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Sooo...there was a huge relationship ka-boom o'er at CrossFit Brooklyn where I basically decided to take a break from the place that I had adored so.   There's a huge story there and maybe one day I'll jot it down here when I feel this chapter is truly over, one way or another.

In the meantime I have been placating my "Go do stuff!" urges by working on my own as one of the things that CrossFit taught me was that I did not NEED an extensive amount of gear to get a good workout.  There's plenty I can do with just a floor.  Add a wall and there's more.  Give me something heavy to lift - say my lovely kettlebell - and there are even more things I can do.... 

One plus side about this whole thing was at the first sign that I was "available", another CrossFit company jumped on the opportunity to ask me to help train their people.  That was really cool.  Was nice to see that among peers in the industry, I am considered to be valued. 

Also I have returned to Krav Maga - the first activity I got involved with when I came to NYC.  Started my first class last night and it felt so weird.  The instructor is a little older.  One of the guys who I basically started with was now the instructor-assisting brown belt.    I peeked into the advanced classes and could pick out one or two familiar faces.  It was really like moving back into the house in Potomac for 10th grade that I originally left when I was in 1st - everything was the same yet everything was different and I kept wondering if I would be recognized or if I would recognize people.

I didn't even bother wearing my old belt.  I've never been a "belt digger" in all the schools/styles I have been involved in previously, so knowing that I did not have the knowledge on-hand to back up wearing the belt I earned in 2006, I left it at home.  In fact, I'll probably continue to do so and just test my way back up.  Makes sense that way.

Next Krav class I can make is Saturday morning - if I'm not too hung over from a CFers party on Friday.   Either way, I'm teaching a CrossFit class at noon.  I hope I'll be able to do more than "Let's see how quiet we can all be while Moon cradles his head......for time."
19th-Nov-2008 11:05 am - This town loves a comeback!
What a wild, strange trip it's been...

So here's basically the run-down of the last 6 months.
May - the gym moves.  But wait - the place where we are going to move falls through!  Panic! Panic! Panic!  The owners grab a space out in Brooklyn just do dump the stuff that was in a U-Haul truck while this gets resolved.

Towards the end of May, I go to PennLite.  Hit the field and after an hour or two, get involved in a scrum-like push that results in the most curious sensation (read - PAIN) in my leg.  I limp off the field and for many days after...

June - The new place is not going to resolve soon.  It's all about permitting and NYC policy.  Meanwhile, that space that was grabbed at the last second...well, it's not quite so bad.  In terms of space, that is.  A few (actually, nearly a dozen) brave members figured that with little cleaning up, a little "elbow grease" and we could actually make a new gym out there.  It's not pretty tho - the place is a mess, having been used as a scrap storage.  The basement is even worse - very much "lotion in the basket" territory.  It does not have power or water - and has not had these amenities for 4 years or so.   It will take 2 weeks to get water and nearly 4 to get power for lighting.  Thank goodness the days are long in summer. 

Meanwhile, when those limping days turned into a couple weeks.  I go see a sports doc.  After the MRI comes back, I get the results:
""There is an elongated, ovoid fluid signal collection coursing deep to the medial head of the gastrocnemius and superficial to the soleus
muscle, extending from the level of the proximal tibial metaphysis to the level of the junction of the muddle and distal tibial diaphysis.
This presumably represents a liquefactive hematoma or pseudocystic collection measuring 20 cm (!) in length x 5 cm in width x 1.5 cm in

So yeah, I have a hell of a gastroc tear.  This basically keeps me out of doing most workouts as either I need to actually use my leg directly (running, lifting) or indirectly (tightening, bracing, landing).   What I need is PT to make sure that this tear heals properly otherwise the doc says I will always be plagued by it.  Even worse, having a chronic problem there would hose up my kinetic chain to where my achillies tendon would have to bear a lot more stress - and should that blood-poor (= hard to heal) tendon break...I would be phucqed 4-eva! 

July - My God - it's actually a gym!  The way we came together to put this in place is amazing.  Really.  The owners are especially blown away.  We are not employees.  We are not asked to do this.  We are just a bunch of people who have come together to get something done because it's a good idea.  It's great to see and was even better to be a part of.  People have sunk in time, their own money, donated equipment and gone to extreme lengths to get this place set up and it is dark and dusty and dirty and fantastic. 

On my end, the leg is getting better.  PT is nearly over.  I'm a little wary of doing the crazy stuff, but am back in pullup space and doing some light work.  It's a good thing too - cause Pennsic is coming up at the end of July and I want to be in the best shape possible for it.  It's a little scary as I don't really *know* that the leg is 100% but all signs point to yes.

August @ Pennsic.  I am a war machine.  Despite nearly 2 months off of hard training, I am still ripping through the grueling battles at Pennsic.  All of them.  Barely a break taken - and then only for logistical reasons (more helmetcam coming up later).  And I'm not reduced to limping or napping through the rest of the day in order to recover.  It also helps that I was "hired" by a guy I respect a lot and want to make sure I earn my "pay".  My plan is to compensate for my declining skills (lack of practices up here) with raw physical power and endurance.  I think it works.

