Fitness and everything else

Improvements Don't Always Have Numbers

A few years ago for my birthday burpees I scaled them up to burpee pull-ups. That was less because in my 40s I could do something I couldn’t do as a teenager. As a teen, I was unable to do pull-ups. I didn’t try often, but when I tried, I just couldn’t do them.

Well, I got through those burpee pull-ups and the first 30 weren’t bad at all, but then they started killing me. It took everything I had in me, I think, to get through them. I did, but it was an extremely unpleasant feeling. It had taken so much out of me, I skipped the actual WOD in the gym that day and just vegetated on the chair to recover.

Today’s WOD was 5 minutes of burpee pull-ups, then rest 3 minutes and then do 5 more minutes of them. I paced them slower than I should have and got 46 the first round and 37 the second round. My hands were starting to feel a little raw, so I changed my grip up a bit, and it slowed me down since I didn’t have as good of a grip on the bar.

I was thrilled that I got through them and felt fine with constant movement. There were no breaks other than to grab chalk once or twice. It was a far cry from the hellish feeling I had the day I did them for my birthday. That to me is a clear example of an improvement that won’t show up on any whiteboard score. There’s no denying I love PRs and numbers on the board, but that’s not the only part of the picture and probably not the most important part in the grand scheme of things.

Moving better, faster and with better mechanics is the most significant thing to me. Really, the reason I do this in the first place is to be healthier, better, and stronger. Feeling better doing the same or similar movements that made you feel absolutely miserable in the past can’t possibly be a bad thing.

An hour or two after doing that, had to eat my sandwich and finish my Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, we did this week’s sandbag WOD. That was run 200 meters, 15 sandbag bent row/slams and 10 sandbag sit-ups. The only thing more fucking stupid than sit-ups is weighted sit-ups, but that’s another post. I just did unweighted ones. The runs were all unbroken. Well, everything was no rest, maybe slowed down a bit but didn’t stop.

In the past, I would always find myself “needing” a drink of water, but the past month or two that hasn’t been happening at all. I have no doubt in my mind that need will come back to a point when it gets hot and humid again, but that will be a need.