Dawn Patrol

The West affiliate team prepares for Regionals with some 400m barbell carries in the rain (sorry guys, I didn't check the forecast).

The seasons affect the dawn patrol more than any other class. In winter you get to the box and it is pitch black. Really dark. You go for that first warm up run and it seems less like early morning than the middle of the night. As the months grow, you can literally chart the time of the year by that first run. Come early spring, there is a light during that run that you have not seen for months. It seems that pretty soon you don’t need your headlights to drive to class. And all too soon the dark comes creeping back and then it is still night when you arrive at the gym for the 6am class. And the morning sun is a shock when you are done, when you shag your way out the door blinking in the eastern rays.   Hoping your sunglasses are on your center console and you have not forgotten them at home.

When you arrive at the gym before 6am, there is a kind of stillness in the air that is unique to that moment and is never repeated throughout the day. Even if the gym has been empty for a couple hours, there still is not that early morning stillness. Emptiness is not the same as stillness. Chalk prints and spilled chalk, whiteboard scribbling, unevenly stacked bumps, music still playing, and an unseen but present sense of feeling of energy that a CrossFt gym has, all creates movement in the air.

The same place is different in the morning. The mats seem very black and smooth from the mopping the night before and there is no ghosting on the whiteboards, no ambient static from the lights or the stereo. The space seems both larger and smaller when the box is dark. There is no advance clue as to the workout. No signs on the whiteboard, no texts or facebook updates, no tweets, no chance meetings around town.

After the dawn patrol, the day, whether a mellow summer day with a promise of laziness, a fiendish autumn day with a bit of tooth in its bite, a bleak wintry one, or a welcome spring day full of longed-for sun, always seems a little sharper.

Give it a try.

Please post thoughts to Comments.

Monday’s moment of might. The toe-to-hand pullups are at about 1:30.



Find a new 5RM (touch and go)


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10 Ring Dips

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15 Pushups

15 Calorie Row