Airports. I love them. And I sprinted this morning.

I haven’t been everywhere.  But it’s on my list – Susan Sontag

I really love airports. Flying for business or pleasure, I absolutely don’t care. I can’t get enough of the experience. I never tire of it. Sure, you can have all sorts of delays, cancellations, baggage losses and other upsets, but there’s something about the diversity, emotions, hope, and anticipation that floods through an airport. 

I am very fortunate that in my job there is a pretty decent amount of travel. Yeah, so occasionally, I might have to go to an actual nasty place but that is becoming less likely these days. More often than not, I find myself conducting what most people would simply term as “business trips”. I take very short trips, often just a night or two, to far flung places to have a meeting, shake some hands and come back. These are ideal. These are short pauses in normal routine where I get to envelope myself in the hustle, joy, tears, fears, panic, and peaceful excitement of the greatest cross-section of the world. 

As I look around, I see immediately the Red and Blue of a Great Britain sports team. Not immediately obvious who they are but clearly focused, in peak condition for whatever they are headed towards. There are some who just can’t keep their eyes off the incoming arrivals and outgoing planes, streaking away in all directions across the sky. There are those buried, oblivious to the world, in a phone/laptop/tablet. Some are trying new foods for the first time at the sushi bar. Many have shopping bags, carrying devices, clothes, wine, that they didn’t think they needed when they passed through check-in. 

The smiles are the most obvious expression. Kisses and embraces at almost every turn. So far, no arguments; well, not with each other, perhaps at the coffee bill!
Anyway, you get the picture, I’m flying again. Heathrow Terminal 2 once more. My gate has just flashed up as A18 so I should get this posted. 

Strength  

4 x 6 (per leg) weighted Box Step Ups @ 24″

4 x 32kg (2 × 16kg Kettlebells). Maintained a strong core. Supersetted with Handstand holds.

MetCon 

For Time:

  • 600m Sprint
  • Rest 4 mins
  • 400m Sprint
  • Rest 3 mins
  • 200m Sprint
  • Rest 2 mins
  • 20 x Burpees 

Time: 13:43

Definitely my wheelhouse, this one. Out front from the start, despite the 0530 eye opening today. I kept up the pressure throughout, each round relatively as fast as the previous. 20 Burpees then smashed out in 42 seconds. Considering 9 mins of it was “Rest”, this is pretty strong.

Nutrition 

Still 2100 KCal per day but now compensating for cals expended during exercise, using Vivoactive HR (with HRM strap) for increased accuracy.

Still sticking with 35% Carbs / 35% Protein / 35% Fats. Still mostly unprocessed and simple.

The Fight Gone Bad and some Pet Peeves Post. 

Fight Gone Bad, Rudeness, lazy doorway smokers and drugs in sport.

Before I get to those, here’s today’s #flashwod.

Flash WOD

Looks simple enough? The aim is time under tension. Move in to the bottom position quickly but with good form; 2 secs should be enough. Pause a moment and then push out, maintaining excellent form of course,  as slowly as you possibly can. 5 secs is the minimum you should take to reach full extension. Repeat. Time Under Tension is an excellent way to build muscle, even with only your bodyweight. Do this right and you’ll hear your heart rate raise too! I did this on the plane back from the middle east.

Thursday WOD

Returning to Heathrow by 1630, I was back in camp by 1730 and then in CF Watford by 1810, ready to make up for a few days off.

Strength – Squat Programme

3 x 3 Back Squat

5 x 80 / 5 x 90 / 3 x 100 / 3 x 110 / 3 x 125

This equals my Personal Record (PR). I’ve not paid any attention to squatting for a while so am pleased to see no loss overall.

MetCon – lightweight barbells, anaerobic capacity.

21-15-9 For Time:

  • Deadlift (50kg)
  • Power Clean (50kg)
  • Weighted Lunge (50kg)

Time: 8:31 Rx

Quite happy with this. Annoyed that I still appear unable to put myself in to the ‘dark place’ but take pauses instead of pushing myself through. It’s a good time though.

