Today was my last day waking up at 5 in the morning for Crossfit. Even if I am able to get a 10 class pass, I probably won’t go earlier than the 6:30 class, since I know getting up this early has messed with my sleep schedule and my ability to stay awake at work. I’ll probably end up doing an evening class now and then. So, naturally, it wasn’t at all hard to get up this morning. Of course.
There was a brand new term awaiting me on the WOD:
– Kb Snatch
I had no idea what kettle bell snatches would entail, but since the skill portion was working on them, I had no doubt that I’d learn them well enough to get through the WOD.
Before the class started, I spoke with another person about what kettle bell snatches were. That person was not pleased to see them on the WOD, because kettle bell snatches are evil.
It’s not that they’re very hard. The principles are fairly simple. It’s just that doing them less than perfectly hurts.
You start like a standard kettle bell swing with the weight between your legs, but you only hold it with one hand. Then, when you use your hips to swing the weight up, at about eye level you punch straight up and flip the weight over so that it rests against your wrist.
Or, as in many of my attempts, until it bangs painfully into your wrist. Again, and again, until you kind of get the hang of it and it doesn’t hit and you get comfortable and then – bang.
It really, really hurts the tenth time.
And then you stop counting.
So I knew that I would be doing this WOD relatively slowly. I wanted to make sure I got my kettle bell snatches done with form good enough not to bruise my already forming bruises. I knew that the toes to bar progression that I would be doing would not be quick or easy, and cranking out that many push ups is not a piece of cake for me.
To put it mildly.
The trainer advised us to split the WOD reps between each hand for the kettle bell snatches. I started with my left side each time, because my left arm is weaker. I wanted to get that side over with first. By the time I finished the first round of 30, I felt I had a decent handle on the move. And the subsequent rounds were easier since there were less reps. Well, a little easier. My arms were dying after the toes to bar and push ups.
For the toes to bar, I tried as hard as I could to get my knees to my elbows, and also to get a rhythm going. Every time I touched that bar, my hands hurt. And I couldn’t hold on for 30 or 20 reps in a row, so I had to drop, gasp at the pain in my hands and jump back up to it. My hands were already torn up from exercises earlier this week, and today was the last straw. Between grasping the kettle bells and the bar, they felt tortured. I didn’t dare to look at them during the WOD, because I was afraid of what I might see.
I don’t think my push ups would pass muster as strict push ups, but I do start from chest on the ground and push myself up to plank (not to knees). And I used my primal yell to get through these, especially on that last set of 10. Even though the music was transitioning and I was yelling into near silence, I still did it, screaming my way to finish in 9:14.
That’s when I looked at my hands and saw I had ripped open not 1, not 2, but 3 callouses (2 on the right palm and 1 on the left).
For a moment, I wanted to just cry. I was tired and bleeding (a little) and it seemed like an easy thing to do. Instead, I got up and got a sanitizing wipe to run over the bar, the kettle bell and the place were I’d put my hands for push ups. If I’d just bled over them, I figured, then I should wipe them down.
I debated whether I should ask the trainer for advice on how to deal with my palms. I thought, for a moment, that my question would seem silly. Then I got over that and, when we were done stretching, I asked, displaying the mess I’d made of my hands with what almost felt like pride.
He told me to cut off the skin that had peeled partway off, using nail clippers or nail scissors, and then, tonight, to use Aquaphor on the wounds and sleep with socks on my hands to help them heal. I didn’t know what Aquaphor was, and when he told me it was kind of like Vaseline, I thought of something else that I had that might help. But I couldn’t think of what it was called. I like that I was comfortable enough to go through my “find that word” process with him, saying:
“It’s waxy, uh, helps with chappiness, comes from sheep, oh, um, lanolin! Can I use lanolin?”
He told me that would work, so I’ll be doing that tonight. In the meantime, I’ve got them covered with gauze and tape, which I will remove with the utmost care tonight. Showering this morning was excruciating, and typing right now is awkward, but other than periods of itchiness my hands are doing alright. Bruises are starting to bloom on my wrists.
A good second-to-last WOD – but I really hope that there’s no bar work tomorrow…