There were heavy cleans in today’s strength segment and many wall balls in the scheduled METCON. Heavy cleans are not great with my knee. I did 150 wall balls as part of Sunday’s hero WOD. I was very direct with Coach Doug when I told him, “I’m not interested in more wall balls.” He was understanding and gracious in allowing me to do my own thing. I improvised my own work out with a combination of MovNat and rowing.

SKILL: Balance Work.

I decided to do some balance work. I really enjoy the challenge. Finding the sequence of tension and relaxation, timing of breathing, as well as discovering the ways that it impacts my body has been very eye opening. So far studying MovNat principles has been everything that I hoped it would be.

I began today with two 8′ lengths of 2″ x 4″ laid end to end on the floor. I did multiple passes (up and back) just at bodyweight. Then a few passes with a 20# kettle bell shouldered on the right shoulder. Followed with a few passes with it shouldered on the left. After that I made a few passes with both kettlebells held in a front rack position. I then suspended the kettle from the end of the gym’s bamboo ‘earthquake’ bar using thin purple bands and made a few passes this way.

Doug had asked me somewhat dubiously when he saw me first grab the bar. “You’re going to walk the balance beam with the earthquake bar?” I answered, “Yup, and get your phone ready. It’s gonna be Youtube gold!”

It was even more of a challenge than I anticipated and very entertaining.  It was critical to move slowly and smoothly. The biggest challenge was being patient and pivoting VERY slowly to turn around on the beam and reverse direction. It took multiple attempts to work this out, but eventually I did. Once I successfully traversed the beam up and back with the earthquake bar, I added height.

I raised on 8′ board onto 12 inch box jump platforms and worked an abridged sequence: bodyweight and then straight to the earthquake bar. I didn’t want to spend the time taking the KB’s on and off the bar. It just didn’t occur to me to go get a second pair. Ah well.

It took a few more attempts before I could successfully cross eight feet, turn 180 degrees and then come back. Once I did, I added another dimension: beams at different heights with different foundations.

I elevated the second 8′ foot beam on two weight lifting benches. It was only a few inches higher than the beam on the platforms, so that wasn’t really an issue, The difference in the hardness of the platforms was significant. Walking the beam resting on the box jump stands was very stable as the relatively flat board stayed still on the hard rubberized top. The beam resting on the padded benches had far more roll and play. Add in the instability of the extra 40 pounds hanging from the bamboo bar and this was QUITE a challenge. I made several attempts to cross both beams and return. I got lucky once and pulled it off. Every other attempt, I’m guessing I made 5 or so, I had to step off somewhere. Still it was great fun and a great work out. All of the core stabilizer muscles got lots of attention today.

My plan is to set up a full course using all 15 beams on Saturday once I’m done coaching to see if I can cover some real distance. Stay tuned.

2K Row for Time.

My last recorded time for this row is February of 2013 and I completed the row in 7:32. Far as I can remember that very well may be the last time I attempted this row. I took the challenge because a good buddy and fellow coach recently posted his result of 7:11. It’s great to have accountability partners and friends who challenge you, so I decided to go for it.

Long story short, I finished today in 7:25, a 7 second PR. Not bad at all for something I haven’t specifically trained. My goal now is to get below 7:20. I believe it’s very attainable. Just need to have my head right. Greg, my rabbit here, wants to set up a challenge. We’ll see if he can get to 7:05 before I get to that 7:20. I don’t know about this. Last time Greg and I went head to head I ADDED several minutes to my Fran time. But I think I have to say, “yes. Challenge accepted.”