Rings And Filthy Fifty

There is a first time for everything in life and it is absolutely never too late to learn anything. Olympic Lifting and Gymnastic Rings were two sports activities that I have never done before and learned for the first time back in San Diego during my Crossfit training. BUT first time in Oly Lifting and Gym Rings does not mean first time in the world of sports, that my whole life experience as an athlete and all my fitness history is worthless.

Here are two stories that happened with me during my Crossfit training.

At my first Gymnastics class, I was being introduced straight away to some advanced rings techniques so I said with a shy smile “I’m sorry but I am not familiar with rings training at all”. You should have seen the facial reaction I got along with:
“Really????? Oh …. ”

You know this reaction of shock, where the eyes shoot out from the face and back in, like in the cartoons as if the rings are a gym equipment that are commonly used universally since kindergarten and you find them everywhere: in homes, classrooms, kitchens, guest rooms, bathrooms, even above your bed hanging from the bedroom ceiling, you know in case you wake up in the middle of the night and you want to go for a couple of twists. An equipment that is so commonly used that you would find almost everywhere for your leisure. Well, I wish they were, then I would have probably been a Gymnastic Rings trainer today.

I got the same reaction of shock many times at different gyms during my stay. When I am asked where I trained before and I say I have only been doing Crossfit for 2 or 3 weeks, every time the response was : “Really? but you are fit, how do you keep fit if you don’t do Crossfit?” No answer from my side, just a smile. I took it as a compliment 🙂

The above rings story is actually second to another incident, much worse, that happened with me earlier that day.

I am so used all thru my life to being challenged by men and women alike telling me I cannot do this and I cannot do that, that actually it gives me a push to do it even better and stronger.

So that day the WOD was the Filthy Fifty… Filthy Fifty is a tough workout and I luv it specifically because it is tough. It consists of a group of 10 exercises that must be performed 50 times each, back to back non stop, for time. The Filthy Fifty is actually one of my favorite Crossfit workouts because it is long enough to kick my butt with tough exercises that are mainly body weight concentrated rather than heavy weights lifting.

We were 9 people in the class of which 2 women. The instructor started the timer, a few seconds into the first exercise she came to me and said, “Ritta, you, I want you to do 30 Reps of each exercise” I looked at her and said “No !! I want to do 50” she started walking away, looking arrogantly back at me from above her shoulder and said “OK, I just don’t want to take you to a hospital afterwards”.

OH MY GOD, if she had killed me it would have been better, that sentence lit the fire inside of me, I was boiling and thought to myself “I will show you what kind of hospital you will take me to”. I was so mad because she knows there are a couple of guys in that class who can barely do 50 burpees not to mention the rest of the exercises of today’s WOD. Actually, at a previous workout, one of the guys had spent over 10min to finish 50 burpees while I had done them with barely any effort. I am not criticizing him at all, I actually think it’s fantastic that he didn’t give up and finished them, but come on, she is asking me to do 30 instead of 50 without even going near him and then she shoots me with this hospital thing!!!  Ha!! Little does she know me. When I heard what she said, my determination was above the stars. That was all I needed to hear.

I looked at her and turned my face without saying anything, because for a comment like that, she is not even worth the energy to reply. Although, to be honest, I did have a reply at the tip of my tongue but I swallowed it because it wouldn’t have been appropriate in a class and it is not appropriate in this blog either. So I continued the workout and used the fire inside of me to explode my total time and kick as many butts as I can in the class. And in fact I did!! I finished second of 9 and of course needless to say, no hospital…..

She must have been disappointed because when I finished my last repetition and shouted “time”, she shouted me back my finishing time followed by “Good job Ritta”! but when I looked at her, out of breath, with my ironic smile of course, I saw a fake smile on her face. A smile that says “you see I am nice I am smiling at you” while behind that smile she is probably thinking “Shoot!! I wonder if she beat my time” 🙂

Whatever she was thinking doesn’t matter one bit because my feeling of satisfaction was indescribable.