Monday, August 31, 2009

What does not kill me.....The San Diego Cert and a real, all time PR.

Team Rif 2009!

Let the bodywork begin.

What doesn't kill you can make you stronger, unless it cooks you to a cinder first. It was hot this weekend at the cert. Really, really really hot. Bikram Yoga class hot and that's no lie.102+ degrees. The candidates did incredibly well; unbeleivable really and showed heart and grit for three full days under some seriously tough environmental conditions.

But it ain't easy standing for 12 hours straight either, and NOT getting to really stretch out the body while you observe, coach and demonstrate. It's always refreshing to hear the young, uninjured and hard young buck instructors bitch a bit about how hard it is on their body standing so much during the cert. For me and this pile of junk that mascarades as a knee it's an interesting journey into the unknown.

I haven't been doing my rack walks for months and this cert would be an interesting test of whether they were necessary or all that standing on one leg in Bikrams for hours each week would be a decent substitute. The Certs for me are like an endurance competition. I walk more in these weekends in 3 or 4 days than I normally do all month, lol. ANd not having the time to do my requisite body work adds up pretty interestingly each time. Sometimes are better than others. This one, especially considering the heat was better than I expected.

When one has a knee that doesnt fully extend or fully flex the hamstrings, quads, rectus femoris and lower leg muscles end up getting tighter and tighter with each incomplete gait cycle.This of course travels up into the glutes and deep hip rotators and then, you guessed it, into the lower back. Lots of fun.

But, just like in daily life, in one opens up those spasming muscles, gets them open and more piable and softer the joint works much better. But add in dehydration and the task is that much tougher.

But hey, that's the deal and I was overall very pleased with how much work I was able to do this cert and still get to work today. And it was good to know all the heat tolerance training I've been getting with Bikrams and the real world strength from one legged balance work really paid off.

This is functional training for me at it's most important.

Plus, my warrior diet training, which has been killing me lately kicked in well and I had very little hunger but more than enough energy to do what was needed. I still had some food for breakfast but just protein and fats, had some carbs and fat for lunch and not much else til we ate at 9 pm or so. It was too hot to eat.But I still felt strong, relatively.

My team was 15 strong and there was lots of work to do.On very basic movements and we spent tons of time on swings and corrective drills.I was worried, like I always am on Fridays, that it won't come together for them but somehow, it always does. Sundays are easily the toughest day for me with technique testing, teaching testing and evals. Failing people is no fun but the RKC standards are no joke and not to be messed with.Luckily most failed from the snatch test and with all that they learned this weekend I should be getting some you tube snatch videos from soon to be RKC's very soon. I better.

I had bottoms up clean and press the 24's for the first time on both arms last week and thought, if things felt right I would give the 28 kg a try this weekend. By the middle of Fridays heat I knew that there would be no "good" time to try this and I wouldnt be getting any stronger the next day. So there was no time like the present.

I got the 20 kg easily with both arms

Then the 24 kg strongly on the left and had to take it twice on the right to get it.

Then onto the 28 kg with my right arm first. No go. Clean was easy but my 'trigger' thumb didnt like it. Hard to press it bottoms up max if the grip isnt solid.

Then onto the left arm. About halfway up and lost it's groove.

I was running out of time. Tracy got some great pictures of all my misses. Lovely.

Senior Instructor Dave Whitley came up to me and told me to do some toes pulls on my right side thinking I was going for my left arm again.I went for the right and my thumb tweaked really badly. This didnt look good. Then Irontamer told me the toe pulls were for my left side press and I did them again.

And focused. and re focused. Then it went up and stayed up. Just like that. It was great, great great to have a real pr, something I've never done in my life. Not just a 'since the comeback from being almost permantly jacked up for life' pr. A real one. Most excellent.ANd it gave me great confidence that the 32 kg is within reach.I really miss that zone I got in getting ready for the max attempt. I love that place. I wanted to live there for years. I couldnt see or hear anything.Completely centered, in the zone, in the flow. That's what I love about competition and real training.Whether it's on a platform or a piece of grass that you decided would be a testing ground. THAT place. So few get to visit at all , much less time and time again. That's always what kept me coming back.

Tracy got the picture and I knew if I didn't make it she would not let me forget.

Of course this is where I have to be really careful; when I feel strong again. I ALWAYS want to push the ceiling and see what I can do. And then I found out and wish I hadn't looked so deeply.

But If I stick to my snatches and just press once a year like I have been doing it might work out :)) without me getting more hurt.

My thumb, however is still tight.I just needed more warmup. Yeah, that's it, that's the

All in all an incredible cert in an incredible venue( heat wave notwithstanding). La Jolla is amazing and combined with the energy that always accompanies an RKC the place just seemed lit up.

Getting to see all my brothers and sisters in kettlebells was so cool as well.What an amazing community we have and are continuing to build .

And Tracy is even MORE inspired than normal to bring her training to another level. Having her with me at each cert is awesome. It's so cool we have this in common at this level. A dream, in fact.And it's only the beginning.

Next is a Level 1 RKC at home base, Minnesota in two week and the First EVER HKC in 3. Lots of great RKC stuff starting to happen for us. Can' t wait.Oh yeah, Pavels HS workshop in OCt as well. Mo' betta.

But for now it's bodywork and stretching time and hopefully I can do a variation of snatch vo2 tomorrow.



Anonymous said...

Comrade Rif,

You were a joy to meet over dinner on Saturday night and you were a key lifesaver for my entire RKC performance! I am sorry that you have profound aches these days but your knowledge, technique, and teaching ability shine through you. I think that your physique might be a just a BIT dialed in as well :D


And yes, you could be my father, so what? Hahaha. I don't even remember what we were arguing about but that was a fun night. Thanks again!

Mark Reifkind said...


good to have you stopping by! You had a great attitude all weekend especially considering the damage you did to your hands!
We were 'arguing' about Iron Maiden but it was all in good fun.
It was great to meet you and glad I could help you get through the cert.
and thanks for the kind words.not too bad for an old guy, lol

Mark Reifkind said...

oh and yes, I said I was OLD enough to be your father,not that I could be your father, big difference,lol.

Diana said...

Congrats on your PR!
Looking forward to the HKC in 3 weeks! OMG, 3 weeks? Yikes!!!!

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks Diana

and yes, just 3 weeks!see ya soon.

mc said...

as always tracy catches you at your best. Really love the stance, the sun, and the bare feet in the hot grass.

Best to you both,

Laura said...


Firstly, congratulations on your PR! That's extremely exciting! It's awesome to be surrounded by family that is there to support you and assist you. You've done a lot in your life, and it's pretty inspiring to witness and read about your continuing gains. :)

It was a great pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to many more occasions! Thanks for everything.

Mark Reifkind said...


thanks for the kind words, and it was nice to meet you too. Having Tracy with me always brings me strength.Hope my training can continue to inspire.

Mark Reifkind said...

Thanks MC

and yes Tracy has an amazing eye for photos as well as other design things, no surprise. I'm just glad I made it and didnt have to post all the misses :))

Boris T. said...

Rif congrats on the PR. :)