Friday: Theme Song
What is your personal theme song? Friday classes completed 30 minutes of SLIPS then ran a mile or rowed 2K. Yeti & Dauntless both scored personal bests. When they were done we asked members about their personal anthem. Mine is God Gave rock and Roll to You by KISS. I’m not saying this is my favourite song but it is my anthem of hope, it is the song that picks me up when I’m down, gives me courage when I am in doubt, is my beacon of light when the shadows of fear loom large, helps me forge ahead when the path looks rough. What is yours and why?
While today I enjoy and recognize a few KISS tunes I was never a big KISS fan. Until my 40’s I didn’t even know any of their songs or at least I didn’t remember any. Of course as a child I was aware of KISS. I thought KISS looked cool in all their make up when they made a guest appearance on the TV show Kids are People Too (did you just cringe with the realization that you too are old enough to remember that long lost show?) but I hadn’t really thought of them since.
Not until 2013. We were homeless, broke, had no car, no possessions except those we’d carried around the world in our backpacks and were about to open our new location on Dunbar Street not knowing if anyone would ever show up. In fact, the first few weeks I’d bus from Oakridge to the gym to open at 6am to no one at all. “Why even go?” Sunghee would ask me. “If I don’t, no one will ever show up,” I answered. And by the end of March Music Man did show up. And in April, so did Dr. T and then a few years later the class was so full we had to add the 5am and a few years after that we needed to move into a bigger space on Alma Street. But we couldn’t foresee all this in the months leading up to our grand opening; all we could see were the doubts and fears paving the way. And in the midst of all that uncertainty I heard a fraction of this KISS song inserted in an Axis of Awesome song. I didn’t know the name of the song or who it was by but hearing just 2 lines of that old song transported me back almost 3 decades to my living room in Scarborough Ontario where a 6 years old boy unfettered by the insecurities, failures and disappointments of adulthood was dreaming of being a rock star on a stage in front of hundreds of fans. Dressed up the way I imagined a rock star should look (picture Neil Diamond) wearing bell bottom trousers and a sparkly white formal shirt with big collars and flaring sleeves I cranked up the radio and sang along to the chorus of this KISS song.
I hadn’t heard it once in the intervening years and had forgotten it entirely. But hearing the chorus again in 2013 brought me right back to that little boy stepping onto that imaginary stage to embrace his dreams with all the fearlessness and enthusiasm of childhood. Because “you can take a stand, or you can compromise, you can work real hard or just fantasize but you don’t start livin’ till you realize: God gave rock and roll to you! God gave rock and roll to everyone”, damn it!
Screw self-doubt! In that moment I realized that Empower is my rock and roll song. And in that moment God Gave Rock and Roll to You became my theme song, the refrain I sang to myself each morning as I travelled through the cold predawn darkness toward a gym space empty of people but full of my hopes and dreams. It helped me summon my courage through all the uncertainty of our 2018 expansion which was even more frightening than the opening of our Dunbar space since we had nothing to lose back in 2013 but in 2018 we had everything to lose. And it will be my theme song forever more “because people, we have been given a gift, we have been given a road, and that road is rock and roll!” God put it in the soul of everyone!
Saturday: Swinging Turkish Prison WOD Equipment: 1 dumbbell, kettlebell or stuffed backpack
Make sure you have adequate ceiling clearance!
Warm Up 2 rounds: 1 min Samson Lunges Foreward
1 min Russian KB Swings
1 min Shoulder pass throughs
1 min CF KB swings
1 min Samson Lunges Backward
1 min TGU Right
1 min TGU Left
Tech TGU KB Swing or DB Swing or backpack swing
WOD 10 rounds:
1 min Alternating TGU
1 min KB Swings
Score = total reps completed in 20 minutes, record load to notes
Roll Shoulders Forward/Backward
Shoulder Side Raises
Dragon Pose/Pigeon Pose
Packed my bag full of books until I couldn’t fit in anymore. The Turkish Get Ups were fun. With the exception of rounds 1, 2 and 10 in which I completed 5 reps per minute, the rest of the time I held myself to 4 reps so as to save time to set up my grip on my backpack for the swings reasoning there were more reps to be had in the swings than the get ups.
First challenge was grip fatigue. Second was the terrible blisters. To avoid hitting the ceiling I had to hold the bag in the middle along the seams so that the zipper rubbed against the last knuckles of my fingers constantly, raising huge blisters that thankfully did not burst (not until the next day’s WOD anyhow). Despite this I did all 10 rounds of KB Swings unbroken. Finally, because our living room is not carpeted, about 15 minutes into the workout I found myself slipping and sliding in my own sweat. Some choice: outside playing in puddles of rain or inside playing in puddles of sweat.