Every morning it’s just as hard to wake up as the last. I really thought I would be used to the 5am alarm by now, but no.

When I checked the WOD online, I saw that the skill portion would involve hand stands, so I wore my tight-fitting tank top. I’d rather wear something more form-fitting, even if it looks a bit unflattering to my arms, than flash my tummy when going upside down. I wasn’t sure what to make of the WOD:

3 sets:
Max Reps (1 min on, 1 min off):
– Row for calories
– Sit Ups
– KB Swings
– Knees to Elbow

I didn’t really understand how that would play out by reading it. And, to be frank, I wasn’t going to devote all that much brain power to trying to figure it out. Not at 5am, not when I would find out in less than an hour.

We did rowing as part of the warm up. I like that, but I’m also a little afraid of the rower. No, not afraid, cautious. I managed to fall off the seat once, but it didn’t result in injury, so I’m just a little cautious. And after the warm up, there were three skills to work on: hand stand walking, muscle ups and kipping pull ups.

I started with the hand stand walking progression. That involves facing away from the wall and getting into a plank with your feet on the wall. Then, you walk your hands towards the wall and walk your feet up the wall. Finally, you reverse that and walk back down to your start. Not easy. I found myself feeling kind of dizzy as I got closer to vertical, and, of course, my arms were burning.

After a few of those, I tried the muscle up progression. Using a band and the rings, you were supposed to sit on the band (one end of the band is looped around one ring, and other you hold in place on the other ring), lay back and extend your legs, and then raise your hips up to the level of the rings. Um, not so much. I mean, I tried, but I’m just not there yet.

As for the kipping pull ups, I am still trying to get a feel for the kipping part of that move. You’re supposed to grab the bar and kind of swing your body so that your chest and head go forward and then back. On the back end, there’s supposed to be a moment where your body feels weightless and you propel yourself up into the pull up from there. I ended up standing on a box and practicing the motion standing on the box. I think I started to get a feel for it. I know I was engaging my lats more, which is good.

Then we were on to the WOD. I pulled out a rower, got myself an ab mat, and a 26 pound kettle bell (I guess I had the weights wrong before – I thought it was 35, but it was clearly labelled 26). The ab mat is like a lumbar support, just a simple pad to go under the lower back during sit ups. I also staked out a bar from which to do my knees to elbows (or however high I could get them today).

We would go for 1 full minute on each exercise, then 1 minute of rest before 1 minute on the next exercise and then another minute of rest until we’d done all 4 exercises. Then repeat the whole process twice more for a total of 3 times.

Rowing was the most frustrating one for me. On every other exercise, I was able to push and do a few more reps, but I just could not get past 15 calories on that rowing machine.

I liked that for the sit ups I could see one other person out of the corner of my eye, and I kept telling myself to go faster than that person. And in the second and third rounds, I tried to go faster than myself, too.

On the kettle bell swings, I was very focused on doing the reps correctly and with speed. My lower back is still hurting from Monday, so I was sensitive to any signs that I might be straining it more. Breathing was also an issue on the kettle bells. I think I tense up on them somehow and I need to remind myself to breathe through the sets.

The knees to elbows were difficult – partially because I’d already started tearing up my hands during the skill portion. I kept having to drop down and re-grip. I mean, I didn’t want to let go, but I would do a number of reps in a row and then my grip would give out. I would drop, and my hands would just hurt. They sting and they complain and I had to jump right back up and do more reps.

At the end of the workout, we were to add all the reps we had completed to the number of calories from the rowing and write the total on the board. I usually just memorize what my time was or how many rounds I did, but for this one I asked for a piece of paper and pencil so I could post my breakdown:

Calories burned rowing: 15 +15 +15
Sit ups: 35 + 38 + 41
Kettle bell swings: 26 + 28 + 30
Knees to elbows: 27 + 30 + 34
Total: 334

Whoops. When I added them up after class, I got 329 for the total. So that’s what I wrote on the board, but now my calculator is telling me I was wrong.

Who’da thunk it? I’m not as good at math after doing a WOD…

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