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Alexander Karatis 08-25-2005 01:56 AM

We were at a very cool secluded beach somewhere in Southern Greece...There were about 12 guys (yes, there were girls too!:proud:) and naturally, we were looking for something fun to do-something that include everyone...

Waterskiing was out of the question, firstly because some didn't know how to ski, and second because as cool as it is, it isn't exactly the laugh-fest we were looking for.

So someone came up with a challenge...We'd each try to get up barefoot, but the point wasn't actually skiing barefoot. We'd start in a very unconventional way, one that would require tremendous strength, technique, and real-world overall fitness. (By now you can guess who that "someone" who came up with the sick idea was...!:biggrin:)

The contestant would put on the top of a wet suit, and lie on his back in the water, with arms extended upwards, pointing towards the boat and holding the rope. The challenge was to find a way to either get in the standing or sitting (butt and toes on the water) barefoot position...

Fitness levels varied, but one of the guys is very muscular, lean, and frankly seemed like one of the favourites. Others that weren't destined to take a trip below have mostly sports backrounds, with one guy being an excellent snowboarder a natural in rock climbing...

I'll spare you the lunacy of laughing our asses off from inside the boat while a 60kgs stickboy was flapping around on the surface of the water.

The point is, everyone, except the two "favourites" I mentioned couldn't even hold their grip in that position and would let go just as soon as they stopped dragging the water and started to flat while the boat picked up speed...

The results...:

1. Vascular-Boy
Two strong bangs on the water were enough for him to lose his grip. He gave up after the second try...

2. Snowboarder
He was the only one to "get" the technique I thought as the only possible way to turn around. After his body was solidly "skiing" on the water, he let go one hand and explosively tried to bring his body around. He came very close to a full 180 rotation but wasn't strong enough to pull his entire body with one hand...

3. Your fellow Crossfiter (i.e. Me)
The seas were kinda choppy so I waited until we had picked up some serious speed and I was just skimming the surface of the water. Once the rhythmic bouncing stopped, I started the process. The intent was to spend as little time as possible in the transition. I thought that either I'll do this explosively or not at all...

From a fully extended lying position (face up, arms towards the boat) I tried to make myself into a ball, bringing my knees towards my chest while at the same letting go of my left hand...At that instant I realize the grip strength I'd need if I were to pull hard...As soon as my hand settled and I found my balance(this is all fractions of a second BTW) I pulled as hard as I could, my arm bent at about 110 degress. I tried to use as little back as possible on the water so as to avoid drag and leaned my bent and crossed knees to the side of the turn. The intent was to "pull less and turn more", so I tried visualizing pulling the rope toward the lowest extremity of my body which meant leaning sideway as much as possible without tipping over. I cannot describe the amount of water shooting up during the turn, all I can say is I couldn't see jack!

The explosive twist worked only now I couldn't see the rope in order to catch it with my other hand! I decided to turn back to the starting (lying) position (knees still bent) so as to not waste strength. (I so wanted this on my first try there was no way I'd stop for a break!) I tried visualizng were the rope's handle would probably be, and after 3-4 seconds pulled again. The movement came off so smoothly, despite me grunting heavily. I caught the sucker with the other hand and before I knew it I was skiing on my butt tipping my feet in just for show, since standing up was not an option in what was now choppier seas...

The guys in the boat were screaming that they couldn't believe it was possible. (Lean and muscular boy was the target of so much picking and joking that the next day, after having shunned my style of working out, asked me.."So, tell me about those Oly lifts...")

This was 100% functional, explosive fitness at work and is a prime example of how Crossfit made me strong and smart. Yes, smart because there is no other way I wouldn't have known how to use my body to accomplish the task in any other situation. It was all instinctive and came off very naturally!

If BTW, you wanna try something fun with a motorboat, try this! Great fun for everyone involved!:biggrin:

Veronica Carpenter 08-25-2005 09:59 PM

[img][/img] or a video clip. That sounds like fun!

Thomas Kryston 08-26-2005 08:21 AM

Yeah, a couple of pics would be great. Whether they show success or wipeouts

Alexander Karatis 08-26-2005 11:00 AM

Veronica, it was! You guys, I can't believe no one thought of using one of the dozens of cell phones with cameras lying around to film or take some photos...! I hadn't even thought about it until now!:blush:

What an idiot...However, the summer isn't over here yet so I;ll definately arange another session!

Micah Lundborg 08-30-2005 08:25 AM

It never ceases to amaze me how functional all these cross fit workouts get. But after hearing your story, one can see just how useful they are. They encompass the "all body/all activity" range.

Alexander Karatis 08-31-2005 12:45 PM

Micah, trust me, even your dancing will improve! :proud: Even when the only time they'll get the chance to see that is after your 5th Vodka!:proud:

Micah Lundborg 09-07-2005 11:18 AM

Does the dancing actually improve or does it just seem like it after five vodkas? Knowing the way I dance, my wife might not let me on the dance floor now that my fitness level is so much better. She'd just be that embarassed for a longer period of time.

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