The Herculean WOD

Namma CrossFit (NCF) became National Corp Fitness yesterday. At NCF, we have group workouts everyday and I’ve been going there since July/August. We have many coaches who conduct our workouts. There’s one coach who stands out – Tarun Kumar.

Someone once asked who is coach Tarun. The reply was this –

Usually the toughest period in a armed forces Cadet’s life is not during the PT but during the ‘Drill Practice’. The instructor, ‘Drill Ustad’ is the most feared, hated, loved…person.

Did someone ask about who’s Coach Tarun? 😉

– Kamal

If you walk in and see a short guy with short hair, clean shaved, toned muscles, smiling, that’s him. He doesn’t command respect and doesn’t have any air about himself, he just smiles.

But believe me, you’ll fear him when you know he’s taking the session, hate him when you workout and love him when you’ve accomplished your WOD. And then you see him smile and you feel stupid. This feeling repeats each time I’m there.

Talk about fitness and the guy has exercises up his sleeve like a swiss army knife. I don’t think there’s one muscle in his body which moves unless he tells it to move. He is a gymnast like another coach put it to me. One thing, I’ve noticed is he’s mild in the morning but something happens to him in the evening and his volume level goes up some 20 decibels.

Anyway, the workouts at NCF are designed sometimes to challenge your fitness and push you to another level. Today was one such mammoth WOD (workout of the day).

Over the last few months my fitness has improved tremendously. I had a game of football with my colleagues sometime in July where I could not help panting after running for 10 mins. This month, I was able to run on the pitch for a whole hour with decent intensity and then went on to play another 30 mins. And consistently doing crazy workouts has improved my capacity as well. Today was different.

I was doubtful if I’d wake up on time for the WOD because I slept at 1. I woke up on time and hit the box. We started with usual Tarun style warm-ups (a mixed bag of quick exercises without any break – remember the swiss army knife?). Then we had a special round of warm-up – 5 push-ups, 3 tuck jumps and 10m run. I pushed myself for about 7-8 rounds not knowing what was coming up next.

Here’s a fun fact – what is workout for most of us is just warm up for Tarun (like you wouldn’t guess that after all I’ve told you about him!).

For any NCF readers – MetCon King Shyam even mentioned today, “I guess it’s time to do the cool down and leave”.

Then came this –

I thought great, sounds achievable! Some basics to be set straight before we move on –

  • 12 kg Kettlebell for Squat Jumps (since that’s the next best weight I can handle without injuries).
  • 20 kg barbell for Thrusters (since that’s the next best weight I can handle without injuries).
  • No med-ball push-ups only ring push-ups (because the coach said so).
  • Alternate leg raises on the pull up bar and not on the floor (again because the coach said so).
  • 20 mins is all you get, try for 3 rounds in that time.

For any NCF readers – No prizes for guessing our MetCon King Shyam finished 3 rounds in 20 mins. I envy his fitness! (For others, I’d guesstimate Shyam’s age to be around 40. So yeah, I’m not even close to competing with the gentleman!)

Round 1 –

I’m struggling (usual story, nothing new there) and I have come to the run now. The run was on the road outside the box. You follow a fixed trail in the neighborhood and return. I’m running and the coach is cycling beside us to see if we’re okay (also pushing us as usual). I fall behind and get a searing pain on my chest just above the heart. I have to stop because I cannot go on. Tarun stops for me, tries to check if he can push me more or I’m really in pain (won’t blame him for that) and then asks me to lie down on the road and relax.

A gentleman watches this from his house and asks if I need water. I’m anxious to get up and get going. There’s a reason I like competition, it pushes me but only till I know I can take that pressure else I stop competing with others and start with a fresh slate doing my best.

I stand up suddenly and tell the coach, let’s go. He’s concerned but I’m more determined not to give up. I run back and finish the round.

Round 2 –

I’m tired as fuck but I go on. No stopping, just go go go! I reduce the number of reps to half so I can finish the round. I’m running again and I’m tired by now. I push myself and return back to the box.

I was resting in a corner and it was a very emotional moment. I’ve been going through a lot at work lately and I felt like giving up so many times. The thought did not directly enter my head but it was lingering somewhere and there were many questions that needed answers. The workout was the answer.

I took the picture of the WOD as a testament to a great lesson. I love working out, it’s a relief. And I guess endorphins are the best drugs you can get high on. Nothing can beat that!

Thanks coach. If you’re reading this please don’t kill me during the next WOD. Peace.

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