Week 4 and our muscles are sore (but growing) Our personal CrossFit challenge continues

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First Posted: 12/30/2014

We are down to two participants. Although there is chatter of rejoining. Time will tell.

After taking a Friday off, we got back to the CrossFit grind. This week’s workouts consisted of lots of lower body work by way of squats, lots of squats, 250 squats. There were ‘weighted step ups,’ new to the regimen, where, while holding a weight we must step up onto a box 24 inches off the ground. The ever popular kettlebell work reappeared as did pull-ups, burpees and ‘hang power cleans,’ lifting the bar over our heads in multiple repetitions, adding more and more weight each time. Jump roping was also introduced. Let the fun begin.

Samantha Stanich: I will say this every week regardless of how in shape I get or feel; it takes everything in me to get my butt to the gym. When I told Tommy Casey, CrossFit Scranton owner and head coach, I was expecting him to tell me to suck it up and get there but instead he laughed and said he has the same problem. He’s at the gym and has to convince himself to do the work out. This made me feel better considering this man is all muscle and looks as if he has no problem hitting the weights. Monday’s workout, “Jonesworthy” was named after Matinee Jones, an athlete at the gym.

Sarah Haase: Zzzzz. I slept in Monday. Shame on me.

Samantha: As a soccer player, squatting came natural. I prided myself on completing 80 squats in a row. I felt the pain in the other five rounds. This workout had pull-ups as an exercise but I was still on ring rows. I began asking about the “kip” pull-up, a CrossFit style pull-up that allows for more repetition, and convinced myself I would do at least one before the end of our journey. It involves the entire-body in a swinging motion that accompanies the pull-up.

The workout was timed, but, I don’t remember my time. It’s funny, to me because usually I would make sure everyone knew just how fast I did it. But, this journey showed me that competing against myself can be just as fun. Instead of worrying how I compared to others, I was proud of my squats and knew it was time to work on my pull-ups.

Samantha: Wednesday was another mental struggle but I got there and saw we where jump roping. Finally, something I excel in. False. Something CrossFit made harder than ever.

Sarah Haase: Jump roping. Yay. Something I actually enjoy doing, at least I did when I was a child. Double dutch, rope racing, you name it, if there was a twirling rope involved, I was in. Never heard of a “double under” though.

Samantha: I was able to get one “double under,” spinning the rope under your feet twice in one jump, every 10 or so jumps. I have whip marks on my body as evidences of my attempt. I stuck to single jumps and considered my “double unders” a work in progress. So instead of 40 double unders, I did 120 singles. In my class there was a 25 minute time cap on and I barely made it. In 25 minutes I jumped rope 720 times, swung a kettlebell and stepped on a box with a 25 pound weight 171 times. Time was not my accomplishment.

Sarah: Ok, leave it to CrossFit to take the fun out of jump roping. Football players can do double unders, so can wrestlers, Sarah Haase can not. Especially after swinging a 20-pound kettlebell then holding a 25-pound weight and stepping up on a block. I did however do single jumps impressively fast (in my mind) with minimal mess ups. Slow and stead won this one. At this point in my CrossFit career I’m more concerned with completing the exercises correctly than finishing in under 25 minutes. OK, 35 minutes.

Samantha: I went home for Halloween. I live five hours away so I left Thursday night and worked out Friday morning. I went to a 9 a.m. class at the Ironman Warehouse in Youngstown, Ohio. The gym uses different equipment and found myself lifting kegs and flipping tires. The workout was rightly named “circle of death.” It consisted of 13 exercises, one-minute each with a 30 second rest for five rounds. Waking up to go to the gym on my day off I realized I was getting into the mindset where I won’t miss a workout.

Sarah: CrossFit on Halloween. A “Thriller” workout with some Michael Jackson music was just what I needed to complete this workout. That and the ever present moral support from Jen Siciliano. She and coach Robby Casey are always so encouraging. So, here we are, 6 a.m. just me Jen and Robby. Just the three of us. No getting out of any reps here.I still have a lot of trouble with burpees, so coach Robby has me doing push-ups. A scaled back version because that upper body strength is only slowly developing. But developing none-the-less.

The first set of lifting was, dare I say, easy. So, I added more weight. Also easy. More weight. I was shocked that I was doing this, I don’t know where the strength came from, but it came. More weight. The lifts began to get harder, but I pushed through. I had three plates on each side of the bar. Sure, they were only 10-pound plates, but it looked so pretty. In the words of a very wise man I know “Every struggle is a victory” and this was one amazing personal victory.