Ramping Up

I’m just four days from North Shore CrossFit’s in-house Team Cup Challenge II and I’m proving to myself that I’m more and more ready for it every day.  The challenge will feature up to 14 three-person teams, each consisting of both male and female team members, all taking on three workouts in the span of three hours.  It will be one of the most intense days of the year for us all (and surely one of the most fun).  [I missed the first Team Cup Challenge several weeks ago because I was establishing my personal jump record of 10,000 ft – out of a plane at Pepperell Skydiving!  What a rush that was! – and certainly a good reason to miss the first challenge.]

Travel for vacation and work have taken me out of my training rhythm two of the last three weeks, leaving only last week and this for me to really get into the gym consistently and get myself up to “competition form”.  At the beginning of last week, it felt as though I was starting from scratch having been out of town all but four and a half days of the prior 16.  I knew I had to start slowly and ramp up for two reasons: 1) I knew I would be starting from a deficit and would not be able to perform as I would had I been training on my typical 4x/week schedule, and 2) I am hugely conscious about preventing injury, especially this close to a competition.

With those considerations, I approached last week as a chance to get my reps in and gradually bring the intensity level up without going full-weight, which is exactly what I did.  Because I kept the weight relatively low, I was able to get in one to two workouts on five of seven days and my body was able to keep up with the recovery between workouts.  My typical (but even more conscious) solid diet of primarily fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, nuts and seeds with only purified water and the occasional coconut water to drink helped immensely with recovery, as did the sufficient amounts of sleep I allowed myself during the week.  By the end of Saturday’s workout, I knew I was ready to kick it up to full intensity for this week leading up to the competition.

I’m two workouts into this week’s workload with one remaining before Saturday and am quite pleased with my conditioning and strength returning to levels I expect them to be.  Last night’s workout was great for conditioning featuring deadlifting followed by high-rep kettlebell swings, wall ball shots, and pull-ups.  Tonight I worked through an Olympic lifting workout that focused on strength, technique, and a good amount of reps requiring explosive coordinated movements to move substantial weight – didn’t break a sweat but was certainly worked-over by the end of the night.  I was even able to match my one rep max barbell snatch at 135 lbs, which I have not done (or been able to do) since I established it on June 23rd.

The excitement for Saturday continues to grow, as does the importance of proper diet, hydration, recovery work, and sleep to achieving optimum performance.  Tomorrow – full rest day; Thursday – the final workout before the competition; Friday – another full rest day.

We find out Friday morning what the three workouts will be.  My team is assembled and we are preparing to BRING IT Saturday like nobody’s business!



Today I Choose

If I were sun, I would light their day

If I were fire, I would warm them in cold

If I were rain, I would water their thirsty mouths

If I were air, I would fill their depleted lungs

If I were food, I would fuel their hungry bodies

I am none of these

Yet I am one unique person

Who must I be today to meet the need only I can?

What must I become to fill the void I alone can fill?

How much must I grow to move them toward their design?

I can only be me

But the me I choose

Need not remain as I am

I grow each day

Become better than I was

And by doing so

I move myself and others forward

To greater life and a greater world altogether

Today I choose

To live a better life

To improve others

By first improving myself.