This is another Foundation/Bootcamp post. Where I go spastic in the Foundation class and earn “special attention” from random coaches during bootcamp!

Tuesday night was the 5th of 6 Foundation Classes. It was a lot of learning and a lot of fun, and humbling again.

We spent some time working on the gymnastic rings. Now that was seriously fun! I have been looking enviously at the rings since I first stepped into the gym back in early May. It’s something I’ve never tried before and I’m really looking forward to learning about and developing my skills.  I’ve been waiting ever since then to get on them and experiment. We were taught and sampled three different ring exercises. Ring pushups — I enjoyed those tremendously. I like getting the extra range of motion and was reasonably stable through the repetitions…so long as I limit myself to 3-5 repetitions per set.

Ring dips — I enjoyed these, but will have to work up to these over time. I had to scale these by resting my feet on a box and then going through the range of motion. I don’t have the stability or the strength to hang free on the rings and execute a rep.

Ring stand — I did not enjoy these. It’s another of those simple in concept, brutal in execution maneuvers. I mean really, hop up, lock out your arms vertically at your sides so your hands holding the rings are at your hips and stablize yoruselve there for a bit. What’s the big deal? And yet I found I can only do it for just the far side of 5 or so seconds at a clip. And that’s only IF I’m lucky enough to catch myself in the proper position from the start. I had a couple of aborted attempts. Picture that squirrel that misjudges the leap from tree to tree, or underestimates the strength of the branch he intends to land on. Yeah, that was me. Coach Ryan did show us that we could scale that with a box too, either by resting our feet on it through the exercise, or by starting above the rings on top of the box and stepping down off it into the locked out position. Stepping down off the box allowed me to hold the form for a few seconds, but I’m going to have to practice to be able to hop up and catch myself in position.

After ring work we worked exclusively on the snatch. That was just fine until we actually tried to do it with weights. Somehow working through the motions of the snatch with the PVC pipe went smoothly. As soon as I was handed a 35lb bar I was like this cross between the Tasmanian Devil and Roger Rabbit! I would get all spastic and seemed to be all over the floor trying to replicate the motions we’d just gone through and I always ended up out of position or off balance, or some thing. That’s going to require a WHOLE lot more practice. I think part of the challenge was I was trying to concentrate on the steps and the motions so I was moving fairly slowly. That’s not conducive to an explosive movement that’s intended to haul weight over your head. Somehow the 35 lbs was enough to slog me down and make the motion just ridiculously awkward.

The WOD for the Foundation class last night was a 400 meter run and 10 dumb bell presses, that much I remember. I also know I used 20 lb dumb bells. I can’t recall the time duration and my results. Unfortunately, I recorded those in the workout journal that I keep at the gym, not the one that travels with me to and from the gym. I’m confident that I got at least a mile’s worth of running in and all dumb bell sets were unbroken.

So this morning in bootcamp we did an AMRAP as well: 200M run, 12 rep wall balls (12 lb ball), 12 rep each side, kettle bell side to sides for 15 min. This one I have in my log. I came up just shy of 6 complete sets. I got in 6 runs, 6 sets of wall balls unbroken and timed expired about halfway through the 6th set of side by sides.

I forgot the proper hold for the side by sides. I was holding the kettle bell near the top of the handle and having a great time with that exercise through the first four sets. Then Coach Ashley spotted me and told me to move my hands to the base of the handles. Well, that made all the difference in the world! Suddenly they weren’t nearly as much fun any more. Still I did all sets unbroken. I’m concluding that means I should have gone with more than the 20 lb bell. Still have plenty of exercise ahead of me this week, so there are plenty of chances to make that up.

My wall balls were all done unbroken with a 12lb ball too. I know that was lighter than I could have done, but I tweaked something right at the base of my neck on the right side last night doing the ring stands. I didn’t want to aggravate it more, so I used less weight there. I tried very hard to concentrate on form and must have done ok. On my last set, I was encouraged to get closer to the wall itself, because I was making the throw longer and harder on myself. But other than that my wall balls went off without comment.

I concentrated a lot during my runs and think I did better. Not well mind you, but better for me compared to other runs. I think I’ve progressed over time from a Clydesdale Clop up to a Trot. I paid a lot of attention to my foot strike trying to stay forward on my feet. It seemed to be working.

Although, it’s obvious my form wasn’t very good because another coach participating in the crossfit workout in the main gym took the time to stick his head out the door and holler to/at me to keep my head up while running as I was going past the front windows on my second or third round. As far as I know, I’m the only one in the bootcamp group that got that sort of special atttention this morning. I acknowledged him at the time with a nod and a wave, because the run is uphill at that stage and I lacked the oxygen to form words. The thought that first went through my head, and I believe I actually said this to a fellow runner who passed me when I eventually found my breath was, “Wow! I’ve actually earned private coaching now! I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.”

A momment later, I realized that it was a good thing and in truth, I appreciate all coaching. I have tons to learn, so I’ll take the guidance where ever it comes from. I did make a point to say thanks as I was exiting the gym and he was busy hammering through the 400M runs associated with day’s Crossfit Metcon. If you’re reading this now Coach Paul, sincerely, “thanks.” I appreciate all the coaching/direction I can get. A long time ago I was a soldier, so I like to think I’m pretty good at taking direction. I’ll take it where ever it comes from. Even random hollering voices from afar!