Any of you who really knows me knows that I love Crossfit. I joined Derby City Crossfit in February of 2010 and haven’t looked back since. It’s been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been in my life, I’ve made some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and it’s made me aware of my true calling.
A year or so ago, a gal visited our 5am class at DCCF for a couple of months. Her job requires her to stay in various cities for a period of time, and we were lucky to have her join Derby City and work out with us. Jody is quiet and no nonsense, and extremely strong. Her home base is in Florida, and when she left Louisville she said, hey, if you’re ever down there, come on and see me. Since that time, she and her partner Cathy opened their own crossfit box, so I couldn’t wait to stop and spend some time with them and work out at their gym.
The weekend I drove down to Palm Coast, her crossfit affiliate was participating in a competition in Daytona Beach, so Saturday I made the short 3 hour drive from Savannah to the Ocean Center in Daytona. I made it there in time to see the last workout of the day in which two of her members were competing. After cheering her members on, we headed back to her beautiful home, and caught up on our lives over a fantastic single malt scotch, Macallan’s 12 year. Cathy then prepared a wonderful paleo meal of grass fed burgers, a fantastic slaw made with apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, and fresh fruit. Dessert rivaled any Erin Stimac creation….cacoa powder, coconut oil, crushed walnuts, and finely chopped cherries, spread out on foil and set in the refrigerator. It was fantastic!
Sunday morning we woke about 6:30am and drank some coffee in preparation for the crossfit “church service” which that day just happened to be one of the toughest Hero WODS imaginable: Badger. 3 rounds, 30 squat cleans, 30 pullups, 800 meter run. At 8am on a Sunday morning, after a weekend of competition, 13 Crossfit BearCat members showed up, ready to take on the WOD – in 90 degree plus weather. I’d done Badger twice before, but never at the RX weight of 65#. I was determined to use that, even if it meant that I could not complete the full three rounds within the 35 minute time cap. It was TOUGH, especially in the brutal heat. I completed two full rounds and 8 squat cleans into the final round before the time expired. It pretty much crushed me, and at least I wasn’t alone. Thanks to the fantastic supportive community at Crossfit BearCat!
After a workout like that, proper restorative nutrition is a necessity. Jody and Cathy obliged with a delicious brunch consisting of a really good smoky bacon – lots of it – paleo blueberry pancakes topped by two over easy eggs, and perfectly ripened mango and strawberries. I followed the advice of a dear friend and ate much more slowly than is my habit. I found that I tasted the flavors more intensely by slowing down and was much more satisfied by the end of the meal. Brunch was followed by a short lounge by the the pool and then a quick dip. Jody and I then headed to downtown Flagler Beach, a quaint little town right on the beach. It was interesting driving in to town, in that there are no high buildings at all on the waterfront, so the ocean is fully visible as you drive towards the beach. We stopped at a local winery to have a refreshing adult beverage, and while chatting up the owner about the competition that weekend, a young girl behind the counter walked over, introduced herself as Sara, and started talking crossfit. It turns out that she is a very highly skilled and experienced olympic lifter, and exactly the type Jody had been looking for to provide some quality olympic lift coaching at BearCat Crossfit! How fortuitous that we’d just happened to stop by that day and meet her.
We returned to the house to await some fellow crossfit dinner guests. One they arrived, we had a few drinks and some delicious smoked salmon around the pool, followed by a very relaxing epsom salt soak in the jacuzzi. Dinner was fantastic….perfectly grilled grassfed ribeye steaks, a beautifully prepared salad with various vegetables, fruit, bacon and nuts, and an exquisite Cabernet Franc that was a perfect complement to the meal. Good food, good wine, great company and conversation. Bedtime was early, as there was an early morning crossfit class to be coached.
4am came early after sleeping in for a couple of weeks! But, it was still fairly easy for me to do. We jumped in the car and made it to the box a little before 5am. A respectable contingent of 8 members showed up for a pretty intense workout: 5/3/1 strict press, 9 minutes to a max front squat, then a nice little workout consisting of front squats, box jumps, 400m run and toes to bar. Nice workout and even nicer view!
I have been very fortunate on this trip so far. I’ve connected with many friends from all walks of my life so far. The generosity which I’ve been shown has been overwhelming. My friends have opened their homes to me, they’ve fed me fresh, healthy and tasty food, they’ve introduced me to some really fine single malt scotches and fine wine, they’ve taken me on adventures, they’ve brought me to their gyms so I can work out and then let me wash my yucky sweaty laundry! Most importantly, they’ve shared their hearts along with me, and encouraged me to continue my journey with courage and optimism.