Tues 03 Apr 16 – Reflecting on Rugby, illness, and Murph

Sitting on the tube in to London, I’ve a chance to catch up on my humble blog and reflect on the weekend and last night’s WOD.

The Weekend

I had the distinct fortune to spend the weekend with my Dad. Some months ago, he booked Judgement Day IV for us to watch. Judgement Day in this context refers to a Welsh Regional Rugby double – header between Ospreys & Cardiff Blues and Scarlets & Dragons.  Played at Cardiff’s “Principality” Stadium (Millenium Stadium), it was billed as a feast of local derby rugby. In front of 70,000 people, it really didn’t disappoint. Fast, open rugby, big hits, tries aplenty and proper end-to-end, nail biting play. Dad and I,  being Ospreys supporters, were overjoyed at the 40-24 result over the Blues although it was only put to bed in the last ten mins or so. Up until then, Blues had us pinned for long periods and took the lead twice. The second match was great for a neutral too with more adventure in the evening sun.

Bracketing the matches (and interspersing) were pints, pies and puddings. We certainly made the most of it. I don’t get a chance to spend enough time with Dad, mainly as a result of geography, but now he and Mum are back from overseas we are trying to make up for it. With parties,  battlefield tours and more rugby planned, we’ve got a lot to look forward to.


I actually almost forgot…..and I’m not sure why I’m writing this, perhaps to just get it out there. Dad has Stage 4 Lung Cancer. Diagnosed over 3 years ago, he has battled his way up to this point and is undergoing his third round of chemotherapy. As a result, he has acute lymphangitis resulting in significant breathing difficulties.  He carries a compressor and O2 bottle, as well as a collapsible wheelchair. He is currently unable to walk up more than 4 or 5 stairs without extreme shortness of breath. Our rugby weekend required me to push him about in a chair but I’d almost absolutely forgotten that. The wheelchair doesn’t really feature as important in my own head when compared to the laughs, food, rugby, food, beer, food, family, rugby and friends over the 3 day weekend. I know things are going to get worse, and people keep offering me a shoulder to cry on but I’m not “there” yet.  There will come a time when tears are important but it’s not now. Why waste 5 mins on tears and melancholy when it could be spent laughing, planning and being with my family? Besides, it’s not about me.


So on to Murph. It being a Bank Holiday,  I was away from work and so the Box. Not wishing to miss out on hard work, I quickly checked my route back and found CrossFit Camberley. Regularly visited by a friend, I gave her a call and she booked me in. Oh, how joyed I was when I was told the WOD. Murph.

The bodyweight hero WOD, this is a beast. It’s the one I’ve not done before and I’m very pleased to have cracked it, finally.

For Time:

1 Mile Run
100 x Pull Ups
200 x Push Ups
300 x Air Squats
1 Mile Run

Time: 42:40 Rx

In unfamiliar territory, I got out the gates slowly while hanging with those who knew the route. This proved costly. Quickly identifying this, I asked the route and sped off, completing the first mile in 7.30. I’d aimed for 7 and wasn’t too disheartened given the situation. Breaking the work in to 20 rounds of “Cindy”, I plodded through 5 Pull Ups, 10 Push Ups and 15 Squats. It was a plod, too. Pull Ups and Squats were entirely unbroken throughout but the Push Ups slowed me down (again). Where I’ve changed from traditional ‘military’ wide arm Push Ups to tidy, elbows – in, I have had to redevelop strength. This meant that only the first three rounds were unbroken, all others being 5/2/2.
The 20 rounds were chipped away in about 22.5mins, a Cindy score that I would be extremely unhappy with, and I set off on the final 1 Mile looking at about 9.5 mins with the expected jelly leg syndrome. However, the legs recovered very quickly and I was pushed throughout to a time if about 8.5 mins!

This was my first ever Murph, with a 75%ile score, but lessons have been reinforced; where once, Push ups were a major strength, now they are a constraint….but improving.


A big thanks to CrossFit Camberley. I love the Box tourism. Grace, the extremely strong coach, was great. With a tidy warm up, thorough review of movements and good motivation through a slog of a WOD, she kept us in the game. The Box is large enough for a class of about 8-10, well maintained, clean, modern and all – inclusive. The other athletes were very welcoming. Highly recommended for a visit.


Um……perhaps best not to go over this one. Needless to say, it’s back to eggs, nuts, lean beef and leaves for a few days!!


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