Tuesday, 21 October 2008 Workout:
Ten rounds for time of:
Hey - speaking of burpee's, today is DAY 100! That's right, the Burpee Challenge is ovah! And to celebrate, join our triumphant burpeers and burpettes tonight at 123 Burger Shot Beer (738 10th Ave between 50th & 51st) from 9pm onwards! There's talk of 100 shots! There's talk of 100 sliders! There's talk of each person who completed the challenge getting their own pony to ride to work!
$1 sliders, $2 shots, $3 beers. Waitresses in hot shorts. Good times!
Also, it's Day
14 15 of the Pullup/Angie challenge! 120 reps to play ball.
And now I would like to speak about something that happened yesterday.
Monday. October 20th, 2008. My friends, I was fortunate enough to witness something incredible on this day. Something so inspirational that I feel I barely have the words to convey anything but a shadow of the spectacular happenings. For you see, it was on this day that Juan and Keith did face each other at the physical and spiritual foci of two parabolas of cheering fans and battled their way to 100 burpees at the contest mentioned by this reporter just 24 hours ago.
Allow me to illustrate the picture of what happened. Close your ey...er....well, nevermind that. But picture if you will, the prestigious CrossFitNYC midtown gymnastic facility (shown here during a snowstorm last winter). It being 12:30, the place was packed with the usual lunchtime crew combined with a sprinkling of office-casually-dressed cubegnomes all eager to observe for themselves this vicious blood(less) sport of prisoners. The two competitors were dressed (classic-style "greco roman burpeeing" apparently not being legal in the bounds of Manhattan) in plain athletic garb bearing few if any of the corporate sponsorship logos that are commonplace at events such as these.
The casual spectator who walked in the door would immediately detect the essence and tension of raw competition. Or perhaps that was the 11:30 class's hang power cleans. Anyway, there was definitely something in the air and it was all up in your face like a golden retriever. At once joyous and tragic for it was known that in less than 7 short minutes, this would all be decided for either one man was going to be the winner or the crowd would probably start to lose interest. In any case, once the first melodic strains of Austrian Death Machine began filling the chamber, the game was afoot!
The first 20...perhaps 25 or so reps were spectacularly...uneventful. I have to confess that I wondered if I was watching some sort of newfangled synchronized mat-swimming event. Or perhaps a breakdance routine where the choreographer only had one move to teach but knew it well. Those two kept at it like Herbie Handcock robots programmed to do nothing else and for that brief period of time, anything seemed possible.
Then Keith made his move. Using a tactic that the sport has not seen since the Summer 1968 Olympics, he switched directions - turning a full 180 degrees northwards and resumed doing his routine this geo-invert-oriented state. The crowd went wild. Members of Juan's entourage tried to appeal this radical move to the judges but their pleas could gain no favor from the steely-eyed rep-counters/chest watchers/jump verifiers. It was at this moment I felt that my $5 might be in danger. Ah - wait, allow me to explain.
To fully appreciate what I am about to tell you, you must place yourself back in time to mid-October, 2008. America was in the middle of election fever, the economy was in the crapper and CrossFit Brooklyn t-shirts were still $20 and made a great gift for the holidays, birthdays or "Just cause!". It was in these heady times that word of the challenge started to spread as a few dedicated CrossFitters began to reach the end of their spiritual journey that took the form of a 100 burpee challenge. However even in those last days of channeling Milo of Kroton, a couple of those who stuck with it demaned an even greater competition to liven things up - and thus the "For Time On Day 99" challenge was born.
But what is a competition without a little juice on the side? And thus begat a wee bit of side wagering to make the event even more interesting. Unfortunately, from a probability point of view, this only highlighted the perception of skills disparity. It turned out that of all those who were willing to put down a little coin of the realm, none believed Keith could possibly win. I mean, nobody. Keith was in an underdog position so severe that even Chicago Cubs fans were like "Know when to give up." The jokes of that time failed to raise the public's perception of his capabilities. One popular one - "What do you call watching Keith do 100 burpees? An afternoon wasted." - also did nothing to help balance out the oddsmaker's books. So seeking some easy money, I piled on with the rest of the world in throwing my Lincoln towards Juan.
However it was as we approached the 40's and 50's numbers that the unthinkable happened. Keith started to pull away! By a little at first and soon by more and more. Around 70 or so, there was a distinct gap between the two - and not in the direction to which most had believed this contest would go. As he approached the end of the 80's the conclusion - barring incident (and both hip checking and eye gouging were placed firmly on the "no" list in advance of the start) - became clear to us all there who stood about with mouths agape looking as though we were witnessing something spectacular nearly to the point of being unholy.
Of course there will be those who do not believe the outcome. Statisticians who will claim that this outcome was impossible by any mathematical doctrine. Naysayers who will cry conspiracy and pick over every frame of video tape showing where wires helped Keith do battle against the steady tug of the Earth. And biochemists who will insist of substance testing and whisper about genetic tampering. Already, rumors of a "twin substitution" have indeed already reached my ears. But to those who would question, I can I only say that as a (then) sober witness to this head-to-head contest, only one outcome was patently clear to me:
I would like to tip my hat to both competitors who truly rose to the occasion on that fine, sunny day. After 3 straight months of doing burpees every day, I believe that both of you deserve accolades for even considering enveloping this grueling challenge in some sort of time trial context. Y'all done good.