This long weekend included a couple of visits to the gym and they reminded why I’m so thankful that I was introduced to crossfit and that I found my way to Crossfit Durham.

Thanksgiving Day – Murph

Done as prescribed the Hero WOD Murph is:
Run 1600M
100 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
300 Air Squats
Run 1600m

It’s pretty common to do this as a partner WOD where the partners do all of the running together, then split up the calisthenics any way they see fit. My wife Erin, a new member to the CFD community, and I partnered together for this one and scaled it back a bit. We ran 800’s rather than 1600s.

We divided the calisthenics evenly in terms of reps. I did them as prescribed. Erin substituted ring rows for pull ups and modified the push ups.

We did 10 sets each of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats. Total time to complete the WOD was 35 minutes and some change.

I was completely impressed with and proud of Erin. She picked a heck of a day to tackle her first Hero WOD. Murph is infamous for how tough it is and Erin managed it beautifully.

I don’t remember much about my first time tackling MURPH, because I nearly blacked out! I do recall that I spent a considerable length of time flat on my back watching the gym spin on an axis independent from the rest of the planet. While I was recovering, my poor partner did way more than two-thirds of the air squats and truth be told he’d already done well more than half of any of the other exercises, before we went back out and stumbled through the final run!

The fact that Erin took on half the reps really impressed me. I look forward to other occasions where we’ll be able to work out together.

The other part of what makes holiday workouts like this interesting, now that both Erin and I are CFD members, is that this idea of going to the gym on a day off and working out is going to become the norm for our family and our kids. Our kids won’t think twice about the idea that getting a good workout in on a holiday is somehow unique, extreme or odd. It will be a fact of life for them. As a parent that’s a pretty good feeling.

Saturday – Yoga/Community WOD
Saturday was my birthday and some good friends were in town for the holiday. When Dave, the gym owner, first sent out e-mails saying that our friend Lexy would be in teaching a yoga class on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I laughed.

My first thought was, “Look at this. Lexy’s been gone for months. Dave recycled last year’s holiday e-mail and forgot to remove this part.” But then he sent another e-mail a day or so later with the same message. I thought, “Huh. Not like Dave to make a mistake like that more than once. Maybe there will be yoga on Saturday.” Finally, when he posted on the CFD Facebook page and announced that Lexy would be teaching, I accepted that it was for real.

I asked Erin, if she would mind if I attended. I don’t usually do weekend workouts. The timing interferes with family plans and we had a lot we wanted to accomplish this weekend to get ready for the holidays. But Erin pointed out, “it’s your day. Use it any way you want to.” So I did.

It was great to reconnect with Lexy and Matt and the yoga felt fantastic. So great to spend the time with good friends and come away feeling renewed.

After the yoga session, I was putting my mat away. The rack for that is in the same area of the gym where the sledgehammers are stored.

Coach Ashley T. was handing out hammers to the folks who had come for the free Community WOD. I was in a great mood and I thought, “Sledgehammer swings? That would be fun. Wonder if Ashley would let me jump in.”

Now, I have to admit. My internal timing was off and I had lost track of time. In my mind, the community WOD had just started and I thought the hammer swings were just going to be part of a warm up and that’s it.

When I asked if there were enough hammers to go around so that I could join Ashley said, “Sure. C’mon. We’re doing 21-15-9 hammer swings, burpees and air squats.”

I thought, “Uhm. Well, that’s a bit more than I bargained for, but there’s no backing out now.” So I took a hammer and off we went.

I finished the WOD in 6 minutes and some change. It was a blast too! Great way to cap off the morning.

I really enjoyed ‘playing in’ with the folks who were trying crossfit out. It was fun to hang out, work out with them and encourage them on as they worked their way through the reps. They all put out a heck of an effort too.

It’s so fantastic to have an environment like Crossfit Durham. I take the exercise seriously. I really do. But after 2+ years of doing crossfit, I still contend that it’s recess for grown ups and that’s what keeps me engaged and coming back. It’s recess gone wild,  mind you but it’s play time and I consider the gym our playground.

I totally get it when my kids come home from school and tell me stories about games they played and stunts they pulled off during recess or after school. It’s the same exact way I feel after finishing a WOD. I lost that sense of fun for a while until I found my way to Crossfit. God, I hope I never outgrow that feeling again.

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