Day 8 began with a free morning to explore the town, then a 1:00 swim WOD in the deepest lake on the South Island, Lake Wakatipu. Because of its depth, this lake never really warms up, even in the heart of summer. So there were a few among us that toed the water a little more nervously than they did on Day 1 in Auckland. The workout was intended to be 3 rounds of a buoy swim (about 200 meters), 5 pull-ups (tree branch or jungle gym), 10 pushups, 15 squats. Very simple as written, but the temperature of the water made it far more challenging. As the WOD got going a few people had to divert to a closer buoy, just to be safe. The best part of this workout was easily the location. Queenstown proper was on the opposite shore, and the mountains climbed high around us, throwing reflections on the aqua blue water. The sun was out and beautiful, as it had been our entire trip, so even the cold water wasn't too much of a bother.
After drying off, we headed up the hill a short ways to CrossFit Queenstown for some heavy front squats and deadlifts. We only had an hour before the next class came in so we limited ourselves to just those lifts. Surprisingly, there were more than a few PR's from the group. This has been something of a trend on AWF trips, and I have to think it has something to do with the absence of normality. Sometimes routine creates pressure to perform, whereas the absence of routine removes that pressure. Think about it… If you're in an unknown situation, you're not worried about performing up to some standard, you're just excited for the opportunity to perform. Not a bad mental state to be in if you ask me.
We wrapped up the day with a trip to the top of the Queenstown gondola and an hour or so on her street luge course overlooking the valley. No matter how fun you think this sounds, you have no idea. The simplest contraption one could imagine (handlebars that control the brakes by levering forward or backward), and gravity. The track was wide enough for 3 cars to fit side by side, and there were steep drops, sharp turns, tunnels, and chances to get airborne. For our money, this may have been the best value of the entire trip. We were racing, bumpering, and screaming down the course just like kids at a 10 year old birthday party. The video footage says it all.