The Chipper

Chippers are workouts that have a lot of quick-moving variety … and make you feel like you went through a chipper. We walked into the gym last night and Dave was silently brooding over the whiteboard, carefully choosing our workout components for the evening. Tom and I and a couple of others stood far behind him, murmuring nervously every time Dave added another workout task to the list.
For time:
10 deadlifts (men 80 Kg, women 60 Kg)
run around building
25 kettlebell swings (men 24 Kg, women 16 Kg)
two lengths of lunges with an overhead kettlebell (men 16 Kg, women 12 Kg)
row 500 meters
two lengths bearcrawl
10 pull-ups
25 wall-ball throws (men 20-pound ball, women 12 pounds)
10 pull-ups
25 push-ups
50 air squats
I finished in 20:03. It wasn’t as bad as it looked on the whiteboard—as Dave pointed out, none of the tasks are that difficult on their own. I took them one at a time and tried not to look ahead. During the “12 days of CrossFit” workout right before Christmas, I had quickly grasped the benefits of not thinking ahead. That one was such a whopper that this chipper seemed to go by fast.
I was pleased with being able to do the first set of 10 pull-ups unassisted. I did them in two sets of five, kipping style. For assistance with the second set of 10, I used one of the big rubberbands over the bar.
After the workout, I rested a few minutes and then Erika and I practiced ring dips on the low rings for a while. Before we left I couldn’t resist seeing if I could jump high enough to grasp the highest rings, which I did. So I did a few swings and fun skin-the-cat dismounts. Dave joked that he had not given me enough work to do, and gave me a nice compliment on being athletic. I basked in that because he seems like he wouldn’t say something he didn’t mean. I just wish I’d had the nerve and the quality phys-ed in grade school to have explored sports and strength at a young age. I was a total disaster in gym class. I’m making up for it now.
I wonder how many of my gym acquaintances feel that way too.

Blogging While Supposed To Be Gathering Tax Documents

Just a short post and then I’ll go find that manila folder…
Last night’s workout was a bunch of alternating rounds of front squats (increasing weight) and handstand push-ups. I worked up to two single-rep sets of 152 pounds. I didn’t do the math until later (Kg to pounds), or else I would have added 10 more pounds to see if I could beat my max from a while back.
I did all my handstand push-ups against a wall, as usual when there’s no spotter. I learned that I’m very resistant to lowering myself all the way until my head touches the mat. Eventually I did it. Of course I couldn’t begin to push back up, but I tried.
After the lifts and push-ups, we went outside for two timed sprints around the building (400 yards). It was me and three guys. Dave wanted to see if any of us could go faster the second time—fat chance! We took off and I kept up with them three quarters of the way, until we came to a bottleneck and I slowed slightly to let somebody run between a bush and a post ahead of me. I couldn’t regain my speed and I came in three seconds behind the three guys. I should have taken the longer outside route around that corner and kept up my speed. I thought I was pretty fast up until then, keeping up with the boys. But maybe I would have pooped out near the end anyway. When we stopped I felt a little lightheaded. I’ve never run 400 yards that fast in my life, so no wonder.
Dave gave us three minutes of rest and we ran it again. This time the men pulled away from me immediately and I stuck to an elderly-feeling jog. I seemed to have none of the stride left that I had in the first run, reaching far with the feet, rotating the hips to stride longer. Instead I kind of minced along. At least I didn’t have to stop and sit on the curb like the other night! I could really feel the fatigue in my rear from the heavy squats I’d just done. Funny that it didn’t really set in until the second lap.
For my two runs I came in at 1:33 and 1:55. Hard to believe my miserable little jog only made the lap 22 seconds longer than the first! Tom actually did manage to go a second faster on the second run than his first. I think he said his times were 1:30 and 1:29. The younger guy we ran with, probably in his 20s, was much faster than any of us other three 40-somethings.
This afternoon after work, my first priority was to get out in the nice weather, so I jogged up the hill to the Madrona Library to return a book, then went to a neighborhood playground. I did a bunch of sets of three pull-ups while six or eight 10-year-old girls and one boy ran around yelling their heads off. It was a timeless playground scene, outside in the early evening before dinner, climbing on stuff and talking and yelling. One girl said my pull-ups were “pretty good” so I asked her if she could do them too. She said “Barely!”, jumped up and knocked off two quick and complete chin-ups before galloping off. She could have done another one or two, I’ll bet.
When I got tired of pull-ups I wandered over to a big patch of artificial turf to do cartwheels and handstands. The same girl came over and asked me, “How do you do that? I can barely cartwheel!” She did a cartwheel and then a much better second one. It was fun to meet a friendly kid. When I left she was on top of the monkey bars hollering down to another girl.