However a couple things do let me down.  My gorget - the one I swore I was going to replace because the year before I caught what could have been an existence-ending shot in the throat had it been thrown harder or I leaned into it - fails again.  To this day, when I turn my head to a certain angle and swallow, I get a slight "click" in my throat.  Fortunately it doesn't hurt anymore.  And curiously, my hand hurts some.  I don't remember how or why.  I'm pretty sure it happened during a battle, but nothing stood out.  Weird.

Coming back from Pennsic and unpacking and settling and whatnot keeps me away from the gym for almost the rest of August. 

September - Hmm...my hand *still* hurts.  Can't really move it in certain positions.  Can't grab a pull-up bar.  Put weight on it for pushups.  WTD??  I return to sports doc.  I don't get the guy I had last time, but I get an ok guy again.  He's not sure either, but seems to push me off of MRI/X-ray (this is counter to my "Hey - let's look inside!" approach to things, broken or fixed.)  I return to PT - although now it's OT (occupational therapy) because it's my hand, I guess.   In general, I'm useless for most WODs.  Get a little depressed about that and decide to dedicate myself more to the running of the gym rather than actually participating.  

October - Hand *slowly* gets better.  I slowly try to get back into the groove, trying out little exercises here and there.  I get most of the Oly lifts back, pullups (first with funky grips), pushups (on abmat pads), things like that.  Towards the middle of the month, a classmate sets up an "Angie" challenge which is where on the first day, I do 1 pullup, 1 pushup, 1 situp, 1 squat.  The next day, add one rep to each.  The next, add another 1.....until one hits Day 100.  I latch on to this as it's a good way for me to really go back and study myself. 

November - Hand is 80-100%, depending on what I'm doing.  Most places it's not an issue.  Ring work is still out.  So are burpees, I think.  (Although generally burpees are sucky to begin with).  I did a 205# Push Jerk last night so I think the Angie Challenge stuff (we're now in the low 40's...ugh) has at least knocked the rust off of the past several months.  And I'm preparing myself for the Level 2 Cert down in Va Beach in Feb. 

So yeah...game on!  And to those who may have also fallen behind a little, it's time to rise again. 

30th-May-2008 07:05 am - If I say I'm going to do it...

So, after making a smart-ass remark to Moon about his injury, and tormenting the hot Thai software tester at work after her knee surgery, karma gave me a purple nurple on Tuesday night.  After the morning workout and an after-work PT session for my shoulder, I played kickball for a friend's team that was down a few players.  I was tired, but I don't think that made a difference.  Anyway, I was running from second to third, the ball was kicked across the baseline in front of me, and the shortstop was fielding the ball, bobbling it all over the place.  I did some sort of stutter-step, left, right, and at some point hurdling the guy.  I was safe at third, but something not good happened in my right knee.

I was sore and limping on Wednesday, and skipped my workout because it's just so hard for me not pull me knee into exercises without thinking.  I felt better yesterday, but still some pain.  Again, I didn't trust myself not to push it too far, intentionally or not, so I took more naproxin, and called it a day.

Today, the knee isn't better, but it's servicable.  I'm going to the noon class.  So, if you don't see my workout posted this afternoon, light my ass up.


28th-May-2008 05:10 pm - Back to the grindstone...
So, I'm back on the diet this week.  Paleo for the win!

I'm down 1 lb from before Penn Lite.  Which is better than the weight gain I'd been expecting as I stepped onto the scale this morning.

Also, a weekend orgy of Carbs at Penn Lite=very upset tummies.
27th-May-2008 11:17 am - Sucking wind
I let last week slide by.  One day was a PT appointment, the others were just busy at work.  Bullshit.  I've got another PT appointment this afternoon, but I went to the gym this morning anyway.  Stay on target... Stay on target...

Warm Up:


Work Out:

3 rounds for time:
400m run
15 pull-ups
20 back squats 40kg

time: 15:01

Still getting killed on the endurance side.  I guess I can't bitch about it too much after skipping a week, though.  I think there's more to it than that, but it sure as hell doesn't help.  I'll be running a relay at the end of July (12 runners, 36 legs/segments, 187 miles), so I'll be adding distance running onto my general training schedule.  Let's see if that helps my O2/CO2 exchange issues...
20th-May-2008 05:24 pm - The system is down.
So there I was - in the 2nd row of shields.  Our group was to engage the Tuchux unit directly opposite us in a new attempt not to get mopped up by them and their allies yet another time.  We drew closer.  At 15', they charged into us and in response, we charged.

The clash of the impact served to mark the change of momentum from two sides moving fast to one slowly pushing the other.  Pushing my side.  A few of those in front of me fell or fell back.  I don't take getting pushed well though.  I got lower and rotated my shield such that it spanned across even more people in front of me.  And then began to push.  Slowly at first.  Then I was pushed back.  I got lower still, "dropped it into Low" and pushed with everything right when they did the same....

