Thursday, September 22, 2011

“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.” ~ William E. Channing

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 64:

Hello. I'm Aja's raging back muscles. LOL. Let me just begin by saying that I feel pretty good about yesterday's workout, as I currently hurt like hell in places I haven't been. I'm guessing that means I found a new way to work some muscles. Allow me to describe this to you. Technically, when you do t-swings (or kettlebell swings) you are supposed to work your "posterior chain" (Technical Speak: The posterior chain is the group of muscles that runs from your lower back down behind your legs... These muscles include the lower back, the glutes, the hamstrings, and also the calves.), as well as your core muscles, and to a lesser extent, your chest/arms.
In real person, "I haven't been doing kettlebell swings" Land, what this means is that the next day, EVERYTHING hurts. Especially your lower-mid back and hips. This may not have happened if I had eased into these more, perhaps... but I have real trouble with doing things half-way, or 'easing' into anything. Thus, I went full out yesterday, and today I'm feeling it. In my biceps. Abs. Back. Legs. Yeah. Maybe we should just leave it as "I'm feeling it" today. haha.
I did anticipate this a bit yesterday, and took an ice bath and a bunch of ibuprofen... buuuuut. Ah well. Only downside, I had to sit all day in an office chair, trying to find a comfortable position for a real stiff/sore lower back (this is a next to impossible feat).

On to today's WOD. WELL, Something new... Headed back to Green Mountain Crossfit at The Confluence, for the first of my intro sessions (have to do the intro sessions, before you can do the classes!). Wasn't so sure how that was going to go with the stiff lower back, but I figured a bit of low-key movement might be a good plan.
It was a real mixed class. 8 ladies, of mixed age, ability and coordination. I must say though, our trainer of the day, Shannon (Incidentally, a Dude, who compared Inov8's with me) made it really accessible for everyone. I really like that about this particular gym, no matter who you are, what you look like, what you can do, they encourage you (in a very genuine way) toward your personal best.... instead of some giant meat head looking down at you over his overly inflated pecs.
The class (being an intro to Crossfit), began with a warmup on the SkiErg ski machine (that I LOVE), then was 50 minutes of how-to's on many of the basic moves, and practice of the techniques. It is really helpful to have eyes on you during these things - sometimes it feels like you've got it right, but having a mirror, a video, or qualified eyes on you tells you otherwise!! Anyway, some of the things we learned, re-learned and practiced:
front squats, back squats, press ups, push jerk, split jerk, box jumps (16”), butterfly sit ups.
Things I learned:

  • I HATE my tight hamstrings. While I am a strong squatter, it is a constant challenge for me. Shannon tells me he sympathizes and I must just keep stretching to get them there.
  • I apparently do not realize how not-straight my arms are when putting weight up over my head. My head does not seem to understand how to lock my elbows. LOL. Brain, could we get it together, please??
  • The weird little wedge-sort of back pad things they have to allow a greater range of motion while doing butterfly sit ups feels *awesome* on a really sore lower back. I'm not even joking about that. I was like Ahhhhh, yeaaah. 
  • AND, I can NOT preform a split jerk without thinking (to myself, luckily...) "SUPASTAR!!!!!"... Which, let me tell you, really decreases your ability to maintain good form and support weight, when you're giggling on the inside. 
After learning time, we moved into the actual WOD. A short one, just to finish out the class, get us used to the format and finish out on a good sweat. Looked like this:
  • 1min Ski (for time)
  • 1min Push jerks
  • 1min REST
  • 1min Butterfly Sit-ups
  • 1min 16" box jumps
  • 1min REST
  • 1min 14# Wall Balls
  • 1min Jump Pullups (oooo, I can feel a real Pull up coming on!)
Biggest challenge? Freakin' box jumps. Seems simple. Jump on Box, get off box, jump back on box. Repeat. Yeah. I do not find this simple. Why? Because Jumping of any sort is plyometric and is, put simply, exhausting. Two, because I find two-footed jumping a mental challenge. LOL. Why? NO idea. But I am naturally inclined to jump leading with one foot. That is not the idea here. However, I would like to observe that I was actually able to successfully two-footed jump this ENTIRE day (despite my fear of it.), which is a HUGE improvement over the last time I attempted these things (about 6 mos. ago). Woot!

And... then I came home, drank some *more* water (god, I'm sick of water.), and swallowed a bunch more Ibuprofen. 

Tomorrow, however, is my first buddy-run! Meaning, someone has actually volunteered to run with me!! I warned her... I am a slow, sweaty mess. And I mean SLOW, sweaty mess, who probably can't hold a conversation and run (although I've never tried?)... So, she has been forewarned, and STILL wanted to go. SO. Okay. I'm thinking that running with a buddy (who is a regular runner) will push me a little bit to keep moving, and take my mind off the potential difficulty of it. Also, we're going to run somewhere I've never run before... so a change of scenery! Yay! I'm psyched. 

And so, Another Day closer to Rest Day Saturday... Ahhhhh.... 

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