Things got turned on their heads today. Literally! And it was good!

The workout:
For Time
3 rounds of 400m run, 15 scaled handstand pushups, 25 sit ups.

Most of my classmates wisely chose 20 inch boxes as suggested by Coach Ashley. I think someone tried a 24 inch box. Either I just don’t take direction well and/or I was feeling froggy this morning and decided, “go big or go home” (relatively speaking of course) and opted for a 30″ box. I was just curious. Actually, I know perfectly well what happened. Coach said, “I don’t want to see anyone grabbing the smallest steps or 17” boxes. Those are too short for what we want to do. Something in my brain immediately went, “ok, small=no good. Huge=best!” What can I say, I’m simple that way.

Honetsly, I had a fair idea of what I was getting into and the real reason I did it was I wanted to see what they felt like if I got as close as reasonably possible to vertical. The answer, they hurt! I’m sure you saw that coming. Somewhere in the logical side of my brain, I knew that too. Maybe it’s because I have a toddler and she’s into testing boundaries right now, but I decided to take a page from her book. I knew they would hurt. I wanted to know how much they would hurt. For some reason, I just  needed to test this morning. I now know exactly how much they hurt. But I’m good with that. And all in all, I’m rather proud.

I do sort of wish there was video of this morning’s work out. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know for me, especially trying just to assume the correct position to do the inverted pushups, was a lot like the elephants at the circus setting themselves up for a headstand. Picture me on my knees on the platform 30 inches off the floor, trying to tip myself over far enough to get my hands firmly placed on the floor, without tipping off completely. Aside from that logistical challenge, it was a great work out for a few reasons.

One, apparently I’ve gotten comfortable. While I know I’ve got miles to go in terms of the fitness levels that I want to achieve and I know there are a whole world of exercises out there that we haven’t tried yet, I feel like I’ve hit a certain comfort level in the bootcamp. My body knows the pain threshholds for certain exercises that we do frequently: standard pushups, box jumps, kettlebell swings. When we do those exercises, I have a fair understanding of what they’re going to feel like. When your coach starts your day by literally standing you on your head for an exercise, that’s way out of my comfort zone and exactly what I needed. Monday’s workout was similar in that respect. The seated kettlebell trunk rotation (still not sure that’s an official name) was another exercise I hadn’t seen before. That’s the creative element of CrossFit that I enjoy so much. There are some core “go-to” exercises that are the foundation of the workouts, but then there’s this whole other level of exercises that make each workout unique.

Two, this was another modified version of a workout the crossfitters did earlier this week, so that was cool. I’ve talked about that before. I love the workouts that match “regular crossfitters” workouts as closely as possible. Just does good things for my mindset….ok, for my ego.

Third and finally, a long long, long time ago at a university far far away in the great white north of Central NY, my fellow ROTC buddies and I used to do hand stand push ups for grins and giggles. Back then, it wasn’t part of an organized exercise regimen. It was showing off, plain and simple. We used to do so many standard pushups for physical training that we’d get bored. We’d do elevated push ups off weight benches, racks, furniture, whatever. We just eventually progressed to handstand pushups. Even back then at what I would consider the peak of my fitness, I was never capable of more than 5 handstand pushups in a single set. To even attempt a modified, scaled back handstand pushup at the age of 40, little more than a 16 months removed from what I consider to be my absolute physical low, is a real nice ego boost.

Like I’ve said, I’ve got miles and miles to go, but WOW I am enjoying the journey!

Oh and if anyone’s tracking I did the work out in a total of 14:13. I’m reasonably sure I was second through that portion of the workout. We also did some jump rope work. We could either do 50 double unders or 200 single unders. I went with singles. Had a real tough time stringing more than 20-25 jumps together at a time. Late in the game, I attempted a few double unders. I think I successfully pulled off two double unders twice each with 5 or so singles in between. Always crashing after the second double under. But they’re coming.

There is one thing I wish I’d done today. I wish I’d taken a shot at a single box jump on that 30″ box. I’ve been wondering lately what my max is. I’m confident I could do a single jump onto a 24″ box. But man, that 30″ box looks tall. I was very tempted to try it today before the work out got started, but was concerned that if I didn’t pull it off, I’d look pretty foolish and potentially pretty injured before the workout. Maybe next time. I think I’d like to try a 24″, then add plates to that to make a 27″ platform to see if I could manage that. Then depending how that goes, take a crack at the 30″ and see what happens. Gotta keep pushing myself right?

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