*BAM* *BAM*  Two shocking pains in my left calf.  Came on so sudden (not like a slow fail) as though someone had stood behind me and hit me right there with a rattan stick.  I kinda thought that is what it might have been.  Or maybe my knee cop had rotated and I was pinching back on the wrap-around metal.  Dunno.  I just decided to go down.  Things didn't feel right anyway.  I stayed down, got stepped on for a bit.  Slowly started working my way up.  Got admonished by a marshall for my partial-up stance and slowly limped my way to the other side - closest and closer to the medic tent.  

Beest saw that I was down and came by to ask how I was.  Told him I wasn't sure.  He asked some questions about what happened, what it felt like, etc.  Last year he had trashed his achilles tendon and it wrecked his fighting for 6 months  :(.   The next fight was lining up and he said if I was still there when this set was over (lunch was next), he'd come back and help me off the field.  Good guy, Beest.   

My peeps couldn't see me where I was so I used my shield and stick as a crutch to get over there.  Dumped gear and made my way over to the medics.  They had me strip off my leg armor and roll over.  Preliminary medic poking and prodding gave me a "the tendons all seem to be in place" diagnosis.  

The upside is that each day it gets substantially better in terms of overall mobility and range of motion.  Later that Saturday had me limping around briefly only with aid of a walking stick and a foot that was only happy when held at 90 deg to today where I just have a slow and slight limp, I think it's fairly well on the mend.  Still, this is putting my CrossFit pace back by a bit as I can't do anything crazy yet (even landing from doing pullups is suspect).  Am trying to get in with a doc for a real diagnosis and sign-off/schedule for resumption of real active work.  Will update as more info comes in.
14th-May-2008 10:18 pm - And now a break...
Last gym day before heading to Alabama for four days...

Warm up:

3 rounds of:
10 ring rows
10 squats
10 push-ups

Work out:

12 dead-lifts 80kg
1 mile run
15 dead-lifts 80kg
800m run
18 dead-lifts 80kg
400m run

time: 24:40

This did not make my back happy.  My form was really good for the bulk of my dead-lifts, but I think there were a few cases where things were a little laterally asymmetrical.  My [historically] bad back wasn't happy for a chunk of the 800m run.  I was almost crippled for the 400m leg, but not by a tight/spasming lower back, but by some weird gimpiness in my right leg.  I think that asymmetry I was referring to was impinging on a nerve or something which, in combination with muscle fatigue, made me run that last leg Quasimodo style.  No lasting effect, though. 
14th-May-2008 08:54 pm - Eine Kleine Funk

Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 reps

Started with 135x5, 225x5, 275x3  Then went with 366 (2x bw), 366, 375 (F), 375 (F), 366 (F! I think I was getting cold), 275 (back to form basics), 325.

Usually a fav of mine, but wasn't too pumped for it.  It's been a long week+ of the gym packing/moving, my going to DC,  the gym unpacking/moving and generally being off the game.  Once I get back from Penn Lite, I will begin the Summer Phase.
 Warm Up:

Bear Walk, up and back
Crab Walk, up and back
15 push-ups
15 pull-ups

Work Out:

4 rounds for time:
500m row
15 dumbbell squat cleans 25 lb. (x2)
15 pull-ups (did first 25, the rest were jumping)

time: 27:35

I don't know what's happened to my endurance.  Seriously.  I am just not get oxygen into my blood fast enough.  I think part of it is my breathing.  I have really good breathing rhythms when running or doing martial arts (before I blew out my toe), but in both those cases my body isn't subject to the same level of tension, and I can breathe throughout the movements.  Whatever...I'll beat myself into better shape, one way or the other.

It was a close race in this workout between my breathing and my grip strength.  I was as limited by grip strength on the squat cleans as I was by being out of breath.  I was clearly limited by grip on the pull-ups.  Unfortunately, none of the exercises allowed for a rest and recovery of my grip, either.
Last week was a loss.  Combine a new bus schedule, illness, lost ID, PT for my shoulder, etc. etc., then throw in a dash of laziness, and you get...nothing.

After a motivating weekend of housecleaning and document shredding, I was back in the gym this morning.

Warm Up:

None (this confused the crap out of me)
Well, those that were on-time did bar-only squats, but...

Work Out: 

10 rounds for time:
10 x back squats 50kg
250m row

27:03 (24:36?)

The guy next to me was ahead of me by about half a round near the half-way point, and I didn't notice that he paused to rest (one or more times, I don't know...) closer to the end.  So, when I thought I had ten, but he was still going, I figured my count was off, and went again.  Whatever.  My squat form sucks, and I can't figure out how to fix it.  I've been focusing on my thorasic arch, but apparently my lumbar region is not staying locked.  Time to shift focus there...
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