An outrageous 38 PAX posted to the Vortex today, crushing the previous site record by ten, necessitating an audible on the “hell week” workout, and constraining somewhat the amount of pain and suffering we were able to fit into the space of 45 minutes.  I hope it was nonetheless a suitable day two of five in the CH run of glory!

After an extremely abbreviated warmup that consisted mainly of some awkward shuffling around the perimeter and about a hundred SSHs (seriously), we turned to the main event, a scaled-down version of the “Benoit,” a SEAL-style workout.  The main changes were cutting the three runs from 1 mile to 1/2 mile and eschewing the 20-lb vests…  The Q is confused how we somehow managed to do fewer repetitions than a smaller group did at the same site almost a year ago, but having an extra 20 (?!) PAX meant that each repetition took at least 70 seconds longer just to get started.  In order to set our first rotation, we did a run of max merkins, capping out somewhere between 60 and 70.  Honoring the Biblical principle, the first were last, and the last first.

The workout itself  consisted of three sets of: 25 burpees, 50 merkins, 75 air squats, and an 800-meter run. As soon as each PAX finished the run, he lined up in order of completion and began SSHs (in theory, at least; some stole a few seconds of recovery instead). Once all were SSH-ing, we paused for a ten-count then got into the plank position. The three PAX at the end of the line did another ten count and then started the second set; then the next three PAX after another ten count; then the next three; etc. (leveling the playing field a bit by delaying the start of the early finishers and forcing them to run a bit further).  A time-sucking monster visited the site, so that we had to reduce the final 800 to a 400.

Having circled up and looked forlornly at the unused cinderblocks and tennis balls, we had time only for a little taste of Mary: 25 tuck jumps, 15 Johnny Appleseeds (the thing where you basically do cherry pickers from bows and toes), and 30 flutter kicks.

I confess that I wanted to baptize the moment in merlot (did we? anyone?  Bueller?), but I’m grateful for the chance to be with the PAX even without that crowning glory.  Thanks to each of you for being in the fight with me and for making each morning feel like the Rocky training montage above.  I am saving a clip of Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day speech for the next double merlot day at the Vortex, but I’m already feeling it.