Bike Plus

We’ve had such sunny weather. It gets warm during the day, though it’s frosty and in the 30s every morning. Tom and I rode our bikes part of the way to work and caught the bus, then after work I decided to bike to the gym (about 4 miles) from the bus stop instead of coming straight home. It was a good day to find out how long the ride would take (28 minutes—going slow, obviously!) and how tiring it would be to ride home after the workout. The bike ride was beautiful.
Tonight’s workout was to do as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
15 clean-and-thrusters (I used 25-pound dumbbells)
15 knees-to-elbows
(Knees-to-elbows involve hanging from the pull-up bar and curling up your body until your knees touch your elbows—“not your armpits!” as I was once reminded.) I managed 4 full rounds plus 11 of the thrusters. My grip seemed to be my weakest link for both exercises.
The bike ride home (7 miles) really wasn’t so bad. Some other workouts might have burned out my legs more—anything with rowing, like last night, for instance. One thing about bike riding, I’ve done it so much throughout my life that no matter how ready I am to be finished, it’s never a crisis. Just more bike riding. Just keep pedaling. I think it took me about half an hour or 35 minutes to get home. I had the best intentions of looking at the time and then I forgot.
And now I have the best intentions of not going to the store for ice cream. Grrr. Some ice cream would really come in handy. But it wouldn’t make it any easier to lift my a– I mean my knees to my elbows during the workouts.

Tom Joins the Muscle-up Club

Tonight my brilliant husband, Tom, got his first full, unassisted muscle-up. He stepped up onto a box, grasped the rings with the false grip, stepped off the box and pulled up from a dead hang until he’d pulled his elbows and hands down next to his chest. He slowly but surely switched his wrist position so that his palms pushed straight down, first the right, then, concentrating really hard, the left. I was jumping up and down yelling “Push! Push!” like a crazed Lamaze coach, sloshing drinking water all over myself. Tom rose up without further ado and locked his arms straight. The room erupted in cheers, whistles, and applause. Tom, swaying way up there, grinned a sweaty grin and let himself down to be congratulated. I’m as proud as if I’d done it myself! It looked really smooth for a first one, with a minimum of struggle. The whole thing took less than 10 seconds.
And that was after the workout. Tonight’s workout was so contrary to all of my preferences—if I can choose my grueling torture, this would not be it—that it made me feel kind of sick.
The workout was 3 rounds, for time, of:
• Row 500 meters
• 15 push-press (I used 12-kg kettlebells until round 3 when I switched to 16 kg at Nick’s suggestion)
• Run around building (400 meters)
• Lunges for 2 lengths of the room (with 1 pressed-overhead dumbbell—I used 15 pounds)
My first round wasn’t terrible. I was fresh for the row and finished that in 2:00. I managed the 15 push-presses with two 12-kg kettlebells without breaking the set. The run felt just slightly slow. The lunges got difficult in the middle, but I never felt like coming to a complete stop. Most of the time I lunged straight from one leg to the other, like taking giant steps, without pausing (feet together) in the middle of the rep. So that was decent.
