Last week I took part in a CrossFit competition and experienced a range of emotions over 48 hours that I never thought possible. I sampled euphoria at its best when I lifted a weight heavier than I had ever managed before in a move I have been trying to master for months. Then a mere 24 hours later I suffered pure disappointment as I failed to perform in a workout as well as I felt I should.
It is a funny old game CrossFit….
The competition, aptly named Strength in Depth, was expertly run and was looking to find the top team in Europe, each team was 12 people strong and the workouts were varied, tough and great to watch. Our team, one that I was privileged to be part of, was composed of true athletes, – and me – the tubby northerner who was just chuffed to bits to be chosen to take part.
We qualified in 36th place and finished the weekend in 25th – not too shabby folks.
But the competition taught me a lot about myself and the sort of CrossFitter I want to be. I live life to the extreme and don’t do anything by half, but it would seem that at my age, drinking and dancing don’t give me the engine needed for an intense CrossFit lifestyle….. I think something may have to give….
This was my glory moment – with a dance at the end that I don’t think any other athlete topped all weekend…
The workout that killed me was simple…
A rowing relay, with some burpees thrown in for fun.
First person rows, for 150 metres, then jumps off the rower and hits the floor for 12 burpees, then progresses to the next rower, and repeats and then finally climbs on the third rower and completes the last set of burpees.
When the first person has completed the first row and set of burpees the next can start…
You do this all as quickly as you can.
It’s a race….
In my head, I thought I could go all out for 4 minutes, row like a maniac and fling myself through the burpees. This was my game plan….
This was how it actually went..
I was last, because I’m slowest, and I hit the rower with a determined grimace and started pulling with all my might. After a few seconds I remembered my legs and got those involved in the party. 150 metres felt fine and then I yanked my feet from the straps and fell to the floor in a burpee type move…
Then the pain started to set in…
My arms felt like jelly and my legs refused to obey the scream of ‘faster, faster,’ that was in my head. Others around me were performing beautiful burpees, mine looked like a starfish belly flopping to the floor then crawling back up.
Then suddenly, it was time to row again….
Sweet Jesus, I sat on the rower and tried to get it to move, the screen wouldnt switch from blank and I can only apologise now for my language which I barked at the judge…
Then whoosh, it was off again and I started to row, but it would seem that someone had crept in and hung weights from my arms as I couldn’t pull with pace or encourage my legs to push with power.
Then the voices in my head kicked in…
“You may die on this WOD,” (my voices are dramatic to say the least….)
“You are slower than a herd of resting turtles…”
“Dude, just stop and go find wine, you are good with wine.” (my voices are also alcoholics.)
I carried on with the switch from rower to burpees for two more rounds before collapsing in an unattractive heap at my teams feet a few minutes later.
It was the worse four minutes of my life…. (you can see where the voices get their dramatic flair from.)
It would seem I need to work on my metabolic conditioning, because I hate flunking a workout and I can’t stand to ever turn that beetroot colour again after a mere four minutes of work…..
So, I for one am making a dramatic pledge. I am not waiting for Christmas to come and go and my waistline to bulge some more before sorting myself out. I am not waiting for New Year before I become resolute.
I am going to nail this CrossFit m’larkey and face a few other fitness demons as well in 2016, and I am going to do it with help.
Plans for next year include:
One tough mudder,
One half marathon,
Two CrossFit competitions.
I have roped a friend in for the run, she shares my hatred of running possibly a bit more than I, but we are going to train together and measure our fitness with these great Polar activity trackers and heart rate monitors.
I will be updating my progress over the next 12 weeks and sharing how these two great gadgets help improve my day-to-day results. The workout that nearly killed me is going to be repeated this week and I will see how my poor old heart gets on, then in 12 weeks I will redo it and see how I have improved….
And finally, I need a nutrition kick start, so I have enlisted the support of the guys at Gold Standard Nutrition, whom helped me out earlier in the year when I needed a nutritional kick in the jacksy.
GSN are a belting company who offer excellent grub and personalised programs designed to help you get lean. I am taking part in their 8 day challenge, where from Monday I have agreed to the following.