Saturday the family took part in the first Crossfit Durham Pull Up competition. Everyone had a blast.

It was a very informal event. The rules were pretty simple.

Over the course of 2 hours get yourself a judge/counter and complete three attempts for max rep pull ups.

You could do deadhang or kipping, (no butterfly). You could go unassisted, or you could use one of two bands, a 1/2″ or 1″ band for assistance.

You could use any grip for any round, but you couldn’t change grip mid round. Once you set your grip for that round, you had to maintain it all the way through.

You could adjust your hand width on the bar and regrip, but you couldn’t hang one handed and shake out the other arm/hand. Personally, I’m not sure how anyone could pull that off, but it was part of the rules.

In four years, I’ve never attempted a max rep set of kipping pull ups. Any time they come up in a WOD, if it’s high volume, I always break them up to save energy for the rest of the METCON. Any time we do max rep sets of pull ups in training, it’s deadhang. So going into it, I was thinking a set of 15 reps would be a really good target. If I had a perfect day, I thought perhaps I could string 20 together.

I did 13 the first time through. I got 12 the second time around. I didn’t make a third attempt. My hands felt soft as if they were ready to tear after the second round. The high score for the mens unassisted division at that point was 41! I wasn’t going to challenge that, so there was no point in making a third attempt.

I was very satisfied with those scores.

Other Impressions that I took away from the competition:

1) For every man competing there were three women there competing! That was awesome! I love it any time my kids can see the strong women in our box competing. It proved inspirational too.

2) Lil Bit got in on the competition! While Erin was chatting with a friend, and I was judging another competitor, Lil Bit used a j-hook or a box climbed up on the rig and started banging out pull ups as best a 6 year old could! Our friend Stephanie joined Lil Bit at the rig and counted for/coached her! It was just awesome to watch! And the gym cheered her on as loud as they did for any of the adults! That was fantastic.

It was a bit of a funny situation for me. My natural instinct is to start coaching and advising. But Lil Bit and Stephanie were working together and I’m pretty sure I would have been more of a distraction than a help. So while I offered a quiet ‘great job’ or ‘keep going’ I really worked hard to stay quiet. All I did was position myself under Lil Bit as a spotter to catch her if she slipped off the rig from seven feet up. After all, I’m still her Daddy.

I was so proud of her for wanting to compete with all of those adult around. Lil Bit truly is fearless.

Erin and I are so grateful for the way the entire CFD community embraces our kids every time they visit. From keeping them company while Mom and Dad are doing workouts, to incorporating them into the workouts or competitions, everyone is so fantastic with Lil Bit and Whirlwind. We really appreciate it.

3) Whirlwind also displayed a fair bit of courage. While he didn’t take part in the pull up contest, he did master a thirty inch box jump! For an eleven year old who stands 58.5″ tall, that’s a hell of a leap. I worked with him on the jumps prior to the pull up competition. We started with a 24″ box, then added plates after each successful jump. By the time we finished, he successfully jumped onto the 24″ box with a 45# and 2 10# plates stacked on it. Easily 30″.

Later during the competition, while grown ups were focused elsewhere he made two more attempts on the 30″ box. He made one good jump, but the second one the box bit him a bit. No big deal. Scuffed his shin some, but he was pretty pleased to have hit that jump.

I’m proud of him for going back and tackling it again and proving to himself that the first jumps weren’t some kind of fluke.

Monday, May 4

Strength: Work up to 4 sets of 3 reps of overhead squats

I worked my way up to 155#. It was tough work, but man it felt good. I like overheads. Working these heavy today really suited my mood.

7 push press (135#, Rx)
10 Overhead Squats
15 Abmat Sit Ups

15 min AMRAP.

After the strength segment and paired with the push press, I went into this METCON thinking I’d be lucky to complete 3 rounds.

When Coach Lindsay said, “go” I got through the first round unbroken and in under 2 minutes! I ran the numbers in my head and that was a mistake. I thought, “there’s no way in HELL I’m doing 6 more rounds of that!” From then on out, I improvised round to round experimenting with where to break up reps and sets.

It was tricky. I didn’t really want to clean the bar any more than necessary to get it back into position for the prescribed lifts, but it was unavoidable. No subsequent set looked exactly like the previous so I can’t describe my rep schemes.

Ultimately, I completed 4 rounds and 7 additional reps. I was very pleasantly surprised at this. Technically, I had about 15 seconds remaining when I completed the push presses, but I walked away from the bar rather than attempt any more overheads. The gym was already spinning on it’s own axis and taking 135# overhead seemed ill-advised.

In spite of the spins, today was one of those pleasantly surprising days where I walked out thinking to myself, “Damn, I DID THAT!” I was able to exceed my expectations and put in a really strong effort. Nice feeling. Of course, I may be cursing myself later today. I volunteered to wash teacher’s cars at my kids’ school for Teacher Appreciation week. At the moment, I’m not sure I can manage the manual transmission in the car. Maybe I’ll volunteer to work on all the tires. 😉