When Tom and I first discovered crossfit.com, sometime in summer 2004, we saw on the left sidebar a photo of the traveling rings on the beach. We didn’t know where they were or how they worked, but every time that pic came up in the rotation on the page, we were like, oooohh, we’ve got to see those in person. Eventually we found out they were somewhere around Venice Beach… turns out they’re near Santa Monica Pier, and we finally got our hands on them during the past three days. What a rush to travel down ten swinging rings, swing out at the end, and come all the way back! Some people could do it will all sorts of helicoptering with the legs, flying skin the cats and so on, but we stuck to the basics and were so exhiliarated! After that we went and climbed a rope that I’m sure was at least 25′ high.
We did the smaller set once, the large set once or twice, then came back the next day and did the large set a few more times. We rode bikes to Venice and played around on more equipment there. They have a balance beam in the sand, about 4′ high. I tried four times before I could get up on it and stand up. but once I did, I was able to do pistols and multi-direction single-leg half squats. Fun!
I saw people doing half-range pull-ups, so eventually I went to the bar and did five full-range dead-hang ones, and got a compliment from a bulky dude. He said to Tom (not to me), “Strong as hell, throwing those up!” These are the little things that make me feel so gratified–trying a new “stunt” and being able to do it on a basic level, and if a passerby is impressed, all the better. I don’t want to compete and beat people, I just want someone to impress. This is probably some sort of immature level of ambition, but at least I enjoy myself!