Monday, November 17, 2008

More About the RKC

Sunday, November 16, 2008
Work 6p-8a--153.5#

Team Jones, October 2008 St. Paul RKC

This weekend marks a month since the RKC. I've done a lot of thinking for that month trying to understand what made the RKC weekend such a special experience and trying to find a way to articulate it. Jason Marshall, RKC helped this process along some with his post about being an assistant instructor. He commented on being around a group of people who "get it" with regards to fitness and nutrition. Certainly, the kettlebell workouts at the RKC represent a force to be reckoned with, and the instruction is unsurpassed, taxing the mind much the way the muscles are taxed--productively and to exhaustion. Surviving and even at times thriving on this intensity and being presented with one's RKC definitely instills a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride. These things alone make the weekend worthwhile and probably would still even qualify it as amazing. The people there, however, are the reason coming home is so bittersweet, making the days after feel a bit anticlimactic.

Almost every day, either just after rolling out of bed or before settling in for a night of family time, I grab my music, some water and my bells and I exorcise my demons. This includes the days otherwise filled with a fourteen hour workday and days when the weather could easily be considered too hot or too cold or too wet. It includes days when I really just don't feel like it and times when everyone else at the house is doing something different.

To fuel such insanity, I further confound my skeptics by choosing real food. No matter how frequently they ask, I still don't order anything from Sonic or eat a piece of pie. That's at best low-octane fare, and I'm looking for jet fuel. I don't want to cancel out all the hard work with the bells with Twinkies, birthday cake and Doritoes--at least on a regular basis.

When I talk about these choices to work toward a better me, the sideways glances, smirks, and comments about my "cattleballs" tell me few people in my circle "get it." They see a passing phase they look forward to seeing go by the way side. But the other RKC's and candidates understand. They get it. They live it. They make the same choices.

To be able to be around someone who understands and encourages is priceless. I worried that the RKC would be one large pissing contest, every man and woman for him/herself. But it was so far from that, it was a collaboration of effort, each person there to see the others succeed. Feats of strength were not resented but applauded and defeats were shared by teammates who did all they knew to do to help those defeats be overcome. When all of the grunting and sweating was done for the day, we shared a meal and a beer, and found fast friends amongst our comrades as we swapped stories of patients, clients and personal goals, accomplishments and disappoinments. All the while feeling a sense of being at home with family.

This comradery, I think, is what makes the weekend something to miss when it's over, something I'm still thinking about 4 weeks later.

VO2 Max for 60 rounds of swings with the 12kg.

My fingers are still bothering me, and I think I might have even had a setback with the left pinky. It hurt like hell tonight--probably because I did a lot of 1HS today during my workout. I had been doing it all as 2HS, but my hands felt good today before the workout, so I decided to see how it'd go. That apparently bit me in the ass. The right 4th digit, however, seems to be continuing to heal. I did finally suck it up and do x-rays at work tonight because the left pinky was hurting so badly--negative, of course.

5 rounds for time which took me 22 minutes:
Pullups assisted with the black and green bands (1 round done with just the green) x 5
Box jumps x 5
Pushups x 5--These are still really hard for me for some reason. They are truly my kryptonite.
Pistols, assisted with one hand on the door-facing 2/2
hindu pushups x 8
Jumping lunges x 20

AMAP 16kg TGU in 15min = 22


20 Squat Thrusts/5 16kg swings
18 ST/10 swings
16 ST/15 swings
down to 2 ST/50 swings.... for time was 21'40"

4 Rounds of 4 of each of the following:
Double 16kg C&P
Double 16kg Squat
Double 16 kg KB Burpee
Double 16kg RR
1 min rest

Double KB swing 15 x 4

2 rounds of 30 seconds of each of the following with the 12kg (2 min in between)
on the right..
alternating high pull and snatch
figure 8 to a hold
with the left...
alternating high pull and snatch


  1. Hey Jen,
    Most don't experience positive support similar to what you describe at the RKC weekend. If we have one or two people in our lives that gives us that kind of emotional strength and motivation, we're lucky. When we experience it from a group of total strangers, it is something quite special. Good for you.

    About your pushups...Have you read The Naked Warrior? Tsatsouline's advice for mastering the one-hand push up will help. It's all about tension. I'm sure Dave can coach you through it.

  2. I like the box jumps... how goes the battle with them?

  3. I have read the Naked Warrior, and honestly I think it does help. I've even tried putting one foot in the air or crossed over the other to force tension and it does help. They just don't FEEL right, and I can't do many of them.

    As for the box jumps, I don't have a good platform, so rather than just puss out and not do any jumps, I've been jumping as if onto a platform but OVER some stuff. (While I was in FL, I did have a platform of sorts, and that was going pretty well, too.) They are going pretty fair. I'm sort of getting over my mental block about jumping--in small increments, mind you.

  4. Hey Jen,

    Excellent post! Funny thing is, you won't stop feeling that way. RKC is a transformation for a better "you". You took it seriously and took it to heart and it definitely shows. Too bad RKC's can't just have our own little island somewhere… ;-)

    Jason Marshall, RKC