On the second round, I think the row took about 2:10. I broke the set of push-presses into 10 and 5 reps. Nick came over and said I looked strong enough that I should probably be using 16s. I said “okay” noncommittally. The run was really hard to maintain at even a jog. My throat felt kind of tight in an uncomfortable way. I was happy that I didn’t slow to a walk but maintained my pitiful-feeling jog. The lunges were just slightly harder than in the first round. I was breathing really hard while trying to lunge deep, hold the weight with a locked arm and solid back, and keep my balance.
The third round of rowing took me about 2:20. My legs were weak, my back was curving in at least two directions, and my brain didn’t care. I was just glad to be able to stand up when I was done. I was hating the way rowing crunches up my body when I’m longing to breathe normally and to straighten my legs for a second of relief. Then came the final round of push-presses, this time with 16s. The first time I picked the kettlebells up from between my feet and tried to clean them to the racked position (handles held in fists in front of the throat, upper arms supported by chest or lats), I didn’t even manage to get them up there. I had to swing them back down between my knees and try the clean again.
Whew! Made it to the starting position. Then I managed to do 5 reps before I had to put them down and take a long pause. I was getting lightheaded and had that tightness in my throat, more persistent this time. “Hmm, I’ll never finish the workout as long as I stand here—might as well do one more rep.” So I made it to 9 before taking an even longer pause. I was wondering if that lightheadedness and tightness was ever going to go away. I must have stood for a whole minute, slightly afraid to bend down and swing the weights up again. Finally I did 4 more reps, paused again, finished the final two, and jogged out for my final run.
I was breathing so hard that it was as if I couldn’t catch up with myself no matter how slowly and gingerly I jogged (and, of course, I should have been sprinting, considering the workout was timed). It was as if I was using air faster than I could breathe it in, and my throat felt like it had shrunk to a pinhole. My lungs were demanding air but it wouldn’t flow in; I had to concentrate and pull hard to suck air in. Just short of halfway around the building I sat down on the curb and pushed my head down toward my knees. Pretty soon I felt better and resumed my jog, still miserable and slow. That was the first time at CrossFit that I’ve paused during the run. Yes I’m slow, but I’ve never actually stopped before. Oh, well. I jogged back in and completed the lunges, slowly recovering my normal level of heavy breathing without the constricted feeling.
My time, surely the slowest of anybody who worked out tonight, was over 34 minutes.
So—what is that tightness in the throat and lightheadedness? I don’t have asthma, I don’t wheeze, and I didn’t have any pollen allergies today. I wasn’t so lightheaded as to see black spots, but enough so that I thought I might start seeing them if I didn’t take a break during the push-presses and the run. What is it that made me feel I couldn’t pull in enough air? Surprisingly, Tom said he felt the same way.
I think was triggered purely by the workout, which was more demanding than most in the cardio sense (with both rowing and running). The combination of that with the dynamic push-presses created a huge deficit (of what, though? Just oxygen?). A pause of 15 seconds to a minute, breaking up sets, and so on, had much less of an effect than it would in a different workout. But what is it that actually causes the sensation of my throat trying to close up and choke off half of the air? I suppose maybe this is an illusion—surely my throat wasn’t physically tightening up. I have so rarely experienced that and I’d love to know what’s behind it.

