The rain crashed into Austin Friday morning with a bang, startling me awake around 5:30 a.m.  That’s about when a huge branch fell right on the roof, and despite my urge to stay in bed, I decided to get up.

My motivation ended there.  I just wasn’t feeling much motivation for Friday morning conditioning.  The rain, as much as it’s needed, seemed to have dampened my enthusiasm.

AMRAP 20 minutes
10 burpees
10 bicycles
10 squats
10 pushups

There were only 3 of us there for class — not an unusual event if you look back over the years at class attendance. Frustrating, yes, but odd?  Not at all.  We’re coming up one holidays, people want a break.  They’ll all be back — with gusto — in January.  It’s like a traditional gym.  I wish it wasn’t that way, but it seems like it is.

I don’t really feel up to getting any deeper into class attendance in this forum.  My friend Bryan and I spoke at length about it Friday, after class, and he wrote his thoughts here, which are very interesting.

Needless to say, it would be nice to not be the only one invested in this class — after all, I’m just a volunteer.  Bryan graciously agreed to sit down with me to plan about classes on a quarterly basis, implementing a conditioning focus as well as a skill focus that will build week to week.  We want to make it feel accessible (which is already is, but people don’t see it that way), but there’s a fine line to walk, because I still want there to be accountability, too.  One of the biggest problems I see with traditional exercise (i.e. gyms and the like) is accessibility without accountability. Anyone can join a gym and do exercises that promote muscle imbalance or that do little to build any of the 10 physical skills that define Crossfit (endurance, strength, stamina, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy).  And many people want to do their thing at a gym without someone — even themselves — holding them accountable for performing each move accurately.  Ever seen someone do a pushup where their neck was moving more than their arms?  I used to be that person.  It took a long time for me to swallow my pride and accept that 1) I needed guidance and 2) I do have the ability to do it right and improve.

Hmmmm…. I guess I did get into the whole class attendance issue.

Anyway, It will be really good to have another person that cares as much as I do about the class, and I’m looking forward to getting started.

It will be FRANTASTIC!

This morning is Fran!  My shoulders, arms, hands, lats and neck are still sore.  But I’m not concerned.  The only thing that worries me is actually checking in.  You see, the chest congestion I had yesterday has moved up into my voice box today, and I have little voice left.  I sound WAAAAAYYYY worse than I feel.  I feel great!  Bring on Fran!

Benchmark test — "Angie"

For the month of October, my Crossfit gym is doing “The Girls & The Heroes” from  This should be interesting.

We started with a “girl” that I’m already familiar with — “Angie” — one of the three regular benchmark workouts that we do at my gym.

100 pullups
100 pushups
100 situps
100 squats

The last time I did this WOD, I did jumping pullups and most of my pushups (or maybe all?) were half-ass — not chest to floor.  What a difference three months has made!

Although I finished more than 2 minutes slower this morning than I did last time — with a time of 24:08 — I did all 100 pullups with a band and all 100 pushups chest to the floor (on my knees, of course).

(Man, I hope I counted right.  For some reason I keep feeling like a missed 5 pullups.  Oh well.)

The pullups took the most amount of time.  The band I was using was not the tightest I could have chosen, but I think it worked to my advantage.  All last night, I kept envisioning myself doing a kipping pullup.  This morning, I actually did it.  The band was loose enough so that I could fully extend myself at the bottom and let myself swing and pull my chin up over the bar.  I focused on then pushing myself back and letting my momentum swing me forward.  It’s hard to get a good swing with the band, but I eventually found a rhythm.  What derailed me was not only fatigue, but also sweaty palms.  I had trouble keeping my grip, and although chalk initially helped, it would rub off after only 5 pullups.

The pushups were pure agony after the pullups.  My muscles were screaming at me, and sweat was dripping all over the floor.  I was glad for the mat under my knees, because they’ve have been so torn up and bruised lately, I didn’t think they could take much more.

The situps were a relief… until about 50, that is.  That’s when I started to slow down again, and I struggled to keep going.  The coaches had us use abmats for the situps.

There were less than 5 minutes left in the WOD when I hit the squats — my strength! — and I went as fast as I could, pausing after every set of 20 for just a couple of breaths.  This was about the time I felt like I needed to puke, but I swallowed my nausea and tried not to think about it.

I’m very glad I finished this workout.  For a little while, I didn’t think I would — I made it just under the wire.  I’m so incredibly pleased by my pullups — I just can’t express it.  Despite the blisters on my hands, I want to do more!

Performance Log

I’ve taken to carrying around a performance log lately.  Everywhere.  It doubles as a workout log and a food journal.  Zach requires us to bring it to class.  This morning, a few people didn’t have one, and he had us do 25 burpees.  “Ya’ll are going to be real strong if this keeps up,” he said.

Grrrr… people, better start bringing their journals.

But I digress. 

It’s useful as a workout log, but the food journal is really why I carry it around.  Seeing everything written down makes me think twice about my food choices.  It’s not that I necessarily think I was making “bad” choices before — not all the time at least.  But keeping track is really helping me think through the day.  And it’s helping me see how much of a particular food I’m eating and examine whether I should be cutting down.  For example, I realized I was eating a lot of cheese.  A. LOT.  But I’ve cut that down significantly, and I’m making better protein choices.  I definitely recommend food journaling.  The coaches were right — it does make a difference.