The first thing I said to Colette on Sunday morning was, “who was that jackass at the bar last night talking shit about wearing a weight vest for today’s WOD.”
“Pretty sure that was you.”
“Shit. That’s what I thought.”
“Are you really going to do that?”
“Of course. Sean said he was up for it.”
“Is he really going to do that?”
“Of course. You saw him. He looks like Captain America and I’m pretty sure he’s better than the Cap’n at metcons.”
The night before I brought Colette, my new girlfriend, out with the CrossFit crew for the first time. Ethan was in town too. Although he has dropped in to our box a few times, he didn’t really know everyone that well. I love bringing people together and was looking forward to it. It was a cool night, but warm enough to be outside. Steph wanted to go to the Deck as part of her birthday celebration, so that’s where we went. Ethan chatted away with Katie M on one side of the table, while Colette talked to Dave and Steph on the other. I was at one end, catching up with Mark, a Marxist economist friend of Mael’s who was back in town for a few a days. Sean and Liz, Mael and Michele filled out the early group; Bryan and Katie were latecomers.
The conversation went general and someone asked about the Sunday WOD. “It’s a partner WOD,” Mael told us. “Run a mile together. Split 100 slam balls with a 40 lb. ball, then split 200 pushups, then split 300 kettle bell swings with a 53 lb. kettle bell, then run another mile together.”
There are a lot of things I could have said at that moment. Or nothing. “Wow, tough WOD” now comes to mind. Or, “Could you tell us about these slam balls Mael? We’ve never done them before.” Instead I went with, “I’m going to wear a weight vest.”
Really Tony? You’re out drinking. You’re hosting a brunch for 20 people after the WOD. Your new girlfriend is visiting. Ethan is in town, staying with you. And you come out with, “I’m wearing a weight vest?” Jackass.
“Really?” asked Sean. He was like a dog coming to attention at the mention of a treat.
“Yep. How hard can it be? I’ll run 10 minute miles.”
“You’ll run 8s,” said Katie.
“He’ll probably run 7s, on his hands,” said Dave.
“It’s a team WOD, so maybe we can take a golf cart for the mile runs,” I said. “Then we could do them in 4s. 3s maybe. Mael, can we use golf carts for the mile runs?”
“No, Tony. You have to run on the runs. That’s why it’s called a run.”
“I’m in. It’ll be fun,” said Sean. “Should we bring our golf clubs?”
“Sure,” said Mael. “Strap them on over your weight vests.”
“But we’ll never be able to get into the cart wearing weight vests and golf clubs,” I objected.
“I said no golf carts!”
“Spoil sport. How about roller blades?”
“Guys, what did I say?”
And that was that. So we wore 20 lb. weight vests for the Sunday WOD. It was brutal. My low back tightened up during the first mile. But Sean stayed with me and carried me through the WOD. When we got to the kettle bell swings, it was excruciating to put the weight down after each set. That last bend to the floor was just torture on my low back. We started out alternating sets of 10.
“How many total?”
I laughed. “No, really.” I had forgotten what Mael said the night before and I never pay much attention at the white board going over the WOD before class.
“Please tell me you’re fucking with me.”
“Fuck. Let’s do sets of 5.”
It went on forever. Just forever. At one point I dropped the 53 lb. kettle bell to the floor from the bottom position. My back was hurting so much I just let it go. The sound it made when it hit and cracked the rubber-covered cement floor was seismic. The whole box looked at me. I instinctively looked at Ayn, who is the manager of PVCF. Alpha fem. Very cool. Most Badass CrossFitter at the box. Very protective of the equipment, including the floor, which was just redone. I immediately set a 3 year date in my mental calendar for when I figured I would stop hearing about that one.
Strangely, I felt better on the second mile run than I did on everything else. We finished over the time limit, but I think in the middle of the pack. I couldn’t wait to get back into the box. I immediately started struggling to get the vest off. It was almost as bad as the WOD, trying to peel that sweaty, heavy ass thing off of me.
After laying on the box floor for about 10 minutes, I finally caught my breath and the world came back into focus. People were mobilizing and socializing, and I remembered that most of them were going to be at my place in about an hour expecting brunch, on the flimsy excuse that I had invited them all. Jackass.