I’m feeling quite introspective today, so bear with me, please.
I will be celebrating and/or commemorating three anniversaries this month: my 8-year anniversary at my place of employment, the 3-year anniversary of meeting Michael Kelley, and the 1-year anniversary of adopting Luke. Much to my surprise, I realized that October 17 is both the date that I met Michael Kelley and the date Jeff and I adopted Luke. I’m having a cake made for Luke. I might have to do the same for Michael Kelley. Or treat him to dinner.
If you haven’t already done so, go see the film “Pitch Perfect”. While predictable, it was nonetheless better than I expected, and had some of the best one-liners, all from Fat Amy, of any film I’ve seen in a very long time. Wellll, sometimes I feel like I could do crystal meth but then I think, hmm, better not.
This morning I would’ve enjoyed talking about the film, 60 Minutes, snatch grip dead-lifts, Syria, the Chevy Volt, “The Girl Who Played with Fire”, the weather, or just about anything. Anything, that is, except f@cking college football, especially the FSU/NCSU game. I couldn’t conceivably care less. Alas, that was the only topic of conversation at CFZ this morning.
Thus, I removed myself from my fellow CFZers and warmed up on my own. Call me anti-social. I really don’t care.
I wore Lululemon shorts (of course!), a sleeveless CrossFit Coastal shirt, and a UNC Lacrosse hoodie. Yes, the hood was up. Yes, the strings were drawn taut. Yes, I avoided eye contact, let alone conversation, with everyone. Yes, this even included Michael Kelley. To his credit, he’s gotten quite adept at knowing when to leave me alone. He asked, “How are you?” I merely looked at him and he said, “Oh.”
While warming up I had two thoughts, one more intense than the other. The first thought involved the possibility of running a marathon. This is probably due to the fact that so many friends are running a Fall marathon and that the Chicago marathon was just yesterday. While intense, the thought – and longing – quickly subsided. While doing a sun salutation, I had a rather intense desire to begin practicing yoga again. This emotion has not yet subsided, so I will look at options. Something might have to go, though, like doing doubles two or three times a week or coaching at CrossFit Zeal on Saturdays. As CFZ now has more than enough coaches and because it’s all about me, not coaching on Saturdays is probably a good idea.
As my thoughts aren’t chronological, today’s blog isn’t as well.
I coached at CFD yesterday, and very much enjoyed doing so. I’ve become much, much more comfortable and therefore more confident coaching Olympic lifts, and this includes the dreaded snatch. While I arrived early yesterday, I didn’t work out and instead spent much time stretching and working on mobility. And it was good.
Back to today. Michael Kelley led us through a good warm up, included a 3-minute snatch practice of power snatch/heaving snatch balance/overhead squat. I used a 45# bar and rested briefly about 3 or 4 times during the practice. I’m truly benefiting from this, and can already see improvements. During the early part of the warm up, Michael Kelley tempted fate. He glanced my way and said, “Gun show.” This was, of course, in reference to my exposed biceps. I chose to ignore him. He wisely chose to make few additional comments.
As a right-brained person, I experience wild mood swings. It’s a roller-coaster ride!
Maximum Effort Lower
Snatch Grip Deadlift
I stayed as far away from everyone as I could for fear that if anyone asked “What’s wrong?” I would punch them in the throat. Fortunately, no one did. However, given that I avoided eye contact with just about everyone (except Debbie and Michael Kelley) I didn’t give anyone the opportunity to engage in witty banter.
After warming up, I lifted singles @ 205, 225, and 235#. I attempted 245# and couldn’t get the bar off of the ground. As we were running out of time, I called it a day. Michael Kelley observed the lift at 225 and said that my form was very good. He said, “Your spine has become surprisingly flexible.” Uhm, I’m not sure what that means, but I’ll take it as a compliment. I recorded the lift at 235# and after reviewing noticed that my hips rose just a second too soon. Michael Kelley agreed, as when I had him view the recording and asked if my hips came up to soon he replied, “A hair.” A successful lift nonetheless? Yes.
I wasn’t really sure how heavy this dead-lift should be in relation to 1RM for dead-lift, sumo dead-lift, hook grip dead-lift, etc., and didn’t bother to ask. For example, 235# is 100# less than and a mere 70% of 1RM dead-lift. I kept thinking, “Is that good? Bad? Average? Slightly less than average? Slightly above average? Stupendous? Horrendous?” I sexted Michael Kelley this afternoon to ask, and he let me know that it was a commendable weight for me to lift. By the way, his 1RM is 235#. We’re twinsies! (← His words, not mine.)
I did focus on form, ensuring that I used a hook grip snatch grip, lowered my hips below my knees, looked gayly forward, and lifted legs and not back and/or arms.
1 Clean + 1 Front Squat, every 30 seconds for 7 minutes, 70% of Front Squat
I’ve done too many cleans in the very recent past, including the 70+ just this past Saturday. In all honesty, I was surprised that the Head Coach would even program cleans two days after “Grace”. As he’s the Head Coach, I’ll trust his judgment.
After warming up, I settled on 125#, 60% of current front squat 1RM of 205#, 78% of squat clean 1RM, and 86% of bodyweight.
My goal was, of course, to complete all 14 reps, and to make cleans and front squats both explosive and fast.
I was exceedingly pleased with my performance today, and am finally both comfortable and confident with full squat cleans. So much so that I don’t even have to remind myself to squat deeply, as I now habitually do so.
Michael Kelley observed a rep at about the 3-minute mark and said, “That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen you drop under the bar. It was so fast that the bar ended up being higher than your hands and shoulders and it had to drop down to you.” I’d much rather drop too quickly than not quickly enough.
I missed one clean and fell on my ass, and I know the reason why. A certain someone was positioned within my line of sight and missed quite a few cleans from the start. Just as I thought, “I hope that doesn’t happen to me” I lost focus and didn’t drop under the bar quickly enough. I did, however, successfully complete a clean and front squat with time to spare. I take full responsibility for my own inadequacies.
I wanted this to continue another seven or more minutes. I truly did.
I had a breakthrough today, and it occurred spontaneously and with no conscious attempt on my part to do so. I cleaned each rep using a hook grip. After rising from the full squat, I quickly bounced the bar ever so slightly off of my shoulders and changed to 2-finger front squat grip. Huh? How the hell did that happen? I’ve tried quite unsuccessfully to do that in the past, but, until today, have never been able to do a single time – even with far less weight. The most surprising thing was that I made no conscious effort to do so, and didn’t even realize I had been doing so until completing five or so reps. I smiled. As everyone was avoiding looking in my direction, no one noticed.
7 KB Swings
7 Burpee Tuck Jumps
This was the ideal metcon for my mood, as I wanted something fast and furious. My goals were to complete all rounds unbroken, an easily achievable goal, and to begin each round of KB swings with a swing between my legs and then up, i.e., no extra swing up to the hips at the beginning. I achieved both goals, and completed 6 rounds + 7 V-ups, 7 KB swings, & 1 burpee tuck jump. While not particularly challenging, I nonetheless enjoyed this metcon.
Four or so minutes into the metcon Michael Kelley said, “It looks like you went out too fast.” I thought he was talking to me, and, as I wasn’t slowing down in the least bit, I was taken aback that he made this comment. I replied, “I didn’t start out too fast.” He said, “I wasn’t talking about you.” Boy, talking about being hypersensitive. Yes, I’m referring to me and not Michael Kelley for a change.
I finished the day with 4 x 25 face pull-aparts using a green band, and left in a somewhat better mood.