Some days you come to the box and it’s simple. Lift heavy stuff. Do the METCON which might only be 2 or 3 exercises. Go home. Some days it’s a whole lot more complex and the workout becomes almost secondary. For me, this is one of those days.

The WOD for Friday 111111 (hijacked straight from Crossfit Durham)
“WOD for Warriors”
11 Rounds of 11 Reps each to be executed in 2 person teams
Burpees
Tuck Jumps
Hand Stand Push Ups – buddy holds feet
Ring dips
Sit-ups
Air Squats
Deadlift (135/95)
Pullups (any type)
Press (45/25 plates)
Jumping Lunges
11 meter fireman’s carry

*A two person team will have one member working at all times.  #1 begins with burpees, once complete, #2 executes tuck jump, once complete, #1 executes HSPU while #2 holds feet, then #2 executes Ring Dips, and so forth.  Since there are an odd number of exercises, the second time through, #2 will start burpees, #1 will do tuck jumps, etc.  The idea is a quick and even work-rest cycle, high intensity, giving it our all to honor our Veterans, and improving our ability to move more further faster!

I had the pleasure of working with Coach Paul today for this WOD. You can read his perspective regarding the WOD here.

I always enjoy partner WODs and on days like today where this is a “memorial” WOD that camaraderie is even more significant. I take these memorial and hero WODs to heart. The fact that the freedom and luxury to come out and play with my friends for an hour every morning comes at a price is not lost on me. With that in mind, I actually spent time considering my wardrobe for today’s WOD. That’s not as superficial as it sounds. Bear with me.

Usually during Memorial or Hero WODS, I wear my service ID tags. I couldn’t find them last night so I elected to wear the shirt that my brother had made for us for last week’s primal mud run. It’s old military issue gear that he’s worn himself while in the Army. I don’t know if anyone noticed that I was wearing long sleeve “cold weather” gear for today’s indoor WOD. If they were wondering, that’s the reason. Wearing it gave me a feeling of connectedness not only with my brother on this Veteran’s Day but with service members, past, present, active duty, retired, whatever. I took comfort in that and eventually had to draw on them for strength during this workout.

I’m not going to delve into the details of sets and reps like I do with other WODs. There was far too much going on to keep track of at any individual sort of detail. It all sort of ran together. I will say, Coach Paul is very strong. He overcame at least a 90lb weight differential to haul my mass around the gym during his share of the fireman’s carries. His encouragement during the WOD was greatly appreciated. He is also an elite athlete. Completing all of his sets much faster than I could do my own. It was inspirational and motivating to see an example of the athleticism that I aspire to in time.  At the same time it was periodically deflating when I realized more than once, “Oh shit! He’s already done! I’ve got to get moving!” Which means I only felt a little bit sorry for him a couple of times during his turn doing the fireman’s carry.

Now a quick digression. Please know that I dwelled on the following for some time before posting. I hesitate to use this analogy because today’s workout was in no way a life or death situation that comes with real combat. It’s not my intent to trivialize the service and sacrifice of the men and women that have been injured physically or mentally, or even given their lives in service of our nation. That being said this is where my head was at this morning so it’s germaine to the tale. End digression.

In order to get through today’s WOD, I had to take a moment to remember why I was in the box today and just what it means to me to be free to have this luxury and privilege.

Somewhere around the 8th or 9th round, I took a knee as I completed my assigned set of exercises and Coach Paul began his. There was a split second where the thought went through my head, “I don’t know if I’m going to finish this! I’m not sure I’m getting up!” I looked down at that service issue shirt that I was wearing. My brother’s shirt. I imagined him wearing it during his service in Iraq. I imagined the countless service members out there serving right then.

I was also reminded of the concept of a battle buddy; that person you’re assigned to in the military who you train and fight with. That battle buddy depends on you and you on them. In order to survive to the next challenge, you never let your battle buddy down. I couldn’t let my partner in this WOD down. So, the next thought was “NO! NEVER QUIT!”

I got off the deck and got back to work. I won’t lie. It wasn’t pretty. But we completed the WOD and completed it in 42:29. One of the top times in the 6:15 session, thanks in large part to Coach Paul’s efficiency and athleticism.

After the WOD, I took a quiet moment on the floor not just to recover but reflect. I took a handful of my shirt to ground my thoughts and offered a quick prayer for all that I’m blessed with and a thanks. Yeah, there was a lot going on today.

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