Wait—That’s Too Heavy

Last night’s workout was done in pairs for time, which made it a little more competitive than usual. Tom and I were paired together. We were the slowest of the four teams. Oh, well! The workout was:
21 two-kettlebell cleans and front squat
21 dips
21 sumo high-pull deadlifts
then 15 reps of the same three drills, then 9.
Doesn’t sound hard? I didn’t think so either, until Dave told us to use 16-kg kettlebells for the clean-and-squats. It was so hard. Both Tom and I had to rest repeatedly, breaking up the sets into three or four or even fewer reps. About three reps into my first round I was sorry I’d ever been born. I had three choices: switch for lighter weights, do fewer reps, or do it as prescribed and be slow and miserable.
I opted for slow and miserable, and found it a relief to see that Tom had trouble with this drill too. For me, the weight was very heavy (that’s something like 34 pounds each hand), and I was far from perfect in my cleans—meaning that at the top of the clean, I was muscling the weights into place with my arms. For Tom, I think the weight would not have seemed so heavy except that his back flexibility doesn’t quite allow him yet to sit way back on his heels for the squats.
The high-pull deadlifts were a lot easier than the kettlebell clean-and-squats. I was surprised and extremely relieved. Later I figured out that I was clean-and-squatting almost 71 pounds and high-pull deadlifting only 65. That explained part of the difference. Now if I can get the same good leverage next time I do KB cleans that I got doing the h-p deadlifts, I’ll have an easier time. My clean form is decent but needs improvement.
We got through all of it in about 25 minutes, while the guys who’d finished were lying around on the mats under the parallel bars being thankful they weren’t us. I bet that 12-year-old did not think I was so “beastly” right then as he said when I was doing regular barbell back squats.
When we had survived that workout, I felt unstoppable! Well, okay, after a few minutes of recovery time, saying hello to Nancy, and drinking some water. Then I tested out my kipping pull-ups to see how my shoulder would feel—as if I hadn’t tested it enough during the workout—and it felt fine. I want to start building up to higher numbers of pull-ups. I don’t even know what my max is now that I can kip. Maybe six instead of four? I can dream.
For the gymnastics segment, our former coach Ben was back. I hope he stays a while. We practiced parallette handstands, which Nancy is getting really good at. She can do them without a spotter and can hold the handstand for a short time and then come down under control. The parallettes are so scary at first that it takes a nerve of steel to commit to a handstand on them without a spotter. It feels so much like you’re going to go over backwards and break something. What we should do is spread out a big mat and practice falling out of a parallette handstand onto it. If we learned how to fall by twisting sideways, which Nancy says happens naturally, we might not be scared.
Tom was trying parallette handstands for the first time and was having trouble locking his arms out straight. So he required a lot of spotting. Nancy and I were trying to help him balance when he requested, “Give me a lift.” We struggled to pull him straight up by his legs. Dave and Ben rushed over to help. Dave got behind Tom and lifted, while Ben stepped into my place at the side and I stepped back. Everyone pulled and tugged at Tom, his legs towering and teetering over us, until his arms gave out. A guy standing next to me said, “Didn’t I see this in that famous picture of Iwo Jima?” So funny. Luckily Tom is a good sport and didn’t mind being the famous flagpole.
The fun part really started when we took turns doing spotted (and I mean heavily spotted) front and back planks on the rings, followed by a skin-the-cat dismount. First you jump to grab the rings and then swing up to an inverted, straight-up-and-down hang. (I’m proud to say I can easily do that part without flailing.) Then comes the two-spotter move: heels come down toward the floor, body straight, until horizontal. You’re trying to hold the body flat and horizontal with the chest muscles, as far as I could tell. The spotters had to support each person’s weight. Then with their help you rise back up, still straight, into the inverted hang and come down the opposite way. The spotters catch your weight again and help you pull back up into the hang yet again. Then you pull the knees to the chest, roll them back behind the shoulders toward the ground, let go, and land on your feet. Ta-da! Opportunity to lift your arms like a gymnast who stuck the landing. We did that one three times each. I was so happy because on my second and third try, I at least started to understand which muscles I was supposed to be using for the planks, even if they weren’t strong enough to hold me up. And my dismounts were very satisfyingly solid—the most fun part.
We also tried ring swings, which I think were easier than the previous move. Grasp the rings, swing five times trying to straighten the body to horizontal, and on the fifth swing, roll over and skin-the-cat dismount. I absolutely loved that one. I found I could push my hips forward in the air and up I’d go; it looked to me as if I was horizontal though I can’t be sure. I swung higher each time and then my dismounts had a lot of speed—or, again, that’s how it felt. The best part was that my formerly tweaked shoulder didn’t bother me at all.
And I felt so unstoppable that as we were about to leave, I climbed the rope again, for the second time. It was a little easier this time. Dave saw me start up and, in an endearingly paternal way, ran for the camera. Tom held the rope to try to revolve me around for a picture. It made me feel good. Now, if only I could go into a job interview where I’m temping now and talk about my favorite skills … “What can I do for your team? I can climb a 20-foot rope! And if the situation requires it, I’ll do a few kipping pull-ups on the rings and then skin-the-cat!”

