Thanks to all of you who turned out to join us Saturday night for drinks in our living room.  It was great to reconnect and catch up with so many people.  I think it was 20+ but honestly, it was hard to do an accurate count with a wine glass in my hand.  We had some good laughs but missed those of you who couldn’t join us so let me include you by sharing some of the highlights from last night’s 90 minute hang out.

With BFG at work earning accolades from the adoring Vancouver public, Quicksilver shared images of his protective face mask and goggles.  She reports that VGH is currently at 60% occupancy, well down from the usual 105% as they prepare for the influx anticipated in two weeks’ time.  So the worst is yet to come but our medical professionals are ready!

We shared some movie and streaming show recommendations.  Electric recommends the Tiger King on Netflix and Iron Man mentioned The Platform.  Fierce and Sprite discussed tourtiere (delicious meat pies) while we entertained the idea of a regular Empower Zoom cooking club .

We were all jealous of Brick.  Turns out that because landlords are apparently considered an “essential service” he still gets to go to the office – away from his family – regularly!  Lucky bastard!  Spice challenged us to share the most exciting thing the rest of us saw or did this past week.  Mufasa bought a dozen cinnamon buns.  That pretty much was the hands-down winner.  Way to go Mufasa!

Gymkata made the mistake of calculating the reps performed in Saturday’s Angie Ladder.  I think she came up with 899 squats.  She was obviously destroyed by the WOD at one point requiring Marc’s aid as she spilled her flagon of “Rooibos tea” on herself, rendered too weak to hold that big steaming mug.

Silk couldn’t join us because Sandman had put her to work in the kitchen preparing his dinner so that he could show off the fancy new muscle up station he’d built himself in their backyard only to rudely refuse to demo muscle ups for us.  We should have left him on mute Shine!

We saw the roles reversed in another household as Pepper lounged comfortably on the couch in the foreground as Iron Man slaved over her dinner in the background.  Silk needs to talk to Pepper .  Or perhaps Iron Man needs some next level coaching from Sandman.

It was great to see HHH & Smash come (virtually) out of 14-day quarantine blinking blearily into the glow of the computer monitor like maximum security inmates emerging from weeks in the hole.  They raved about the final days of Disney Land, their deteriorating sanity held together only by the supply of alcohol dropped at their doorstep by friends.  “Send more booze, please!” they pleaded.

We all had fun ghosting The Touch when he left for a moment to pour himself a scotch.  Joke was on us though because when he finally returned, he was so into his scotch that he didn’t seem to notice the rest of us were missing.

Forget about C2 Rowers and Rogue’s newest home gym offerings, Auto has the latest ‘must-have’ accessories for the home bound CrossFitter: your grand parents’ 1950’s era floral print sofas and recliners made famous by CFHQ’s prophetic 2019 home workout video series.  And that’s not the only trend Auto spotted.  Short all stocks for pants manufacturers Auto and put your money on suppliers of shirts and anything people wear from the waist up.  Not a single Drinks-with-Coach attendee was willing to stand up on camera to prove him wrong about this.

While we all wished we had invested in Zoom stocks about three weeks ago, Spice and others lamented the tedious hours now spent daily on Zoom meetings leading Shine to wonder if it’s possible to fake your way through a Zoom meeting without the host knowing you were actually paying attention to something else.  Riot assured us the platform comes with ways to check attendee attention and I assured Shine I would be attending the Zoom training course this week to make sure none of you are faking your way through a Zoom WOD.  Don’t even try it!

Riot was cheerful in sharing her expansive Zoom knowledge with the older generation (she’s recently discovered the joys of alcohol, Auto and Dauntless look too tired to care).  Seems the kids today meet up on Zoom so they can watch Netflix shows together.  WTF!?  Really?  I think my aged brain almost exploded at that point.

But Riot wasn’t the only one handing out mind-blowing pearls of knowledge.  Once the libations had been flowing for a bit we began to hear about who had abandoned wearing bras in their daily life.  Several attendees (mostly women) admitted to this shocking practice of bra-shedding.  And as they launched into vivid descriptions of the effects of working out bra-free DT took advantage of a teachable moment to educate the younger Empower ladies on the differences between solids and liquids.  Solids it seems, hold their shape unsupported whereas liquids take on the shape of whatever vessel you use to contain them.  The young ladies looked a bit terrified as the mature ones cackled, “Your day is coming Missy, just you wait!”

Parents of teenagers offered sage counsel to those with younger children at home who still suffer under the delusion of parental control.  Echoing my own parenting philosophy, Doc Disc wisely pointed out “They’re going to have to learn to self-regulate sometime.”

Some had funny anecdotes to share while others were quieter, tuning in just to enjoy the conversation or to sit there and quietly judge the rest of us like Dangers and Peril.  HeeHee didn’t have much to say unless I neglectfully allowed her wine glass to get empty.  Mom was also quiet but because I know her I can tell you that like an infant, Mom is always quiet and content when you put a bottle in her hand.

It was nice to connect and spend some time.  Eventually of course, our families found out we were having a good time without them and called us away from our brief reprieve and back into the reality of trapped-together-for-a-few-weeks-more.  But it was a good time so let’s close on a positive note.  Best  thing about hosting a Zoom party is that after all the guests have departed the only clean up required is hauling my wine-infused wife off the couch.

Monday’s WOD: Helen
Younger mind or younger body?  Sunday’s participants came down 8:5 in choosing a youthful body over a youthful mind.  I never guessed it could be that close.  I was a stupid youth so there’s no way I’d want that brain back but knowing what I know now, what I could do with a younger body…

Monday’s question the day: Name of your first crush

Warm Up
1 min plank hold (centre)
1 min skipping or jump with clap or calf raises
1 min side plank (right)
1 min jogging in place
1 min side plank (left)
1 min jumping forward and backward
1 min scales
1 min jumping side-to-side
1 min Russian KB swings
1 min jogging in place
1 min Banded row or bent over row
1 min skipping or jump with clap or calf raises

3 Rounds:
400m Run
21 KB Swings @1/1.5 pood
12 Pull Ups

Tech: Modifications
This is a great one to do out doors and though Helen has never been my favourite benchmark, I liked it much better in the park than in the gym and can even say I enjoyed it.  Here’s some suggestions for adapting this one:

1) 400m Run
This is approximately 2 minutes each round.  I chose to run up the Almond park steps but if running isn’t an option for you, you could use an equivalent time row (approx 500m) or run in place for 2 minutes or skip (single or double unders) for about 2 mins.  Even 2 minutes of jumping jacks or burpees (approx 30) will get you the elevated heart rate required to simulate the run.

2) Kettlebell Swings
We stuffed our backpacks with sacks of rice.  You could use dumbbells or water jugs.  If you have low ceilings, do not go overhead but just do Russian swings.

3) Pull Ups
We use a tree branch.  I recently posted a video with 29 pull up alternatives.  None are perfect so I recommend using different ones for different workouts (constantly varied).  For Helen you should be able to get 4-6 reps in a row.  One of the jumping pull up variations might work great if you have a safe set up for it.

Cool Down
Calf Stretch
Lat stretch
Quad Stretch
Forearm stretch