Friday, February 19, 2016

Back to regular programming - CrossFit and Skiing

It was bitterly cold last weekend in Vermont.  It barely got above 0F both days, and I saw a photo of one thermometer at Sugarbush that showed -38F.  This wasn't even on the coldest part of the mountain.  Mountain operations actually closed some parts of the mountain to reduce the risk of frostbite or hypothermia.

On Saturday, I worked for half of the day.  Mostly, I was working with two younger instructors, trying to help them with the whole process of teaching skiing.  I've been at this for a long time, and while there are many better instructors, I think I do a pretty good job of watching skiers, assessing weaknesses, and then coming up with activities to improve the student's skiing.  This is something that I didn't do well at all years ago, when I first started teaching, and I'm still learning, to be honest.

But, my boss has been using me to work with less experienced instructors, to help them evaluate their students and then help those students improve.  I find this work to be a lot of fun.  I'm coaching the students and coaching other coaches.  I'm glad that my boss trusts my abilities enough to give me this work.

On Sunday, it was colder than Saturday.  I think the chemo has affected how I react to the cold, and despite a warm winter, I'm cold a lot.  Even right now, sitting in my office, I'm wearing a fleece top over my shirt and a jacket over that.  And a hat.  My bald head won't stay warm and I often go to bed wearing a hat.  It falls off overnight, but it keeps me warm until I can fall asleep at least.

So, I was hoping to not work at all in the cold conditions on Sunday.  Instead, my boss suggested that I set up an indoor station where I could do some indoor training.  This included a set-up to show students how to tune their own skis.  We knew that groups would be coming inside frequently, and that some students would not want to go back outside.  So, by offering this, we were protecting children and helping out other coaches.

It turned out that the ski tuning station was a hit, and I tuned a lot of skis, with help from the kids.  I heard multiple kids excitedly telling their parents that they learned how to tune skis and that they'd tuned their own skis.  So, it was a successful day and I got to stay warm.  Plus, I got out of work a bit early, and my wife and I headed out of town for the evening for a nice Valentine's Day dinner and an overnight stay in a hotel.

On Monday, I was surprised to be really tired.  I'd done 4 days of CrossFit the previou week, skied half a day on Sunday, and spent Sunday on my feet, but the weekend hadn't really been that tough.  But, I skipped CrossFit anyway, ate an early dinner and got to bed early.

Tuesday, I was back at CF.  We started with hang power snatches and hang power cleans with a push jerk.  One rep every 30 seconds for 20 minutes.  This was just plain hard.  After that, we did thrusters, ring rows and burpees.  I was just gassed during the second half of the workout - enough that one of the coaches stopped by to make sure I was OK.  This particular coach, who is an elite CF athlete herself, seems to check up on me a lot these days.  I appreciate the concern, but I'm just doing the best I can to regain all of the fitness I've lost in the past 10 months.

On Wednesday, we started with push presses for our strength work.  And then, a combo of lifting a heavy sand-filled ball over our shoulders, sit-ups and rope jumping.  I felt a lot better this day, and didn't even finish last in the workout.

Thursday is a "pick your poison" workout, where we pick four different movements (one from each of four different categories) and repeat them once every minute for 40 minutes.  We do this an an ABCDABCD... fashion, rather than AAAAAAAAAABBBBBB,,,, fashion.  Last night, I chose rowing, push-ups, farmer's carries and back squats as my movements.

I'll be teaching skiing again this weekend, so I have to decide if I'm up for CF tonight, or I should take a rest day.  I feel OK today, but one more CF day could leave me pretty tired for the weekend.  My wife and I will decide after work, I'm guessing, based on how we feel.

After this week, I have 2 more weeks to do CF, and then maybe 1 or 2 days the week of 3/7.  I will be flying to NYC on the 7th of March, with medical appointments on the 8th and surgery on the 10th.  If I'm lucky, I'll get one CF workout at my home gym the morning of the 7th, and then maybe one in Manhattan on the 9th.  I've trained at CF Hell's Kitchen in the past, so maybe I'll go there again for one day.

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