Wednesday, August 29, 2012

AWF Munich-Vienna-Prague Day 2


Workout of the Day
Rest Day

After long trips and a hard first day of training, Day 2 was more about relaxation and enjoyment than was Day 1.  We started things off in the renowned “English Garden” with a dip in the Isar River, a tributary that runs through the heart of Munich and is said to improve virility and strength in those who bath there.  Naturally, we were all on board.  Turns out the river is relatively shallow, so everyone who had reservations about the safety of the current, the need to swim, or the temperature of the water were quickly put at ease.  The section where Marco took us was no more than thigh deep.  After playing around a bit on our own, the group started getting creative as a whole.  We were doing squat holds while linking arms, plyo pushups, and trying to dam the river with our legs.  The sun was shining and everyone laughed.  Great start to the day.
Photo: warm up with blair and the anywherefit europe group and german crossfitters
From there we walked through the park to a beer garden for a traditional Bavarian breakfast of jumbo pretzels, weisse sausage, and beer.  Now, as a general rule crossfitters are known for being big eaters.  We were no match for the amount of food provided us this morning.  Enormous pots of poached sausage links that could have been handed out one at a time were dropped in the middle of each table.  Somebody somewhere has to have a picture of this ridiculous scene, but believe me when I tell you that it would’ve taken 20 Andre the Giant types to finish all that food.

With full bellies we all headed to Dachau, home of the first concentration camp constructed during the World War II era.  While this was certainly no uplifting experience, it was unforgettable and amazing nonetheless.  Walking through the old barracks; seeing with our own eyes the gas chambers, furnaces, and bunks where so many spent the worst years a human can spend; it was surreal.  Bits of history like this often slide past us. Maybe we’re afraid of how connected we will feel to the victims. Or maybe it’s the opposite: we’re uncomfortable with how detached we feel from something so horrible.  Either way, missing the opportunity to see it with my own eyes on this trip wasn’t an option.
Photo: Sensationelle Muscle ups!!
We made our way back to the city and quickly rallied to one of the best dinners I’ve ever had.  The Bavarian beer was flowing, the pork and dumplings were piling high, and everyone appeared to have bounced back from a somewhat depressing afternoon.  After dinner we attended a Variety Show off the Maximillian Strasse that has made it’s reputation on phenomenal acrobatics.  It didn’t disappoint.  Imagine a Cirque du Solei show but on a 30 foot stage instead of a 300 foot one.  There were silk ribbon routines, duet pole dancing, tight ropes, juggling, extreme aerials, and more.  As a group of reasonably fit and strong individuals, we were stunned to a man.  In between acts, people were telling each other how weak they felt just watching these amazing athletes.  But it was also motivating for most to try to improve their gymnastics in order to even attempt some of the skills these people were pulling off effortlessly.  I know I came away with a few ideas for programming that I’d never thought of before. 
I’m certain that if today is any indication for the rest of the trip, we are in for an incredible ride.

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