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Friday Morning WOD

0630. End the week on a high. Time to push myself in to the dark place!

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Fight Gone Bad – Anaerobic capacity & recovery training

3 Rounds of 1 min of each movement, Max Effort:

  • Wall Balls – 9kg to 10′
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull (35kg)
  • Box Jumps (20″)
  • Push Press (35kg)
  • Row (Cals)

Total: 316. A new PR by 13 reps. First round, 119. Second round 107. Third round 90. Sure, the rounds came down each time but I pushed myself right in to the dark, pain cave and kept going. To get such a massive PR is extremely pleasing to me. It also nudges my Beyond The Whiteboard score to 68. Over the next few weeks I will attack some of the deficit scores on the BTWB to bring me back over 70 once more. Ended the week well!

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Pet Peeves

Warning: Profanity

I’ve been travelling a lot recently and a few things have sprung up repeatedly in conversations and observations that I feel the urge to write out.

Device-induced Rudeness.

Before I start, this is something I am also a little guilty of, though definitely  not to this extent. You’ve all seen it. Walking around towns, shops, hospitals and airports, people looking down at their phones as they move about. I witnessed a woman push her buggy in to oncoming traffic in London recently, her eyes down at her phone as she wheeled the child one-handed! This is not exactly news, we see this a lot. However, moving around the London Underground and Heathrow Airport recently, I’ve observed a relatively new phenomenon,  I believe.

Where previously a person might be so engrossed in their device and bump in to you they would apologise, I am witnessing some downright rudeness from the offending persons now. Walking through Boots with my luggage on my back, I carefully navigated the throngs of individuals. However,  three times I had to request people move out of the way to let me pass, unnoticed as they tapped away on their phone. Instead of a,”yeah, sure, sorry mate”, I recevied an insulting sneer, a look of utter incredulity accompanied by a snort and a silent shrug of ignorance.

Seriously? I’m the one intruding in your space because you’re too self-absorbed to lift your eyes and look around?
Doorway Smokers

Having to visit hospitals a lot quite recently, I became extremely agitated at the number of ignorant arseholes standing just outside the doorways, under the MASSIVE “No Smoking” signs, congregating in groups to smoke. Shelters are provided but the sheer arrogant laziness of these people exudes a “Me First” attitude and ” F’k everyone else”.

The same is true at airports. Arriving at Heathrow Term 2 and 3 Departures to catch a flight, you first have to push yourself through a haze to get to the door. Arseholes too lazy to walk 35 paces to the shelter hang around the door and make us join in. F’k off!

I get that smoking is addictive / hard to quit / personal choice, rah, rah. However,  I choose not to. I choose for my children to not have to suck in that shit too. When I have no choice but to walk through it, I’m going to get upset.

Drugs in Sport.

I’m a CrossFitter. Perhaps not a good one but it’s the sport / hobby I choose to partake on.  Like all sports, it has it “World championships”, The CrossFit Games. And, like all high level competitions, it’s going to have a degree of doping and cheating. This is a fact of life on sport and I’m certainly not naive to think otherwise after 30 years in athletics, cross – country, rugby and now CrossFit.

Disturbingly, recently I seem to have been trapped in to conversations (that I’ve not started, by the way – because we know what CrossFitter are like 😉 ) where the topic has turned to doping. The feeling appears to be that everyone at a good level is a cheat and their achievements are only so because of doping. It is usually followed by a comment such as, “yeah, like I’d be that good if I was juiced up”.

This attitude is really starting to piss me off. I am a firm believer in that if you work hard, and smart, you see results. It’s as true for academia as for throwing barbells. To attribute great success to cheating is to belittle the hard work and smarter application that an individual or team have put in. Training methodology, learning tools, nutritional guidance have all advanced in recent years, somewhat well beyond the standards of even 5 years ago. Humans have discovered better ways to achieve amazing things and continue to do so. To attribute the size/strength/speed of someone to doping just because you think it’s not otherwise possible tells me a few things.

1.  You don’t keep up with modern practices, are basing your evidence/opinion on outdated practices that you probably don’t even half understand anyway.

2.  You are jealous of another person and would rather believe that they are cheating than that you simply don’t have what it takes to achieve the same levels.

3.  Your  self – esteem is so low that you just want to bring others down to your cynical way of thinking.

As I say, I’m well aware of the poor levels of cheating in elite and high level sports. However, I also have to believe that fantastic things can be achieved by the human body and that we’re only now beginning to see what we are capable of. If I don’t believe that, and choose to attempt to undermine feats of human achievement, then what kind of image would that be for my children? To believe that top level performance is only achievable through cheating. They have to believe, and know, that they can be all they wish and that there are no limits.

Anything else is just sad.
Rant over. I apologise for swearing.

Please comment below.