>Dateline: 18 June 1100 hours. Grid 3372 E6. PW Athletic Club, West Chester, PA.
Mike and I arrive on the scene full of strength and confidence and undeterred by the 90 degree heat. Whether the gym was air conditioned or not, we were on our way to become better men.
When I registered I did not realize that I was the first one, on the first day. Qualifying is this whole week. And the roster for Thursday and Friday looked stacked. I felt stacked as I strapped on the iPod and loaded up Dropkick Murphy’s. Whitey explained the rules and I set out to put this bitch to bed in under 30 minutes. 6 exercises, 300 reps = 25 Pull Ups, 50 dead lifts with 135 pounds, 50 push ups (chest to floor), 50 box jumps at 22″, 50 clean and presses each arm with a 35lb dumbbell, and then another 25 pull ups. As the young lad from the gym explained the rules to me I realized that I would not be able to adjust my form to meet the “recommendations” of he and the rest of the staff. For example: On the pull ups you did not have to go to full arm extension on the eccentric portion, nor did you have to really get below 90 degrees at the elbow. The deadlifts did not have to include full hip extension to the point where it could be SEEN, Box jumps and push ups were strict, but when it came to the C&P, they did not really specify what WAS cheating, other than snatching the bell all the way to the top. I train for excellence in execution. Not this high rep get ‘er done shite. But hey, we’ll see right?
Here is how it went down.
10 Pull Ups, rest :20 Sec.
5 Pull Ups, rest :10 sec.
2 more sets of 5 with less than :30 rest between.
Deadlift 135 lbs., please. I hammered these out in one set. I swing bells. This was no problem. I grinned as 30, 40, 50 reps flew by.
Push Ups 5 sets of 10, got real tough at the end. I mean real tough. Know why? Cause I do all of them PERFECT. They were slow and controlled with no bounce of the chest off the floor and elbows fairly close to the body. Stood up and looked to the Colors for motivation.
Box Jumps. Roughly 7 sets to complete all 50. I think it went 10-5-10-5-5-5-5-5. Short rests between. These came at a point where a lack of wind (Yes, I lacked wind, and that really grinded my gears mate) was the signal for me to start calling upon mental energy. If I was trying to break 20 minutes I would say that my pacing sucked and I was a whiny cream-puff. But I went for 30 minutes, and In retrospect my pacing was excellent. So the images of men in Iraq, Mexican families coming over the border to escape the misfortune of living in Mexico, starving children, Irish potato famine, my Dad’s battles with life, and the belly under my shirt that shook in a fashion WAY to similar to a bowl full of Jelly ran through my head to keep me from succumbing to the growing desire to slow myself down and catch some O2. Forget That.
Clean and Pressing a dumbbell is lame. Maybe I say that cause it was hard. Anyway, the rest time I required between sets of 5 on each arm was way too long. I’m sure on the final 4-5 sets I rested close to a minute, and if that is true, then I can break 30 if I want to. Monday, I did not want to.
I actually thought for more than a half of a second that I may not finish this workout. As I cleaned and pressed I looked over at the pull up bar and allowed the burning sensation in my body to convince me that another 25 pull ups was not possible. Then I channeled the ghost of John Henry.
sets of 5-4-3-2, and 1 pull up got me through the final 25. I walked it out for 10 feet and then dropped. Hip flexors smoked and lungs searing like tuna tataki, I looked into the camera and said something lame. Mike went next and crushed my time by at least 7 minutes.
The comp was supposed to go like this: 18-22 June, qualifying rounds for men and women. Best 6 times from each group return on July 14Th to compete in the final. Winner takes 300 bucks. What the gym owner Brian decided to do was not disclose any times, and have ALL the competitors back on 14 July. Announce the best 6 men and women, and then run it from there.
He and the guy who timed my run mentioned that I was welcome back to run again and try to improve my time if I wanted through Friday. I laughed. I have a date with some RKC training this weekend, and would like to have my legs for that excursion, thank you. Both guys said that my form was way to good to break 20 minutes. Controlled cheating and shorter range of motion would have suited me better. I said hey thanks cat, but that’s not how Big Will trains.
I hobbled out the door, sporting a sweet PW Athletic Club T-Shirt, and some bruised body parts. Went to 7 Eleven and injected a powerade into my arm. Tuesday I sat for the best massage I’ve ever had, and today, I sit with hip flexors and hammies tighter than piano wire. I can barely stand without screaming out in agony, and have already thanked myself for setting up such an easy day. Only three sessions today, and one class tonight. It’s rainy and cool here. Today I am going to enjoy my injuries, watch a bootlegged copy of 300 on DVD, and listen to The Cure live in Paris while I cruise the web and absorb more data.
This morning, I poured a giant bowl of icy water over my head while I was in an icy cold shower. I howled out and morphed into a hunter from a day where there were no showers, no bowls, no DVDs. I sprang from the bathroom naked as the day I was born, uttered another guttural roar, and then sat down with a cup of coffee cause my hips hurt so bad. OOH RAH.
See you in the funny pages.