The Box nearly killed me on Monday and I actually had my first CrossFit nightmare as a result.
In my dream, I couldn't pull up a bar sans weight and everyone was watching me while eating Sour Patch Kids. At one point, someone told me I could have some water, but only if I ate a handful of yellow and green ones.
I woke up exhausted (with a busted-up right hand to boot) and my body felt like I'd just been thrown into a room full of angry Kung Fu experts.
CrossFit Week 7
If you didn't see me at CrossFit Liberation this week it was because I was crawling to the finish line every day after work. As a machine, my body has been running pretty non-stop for a while, and it was Monday's WOD that temporarily destroyed me.
The following workout took me 49 minutes and I was the last of the participants to finish:
Five rounds of:
- 10 Deadlifts (225 pounds)
- 15 Rucksack Squats (80 pounds)
- 20 Pull-Ups
Halfway through the third round, as I wriggled like a dying fish on the pull-up bar, I ripped off the skin just below the ring finger of my right hand. I walked over to CrossFit Liberation owner Atom Ziniewicz for a bandage.
"Power through it," Atom said, and pointed toward the ceiling. "Pretend someone just stole your camera — way up there."
I turned to the bar, chalked up my hands and dived back in.
Endurance seems to be my main issue these days. I feel completely spent after two or three rounds of most workouts, and although protein drinks and a good diet are positive steps, I think that getting some sleep is the real ticket. In other words, if I treat my body well it will be more prepared to absorb these physical onslaughts.
It takes time to make yourself into a success story. It also takes determination, and, if you're talking about CrossFit, you've got to believe in yourself and have people believe in you.
"C'mon, James!" I'll hear. "Almost there, man. Do them in sets!"
My face will be pointed down, I'll be mouth-breathing and sweat will drip from my chin and nose. I'll be in the depths of self doubt and have to focus my mind on a point of rage, on something that will make me want to destroy the bar, the weight, the challenge.
"You can do it, James! Get back on it!"
You're right. I can do it, and I'm going to beat this WOD - even if I'm the last one doing it. Thanks guys!
CrossFit Success Stories
Asthmatic On The Run
Tina Combs of Woodbridge has been a lifelong asthmatic, who, because of CrossFit, now runs three miles a day without inhalers. She joined CrossFit Liberation in February, 2011.
"I'm an ER nurse at Georgetown University Hospital, and we're exposed to so much," Tina said. "Now my immune system is like a tank."
Tina, 43, cut out junk food, processed food and drinks less soda. "I enjoy this. I enjoy the people," she said. "I noticed changes right away. I can do more at work, I'm not as tired or fatigued. I breathe so much better, and the fact that I run without inhalers is amazing. Oh, yeah, and my husband likes the difference."
Eating Like Popeye
CrossFit Liberation trainer Scott "Panda" Horton is addicted to spinach. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't eat spinach," he said. "My diet has completely changed. No pasta, no rice, no pizza, no dairy, chips or processed foods."
Before joining CrossFit Liberation, Scott, 46, who lives in Falls Church with his partner Tat Newsome, was overweight and suffered from sleep apnea and high cholesterol. "I used to drink at least four 32-ounce bottles of Diet Coke a day, sometimes more," he said. "I knocked all that off and I eat one-to-two salads a day. I love going out to restaurants with my friends and saying 'I'll have the salad with Balsamic vinaigrette.' It's what I want now. I don't want something so heavy before I get to bed."
"I've gone from 335 pounds to 250, with a goal of 220," he said. "I eat burgers and I'll use a portabello mushroom as the bun."
A Ticking Time Bomb
A year ago, Lorton's Brad Walker weighed 275 pounds. The 34-year-old was admittedly on the fast-track to health problems, just like his father who suffered from a heart attack at the age of 37. Brad joined CrossFit Liberation and now weighs 220 pounds and can keep up with his two children.
"I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol," Brad said. "When I started, coach used to stick someone with me on the runs to make sure I could come back… I was a six-Mountain Dew-a-day guy, and I'd have a soda 20 minutes before bed to calm me down."
Brad, who manages the Hilltop Golf Course, used to religiously monitor his weight on a scale. "I'd do it every day, but after a while I felt the change in myself and the scale didn't matter as much," he said. "I could run and I could chase my kids. You know, I make them do burpees as punishment. They actually think it's fun, but after a dozen the point has been made."
You can catch Brad four days a week at the 6:00 a.m. WOD. "I don't enjoy getting up that early, and my wife and kids had growing pains along the way, but now that it's developed into a lifestyle change she can see the results and she hardly flinches when I roll out of bed in the morning."
Next Week: I take the "CrossFit Performance Nutrition Challenge"