Yay, Burpees! (And Ring Pushups)

I slept lousy last night. I watched the first 5-10 minutes of three episodes of Knight Rider, so that should give you some indication of what it was like.

Snooze –> wake up  with a start –> remove eye mask –> turn on Knight Rider –> drift off –> repeat

(I know what you’re asking yourself: “Why on Earth is Mel watching Knight Rider?” I’ll tell you. The plot isn’t compelling enough to keep me awake, it doesn’t have large fluctuations in volume, and I like the theme song. So, moving on…)

At 1:30 a.m. or so, the first time I woke up, I checked the CrossFit Austin blog for today’s WOD so I could visualize a superstar performance in my sleep. This is what I saw:

3 clean-grip deadlift to the knee + 2 clean-grip deadlift to the hip
rest :30
AMRAP ring push-ups, down for 2-count, up for 1-count
rest 2:00

3 rounds:
20 unbroken burpees (Scale to a number you can complete unbroken)
10 step-ups (each leg)
200m run
rest 2:00

Ring pushups! And 20 unbroken burpees! That gave me plenty to visualize.

Whenever a WOD requires more than 10 reps of something, I mentally break them up into sets of five. (I also have a complicated counting scheme that probably deserves its own blog post and will terrify you with a sneak peek into my internal monologue!) One of the mini triumphs of my time at CrossFit Austin has been that – thanks to unbroken sets of 10 things required in our WODs – I’ve been cranking out burpess in unbroken sets of 10… and, frankly, feeling pretty good about it.

Seriously. I have actually had the thought, more than once, “I can do 10 unbroken burpees at the drop of a hat now. Neat!”

I am the dorkiest.

But 20! Twenty unbroken. That’s new. That’s TWICE as many.

The parenthetical phrase “(Scale to a number you can complete unbroken.)” might just as well have said, “Hey, Mel! Dare you! I bet you can’t do 20 in a row!”

So of course, I decided right then and there, at 1:30 a.m., with the Hoff batting his baby blues at KITT, that I was doing the WOD as RX’d. Pride would not allow anything less than three rounds of 20 unbroken burpees.

The skills part of our workout was great! I’m finally banishing the stripper deadlift pose, and I think I did pretty well on the ring pushups, for a first-timer. I did all of them on my toes and squeaked out: 3 – 1.5 – 3 – 2. On the last one, my arms were wobbling so vigorously, I thought I was going to land in a face-plant.

And then the moment of reckoning arrived: 3 rounds of 20 unbroken burpees – plus step-ups with our hands locked behind our heads (no handy arm-swinging momentum to help), and a 200m sprint in the liquid air.


The first round wasn’t so bad, but on round two, I’m glad no one could hear the INSIDE of my noggin. I was past bitching and well into whimpering. On round three, I pretended I was a secret agent on a mission, ducking a search light while circling the perimeter of my target. In my imagination, I looked like this:

Every time that damn search light swung around, I dropped under it, then I quickly popped back up to continue my recon.


That’s how I got through the last round.

My time: 12:49

My mission: Accomplished.

My ego: Strutting.

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  • Brooke says:

    From this day forward, I'm "dropping under the search light" for burpees. Awesome visualization!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Brooke! Glad you like that idea. If I only I looked as chic as Emma Peel while I did it!

  • Christine says:

    Ha! I use Law & Order (guaranteed to be on at any point in the day or night) for the exact same thing.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Law & Order is also a long-time favorite of mine! How L&O dorky am I? Dorky enough to say my favorite line-up was Lenny Briscoe, Mike Logan, Jack McCoy, Jamie Ross, and Adam Schiff.

    Nerd alert.

  • Melissa says:

    Love this! I've got to start visualizing fun adventures in my workouts when they get tough.