What the Sea Gave Us

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hip Prep AND Shoulder Prep

Take 20 minutes to work on this complex:  1 Power Clean + 2 Split Jerks

Notes:  Go as heavy as possible with this complex and then scale back down for the workout.

1 minute AMRAP of Jerks @ 185/120#

-then (no break)-

100 Burpees for time.
*Perform 2 Power Cleans EMOM beginning after the first minute @ 185/120#.
*There is a 10 minute time cap for the burpees

-then (no break)-

1 minute AMRAP of Jerks @ 185/120#

Notes:  Score is total number of Jerks and total time for Burpees.  Substitute Push Press for the Jerks if needed.

Cool down:
German Hang, as long as you want!
Straddle stretch, as long as you want, but hit the middle, left, and right sides with equal zeal.

Who is this?!

For any of you that went outside this morning (it should be ALL of you), I and my friends couldn’t help but notice a crackle and electricity in the air.  It was overcast as hell, but the air was ‘hot’ and the briny, salty tang of the sea pervaded every long, deep breath I took.  My point is, I wanted to DO something.  Something outside.  Each breath I took made me edgier, lighter, more ready.

Which brings me to what Jess and I did this past Sunday morning.  She had invited me to go for an ocean swim and we went to Venice Pier, where the waves at first glance were absolutely treacherous and violent, more so than what we’ve seen in a while.  We both knew it looked more dangerous than usual, but didn’t really find out how much until later.  I told her, Let’s just swim past them and go for it.  It’s not bad past the waves.  She agreed, we DROM’ed, and went for it. 

Swimming past them wasn’t bad, and the swim itself wasn’t bad either.  We went our designated distance, then swam back in again.  You know that point on the beach where it’s not shallow enough to touch the surf with your feet, but not deep enough to be past the waves?  Yeah . . .   We looked back and there it was, coming right for us.  This big, inhuman, uncaring, dark, monstrous harbinger.  My first instinct was to swim towards it and dive under, which I did, but the whole time I knew I would be too late.  I dove under and waited for it to pass over me, praying I’d be wrong about how it would turn out.  I wasn’t.  It took me violently, indifferently, and I was tossed around under the sea like a doll, staying relaxed, waiting for it to be over so I could breach the surface.  My right butt cheek hit the surf something fierce and I thought, That’s going to hurt later.  

I breached and tried to swim in but felt the pull of another wave.  I looked back and knew it would be the same thing.  I couldn’t swim to shore because the pull was too strong, if I tried to dive under I would get tossed again, and if I stayed put I would get tossed too.  Fuck it.  I swam into the wave and dove under . . .  Right to where it crashed.  I waited underwater and it tossed me again, staying under longer, no surf to be found.  Up became down, left became right, night was day, light was dark.  Running out of breath, I could feel my body starting to panic and I argued the point.  I forced myself to relax and silently thanked the multiple near death/crazy training experiences that defined most of my adolescent, teenage, and twenty-something years.  

I breached again and saw Jess at least 10 meters ahead of me (or was it 20?), and was relieved she was going to make it.  I looked back and goddammit I was getting pulled in again.  Wave three was the same story as waves one and two.  I dove in, it tossed me, I relaxed, I surfaced.  But when I came up, nothing was the same at all.  I was standing on the surf, thank god, but I was breathing heavy as hell, I couldn’t move.   I was frozen, emotionally spent (yeah, I said that.)  Honestly, it felt like I had just done ‘Fran’, like I was just in a fight for my life and barely made it.  There was another wave coming, I didn’t look back and didn’t care.  I let it take me in, in it’s own way.  The beach was so close, but so far at the same time.  Just take me in, I told it.  Just take me in or just take me.  I don’t care.  I don’t care.  Jess, where are you?  A fifth one hit me, I couldn’t feel the ground again after wave four, but the fifth one rushed me in and I walked/limped to onto the beach.  I saw Jess crawling, literally, onto the surf, then collapse onto her back.  It was one of the most reassuring, soothing feelings I’ve ever had, watching her crawl onto the beach. 

