Posted: September 14, 2011 in Yoga + CrossFit

Coach Keefa’s Birthday WOD.

I learned that a B-Day WOD is akin to a Benchmark – one of the ‘Girls’ or “Heroes’.

Whatever the case, it was certainly the most challenging WOD I have ever done – for the number of events, for the number of lifts, for the longest continuous run, and absolutely for the length of time.

First, I started with the 8am YogaWOD.  This regular Tuesday morning class is a prep for the day’s WOD .. so I had Yoga poses ready to prepare us for the WOD.

Then, the 9am WOD’s Warm Up

3 min Jump Rope

2 MTM Bear Crawls

25 Squats

25 PVC Pass Thrus


And Keefa’s Big Birthday WOD

4 Rounds for Time

13 Ring Dips

13 Jumping Air Squats

13 Pull Ups
13 SDHP (95/65)
13 Hang Power Cleans (95/65)
9, 50 meter Sprints
13 Bar Facing Burpees
13 Bear Complex (95/65)
Finish with an 800 meter Run


It had started out as a rough day, a 10 year mark for me .. but when I saw the WOD I set my mind in motion: That I would do all 4 Rounds.  Coach Keefa and I decided on 55# for weight, so I was only 10# under Rx.

Early on, Coach Keefa commented that a Birthday WOD was a day to be thankful; an opportunity to be alive and strong.   Those words settled deep in my heart; so I decided at that moment that this would be an opportunity for humility, because I was humbled by the strength I have gained.  I am truly humbled to be healthy and alive and just physically able and mentally stable enough to participate in this celebration of life.

I kept track of the Rounds by making chalk marks for every Bear Complex.  Of everything I did, I knew – this, not being a continuous lift – would be the one I would loose track counting.  So it was, that once I had 13 tally marks on the floor, I knew I had completed one Round.

Round One started well.  It was during Round Two that I started to feel uncomfortable.  My middle back was cramping, my hips were hurting, and the top of my thighs were burning from where the bar rested in the Hang Power Cleans.

Of all the exercises, the Bar Facing Burpees were my fav.  Granted, I enjoyed the Pull-Ups, but would have enjoyed them more without that purple band.  So it was the Burpees that I really liked .. focusing on jumping the feet between the hands, so that the next jump was over the bar.  Basically, the challenge of making it as smooth a transition from one side of the bar to the other.

I took plenty of time to rest on the Yoga Ball .. rolling my middle back, resting my lower back, the two areas that were communicating to me the loudest.  And I listened .. because this WOD was never about time but about technique and my personal will to continue with life.

Then, once that last Bear Complex was completed, I dropped the bar and hit the door .. running for 800 meters.  So it was that during the first 400 meters I thought of my son Jordan, and I ran for both of us.  And so it was that during that last leg .. I released into a full sprint.  It felt great to finish .. far better than ‘good’!

In all, Keefa’s Big Birthday WOD was a challenge of not just how far I have come since I started CrossFit over 4 months ago, but who I am at the core.  You see, when Im tired and hot and agitated and sore and uncomfortable and even in pain, I know I can go on.  When Im pushed and stretched beyond even being able to think anything other than ‘just breathe’, I know I can go on.  Then afterwards .. when I’m smiling and laughing and feeling good, so that I like the person I am, then I know I am truly blessed to know my Self that well.

In that yesterday marked 10 years since my son passed away .. I know that what I felt was far more than physical, but spiritual.  Yes .. I am truly blessed.


Yogini Valarie


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