the spaz of fitness has arrived

Burpee On, My Friends…

In General, Training, WOD on April 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I owe today’s dose of aw(ful)esome to the Burpee Warrior. For those State Collegians reading this blog, there’s a madman in town who’s doing a Burpee Mile to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. I’m rather disappointed that I’ll be out of country when he completes this feat of insanity (mostly because I wanted to be his uncoordinated, burpee sidekick), but it’s a beastly gesture for an admirable cause. For those of you who will be in town this summer, I know he’s looking for people to cheer him on/burpee any part of (or the whole) mile with him, and/or make fun of him for his general ridiculousness in thinking up this project. Some money would be nice too. I believe his donation page is here.

Now onto today’s lesson: if you wish long enough and hard enough the CrossFit Fairy may make your wishes come true. I didn’t do any real strength training today, but I did get to enjoy this doozy:

(WOD credits go entirely to the Burpee Warrior)

Burpee/Prowler Partner WOD:

Partner 1 stands at one end of 25 yards, partner two stands at the other.

Partner 1 pushes prowler 25 yards, burpees back to starting point while Partner 2 holds plank.

Partner 2 pushes prowler 25 yards, burpees back, etc.

Repeat for 15 minutes.

Burpees. Partner WOD. Prowler pushing.

Alas that there’s a bit lot of a strength difference between me and the Burpee Warrior, so I pushed the prowler with two 45 lb plates, and we added another set of 25lb plates for his rounds. It actually worked as a part of the workout. While he burpeed back, I unloaded the plates, and while I burpeed the 25 meters, he added the plates back on.

Wow… that may be the most times I’ve ever used the word “burpee.” Ever.

Anyway, after today’s burpeefest, I started thinking about the “general physical preparedness” aspect of CrossFit. I am one of those people who has CrossFit to thank for a general improvement in my physical well-being. Unfortunately, between grad school stresses and my own life OCD, I’ve not really taken advantage of that very well. Something I’ve only come to appreciate in the past few months– how much more energy I have, and how much I want to spend time exploring my surroundings. As a kid, I hated going outside and resented any additional amount of walking, running, or physical exertion. With my asthma problems, I had to sit out a lot of the times when my friends at camp played soccer or even just tag. I saw physical activity as unpleasant, exclusive, and unapproachable. Often it resulted in me feeling weak, lonely, and inadequate on a bench somewhere watching my peers engage in activities I could not.

But I’ve come a long way from bench-bound asthma-ridden Jo, and I want to celebrate that more. These days I find myself craving a more active lifestyle (a desire often frustrated by my classroom and cubicle-bound job). For example, during my trip to Chicago, I wanted to spend my time walking the city, jogging through the parks, etc. Whereas before, vacations for me indicated ample amounts of hotel and tv time, I’ve redefined “relaxation” to a leisurely, but active engagement with my surroundings (with appropriate amounts of sloth and gluttony as well 😉 ). As part of my CrossFit weirdness, I’ve also decided that, when I can afford it, I want to buy a set of gymnastics rings so I can hang them off tree limbs and sign posts and WOD in all sorts of odd locations. But anyway, I think my point is that I’ve let my preoccupations with life and training get in the way of actually enjoying life and training sometimes. This summer, since most of my work will be independent study and I’ll have to spend less time inside classrooms, I hope to take that as an opportunity to experiment with other interests. I hear there’s good hiking in these parts. I also want to try a 5k for the first time in my life and hopefully conquer my aversion to running.

Anyway, I think I’m reminding myself that the real point of fitness is to be able to enjoy life outside the gym– to be able to join a game of beach volleyball, to go jogging with a friend, to shove a prowler around a back alley with a burpee buddy– or even to be able to burpee a mile in tribute to a favorite charity/cause. That thought helps me put some things in perspective. So what if you didn’t hit a new one rep max today? So what if you failed to beat your old Fran time? Make note of it, adjust your training. But if you’re at the gym to improve your life outside the gym, there’s no use dwelling on it and letting it bleed into other aspects of your life. Just keep calm and burpee on 🙂

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