Hey, who’s a gigantic tool?
For those of you who are late getting to the charitable party, the astoundingly generous KSK community raised $8,346 dollars for my participation in Fight Gone Bad IV, which just so happened to be the second-highest total of the 5000 CrossFit athletes who participated, an effort that helped FGB raise over $1 million for the Wounded Warrior Project and Athletes for a Cure. You are all to be commended and rewarded, and the only way that I can reward you is by offering up my sweaty, imperfect being for your satanically cruel scrutiny.
After the jump is my Fight Gone Bad experience in words and pictures, as promised. Be warned: male shirtlessness and vomit ensue.
Saturday morning. I’ve been fearing FGB for weeks, and much of it comes from the fact that the damn blog readers have donated so much money, which has changed me from a middling/below-average member of CrossFit South Brooklyn to something of a celebrity among the little community of people who could appear on the covers of fitness magazines. “So how did you raise so much money?” they ask. “Blog? How many readers to you guys have?” “And you just asked them for money?” And so on.
Of course, there’s the additional pressure of feeling like I need to get pictures of myself vomiting in order to justify all the money that was donated. I have to puke. WHAT IF I DON’T PUKE? People have paid good money to see me throw up, I damn well better follow through. But it’s not all about raising money and puking: I also want to perform well for my own, you know, physical well-being.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Fight Gone Bad, it’s a workout in which one performs three cycles of five different exercises in one-minute increments. Five minutes of going through each station, one minute of rest, five minutes for the next cycle, one minute of rest, and five more minutes. What are those exercises? Let’s have a look:
Rowing fucking blows. It’s the bullshit exercise in Fight Gone Bad, because your score is determined by how many calories you generate, whereas every other exercise gets tallied by reps performed. Rowing magically saps your body of any and all energy you may have stored in your body. It taps into your mitochondria’s power reserves and runs the air conditioner on high.
A few days before Fight Gone Bad, I rowed 2000 meters. It took me eight minutes, and I threw up afterward. Rowing is an asshole.
Wallball sounds like a fun game children might play. It is not. You take a 20-pound medicine ball, squat until your hips are below your knees, then stand up and throw the ball at a target on the wall ten feet in the air. I actually dislike wallball more than rowing.
3. Sumo Deadlift High-Pull
A deadlift is when you lift a bar from the floor to mid-thigh level by bending over, then using your back and hips to stand up with the weight. The high-pull part comes when you add raising the bar to your clavicle. That way, it’s twice as much work, plus it wears out your shoulders and traps as well as your lower back and hamstrings. Whee. (For FGB, the prescribed weight is 75 pounds.)
The clock in the picture depicts me at two minutes and 23 seconds into FGB, which is about 30 seconds before I realized that there was no chance of me puking in this workout. I could tell this because I was suddenly VERY close to losing control of my bowels. You see, rowing, wallball, and SDLHP all involve a lot of squatting and then exploding into full leg and hip extension, and that, my friends, is a whole lot of — I really wish I had a better phrase for this — colonic massage.
So, I had to use some of the energy that should have been spent moving weight clenching my sphincter instead. Because I was willing to vomit bananas and blue Gatorade for KSK, but shitting my pants was not part of the deal. You hear me? SHITTING MY PANTS WAS NOT PART OF THE DEAL.
4. Box Jumps
Oh, this is a nice one. This is possibly the worst picture of me ever taken. Stupid look on the face? Check. Unflattering stomach exposure? Absolutely. Sweating like Drew going up the stairs? Indeed.
And yes: the shorts. The shorts are silver. People are going to make fun of those. For Christ’s sake, it’s just a shitty pair of shorts to work out in. But I should know better:
“I dream of a day when a man will be judged not for the content of his character, but for the color of his shorts.” –The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Great man. King also envisioned LOLcats, but that’s another story.
Anyway: box jumps. You’re just jumping onto a box that’s 20 inches high. Sounds easy, right? And yet. Ohhhh, and motherfucking yet.
Sure, the first five are easy. Ten are easy. Then you have to put more and more effort to land on top of a wooden box. Then you don’t measure your jump right and you catch your toe on the edge of the box and your shin slides down the edge of the box and you’re bleeding.
Fucking box jumps.
5. Push Press
Like the deadlift high-pulls, this is with a 75-pound barbell. Now, pressing 75 pounds over your head isn’t that difficult. Doing it as many times as you can in a minute? Well, that’s considerably tougher. Doing it as many times in a minute while completely out of breath with aching shoulders from wallballs and high-pulls? Well, that’s misery. Sheer misery.
At the end of each five-minute sequence, I’d take the bar off the rack, crank out a couple reps, and unceremoniously clank it back on the rack, gasping for air, muscles begging me not to pick it up again. But everyone around you is yelling at you to get back on it, more reps, that’s enough rest, so you take a big gulp of air and have another go.
…and that’s one cycle. Do that two more times and this happens:
Am I crying? Maybe. I blacked out, so it’s hard to say.
Several minutes later, I regained the power — if not quite the desire — to stand up. I spoke to a couple people about how it felt (‘Wow, that sucked“), and then I felt a late-surging unhappiness in my guts. To the trash can, Batman! We have dry-heaving to do!
No, there was no actual vomit dispensed. And I bought the blue Gatorade just for you! I don’t even like the way it tastes!
But there’s a happy ending to this story. Happy for you, that is. One week later I did an all-rowing workout that culminated in five heats of 250-meter sprints on the rower. As with the 2000-meter row, the erg sapped my energy and poisoned my digestive system. Immediately after finishing my final 250 meters, I headed straight for the bathroom and fired off some violent projectile vomiting:
That’s coffee, coconut water, and the mostly digested remains of an egg sandwich. I apologize for not capturing the act itself on camera. I didn’t really have the time to grab my iPhone and explain to someone why they needed to come to the bathroom with me to photograph me getting sick. So, this grainy post-vomit shot will have to do…
…UNTIL NEXT YEAR.