The choice of title for this post came to me in a flash of inspiration as I was driving home from the WOD.  My train of thought led me to think about all the people who have given me encouragement since I started CrossFit.  It seemed as though the whole world and his dog were doing it today.

Helen looks like she wants to be beaten
Helen looks like she wants to be beaten (soundly with a barbell)

This is the last week of this cycle of strength work (the presses, squats, clean and jerks etc.).  After that it’s going to change a bit from next week, with emphasis starting to be placed on what we would like to achieve in the way of individual goals.  As I’ve already decided I’d like to try out the beginners’ Olympic weightlifting sessions, this seems to have been timed just right.  I’m already looking forward to Monday, which makes up for the fact I can only go twice this week due to my shifts.  Late weeks really mess it up.

But meanwhile, more front squats.  I’ve got a twinge in my left groin/upper leg area, and it hurts a little when I squat.  So I warmed up with 40kg, before doing the five sets at my personal record of 45kg.  I didn’t feel as if I could go up to 47.5kg or 50kg today, but that didn’t matter as the coach (who’s been away for a week) came over and said, “That’s the most I’ve seen you do.  You’ve really improved”.  I don’t know how he notices, what with all the people he has to keep an eye on, but it’s appreciated.  To be fair, I do talk to him a bit about where I’m up to, so he probably remembers me more than other people.

He also noticed my push press PR of 35kg, which I stuck at today.  I was sharing a rack with a girl who has been coming to CrossFit  for about the same amount of time as me, and she took great interest in the myWOD app on my phone (which I use to record my weights, as I’d never remember them all).  She also liked my wrist wraps, and I let her borrow them as she has a niggle in her left hand.  I told her where to get some for herself.  Finally, on mentioning that she wanted to get a skipping rope to practise double-unders, I showed her the Amazon link to the one I bought.  All in a day’s work – do I get commission?  She mentioned that she’d noticed I’d improved a lot since I started which surprised me a little, as I had no idea people were actually taking notice of what I was doing.  She even told me how long I’ve been doing this!  We also discussed the differences with traditional gyms, and were both of the opinion that the CrossFit system encourages you to work, and MAKES you do it – you can’t just sneak out when it gets tough like at LA Fitness (other identi-kit gyms are available, should you be interested).

To finish off today we did another named CrossFit WOD – “Helen” this time.  Three rounds of 400m running and swinging stuff.  Once again, I had to scale back the pull-ups to ring rows, but I’m going to start practising my kipping soon as a build-up to getting pull-ups.  I can’t scale back forever.  We all headed out on the first run, and I was one of the last back.  But I was the second person out for the next run, but that’s more to do with the fact that ring rows are faster to do than pull-ups, especially when your arms are fresh.  As usual, the coach was out in the car park, shouting at us as we ran back in.  I was ahead of everyone except one young guy who is just lighting fast at running, and as I came back in behind him the second time, the coach shouted, “THIS IS AWESOME RUNNING!  MUCH BETTER THAN TWO WEEKS AGO!  YOU’RE FAST BECOMING MY FAVOURITE ATHLETE!”  My response as I ran in: “It doesn’t fucking feel like it”.

I was in the lead from the third round onwards, and I got the fastest overall time of ten people, but I’m not feeling smug about it due to the ring rows and that some of the guys were using 24kg kettlebells to my pathetic 16kg one.  But I don’t think that 10 minutes, 17 seconds is a bad time considering the “world record” is somewhere between seven and eight minutes.  I was hardly sitting back, drinking tea during this.  Once we were done, I was congratulated on my fast time by the same girl who had been impressed that I kept up with her on a recent WOD (I beat her by two minutes today).  She’s British, but lives in San Francisco and goes to CrossFit there (she’s visiting relatives).  The coach was a little in awe of that, as he borrows a lot of his mobility exercises from the people who work there, and expressed an interest in going over to train with them.

So, not a bad session, but I won’t be back until Friday, by which time hopefully this groin ache will have gone away.  And I will hopefully have a nice new pair of Inov-8s to wear.  More on those later.

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