It Matters.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

2 minutes jump rope/double under practice
60 seconds Posterior Chain Floss, each leg
60 seconds Super Rack, each arm 
2 minutes jump rope/double under practice

Barbell Gymnastics:

Perform 1 High Hang Clean + 1 Front Squat + 1 Push Jerk, every 40 seconds for 6 minutes (10 reps total)

Notes:  Use 80% of your 1RM Clean and Jerk or a weight that you can maintain perfect form with.  Scal down in weight if you are officially participating in the OC Throwdown.  You want to be warmed up but not tired.

OC Throwdown WOD 1
10 Minute AMRAP of:
15 Ground to Shoulder (95/65)
30 Double unders

Notes:  You will have a judge if you are considering using this WOD for the OC Throwdown qualifiers!  If you are on the fence about doing the OC Throwdown, challenge yourself to go RX’d if you can, so that you can have the option to enter your score.

Cool down:
Calf Stretch, 1 minute per
Plow or Pike, 1 minute 


The Cat and the Bat.

Lara and I expected to do well, but I honestly didn’t expect to win Saturday Night Lights.  It was an honor to compete with her, we’re both in great strides with our training, and we had tested out the WODs in the gym several days before, complete with strategies.  When we finished the three WODs, I thought we had placed 1st, 2nd, and 1st. This is the story of the second and third WODs.

WOD 2:

17 Minute running clock:
Row 1K, partner holds bar in rack position (135/85)
Then, 5 rounds each, relay style, partner holds support on rings without feet touching the ground

10 Kettlebell swings (2/1.5 pood)
10 Box Jumps, 24″

Then, Row 1K, partner holds bar in rack position

WOD 2 rolls immediately into WOD 3, which was:
3 minute AMRAP of Hang Power Snatches, 135/85

When we tested it at the gym, we agreed that I would do the entire first row because 1) we would have zero transition time, and 2) to save Lara for the hang power snatches.  On my best day, I couldn’t do more HPS’s with 135 than Lara could on her worst day with 85 lbs.  Plus, she wanted to test herself and see if she could sustain the rack position for as long as it took me to row 1K.  Long story short, we did not complete the 17 minute cutoff.  She hopped on the rower for the second 1K and I was able to hold the rack position for a whopping 10 seconds before dropping it.  We switched and got to 196 meters by 17 minutes.   Rolling into the Hang Power Snatches immediately afterwards, I was thoroughly useless, performing literally one to three reps for every 6 to 8 of hers.  So we decided that on Game Night, we would only do the last row if it mattered, and if it did I would have to do all the rowing.  Meaning, if we finished well ahead (or well behind) everyone, and the margins were wide, we would actually rest the remainder of the time, so we both could be fresh for the Hang Power Snatches.

Fast forward to Game Night:  Our plan worked beautifully at first.  Lara asked me to row faster because the rack position was hard after about 600 meters in.  And we’ve both been to enough competitions to know, in the moment, with the adrenaline, and the crowd, it’s hard to not go balls out even when you’re trying not to.  When we tested it at the gym, I purposefully went slower.  This time, I went into it knowing and accepting I would have to basically set a 1K PR from the get go, and possibly do the remaining row at the end, and I would have to dive into and stay in suck town for the entire freaking 17 minutes, saving her for the last 3 minutes.  So at GO I rowed my heart out.  I rowed and rowed with long strokes and deep breaths and solid technique.  I remembered something Alexi told me earlier, which was that my technique was good, and that I just had to accept the suck.  That rowing is just a pain test.  I accepted that as The Truth, and allowed the pain to eat me alive as I rowed.  I knew it was the fastest I had ever rowed a 1K, and I wish it was set to record my time but it wasn’t and I didn’t give a shit.  Our plan was working, I could see Lara struggling with the weight but not as badly as at the gym.  My blood was acidic, my lungs burning, and my ugly-as-sin rowing face was on blast.  I was gassed, and we hadn’t even started the WOD yet, but the plan was working. 

