I know I bore many of my friends with my talk about nutrition, deadlifts, WODs, et cetera, especially the ones who do their own talking about getting healthy, but continue to do the same old thing – nothing.
Yet there are times when I admit to myself that it seems a bit odd that I drive ten miles to lift heavy objects overhead, to push weights on a parking lot and engage in various other torturous activities designed to strengthen me and toughen me up for real life. That is odd, in that for me, real life is a desk and a keyboard. So I guess my workouts are designed to strengthen me in spite of real life.
Realizing that my career challenges are mental and intellectual, I eagerly look for everyday opportunities to test my body and my stamina with a physical challenge. But yesterday I had a test I did not know I was prepared for, compliments of CrossFit.
I was in my backyard and I had just thrown some steak tip kabobs on the grill. On the other side of the bushes I heard a commotion, I glanced over to see a neighbor had collapsed in the pond. He was on his hands and knees in only thirty inches of water, but he was so weak he couldn’t hold his head up and his face was in the water.
The noise I heard was his wife, as she was franticly trying to hold his head above the water. I jumped into the water and grabbed him from behind with a keg-style lift, courtesy of Kelly Starrett and his book, Becoming a Supple Leopard. I was able to get the gentleman out of the water, sitting him on a rock and eventually I got him onto his dock.
To a trained First Responder, this incident would have been nothing. But to a guy who sits at a desk for a living, having the opportunity to transfer deadlift skills to a wet human being was quite a different experience. For one thing, a barbell is dry. For another, it is balanced and it has a center of gravity more accommodating to midline stabilization of my spine. And I can drop a 150 pound barbell on the ground after I lift it. Not so with a 150 pound nonagenarian.
I wish I had a picture of the look on Suzanne’s face when I walked into the house with my clothes soaked and covered with mud and pond scum, bearing a platter of burned steak tip kabobs.