/var/www/html/wp-content/themes/Divi/single.php Expect the Unexpected - Linda Dao | Torrance Training Lab
Linda... wearing.... shorts?

Linda… wearing…. shorts?

Fritz was so moved by the effort Linda put out this weekend at her first competition, he asked me yesterday if he could write a blog about it… I love our members talking about anything they feel or find, so of course I’m down with that.  What surprised me was he turned this around same day.  Like – he made this his priority.  I can dig that!  And now … Fritz!

Many of you are well aware that throughout May I was training for a Co-Ed Partner Competition at the end of the month mainly because I asked most of you to join… and everyone passed.  Then out of nowhere with less than a week before the event my long time CrossFit friend Linda Dao decided to sign up! For those who don’t know Linda, Drew and I met a CrossFit Pasadena back in 2009 and these two were a big reason I joined Torrance CrossFit early this year. This connection is also what brought Linda into the competition as it was another previous Pasadena member, Linda’s cousin Tony who noticed my post on her Facebook page who convinced her to join after she had turned me down on THREE separate occasions! Here I was unexpectedly having a longtime friend join me for her first competition.

All photo cred: Glamazon

All photo cred: Glamazon

With registration complete Monday, in typical Fritz style, Tuesday we began practicing for the event. Since we were given two of the three workouts ahead of time Linda logically believed that we would work WOD 1 Tuesday, WOD 2 Wednesday, walk through both Thursday, rest Friday, and compete Saturday. Of course I explained to her that “Hey, you’re going to do both WOD in one day anyways so we are going to both workouts two days in a row so you are well prepared!” Resistant, yet determined to do well at her first competition, Linda pushed though each rep with me, performing both workouts in under 90 minutes for two days; even though the event would allow her over two hours of rest! It should be mentioned here that these workout were endurance based not strength; meaning fun for me NOT fun for Linda. Yet, unexpectedly her pace left me near broke every time. (Linda will try and tell you that I tried to kill her but that was just a front on my part)

Since I was out of town Thursday and Friday, Linda was able to catch her break from the physical presence of Dictator Fritz, but I was still sure to be in touch via email to ensure she had memorized our strategy. Twice I sent emails to the three other competitors letting them know what Linda and I had workout out during our practice sessions the previous days and BOTH times Linda fired back with key details that I had left out. Unexpectedly Linda was stepping up from teammates to co-captain a day out from her first event.

Laid out on the row!

Laid out on the row!

Saturday comes and I begin my normal event day routine stretch, cook breakfast, stretch again, hand write out all the workouts with my plan of attack, the focus is all on me. On the drive to San Clemente I begin to work on how I might be of assistance to Linda & Tony. What I’m going to tell them before each workout? What cues will a give them during the movements? When should I advise them to perform the floater WOD? We arrive at roughly the same time and before I can explain to Linda how the day will unfold she has claimed her spot in the parking lot, spread out her personal warm up area, propped her feet up in her folding chair and most unexpectedly committed to her floater workout without consulting me! I scream in my head “What are you thinking!” “We need time to review this!” “WHAT you don’t even have your own jump rope!” WTF Linda! Well nothing I can do about it now but be supportive. “Hey Linda, here’s my jump rope, tie a knot in it to fit your height, it will work better than that shoe lace you borrowed!

Our first workouts are close in start times so before we enter our staging areas I go to provide final words of encouragement, they were not needed. Linda is wearing an expression of pride, she is carrying herself in way that shows she has been here before; the confidence is contagious! We complete our first events and meet back at our area, before I have a moment to ask how her event went Linda begins questioning me on mine. The workout was an AMRAP with partners trading reps for 40 burpees, 30 wall balls, 20 box jumps broken down into segments; work 3 minutes, rest 30 seconds, work 5 minutes, rest 30 seconds, work 7 minutes; a brutal 16 minutes for any athlete. “How did it go?” “If I stand this way during the wall ball will that help?” “What can I adjust in the burpee section to move faster?” I provide all the lessons learned and we wait, 45 minutes later she’s up, her first real competition WOD; I wait with anticipation to see how she will handle it 3…2…1…GO!  The first three minutes goes smoothly and Linda ends the round right where we had planned. 3…2…1…GO! Round 2 begins everyone is moving slower than before but there is still a look of confidence on Linda, her partner slows, she coaches him right back to her speed to get some more points on the board. 3…2…1…GO! All the athletes on the floor literally groan at the start of this round, everyone wants this feeling to be over. While others are breaking form flopping to the floor on the burpees, cutting the depth on the wall balls, and missing the extension on the box jumps there is Linda making every rep count! “ONE MINUTE LEFT” is called out by the announcer some participants go into survival mode, excited that there pain will soon be relieved. I look over to make sure Linda has not joined them in sorrow; unexpectedly Linda isn’t back to a “normal” pace she has found a new gear moving faster than she was in round 1! TIME! She and Tony collapse, the difference is Tony is excited to be done; Linda is excited for what is to come.

Between WOD 1 & 2 there is a break in which the organizers explain the movement standards. At the start they begin they let the group know that their entire gym attempted this workout and no one finished in under the 16 minute time cap. Linda turns to me, smiles, because on Tuesday we finished in 15:54; she begins to glow with anticipation. Heats go by one by one and with each one I notice Linda picking up on the little things the athletes did to improve efficiency, soon it is her turn. On the rower absorbing last minute clarifications from the judge one cannot help but smile at the calm surrounding her. The horn sounds and I don’t even believe that I am watching the same person; the pulls are so long and powerful that she looks like a games athlete! Off the rower and onto the weights, her form is perfect, literally performing each rep as rehearsed. When she does break the crowd can see her count to three and pick the weight back up. I can see the fatigue in her face but the focus in her eyes pushes her through. When not working she is coaching her teammate. Time is called and they finish just 4 reps short of the cap, with hugs and high fives to celebrate the end of the day, Linda turns to me and unexpectedly says “You Fritz, that wasn’t that bad, I’m can’t wait for the next one!

A big thanks to Nindy, who surprised both of us by making down to the event and taking all the photos even after she was at Cheryl’s competition earlier that morning. I also want to thank EVERYONE at the gym for always being supportive of ALL the members and encouraging the best from everyone.

Workout of the Day

A. Strength
Back squat
3-3-3-3-3 x 60/65/70/75/80%

B.  Met Con
2 BOX JUMP 30/24



*12 min cap