No structure, no goals, no clock, just tinkering.

After three straight days of solid Crossfit work, I really just wanted to indulge and play today.

I still went to the box because if I go through the process of waking up getting dressed out and going to the gym I have better focus than if I just try to do a backyard WOD. Besides, part of my goal today was to test a few rounds of WODs which I’m programming for Bootcamp next week. I needed some equipment that I don’t have at home. Once I finished experimenting with the Bootcamp work, I broke out all the MovNat equipment for some ‘me time.’

Balance Work

Started with forward walking across 18′ of 3″ diameter PVC pipe, elevated on 15# plates and anchored with sandbags. Each time I do this I’m surprised at how the slightest rotation in the pipe seems to get amplified as the shift works up my body.


I haven’t done an extended tumbling session in a long while. I’ve thrown in a few forward rolls here and there some mornings, but I haven’t just isolated rolling and focused on that movement in quite some time. I set out 30′ of gymnastics mat across the dance floor in the room adjacent to the gym.

Began with forward rolls from the kneeling position, rolling over one shoulder or the other. This is a MovNat roll, rather than a centered gymnastic forward roll. I made multiple passes up and down the length of the floor. Some passes I would do all the rolls over one shoulder. Some passes I would alternate. The focus was on 1) always staying on the same line facing forward, not rolling off to one side or the other; and 2) rolling through all the way so that when I ended one roll I was completely in position to set up the next roll. Eventually, I made some passes down the room stringing rolls together one right after the other.

I then moved to standing forward rolls. It’s been so long since I did these I had to YouTube them to work out which shoulder went to the ground first dependent on which foot stepped forward first. In case you’re curious. The answer is, it’s the same side. If you step forward with your left foot, then you’re left shoulder should go to ground first.

Again, I did multiple passes across the floor always rolling on one shoulder. Then came back rolling on the other shoulder. Then numerous passes alternating. For the final two passes, when I made the final roll off the end of the mats, I rolled straight into a hand-foot crawl position and took just a few strides forward, simply to connect the two moves together. The transitions felt very comfortable and natural.

This was such a simple workout and still after 20 minutes of tumbling I had completely sweat through my shirt. So it was definitely an active rest day.

Balance Work Revisited

I ended my workout with some stationary balance work on a 2′ x 4′ beam elevated about 5′ up resting on the jerk boxes. This was a very short session. I did squatting to standing, back to squatting, some tripod extensions on both sides. Repeated this perhaps 3 times then climbed down. There were too many distractions in the main CF room with the WODs in progress. I couldn’t stay focused on what I was doing. When you’re 5′ up, that’s a problem. Safety first, so I called it quits.

Random Observations

I was really pleased with the tumbling work today. Things felt fluid and graceful and connected. Which was nice because I made the mistake of getting on the scale before heading to the gym this morning and I’ve added a few pounds. Nothing dramatic, but for a guy who’s been tracking calories and macros pretty steady for a couple of months now, it was definitely a ‘how the hell can that be’ moment. To be able to go to the gym and be able to move in ways that felt relatively smooth was very cool. It didn’t hurt that a friend made a point of noting that I look like I’ve slimmed down recently. That’s actually the second time that’s happened in the last two weeks or so.

The whole ‘reality of the scale’ vs. ‘perception of motion’ vs ‘perception of appearance’ contradictions have me pondering today. I felt agile and nimble this morning. In looking at the mirror, I can see lines on my body improving, leaning out, bulges becoming edges, etc. Clearly other people are observing it as well. Yet, the reality is I’m adding weight! That’s data. The contradiction of those elements is confounding…amusing, but confusing. I’d love to believe that I’m adding lean mass. While I haven’t had it measured, I HIGHLY doubt it. Like I said, I’m tracking calories and macros and I’m doing BETTER. I’m not doing THAT much better about what’s going in my mouth. Please understand, I’m not overly concerned about reconciling any of this. I’m just sort of amused at the thought that people can say that I’m looking leaner and I’m generally feeling like I’m moving as if I’m lighter; however the scale would suggest that I’m in fact heavier. Go figure.