5 Day’s 10 WOD’s…
As some of you may know doing double days is not as easy as it sounds. Below is a post written by one of our longtime members, Travis Morton, who recently underwent and accomplished a very daunting and painful task. Completing 10 WOD’s in 5 Day’s. Please take the time to read what he has written, it is a very inspiring story and relevant to all of us. And thank you Travis, for inspiring me.
I hate medium.
I love the edges. I love being very awake or completely asleep. I love being hungry then completely full. I love going too far or not at all. It’s that very love that brought me to attempt my physical challenge: ten CrossFit workouts in five days.
I’ve been going to CrossFit Valley of the Moon on and off (with too much off) for a year and a half. I came in to it after having experience in powerlifting, kung fu, brazilian jiujitsu, running and cycling. I’m not particularly good at any of these things, I just enjoy doing stuff. Lots of stuff. And that’s why I enjoy CrossFit.
It hasn’t always been easy to make it class. The location couldn’t be any more convenient, it’s a mile from both my home and work. Still, scheduling and focus can keep me from getting my shoes on and going in for a workout. I wanted to do something that would break through all the normal habits and expectations I’d made for myself. So I came up with the idea of doing a week of double days, even though I’d never done a single double day before.
I’d been kicking around the idea for months, and got more serious about it at the beginning of the year. I started mentioning it while we were all breathing heavy after workouts. I brought it up to Alicia and she said, very positively and enthusiastically, “Yeah, you keep saying that!”. I don’t think she meant to call me out on my shit, but that’s absolutely what she did. It was obvious it was time to either actually do it or stop talking.
In early February, I picked out a week at the end of the month. I bought an extra pair of shorts, cleaned up my place and filled my fridge. I knew if I wanted to do well, I had to set myself up for success. I also lightened up my work schedule and shoved everything I could to the weekend. I set the goal and ground rules: ten CrossFit workouts in five days, same workout done twice each day, complete warmup every time and only perfect reps count. I was open to scaling however necessary.
It started easy enough, at 9:00 on Monday February 25th. The first workout was as normal as a CrossFit workout can be. This all seemed like it was going to be not too bad. In the afternoon I did even better. This confirmed something I’ve thought for a while: I’m much stronger in the afternoon than the morning. I’d already accomplished something I hadn’t done before: two workouts in the same day.
Tuesday is where things got tougher. We were doing Fight Gone Bad, which is a grueling board workout. You want to stop when switching movements, but you only have a minute for each one and you’re going for total reps. I was certainly below my normal self that morning but did okay. I took an afternoon nap (if it’s two hours long, is it still a nap?) and woke up with legs that were sore to move at all. They’d just about frozen while I slept.
This was the epitome of the challenge I’d made for myself. I was sore and tired. I’d done literally hundreds of squatting movements in the last 36 hours. I also knew exactly what was waiting for me at the gym: more of the same. At this point, too many people knew what I was doing for me to just stay in bed. So, I had a small bowl of cereal, hopped on my bike and went back in. I did the workout as prescribed, and got the lowest total out of anyone that day. But, I was in there working while other people were stretching and complaining about soreness.
Wednesday is where the soreness changed to stiffness. If I sat for more than twenty minutes I’d be hobbling around when I got up. Luckily, the one thing that really made it better was exercise. Sitting hurt, working out felt better. I learned that day that I will never be too sore to exercise, only too sore to not exercise.
Besides the pain when I tightened up, I felt great. I was in a constant buzz while my body figured out what the hell was going in. My physical performance, however, was crap. My strength wasn’t too bad, I could still lift about 90% of normal. My endurance was okay, I could still run 400m at a good clip. What completely fell off a cliff was the combination of strength and endurance that’s so important for CrossFit. What I could normally bang out for a set of ten had to be broken up into triples. In between sets, I wasn’t gasping for air as much as just waiting for my muscles to catch back up. By Wednesday afternoon, my body had seen what was normally three weeks worth of exercise in 72 hours. And it was tired.
On Thursday I was over the hump and could feel it. My body had given up complaining so hard. I think it was mostly in response to the epsom salt bath the night before. I can’t recommend those highly enough for soreness. The workout felt easier, and I came in with similar times for the morning and afternoon. The second class was a bit harder after Carlos reminded me and everyone else how to do our pushups to the real standards.
On Friday I could see the finish line, and there wasn’t anything that could pull me away. My workouts were relatively easy. We had 8 different movements for 20 reps each, followed by a 200 yard sprint. I put up what I thought was a decent time.
For the last workout, I was incredibly excited. I just had to do the same thing over again. There were twelve of us and I asked to be put in the third wave to start. I was going to go hard, but I knew it wasn’t fast.
Halfway through, I was doing better than expected. Things I was breaking up into sets in the morning I was doing nonstop. I once wanted to set the bar down during push-presses and the only thing that kept it up was Spenser yelling words of encouragement. I finished the lifts and ran outside for the short sprint. After turning the corner and coming back, I ran as hard as I could and it was the slowest I’ve ever sprinted. And I was done, two full minutes faster than my morning time.
I felt supremely accomplished. I made a goal and did exactly that, no more no less. In five days I did thousands of reps. I ran, rowed and cycled many miles. I also had exactly ten protein shakes, multivitamins and showers to support that.
Everyone who knew what I was up to cheered me on and applauded for finishing. It’s certainly not a world record, but it was a big deal for me and I really appreciate everyone who supported me.
In five days I learned:
- Support system (you and everyone else) is essential to accomplishing anything. I spent as much time keeping up with clothes, food, etc. as working out.
- Some people are quiet doers. They go out and do things, without blabbing to everyone about it. I am not one of those people.
- I really, really do hate medium.
I wouldn’t recommend what I did as any sort of fitness plan. If you have fitness goals, there are better ways of getting them. What I would recommend is you make your own crazy goal. Something very hard, but attainable, that you can do in less than a week. It might be ten workouts, it might be five books. Write it down, tell some friends, then do it.