Laa-Laa’s 98th and 99th, Illness, and a White Christmas

Before I begin, copying from a friend’s Facebook posting:
The Hopi Elders Speak
The Elders Oraibi Arizona Hopi Nation

“We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For”

You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.

And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.

It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader. This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!

Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.

All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Tuesday turned out kind of hectic as after the biggest plate of meat I think I have ever eaten, compliments of Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington (I was hungry, all right??), I fought food coma enough to sort through all my stuff and get the 5cm thick stack of paperwork into the mail. Then, I went home and took a nap since I had essentially been up since 4:30am local time, and there was a workout planned for 6:30pm.

So, as I mentioned before, my cult recruiter is this guy lovingly known as Laa-Laa. I am actually not sure the origin of this particular nickname, now that I think of it, but to me he’ll probably always be Laa-Laa. I am actually also not sure what he does for work, but I do know that on this trip he had planned to visit his 100th CrossFit box. Tuesday night was the 98th, and he had planned Commonwealth CrossFit, which is a new gym located in the basement of a church. Yes, you heard that right. I will take this opportunity to point out that I have Laa-Laa beat on continents right now, and in two weeks I’m planning to add one to the list and get a workout or two down in London when I’m there, assuming I can coordinate schedules. Of course, knowing Laa-Laa, I won’t stay ahead in this category for too long!

The workout was something I had never done before, called the 12 Days of Christmas (or CrossFit). You do 1 of the first exercise, 2 of the second then 1 of the first, then 3 of the third, 2 of the second, 1 of the first, etc. This evening’s lineup looked like this:
• 1 squat
• 2 situps
• 3 pushups
• 4 kettlebell swings
• 5 double-unders
• 6 kettlebell push-presses
• 7 burpees
• 8 good mornings
• 9 box jumps
• 10 steps walking lunge
• 11 tuck jumps
• 12 goblet squats

So before we get going, Laa-Laa says: “I’ll race ya!” Well, sadly, I was just a little sluggish and he got ahead of me quite quickly and wound up beating me by 1:02. I finished in 17:56. Of course we both got beat by this other girl who was using a smaller kettlebell and we also think cheated and somehow skipped an entire round. But c’est la vie.

After some photos of handstands for Jesus, we headed our separate ways so I could run home and grab some clothes (and 2 bottles of wine!). Since the hot water heater was out of commission (literally lying on its side outside the house …) Laa-Laa was nice enough to organise dinner & sleepover at a friend’s house in Lowell. It was snowing like something else out west in Bolton where I live, so the driving was quite slow as I wasn’t used to the snow and nearly wiped out heading into the driveway earlier in the day so I was a bit more tentative than usual. But, better safe than sorry, and it really was quite beautiful to see everything coated in snow.

Eventually I made it, and four of us had a lovely dinner followed by sitting in the living room playing “name the 90s band and song” to Sirius Satellite Radio and basically catching up. Well, Laa-Laa and I had a lot of CrossFit catching up to do too so I think we kind of monopolized the conversation/had a side conversation for most of the evening. We also wound up staying up quite a bit later than the others but hey, we had a lot to catch up about and it was his last night in town. At least there were only I think 5 bottles of wine consumed amongst the three of us (one person was drinking beer). I blame Laa-Laa but, I will say, he was in significantly worse shape than I was the next morning, but hey, I had a good time so no complaints.

I made us some scrambled eggs (8, between the two of us!) and we headed down to CrossFit Marlborough for what was supposed to be the first workout of the day and Laa-Laa’s 99th box. Unfortunately, the guy didn’t show up. Apparently his truck broke down on the way in! So, sadly, my dream to be with Laa-Laa when he hit his 100th box didn’t come true, so we drove into Boston, Laa-Laa re-packed his bag on the roof of South Station parking, we fed an apple to a really fat seagull, and hit up CrossFit Southie for another 12 Days of CrossFit workout. This one was epic:
• 1 burpee into a thruster (this is actually two separate exercises if you ask me, but whatever)
• 2 Turkish getups (1 each arm)
• 3 front squats
• 4 power clean & jerks
• 5 kettlebell swings
• 6 sumo deadlift high pulls
• 7 clapping pushups
• 8 knees-to-elbows
• 9 pullups
• 10 high box jumps
• 11 overhead squats
• 12 handstand pushups

I used 33kgs for this workout because I was a little scared to use 38. Probably a good thing, as I finished in 43:41, which was 1:19 before the 45-minute time cap. Then again, I didn’t really go all-out by any stretch of the imagination because I was a little bit scared of the workout! I was thinking this is a very silly workout, what sort of a metcon goes on for 40+ minutes, but Laa-Laa said it was a strength-con, so I said ok, fine, that makes some sense (not really, but what the hell). But let me tell you – not since Diane have handstand pushups been that hard, my goodness!

So while I’m on the subject, like any good cult we have our own language. A gym is not a gym, it’s a box. A workout is not a workout, it’s a WOD. Now this is all well and good until someone takes something like WOD and turns it into a verb. That: NOT ok in my book. The sentence was something like this: “You were tearing it up out there! You WODed much better than the last time you were here!” (the last time I was there I was also a) overtrained, b) doing wall balls which I stink at and c) had only learned pullups the day before). Speaking of which my pullup form is much improved as a result of this workout, actually, and I was going to try for doing a couple in a row except that I tore up my hand again and kind of thought better of it. Time to start taping maybe.

Laa-Laa and I said our goodbyes and I headed home to change and head to family Christmas dinner #1 in Manchester-by-the-Sea. This was fun, and the wine was good. Sadly, and I will blame lack of sleep rather than jetlag for this, by around 9:30pm I was fading fast and two consecutive cups of coffee had no effect. So, I took a nap because it’s not safe to drive while exhausted: trust me, I’ve nearly had a few accidents that way over the years. What’s also not safe? Drinking and driving; I was nearly killed by a drunk driver going 120 miles per hour (yes, miles, not kilometres) and suffice to say that I have never been so glad to be alive as when I got home that evening. But, alive I am, and no, it wasn’t my fate to die that cold snowy night.

The next day? Waking up with a sore throat (which I still have, darn it all!). Skipping the workout I had planned to go to. Letting go of the shore. Driving to Vermont. Accepting that I am different, here.

…and on Christmas my camera decided to die. Thanks for nothing, Canon. Lens error my right foot. Well, I’ll need to find a plan B to photo-document my activities. Or add warranty repair to my list of activities for the next two weeks.

But it was a white Christmas; there was snow on the ground and it even snowed a little! And, of course, great to see my family again, most especially my very wise brother. My mother even made a paleo dessert (version of reine de saba). So family Christmas #2 is now in the books.

This is annoying. I don’t like being sick. So I’ll quit whining, maybe take a nap, and prepare for a 2-hour drive down to Peru, VT for a couple Boxing Day parties and to catch up with a friend.

• “What the hell is paleo sushi?” “Exactly.” – Ellie, Laa-Laa (even better was the look on Laa-Laa’s face when I asked this question, but that one will have to stay in my memories unfortunately!)
• “You really like the metric system, don’t you?” “Ummmmmm, ahhhh, ummmmm …. Yeah! I do, actually!” – Laa-Laa, Ellie
• “People are looking at me like I’m crazy.” “Laa-Laa, you are crazy!” – Laa-Laa, Ellie
• “Oh, you’re the box guy.” – Chris, to Laa-Laa
• “One of the top 10 YouTube videos of the year is a cat that hissed at pictures of Justin Bieber.” – Rob (you can find that video here)


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