The summer solstice may have actually occurred Monday evening, but each rotation of balls-to-the-wall this morning made the 23 PAX at the Vortex feel trapped in the longest day.

After warm-ups, we did a variation on the theme of merkins and pull-ups from YHC’s last time at the helm.  PAX worked through multiple sets of ten merkins while pairs rotated out for pull-ups (x12) and dips (x20, cadence-count).  We did wide-grip, diamond grip, regular, right arm high, left arm high, staggered (left and right), legs crossed—at least 18 sets in all—before heading back to the field.  This was the easy part and served mainly to get our arms tired for the main event.

PAX divided into three groups of six and one of five.  Within the three main groups, PAX rotated through a series of stations (cinder-block curls, merkins, cinder-block presses, dry docks, and—for groups of six only—balls-to-the-wall).  One PAX bear crawled (or crawl beared, or crab walked, depending on the rotation) from one station to the next, displacing his teammate and sending him scrambling to the next station.  The odd group out did a balls-to-the-wall relay of sorts, with PAX dropping out to do 10-12 merkins one-at-a-time before returning to position.  Once spent, they switched to people’s chair/squats.

Mary involved a new one, the “Johnny Appleseed,” in addition to bicycles and flutter kicks.  With the idea that a picture is worth 1,000 words, I Googled “plank with arm extension” to try to find an appropriate image.  I was shocked at the number of different ways there are to work one’s abs; gentlemen, we have not yet begun to plank.

Always a joy to see such great guys.  Thoughts and prayers for Slow Pitch’s brother and to all of our men and women in uniform.