Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Invictus Athlete Camp

Well, I've been home for over a week and just now got the chance to sit down and write about my awesome experience at the Invictus Athlete Camp. After all, it wasn't until this past weekend that I caught up with all of my CrossFit Chickasaw stuff.

The weekend was amazing! Anytime that I am around CJ and the Invictus crew, I make new friends and learn a tremendous amount from them. The weekend started on Friday afternoon with a team workout on a track that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.

The view from the track
You all probably know how excited that made me, because the track and I get a long pretty well. Strangely enough, it may have been something about being surrounded by elite athletes or the beautiful landscape, but I ran a little too fast on my first 400m leg! I WISH I knew what my split was! CJ, did you catch it? It had to have been near a PR. I know how to pace, but sure as hell didn't execute that day. During my second 400m leg, I thought I was going to puke, which rarely happens. I managed to keep my lunch down though. After four rounds, I was smoked. Definitely slept like a baby that night!

Both Saturday and Sunday morning, we started things off right with Coach Burgener. I was teamed up with Tarasa Barnett, April Lowe, and Lauren Fisher. All of which, I soon found out, are stronger than I am. Surprise, surprise. Anyway, I PRed my front squat in an attempt to not appear too much like a wuss, the same term I called Alicia Conners at one point that weekend. Lucky for me, she took it well. (Love you, Alicia!)

My strong lifting partners
Carl Paoli worked with us on our gymnastics skills and taught us that gymnastics is all about positioning. We practiced handstands, handstand walks, handstand pushups, ring handstand pushups. It seemed like we were on our hands more than our feet for his session. I definitely needed the help in this arena. It was good to take home some useful progression drills for those illusive, high skill movements.

The afternoon began with Heidi Fearon and her take on the mental and physical recovery aspect of training. I didn't know it until her presentation, but I needed to make some huge changes with regards to recovery. One specific quote that resonated so deeply with me was that "every moment is perfect." With great enthusiasm, I came home and told some close friends about this message and what it meant to me. It hit close to home, to say the least.

The message of self maintenance was later emphasized by Kelly Starrett. I was not surprised to find that I am hardly the supple leopard. After his session, I realized that I was immobile in places that I didn't know I could be immobile. I learned more effective (and painful) mobility techniques. He preached that the foam roller is for sissies. With that in mind, I haven't used it since.

Each day ended with "a little conditioning." ANY conditioning in a gym full of CrossFit studs is a big deal... to me. I held my own throughout the workouts and didn't get my ass kicked too badly, which gave me a slight boost in confidence.

Once the camp was came to a close on Sunday evening, I was totally smoked and really hungry. All I wanted to do was eat, drink beer, and then crash in bed. Luckily, my roommate and long distance training buddy, Elyse Umeda, felt the same. So, that's what we did.

Early Monday morning, the camp headed to Kwaay Paay for a trail run. I had heard reports throughout the weekend of how tough this run was. I expected the worse but relished in the idea that it was still just running, which is kind of a comfort zone for me. During the "run," it didn't take long for me to find that it wasn't just running. It was walking. Points of the trail were so steep that I discovered walking was faster than running. Perhaps that was my mind justifying my walking. Anyway, I made it up with a pretty decent time of 15:45. My quads were screaming throughout the run, exacerbated by the fact that we squatted A LOT on Saturday and Sunday. A refreshing consummation, the summit of Kwaay Paay offered a picturesque view of downtown San Diego, the Pacific, and the mountain range.

The top of Kwaay Paay
I cannot stress how much I learned throughout the weekend. I got the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches and athletes in the world and for that, I feel very fortunate. Likewise, I am incredibly proud to be a part of such an awesome group of people. They push me to be better each day.

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an awesome trip... equal parts tough and rewarding. Good job!