Here is some theme music to play in the background to help you get in the mood for reading this blog post. I grew up playing video games so perhaps it is natural that life to me often feels a bit like a standard video game format.  We all have our everyday problems to overcome.  They’re a bit like the Koopa Troopas in Super Mario Brothers.  They’re annoying but minor obstacles.  All you have to do is jump over them or stomp on them.  They’ll be back.  You deal with them everyday.  Sure, every now and then you accidentally kick one into a wall and it rebounds into you costing a bunch of hard earned gold tokens but usually, because they’re so routine, a Koopa Troopa or two won’t derail your day.

So life goes.  From one screen to the next.  Hopping over your daily challenges, collecting tokens as you go.  Until, every now and then, you reach the boss level.  You can’t just jump over Bowser and go on your merry way.  Bowser poses a real problem.  A problem you’ve got to solve before you can move on and get back to your routine. 

As a kid I’d sometimes get stuck for weeks at a boss level before figuring out how to move on.  It was frustrating.  Sometimes it made me want to just give up the game altogether.  But eventually, with enough trial and error, you would figure out the combination required to overcome that boss and move on up to the next level.  And the challenges of the first screen of the next level somehow felt so much easier now when compared to the boss level you’d just conquered.  You’d levelled up your game.  That boss who’d held you up for weeks would never again pose so big a problem.  Not until you met the next, more challenging boss.

Training is like that.  Life is like that.  Day-to-day you face and overcome the usual challenges.  Every now and then you trip over one, fall flat on your face and curse your bad luck.  But for the most part you are well-equipped to deal with the minor routine challenges you encounter day to day.  Until life throws you unexpectedly into a boss level.  Maybe you lose your job, have an illness in the family, suffer a training injury or a pandemic closes your world down.  There’s lots of challenging bosses life has in store.  It feels like running into a wall.  Suddenly you can’t move forward.  Not until you solve this new and unfamiliar challenge.  It’s frustrating.  Sometimes you want to give up.  And then you break through.  Onto the next level.  You’ve levelled up!  The lessons you learned conquering that challenge will undoubtedly serve you well in overcoming the next challenge.  And there will always be new challenges.

There will be the day-to-day Koopa Troopas that never go away, never leave you in peace, and there will be the occasional Bowser coming along to stop your progress right in its tracks.  Instead of feeling discouraged try to remember that each boss level is an opportunity to level up your game.  Because when you beat a boss, you are a boss and you get to play life at a whole new level!  You have levelled up!

When I was a low level player a simple parking ticket could ruin my whole week.  It felt like the world was crashing in on me – “Woe betide us, lackaday, good gosh gadzooks and well away!”  One little parking ticket was enough to derail my life.  It seems silly now.  I recall, in contrast,  the morning decades later that I learned my father had passed away.  I remembered what a friend had once told me: “God never gives you a problem you are not equipped to overcome.”  I took courage in that.  Devastated as I was, I had risen to the level of play where learning how to bury loved ones was a part of the game.  You can bet after that a parking ticket no longer rates as a real problem.  As I’ve heard said: “Any problem that can be solved by money is not a problem.”  Each problem life hands you prepares you for the next and puts the lesser problems in perspective.  Every challenge you overcome builds your confidence for facing the next one.

Life is a series of daily Koopa Troopas with the occasional Bowser thrown in to help you level up to a higher level of play.  As you become better, the bosses you face get progressively tougher.  It’s not the world trying to beat you down but life helping you to level up!  It’s just how the game goes.  Have courage.  And remember to celebrate every time you successfully pass another boss level!

Friday WOD
To maximize access to the GHD’s we will split this short day into a WOD A and WOD B.  In WOD A you can pair up with a person of similar height and share the GHD with one of you doing burpees while the other does sit ups and then swap at the end of the minute.  In this way we can have up to 12 group class members access the GHD for this workout.

The B WOD is to develop low intensity work capacity.  Please use it as such.  It will not be scored.  The B WOD movements should not detract from or interfere with your A WOD performance.  This doesn’t mean you should not take it seriously.  Use it as intended to improve your work capacity.  The movements have been selected intentionally.  Enjoy them and use them to get fitter!

Warm Up
1 min each:
Belly Breathing
Head Nods/Rotations
Head Up Cross Touch Dead Bugs
Egg Rolls
Head Down Windshield Wipers
Rocking Chairs
Cross Touch Bird Dogs
Full Body Rocks

If you cannot do these as RX’d substitute a full body rock or a reverse burpee
GHD Sit Up
We often sub V-Ups for this movement due to lack of equipment or time considerations but the V-Up is not a perfect substitute.  Today – barring a condition that makes GHD impossible – everyone can access the GHD and should!  It is only 1 minute per round so even if you only do a few reps each minute it will be good.  If this is a new skill for you we strongly encourage you to modify the range of motion and only go back to horizontal.

4 Rounds
1 min Burpees
1 min GHD Sit Ups
1 min Rest

4 Rounds
1 min Airbike
1 min Sled Push
1 min Bar Hang

We will have up to 2 people per station and you will cycle through the stations in order.

Airbike: This will warm up or cool down your upper and lower limbs before/after the burpees, go at an easy pace focusing on nose breathing only!

Sled Push:  The sled push is a moving plank hold that will also serve to warm up/cool down your lower extremities while learning to create and maintain full body rigidity while in motion

Bar Hang: aka the poor man’s chiropractor.  If a full hang from the bar is too intense for you, please use a bar that is low enough to keep your feet on the floor and take as much load in your arms as you can without undue discomfort.  It is one of the best stretches/strengthening exercises you can do!

Cool Down
1 min each:
Upper/Lower Body Half Rolls
Hands & Knees Shoulder Rotations (cw/ccw)
Hand & Knees Hip Rotations (cw/ccw)
Judo Push Up Rock into upward facing dog stretch