"Smiling makes burpees easier!"

I have been WAY behind the ball on this blogging thing. I last updated about three months ago, which is three years in blargon. Blogger Jargon. 

I just made that up. 

Apologies to my followers (mom, maybe Alex?)… There really hasn’t been a ton of stuff going on.  The last class of the first semester was yesterday, next week is exam week, the following week is grading week, and then (rumor has it) a whole *5* days of no work. Plus a weekend. 

But, I do have one story. I went to Reykjavik the first weekend in December for a CrossFit level one course. 

It was pretty freaking awesome, despite the ten hurdles I had to jump over (and through, and around) to get two classes covered while I was gone. That’s a different story, and I’m still bitter. 

I was only in Iceland for 4 days, and two were mostly spent traveling, so unfortunately I didn’t get to do much exploring / touristing. However, the little bit of Iceland I did see was enough to make me want to go back. Also, I have hardly any pictures, due to the facts that I was inside most of the two days for the course, and also it’s winter and Iceland is pretty far north. So it was dark the times I was outside. 

For those of you not familiar with CrossFit, Reykjavik is home to Annie Thorisdottir, two-time CrossFit champion. She’s a beast. But no, I didn’t get to meet her, or even see her. She was out of town. 😦 

With a level one certification, you are allowed to open your own CrossFit affiliate, and also train others at an affiliate. I’ve been CrossFitting for about 2.5 years, I enjoy helping others, and there was an opportunity for me to visit Iceland, so I decided to go for it. 

The first day I arrived, I went to the Blue Lagoon directly from the airport. There is a shuttle, and you can purchase shuttle and B.L. tickets when you arrive at the airport. The B.L. is a geothermal spa / pool, and it was the perfect way to end the day after three flights. For Fairbanksans, this pool is way larger than Chena Hot Springs, buuut biases aside, the B.L. is better. There were buckets of special Iceland / Viking mud mask stuff around the edge of the pool, and guests are free to help themselves. One Asian man had this neat system of covering his entire body and floating until he dried. I have no idea how he did it without getting too wet. I had trouble just covering my face. OH, and then there were the three teenage girls who brought plastic bags with them and were smuggling mud. What the heck are you going to do with three gallons of mud mask mud?? 

One of my favorite parts was the smoothie shack where you could sit in the water and drink green-ginger-spinach-orange-apple smoothies.

After soaking for about three hours, I found my shuttle and it took me almost to my hotel. The driver stopped in the middle of the “highway” shortly after entering downtown Reykjavik, and yelled out my hotel. I looked out the window and only saw a strip mall, so I was slightly confused. Then he waved his arm to the left and explained that I only had to “walk over there and between those buildings.” Um, okay. But he was right. I don’t think you can get lost in that city. 

Saturday morning, the first day of the course, I was eating breakfast in the hotel when a chick walked over and invited me and another chap to join her and her buddies, also attending the course. One of the things I love most about CrossFit is the community. Some people joke (I think) and say it’s cult-like, but really it’s just a bunch of people who love to workout and help motivate one another. 

Basically, the course consisted of a mixture of lectures, small-group movement instruction, and workouts. And a written test on the last day. 

On the first day, we covered the air-squat, overhead squat, and thruster; and the press, push-press, and push jerk. The workout we did was “Franish”: 3 rounds for time (10 min. cap) of 15 thrusters and 12 burpees (jumping up and touching the pull-up bar after each burpee. That’s worded funny, sorry).  Guess who came in last? Hahah. Whatever. I’m used to it. It was nice having everyone swarm around me and cheer me on for my last 12 burpees, though. 

The second day, we covered the dead-lift, sumo dead-lift high pull, and medicine ball clean; snatches (teeheehee); and muscle-ups. Speaking of muscle-ups, after the course, the regular Vikings (I hope that’s not offensive; I mean it in the most admiral way) did their normal WODs and it was awesome just watching. Seeing 16 year old girls doing muscle-ups is quite humbling. Speaking of humble, ALL ICELANDERS ARE THE MOST HUMBLE AND THE NICEST PEOPLE EVER. I love Iceland. 

Finally, we took the written test. In order to get certified, you have to participate in the workouts and pass the test (35 out of 55). Although I prepared, I was still super worried. The test includes most of what is in the CrossFit training guide and most of what is covered in the lectures. I say most because there were some questions that I completely guessed on; and I took notes the whole weekend! If anyone is reading this and plans to attend a course, all I did to prepare was read the training guide and participant handbook (only once; some crazies read both multiple times), and take notes during the lectures. I reviewed my notes after the first day, and during lunch the second day.  I ended up passing (yay!), but I do know some failed. The test is in English, and although you can request an exam in whatever language you wish beforehand (provided they have it), I wonder if some of the failures were due to language issues. 

Overall, it was a great experience, I learned a lot, and I gained some awesome new friends! 

You’ve gotta trade gym t-shirts!

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