There’s nothing like Kansas City BBQ. Within the flavor is a process that the final product displays in each solitary bite. Once you’ve experienced the delicacy that is rubbed, slow-cooked over a wood fire and complimented with a tomato-based sauce BBQ, everything else is fast food. This is how I feel about doing 1000 Burpees for time. Notch your belt with that nightmare and all other WODs look like Memphis BBQ.
To date, the longest workout per say I’d done was the Iron Triathalon, a version of “Linda” where you Deadlift 150% your bodyweight, Bench your bodyweight and Squat Clean 75% of your bodyweight for 1 to 20 reps ascending, for time. It took me a tortuous 127 minutes, and many times throughout I required a spot on my Bench from my former training partner Cody (who in hockey circles is affectionately known as “Dangles”).
Instagram sure is a silly beast, isn’t she? A vapid void of information we mostly don’t need. My explore page is like a traffic jam in Hell. Everyone is a brand pretending to not be a brand, seeking salvation. Mine is comprised of hip-hop news, professional marksmen running three gun drills, and of course CrossFit mumbo jumbo. On this page was where I found a short video and explanation of Sara Sigmundsdóttir having her go at 1000 Burpees for time. She noted that it was brutal but manageable (like Thanksgiving at my Father’s house), and with that my interest was piqued.
The mistake I made was informing Chad. I’ve got to stop doing that. Informing Chad is enabling him. He’s just built that way. If you tell him only two people have surfed lava floes he’s going to die trying to be the third. And since he’s my de facto sidekick in many of my life’s misadventures I’d die being the fourth. So we Googled it.
Former CF Games Champ Miko Salo had posted a YouTube video of him post-1000, talking with a friend, days after. His friend asks, “How did it effect your training?” And Miko says “I didn’t do anything for a week.”
His friend follows up “No training?”
And Miko says “No, nothing.” Or something along those lines. It was at this moment Chad turned to me and said “Let’s do it some Saturday,” all casual-like, as if talking about attending a paint and sip.
“If you’re going to battle, bring a friend. And don’t fight, win.” I say. So I made some calls.
Josh “Pure” Plunkett is a CrossFit trainer and miracle worker. He’s local and doesn’t give a shit about weekends. We’re great friends and he jumped on board as soon as I mentioned this endeavor.
Caleb Srp is a transplant from Minnesota, and is a truly free man. If I had to describe him to people I’d say if Caleb got a flat tire, he’d see an opportunity for a much needed walk. He’d done the 1000 before, which gave me poise going in, because he remembered it being a good time.
Ben Watts was born in the wrong century. He’s quiet like how gunslingers in 1880s saloons were quiet. He’d have been right at home vaulting from one ship to another, weilding a saber, gutting merchants left and right en route to a box full of gold. He smiled when I asked him to join us.
Clay Weinaug is an enigma. He shows up like a heirloom you’d thought you’d lost. His calm in tough situations is unwaivering, and it snowballs into a confidence that I can only illustrate by saying he’s shorter than his girlfriend but hasn’t noticed.
This was the squad: Chad Worman, Josh Plunkett, Caleb Srp, Ben Watts, Clay Weinaug and myself. We also had a small support staff. Cale and Karen Van Cleave, and Jeremy “Sauce” Gannon. We did the workout at Cale’s storage facility in Grain Valley, the AC fighting the good fight against the heat that permeated your comfort as soon as a door was opened.
The Iron Triathlon is still my lengthiest WOD to date (omitting the 24 hour Spur Ride I completed in ’09 with the 1st Squadron, 91st Calvary). One thousand burpees took me 119:18, just seconds shy on the two-hour mark. My initial goal was sub-100, which both Clay and Chad accomplished (92 and 93 minutes, respectively, I believe).
Caleb worked steadfastly to 500 and then decided against continuing. Which was nothing more than an experienced CrossFitter making an informed decision. His body wasn’t having it, and you don’t push for the summit without good weather.
Josh rifled through his final few mere minutes after me, finishing at 133 and change. With Ben rounding out us six at 150-ish.
My knees bled. The Open standards were gone with the first 250. Karen used some K-Tape and had me back moving shortly after the problem arose. My triceps felt like they were a single French Press away from detachment. Cale would say things like “Still think this was a good idea, Newton?” And I’d mentally annotate that I need to fight him. Every time I thought about gearing down, Gannon would remind me quitting wasn’t an available egress route. Sweat pooled beneath me as if I were melting. It was an undertaking. One for the trophy case, no doubt.
“Nothing exists outside your mind.” I say. “Peacefully abide.” And so I did. Worrying not about what was left or what had been done. Finding myself face down and then standing tall. My movement like a mantra, a metronome, a guarantee. Too easy.