the spaz of fitness has arrived

Summer Begins

In WOD, Writing on May 1, 2012 at 11:24 am

With my grades almost all finished, and Pennsylvania weather rising above the 50’s, I’m starting to finally feel like it’s summer. Unfortunately, with summer comes the CrossFit gym’s reduced summer hours. Part of the strange social phenomenon of State College is that this entire city evolves according to the academic calendar. In truth, my favorite season here is summer. The town moves at a slower, more relaxed pace. All the shops and bars are significantly less crowded… there’s no State Patty’s Day.* However, I’m a little bummed that– very understandably– the box has to reduce its hours in order to account for the diminished population. Mostly I’m bummed because I’m a morning person and few other individuals are so the hours being cut are, obviously, the morning hours. There’s still an 8:00am class, but the gym closes promptly at 9:00 and doesn’t reopen until noon. I’d like to continue going in at 8:00, but I don’t want to rush my lifts to be able to clear out in time, and I don’t like disrupting classes if I’m not participating in the WOD– though it doesn’t seem like the 8:00 class will be all too crowded.

Anyway, I might be rearranging my schedule a bit to work with the new summer hours. I considered moving my squats and press to Wednesday morning because Thursday is open gym day and there are no morning hours, but right now the schedule allows me to squat and press after my rest day, which seems advantageous. I’m just OCD terrible at adjusting my schedule. Most of my meetings occur later in the day and–worse yet, I need a large block of time to settle into the right mindset to work on my writing and the easiest part of my day to do it in is the afternoon/evening. Usually if I shift my gym time to the afternoon, I end up wasting the morning and then not getting enough done with my day. When Aimee Bender (one of my favorite writers) visited last year, she talked about how all writers have their own weird rituals and quirks to get into the appropriate headspace to work. Unfortunately, that’s probably true. I think probably all people are secretly very strange creatures with odd habits who think hope that they’ve fooled the world into believing they’re normal. But writers are perhaps even more of an extreme. We have favorite pens and pencils, brands of notebooks, chairs, mugs, and other security items without which we “just can’t write.” I know a guy who has to pace his room a certain number of times in concentric circles to get in the right state of mind. My college roommate remarked frequently on the odd way I stare into space when I’m searching for the right word or phrasing (apparently I have a very specific facial expression for it– I don’t know, I’ve never seen it).

Anyway, in the name of “constant variation,” I suppose I’ll have to learn to adapt. This morning, I went in at 8:00am for a very quick workout. The gym’s programming was Jackie, which I hatelove … have conflicted feelings about. In my opinion, Jackie’s one of the better-designed workouts in that you can clearly understand the philosophy behind it. It’s made to break you down, feel like hell, and encourage you to push as hard as you possibly can for a short period of time. It starts with 1,000m row, which is longer than a sprint but short enough that you don’t really “pace” through it. Then it goes into 50 bar thrusters, which is light enough that the weight won’t slow you down, but just heavy enough that it starts to hurt five or ten reps in. Your legs, already burning from the row, are hardly willing to squat your own bodyweight, let alone the 45 or 30lb bar. Then, by the time you reach the 30 pull ups, your grip has deteriorated to the point that your hands are shaking, your shoulders are aflame, and you’re struggling just to hang onto the bar. But the entire workout ends in less than ten minutes, so (ideally) you fight through.

But after a couple of heavier workouts, I wasn’t in the right state for Jackie this morning. Besides, I want my torn hands to heal before I do any bar work. So, instead, I did a 15 minute, cardio-based AMRAP. One I’ve done before and one I think I’ll visit regularly during this strength program: 100m sprint, 125m row, 20 double unders.

Now to take care of some end-of-semester bits and pieces. Then… the summer studies begin!

Also, happy birthday to the Burpee Warrior. May your day be full of hijinks and badassery.

*I’m stunned, though I shouldn’t be, that this even merited its own Wikipedia page.

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