12 Apr


This past Sunday I had the pleasure of hosting 6 of my friends (including my lovely wife) at the SHOP.  Since this was just a single workout, I wanted to broaden everyone’s horizons a little bit and expose them to some movements (ab wheel rollouts, farmer’s carries, and sandbag carries) and some tools (Prowler, Sled, Battling Ropes, and Airdyne) that would take them out of their comfort zone.  I normally wouldn’t just put somebody through the ringer, however because I have trained with or coached each person that was in attendance I was well aware of their capabilities…which means I put them through the ringer!

The SHOP 4-10-11 b

Also, one of my friends (Amanda), volunteered (or was nominated) to write a guest blog post for me to describe her experience.

Enter Amanda…


I had heard rumors about the SHOP–whispers in the night that haunt your dreams.  Myths about the mighty who had fallen at the rippling muscles of an unsympathetic giant.  Tales of the Prowler and the Sled that equated them to archaic torture devices.  The relic of an unassuming Craigslist Airdyne sitting nonchalantly in the corner waiting for its next victim–preferably one oozing with the pompous self-confidence of a Crossfitter (they’re the tastiest).  The Airdyne is no erg, my friends.  It will eat you.

There isn’t really a way to prepare for the SHOP.  Mental and physical toughness are a necessity, but those provide no cradle of comfort when you are forced to realize the weight of 120# of sand, woodchips, and gravel in a canvas sack and the distance you must cover while hugging it to your 110# frame.  Don’t drop it.  That just means you have to pick it up again.

But that’s only the beginning.  Walking (slowly) with slight discomfort (just the added weight of another adult, nbd) up and down a shaded alley on a sunny, breezy Texas Sunday morning isn’t so bad when you compare it to what comes next.  Thirty seconds will never feel so long, so creeping, soooo as if time has actually stopped and you are instead in some sort of a Greek hell–you might as well push a few boulders uphill with Sisyphus (Don’t get any ideas, Drew).  The Battle Ropes, the Sledge, the Airdyne, and the Slams sound like and feel like a gladiator’s opponents–and you have no other option but to slaughter them one after another, thirty endless seconds at a time.  And slaughter them you will because, despite how it may look to the oblivious passerby, you kind of enjoy this stuff.

But it’s still not over.  Turns out the Princess is in another castle, and you have yet to meet the King Koopas of the SHOP, Bowsers I and II–the Prowler and the Sled.  For this, you must relocate to the elementary school down the street because you need both grass and distance to slay these two dragons.  At the SHOP, your fireballs will get you nowhere.  It doesn’t matter how many gold coins you have stockpiled, how many bonus lives you’ve accrued.  No hidden mushrooms will give you a much needed spurt here.  Instead, you must rely on your mortal strength and determination to move those beasts 50 man-breaking meters.  Three times.  Plus a few bear crawls in between.  Despite all the Crossfit you do, this burn is a new burn.  Your legs have never felt this before, and it feels good in that way that makes Others think you left the World of Sanity long ago.  When it’s all over, and you have finally rescued the Princess, you realize you can’t wait to save her again because next time, you’ll get there faster.


Great write-up, and if you didn’t catch the Super Mario Bros. reference, shame on you!  Here’s some reading to get you up to speed:

Super Mario Bros.

Since everybody survived and apparently enjoyed themselves (or at least lied about enjoying themselves), I think we’ll do this again!


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