I got off the rower and we set to work, but I was pretty worthless.  I was on auto-pilot then.  Just because I accepted and allowed the pain to swallow me whole, I didn’t want to be present for it the whole time.  We swung and jumped and supported on rings and repeated and repeated.  We were operating on complete non-verbal, grunting, nodding, Samurai communication.  Alexi and Ian made fun of us for it at the end.  Honestly, I did NOT want to row at the end.  I did not want it to matter enough that I would have to.  

Our pace was good but how the fuck could I know?  I was breathing like a steam engine, I just saw lights and people and my own sweat running off me like a waterfall.  If you’ve ever been to a comp, the energy and noise of the crowd and the music funnels into this static, gray, hazy noise in your head where nothing makes sense.  By round 4 I was So.  Dead.  By round 5, knowing the end was near, I turned on my desperation Sprint Mode and gunned it.  In my head, we were ahead and I wasn’t going to row.  I was going to rest.  That’s all I wanted.  We finished round 5 and, to my horror, Josh Gallegos, my buddy who was also competing WAS WALKING TO HIS ROWER!  The crowd, his people and ours, went ape shit crazy.  We had finished at the same time, with the same amount of time left.  Fuck.  Lara was talking or screaming at me then, because my useless ass was immobile.  I knew what she was saying, and knew what it meant, but I didn’t want to hear it.  I just want to rest.  Just a small break.  Can’t I have that?  Just one second?  ‘Zeb, you’ve got to go!  Get on the rower.’  I remember lumbering over the the goddamn rower and sitting on it and looking at Josh setting up on his.  He’s easily 20 lbs heavier than me, mostly in his shoulders and back and legs, and easily taller and bigger.  Which meant, I did not want have an EFFING ROWING RACE against this taller, bigger, stronger guy EVER, at any time, for any reason.  But I’m stuck with him, so I’m going to have to row my balls off to make it.  Lara cleaned her bar sharply to the rack position and waited.  She trusted me completely, I understood then.  Knowing how dead I was, she still trusted me.  Precious seconds were ticking away.  I rowed miserably, dutifully.  Like a robot.  Like a dead man living.  ‘Zeb, it matters!  IT MATTERS!’  For whatever reason, I heard her say that.  For all our non verbal comm, Lara said everything that needed to be said.  We already won the first event.  And the third event would go according to plan IF I COULD JUST PUT OUT RIGHT FUCKING HERE AND RIGHT FUCKING NOW, precisely when I didn’t want to and had nothing left.  I rowed harder then, with longer strokes.  With more anger and hate, I rowed.  I just needed to to do this to open the floodgates for Lara, to set her loose upon the 3rd WOD.  

I remember reading two hundred forty something when I had to get off.  I remember thinking it was not enough against Josh.  Lara did three sets of snatches while I just stood in front of her trying to stay conscious.  She was doing sets of 6 to 8 I think, while I was just bent over doing sets of zero, wanting nothing to do with the barbell.  ‘Just do one’ she said.  So I did two.  We switched back and forth like that until completion, and collapsed.  So I thought our placing in events was 1st, 2nd, and 1st because I thought there was no way I rowed more than Josh.  Ultimately it was 243 meters for us, 240 meters for them.  We won the second WOD by 3.  Freaking.  Meters.   

There was a Bruce Lee quote (I can’t find it and my book is lost, borrowed from a friend years past) that went something like, ‘The true competitor is one who gives it his best, all the time.’  I didn’t really grasp the reality of that until Saturday Night Lights.  I can’t speak for Lara, but I’ve been going all out, balls to the wall hard in training ever since Cooney’s Revenge and haven’t stopped since.  I was hoping it wouldn’t matter so i didn’t have to do the last row, but I’ve learned that it does matter.  It always matters.  When no one is looking, when you don’t feel like it, when you’re tired or feeling down or sore or tired, it matters.  And if you’re training hard enough, your body will be there when your mind wants to fail, and it will pay dividends.



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