A Banner Day

One of my goals for 2005 is to climb the rope all the way to the top by March. I was feeling lame because I hadn’t been practicing. Last week I realized March will be here soon, and I’m not going to make my goal of climbing the rope without, well, climbing the rope. Still, I continued to find one reason or another not to try… too tired… there’s no mat under the rope any more and what if I fall off? Can’t climb it without a mat underneath…. But last night Tom and I were both there and after the workout I said, okay, I’m supposed to practice my rope climbing, so I’m going to. I jumped and pulled myself up, grasped the rope with my shoes one on top of the other, and climbed all the way to the top! Hooray! Boy, did that seem like a long way to climb. Tom and Dave at the bottom were encouraging me and I felt like a little kid, listening to their excited voices and thinking, “Ooh! They’re so proud of me! I better keep going!” At the top, feeling like I was on top of a mountain in thin air, I reached up and touched the metal cap at the top of the rope an inch from the ceiling.
Coming down in a controlled manner was as hard as going up. The temptation was always to jump off. You feel like you’ve come down a long distance and surely it is safe to jump. Then you glance down and realize your feet are still way higher than people’s heads. I kept going hand over hand and managed not to rope-burn any part of myself. Near the bottom, I jumped down and was so fatigued and giddy that I almost fell on my face. I was breathing really hard and was boiling hot and thrilled to have met my goal. I just need to find out how high the rope is—probably not as high as it felt.
I made another landmark last night toward another 2005 goal, to do a muscle-up on the rings. Nancy and I and a few other women and guys have been working up to it. We use the set of rings that has a harness and pulleys attached, which support half your weight. In the harness, anybody who’s been working out for a while can easily do an assisted muscle-up. But I couldn’t when I started. Part of the ability involves sheer strength, and part of it requires learning how to pull up and throw your weight forward between the ropes at the same time. The harness is great for helping people learn the skill portion while working up to the needed strength. The next step is to add weight to the harness so that it supports less than half your weight. Nancy and Tom had built up to adding a significant amount of weight, concentrating hard, and successfully getting all the way up. I was excited for them and determined to catch up. Nancy seemed sure I could do it if I flung my weight forward more forcefully.
Last night I found out she was right. I tried the muscle-up with full assistance, added a light weight, did it again, practiced some deep dips, then muscled up with 24 KG attached to me. When I did the math later, with respect to my own weight and how much assistance I’d used, I was very happy and felt I’d had a breakthrough. I was lifting half my weight plus 24 kg, a total of almost 117 pounds… which is only 11 pounds less than my full weight… which means I may be almost strong enough to do an unassisted muscle-up. The terrible part of the muscle-up is when you’ve pulled up as high as you can, the rings are next to your armpits, and your elbows are still pointing slightly down. You have to somehow press down and back with the hands, and forward with the shoulders, until the elbows point straight back and the palms of the hands face down. That’s the mysterious part that requires so much practice (and strength). Then, once the palms are facing down, lots of strength is required to press up out of that super-deep dip.
Even if I keep doing the drill in the harness, adding weight so that I get little assistance, it may still be harder than I think to get the muscle-up on the rings without the harness and pulleys. The pulleys allow the rings to come down toward you when you pull on them, at least until you jump off the ground, when they then hold half your weight. The plain rings are not going to have any give at all, so if I jump into my pull-up, I won’t have even an inch of pulley momentum to work with. But I shouldn’t psych myself out—I should think positive. I’ll try the weighted, assisted version for several weeks, and I’ll start trying the unassisted one when I feel confident (as opposed to totally self-conscious). Tom is really, really close to doing an unassisted muscle-up. I think the only thing stopping him now is that his elbows fly out to the sides instead of staying tight against his ribs. You don’t have enough leverage that way unless you have loads of strength to spare.
Muscle-up technique photos here (scroll down), video here.

CrossFit Workout: Chelsea

Hooverball was fun. I was so sore afterwards that I felt like I had the flu. I took a fabulous nap on the couch around 5:00 and slept the sleep of the recovering. Yesterday I felt noticeably better by evening than I felt when I woke up. I like when that happens.
Tonight’s workout was Chelsea. (Don’t ask why the name. I don’t know.) Chelsea consists of 30 1-minute rounds in which you have to complete 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats. The goal is to finish in under a minute so that you have several seconds to rest before the next minute is called.
If you can’t keep up, you’re supposed to do as many rounds correctly and on time as you can, then keep track of how many more rounds you complete by the time the 30 minutes are up. Alternatively, you can reduce the reps for one or more exercises and stay with the timing. That’s what I did. I also substituted jump-to-support pull-ups with a controlled full descent instead of traditional pull-ups, which would have ruined my time and my number of rounds.
I did the first five rounds as written and on time. After the first five, I did 7, 6, or sometimes only 5 push-ups (my slowest exercise when tired). This allowed me to finish every round about 10 seconds before the next round started. I was pleased with my ability to stay on time for the whole 30 minutes, though I’d rather be able to say I did all the pull-ups without substitution or assistance. Maybe some day!
This is a good workout to do at home if you have a pull-up bar and no other equipment.