I waddled my lame ass over to her and said, gazing to the sea again, Jess I don’t know if I can go back in there.  She said something like, ‘F@ck no.  No way am I going back in there.’  She asked me if I heard her scream for me in between waves, but you’ll hear about that soon.

I love the Sea.  I’ve always loved it.  Before I was born, before I ever moved to the Westside, I’ve always loved it.  When I moved here, I promised her I would visit as often as I could.  It’s one of the reasons I fell in Love with our gym the first time Diso and I laid eyes on it.  The space and landlord and logistics were serendipitous, but for fuck’s sake it has a huge, roll up door that faces the Ocean!  I often go outside and just stand there and wish I could see her from here.  I gazed upon her after this ordeal, the closest, riskiest, bullshit fucking craziest thing I’ve attempted in god knows how long, and still loved her.  It never occurred to me that I might actually die.  Only at points, Man I hope I come out of this.  I hope I breach soon.  I accepted then, quite happily that to love something or someone, is a fight, a battle.  It’s work and risk and rising and falling, a roller coaster you can only ride out in it’s entirety, and you don’t always get to chose what’s what.  It chooses you.  I’m sure Jess had revelations of a similar nature, but I’ll let her tell that tale.  Take it away Jess!


Face me!

 ” . . . I literally have never experienced this type of feeling of fear, panic, and desperation due to my life being threatened by nature! The ocean is a beast and I will never doubt her again! Zeb and I made the decision to head in from the swim, shortly after that decision this massive wave decides to pummel our asses. I remember attempting to head for the shore and glancing back with no time to react. The wave just sucked me in and took me over. Tossing and turning knowing I would come up, just a matter of when. It always feels like eternity when you are under water without air having no control of your body or the situation. I just remember thinking I am going to run out of air,  I was desperately scraping with my hands to attempt to find the surface. This overwhelming panic didn’t help with my breathe but it took over anyway! I finally surfaced taking a huge breath of air to only be hit again by the second wave. Taking me under again, not as long, but long enough to provide absolute panic! It even sucked my goggles right off which at that point I didn’t give a shit that the ocean just ate my goggles! All I wanted was her to spit me out so I could breathe, just to be able to simply breathe. The wave allowed me to come up for air having a little more time between waves. When I was under I could feel the sandy bottom so I was hoping when I surfaced I could touch but of course I couldn’t. I could see Zeb further out than me, facing another wave knowing that it was coming for me next. Out of desperation I yell to him “Zeb I can’t make it” when I should of been concentrating on breathing! But I felt that he needed to know that I may pass the f@ck out, so if he makes it to shore somebody is going to have to find my knocked out ass! Soooo this last wave hits me taking me under one last time! Literally I was praying underwater that I surface in time to breathe again….. which I do. I am able to touch the bottom, holy shit! I start running like a cheetah is behind chasing me, utter panic! I wouldn’t be surprised if I was yelling and running at the same time. Once I hit the edge of the water I fell to the ground dramatically and crawled to safety! Keeling over sprawled out on the sand mentally and physically exhausted! 

Zebedee  finally approaches me bent over with his hands on his knees breathing so forcefully but somehow finds the capacity to tell me that he isn’t sure if he can go back out again! I immediately respond “f@ck that Zeb! I barely got out” After recovering from this definite life and death experience, we start walking back. Talking about our individual experience that we just encountered with this beast! You are not going to believe this but in rolls my goggles with a wave landing directly at Zeb’s feet. With such a surprised and curious voice Zeb asks “are those your googles” while swooping them up with his hand…

I took that gesture as an apology from the ocean letting me know that it was just another lesson to be learned. This summer I have spent a lot of time getting to know the ocean better, becoming more comfortable doing activities such as surfing, ocean swims, kayaking, paddle boarding, and just simply playing in it almost every time I go to the beach. Previous summers it was rare for me to go in the ocean, I was scared for one reason or another. Even with this experience I will still choose to become better acquainted with her! This experience is similar to the start of my 2012, I know now that no matter how many times you get knocked down grasping for air that you will eventually come up. Patience is key. Life is beautiful and amazing but messy at times, learning to embrace it all. The ability to feel love and pain equals life and growth… “

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