Till I Collapse

‘Cause sometimes you feel tired,
feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

                                                                   –Eminem/Marshall Mathers, Till I Collapse
                                                                     ©2002 Shady Records, Album: The Eminem Show

That’s the monologue spoken at the beginning of the song “Till I Collapse” by Eminem.  I listen to it a lot as it’s on my workout iPod playlist and I typically listen to it en route to the gym everyday.  It’s never been so fitting as it was for last night’s workout.  Music plays a big part in how I, and many of you, work out.  I find that certain songs make me work harder than others do and for some reason, a lot of Eminem songs really get me amped up.  It’s hard to pound out one last rep on a workout like this when you’re listening to “Time after Time” by Cyndi Lauper….at least it is for me! 

Last night on the way to the gym, I was trying to psych myself up because I knew what the workout was.  I really needed the motivation to get my ass in gear after hearing and reading about the “Filthy Fifty“.  I’ve done some hard workouts before but when you read this one, it just looks daunting.  Very few people would look at this and say “that’s so awesome, let’s go!”—

For time:
50 Box jumps, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders (or 150 single unders)

The words “Till I Collapse” just seemed fitting and by the time I walked through the door, as nervous as I was to do this WOD, I knew it was going to get done and that no matter the time it took, it was going to be done at prescribed weight (RX).  I found out this morning that I actually did more than RX but I’ll get to that in a bit. 

Coach Crip stagger started us so we weren’t all fighting for one spot/bar/ball etc.  I started on back extensions and frankly I was happy about that because it meant I could get the wall ball shots out of the way quickly.  It also meant that I could finish with push presses and I’m usually pretty strong on those so it all worked out well.

Once we were underway, we all sort of went off into our own little worlds.  I got through the back extensions quickly and moved onto the wall balls.  Using the 20lb medicine ball (RX) I decided to do 5 sets of 10.  This would force me to maintain a pace on the 5 rather than the fifty, knowing that I still had 400 more exercises to go after this was done!  Onto the burpees and I did the same thing, split them into sets.  I did 3 sets of 10 and 4 sets of 5.  Onto the skipping and since I can’t link together double unders just yet, I did 150 single unders in 3 sets of 50.  That went by pretty quickly and I with 4 exercises out of the way I was really happy with my pace.  I was moving really well, had a good amount of energy and I was still a bit psyched from the drive over. 

The next item on the list was box jumps, 50 of them at 24″.  If you look in the column to the right of this post, under my picture, there’s a list of goals.  One of those goals is to do 10 consecutive 24″ box jumps by February 25…well, I did 50 consecutive 24″ box jumps.  This was by far the most difficult thing for me, especially psychologically.  I’ve done 24″ box jumps before–heck, I’ve done 10 consecutive before too.  About 3 months ago, I had an accident doing box jumps where I let my focus lapse for half a second and I fell while trying it, falling on my stomach and chest and really hurting my ribs.  I haven’t done a 24″ box jump since.  Once I got the first one out of the way, I focused on #5.  Then 10; then 25…at the halfway point now I knew there was no way I could be happy with myself if I switched heights now.  I finished all 50 at 24″ and I had new life to finish the workout, knowing I accomplished 5 TIMES what I set out to do really handed me that second wind.

Jumping pullups were again split into 5 sets of 10, as were my kettlebell swings.  It turns out that I worked harder than necessary on these too!  Prescribed weight for the kettlebell swings on this WOD is 1 pood (16kg/35lbs), I thought that the men’s RX was the same as most other kettlebell exercises which is 1.5 pood (24kg/53lbs).  I did all 50 at 53lbs so that’s another huge positive to take out of this.  With arms like Jell-O I got through the knees to elbows and onto my last exercise; push press.

By this point, most everyone else was done and Coach Bree was right there in my face, “I don’t think so, pick that bar up”…it’s hard not to listen to her, she’s the reason I’m here.  She was my trainer before I started at Crossfit 403 and it was her who got me to my first Crossfit class.  I got to #36 and really felt brutal, but she’s relentless I tell ya–she’s like Hetty from NCIS:LA, small and unassuming but she WILL kick your ass if you forget for half a second that she’s capable of it!  She started at 14 and counted down every rep while I struggled through.  The power was there, just mind over matter, and when the word “ONE” came out of her mouth, the bar went up, elbows locked and then both the bar and I hit the ground. 


The next 10 minutes were a circuit of deep breaths, water, laying down, more water, getting up, moving around, sitting down and stretching…and more water.  That was harsh but truth be told, I’ve never felt more proud after a workout, EVER.  I also have to say I’m really proud of the rest of the 715 group who pounded through this too, I know several of us weren’t looking forward to it.  With the way the stagger start worked, Audj had to finish on double unders and the fact that she did 50 complete double unders AFTER doing the other 450 movements is absolutely ridiculous to me.  I can’t yet do 5 in a row and here she is after doing almost the whole Filthy Fifty, showing us all what’s up.  I felt like sitting back and slow clapping like the guys at the end of a Wiser’s Whiskey commercial.

I’ve never done this workout before, though a few people last night had.  I’ve recorded my time on it because as hard as it is, I think it’ll be a good benchmark to check back on every few months. 

You’ve all read enough of my ranting, now what’s your excuse for not working out today?

2 thoughts on “Till I Collapse

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