Make Mine a Double

I was so happy to get to the gym tonight. I wanted to work extra hard because I felt so sedentary after two days off, and eating out every night this week because of the missing kitchen. So I went in at 5:00 and worked with Scott, one of the assistant coaches.
The workout was 4 rounds of:
15 wall-ball
15 pull-ups
15 push-ups
15 kettlebell swings (I used a 16-kg bell)
This took me 15 minutes.
Then Nancy and I practiced our muscle-up drills for a short while. I got into the harness on the rings and with its support of half my weight, it wasn’t hard to do a muscle-up. (Doing one in the harness doesn’t really count, but I like to remember that I tried the same thing on my first day there and couldn’t do it.) We moved to the low rings that hang from the pull-up bar and tried supporting ourselves in the bottom of the dip position. What we did was grasp the rings at ribs-level, jump to support with arms locked, and let ourselves down slowly into the deepest dip we could get—the hands are right in front of the armpits. Then we tried to hold it there for as long as we could. That point is the hardest part of the muscle-up: the transition from the pull-up to the rising out of the deep dip position.
Tom got really close to doing an unassisted muscle-up last night. When I left the house because of the plumbers, I went to the gym to intercept him so that we could go get dinner before going home, and he jumped up onto the rings (without the harness) to show me how close he was to the muscle-up. If he practices every time, I bet he can get one within two weeks. I’m laying down the challenge!
Anyway, back to tonight. After Nancy had to go, I saw that Dave had come in and was getting a few people warmed up for a workout. I decided to warm up with them and see if I wanted to work out. By now, except for the work Nancy and I did, I had been recovering for 30 minutes from a 15-minute workout. So after the warm-up of air squats and medicine-ball throws (trying to hit the ceiling, which is … really high), I asked Dave if I could have a legs workout, seeing as I’d just done an upper-body one.
So I did the workout I missed yesterday, which was 3 rounds of:
9 deadlifts at 75 percent of your max
Row 500 meters
The idea was to break up each set of 9 lifts into 3 sets of 3 with a short rest in between. Dave said “rest for a minute in between,” but I didn’t take him literally and watch the clock. A minute seemed too long. I lifted 152 pounds and hated the rowing as always. I have stumpy little legs and am not a good rower. Someone long-legged sits down on the rower next to mine and goes “WHOOOOSSSHHH! WHOOOOSSSHHH!” probably 50 meters per stroke, while I sound like “Whish-whish. Whish-whish,” and never seem to get anywhere. For 500 meters I’m stuck at around 2:03.
When I finally left, Scott told me I was “really throwing it down” tonight. It’s fun to be around people who also like to do this kind of thing and compliment each other for it instead of thinking it’s totally unhinged.
I’m planning to work out again tomorrow, and then Saturday is the first Saturday of the month which means it’s time to “Suffer on Saturday.” This month it’s a game of Hoover Ball. I can’t wait. I just hope I don’t catch the ball with my face.

Rushing Around

I’m frustrated right now because I’m at home waiting for a plumber instead of at CrossFit. On the other hand, I’d be more frustrated later on if I didn’t let wait for the plumber tonight and our kitchen remodel took three extra days.
Let’s see. I worked out on Monday night. We had two rounds of four exercises: rowing, push-press (women: empty 20-kg bar; men: bar plus 20 pounds), sit-ups, and wall-ball. In the first round, each exercise was allotted 90 seconds. In the second round, each was allotted 60 seconds. We had to do as many reps as we could in the allotted time and then have a partner call out our scores. Dave tried to keep the time in between exercises as short as possible, but mostly the transitions seemed to take longer than he hoped.
So for me, it went like this:
90 seconds push-press
90 seconds sit-ups
90 seconds wall-ball
90 seconds rowing
60 seconds push-press
60 seconds sit-ups
60 seconds wall-ball
60 seconds rowing
… while my partner kept score for me. Then the partners switched and I counted reps for him.
Unfortunately I never had a chance to write down my scores, and I doubt if I can remember them accurately now. I had the hardest time with the push-press. I think I might have done 30 in the first round and 19 in the second. Boy—does that empty bar get heavy fast when I’m pushing it over my head. The idea is to use the strong forward hip motion, and the legs, pushing through the heels, to float the bar overhead and press the last little bit to lock the arms before bringing it down again. But when the bar gets heavy, especially in the second round after I’d been on the rower for 90 seconds, it is hard to find the hip and leg strength.
Tom was partnered with a teenager who apparently forgot to count his reps on some of the exercises, so he got gypped on his scores. My partner counted my reps and always encouraged me to push myself to complete the next 10 reps—get to 30, get to 40.
As soon as the second set of partners completed their drills, with my group scoring them, I had to run. I had plans for dinner with a friend up north of Seattle. It wasn’t much fun to leave the gym without being able to hang around and try other skills after the workout (or chat). And tonight I’m missing gymnastics. I hope I’ll be able to go tomorrow night.
Okay, now the plumbers are making a giant racket and I think I better leave for a while.