long time, too. So I'm hoping to get a muscle-up this year.
Anyway, while Matty and Ben were muscling-up (muscle-upping?), Gretchen and I took turns grabbing each other's legs and churning each other like butter. So imagine I'm upside down on my hands and Gretchen is holding onto my leg and helping to pull me up as I'm pushing up as hard as I can. The best part, though is that when Ben got tired with the muscle-ups, he'd start to squat faster than the naked eye can see. That was his "rest." And then Matty would grab the other leg of whoever was upside down, and that's when things got REALLY fun. The hands of the person doing the pushup would literally come off the floor; I heard that the Claw, who is one of my friend Traver's students at CrossFit Pacific Coast (http://www.crossfitpacificcoast.com/
), had enough time to clap in between his pushups.
We came in second on that event, and we won the thing overall! So I'm grateful to Matty, for wheedling me into participating, and to him, Ben, and Gretchen for being such great teammates. It was a fantastic day all around, with opportunities to hang out with some of my favorite people out here on the left coast.
I don't post many pictures these days, mostly because I never replaced the camera I took into the drink with me when I fell in the river back in the summer of 2008, when I got pink eye and went to Durango anyway to visit my friends Jen* and Pat (I haven't been that sick before or since). But there are a bunch of pictures on the Paradiso website (http://www.paradisocrossfit.com/
. It's the Jan 17, 2010 entry, called Clock Blockin' the Beats). Here is one of my favorites. It's hard to see us, but it's Matty, me, Gretchen, and Ben, from left to right. Our friend Eric from Pacific Coast is in the red shirt to the left; he was one of the judges and had to run with us to make sure we didn't drop or hoist the bar, or to make sure that if we did, we did our burpees. We didn't actually run this way very far; most of the time we were in single file, but I just like this picture a lot. Teamwork and all that. I've tried a couple times to crop it so we zero in on the 4 of us, but I can't get it to work. Maybe it's too late at night.
So thanks to CrossFit Ventura (http://www.crossfitventura.com/
) for a fantastic day, and thanks to The Clock Blockers for helping me go above and beyond what I thought I could do.