Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 3 in Switzerland

I arrived in Geneva pretty late Saturday night and was met by Jon Ingram, Co-founder of CrossFit Leman, at the train station. We walked to his apartment, where, after a nice conversation with him and his girlfriend, he informed me that we would be getting an early start the next day so it would be best to hit the sack.
We were up around 6:30, eating breakfast, and out the door by just before 8. CrossFit Leman is about 20 minutes from downtown and sits at the base of a mountain range overlooking Lake Geneva. The surroundings are stunning. The inside of the place gives the appearance of a lodge, with exposed wooden beams, big plate glass windows, and a lot of natural light. The space we trained in is actually only half of the facility, as Jon and his partner, Euan, have leased the adjoining room as well. When it's finished, this place is going to be incredible.
Classes were set to come in at 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30, and Jon suggested I train with the first group. The workout was as follows...
1.2 km trail run
DB farmers walks up and over the catwalk (I used 30 kg DBs)
10 tire flips (100 kg tire)
30 Push Press (60 kg)
50 Double Unders
1.2 km trail run
Digesting this workout, I thought it might not be enough. It turned out to be plenty. The trail run was short but technical, with lots of roots, rocks, and plenty of sharp turns. The farmers walks were tough because we had to climb and the descend two flights of stairs. Having never done this before, I had no way of knowing how much harder this would be from a regular farmers walk. Much, if you're wondering. The tire flips I found very easy, simply because the weight was much lighter than I am used to. However, the residual lower body impact from the run and the farmers walks made itself known during the push presses. 60 kg feels really heavy when you aren't getting much pop from your legs. I did 3 sets of 10, and barely made them. The double unders were fine, but kept me out of breath just enough to make the second run pretty challenging. I didn't notice the slight, but consistent grade as we wound along the river the first time through, but it's there. I ended up making it back in a total time of 14:38, and really had to keep pushing myself on the last run because a decent part of me wanted to slow down.
Afterwards, I helped Jon teach the later classes. I got to coach 4 kids how to properly do dumbell snatches, deadlifts, and walking lunges. This was a great time. The parents trained as well, in the other room with Jon, and I couldn't help appreciating the way this CrossFit box had carved out a family fitness niche within the community. They've only been open a month, but their membership is at 30+ already. It will be interesting to see how this place will grow in comparison with other boxes around Europe finding more individual clientele.
As we drove back from the gym, Jon showed me this old Roman road that goes from the bottom of the mountains to the top, approximately 5 km winding straight up the side. It's hard to imagine not wanting to be fit in an environment so full of natural challenges and beautiful scenery. A few hours later, I was on the overnight train to Leiden for another week at the library, feeling quite jealous of the circumstances I had left behind. Guess I'll just have to go back...


  1. This is quite a trip for you my friend. Lucky you!

  2. "The tire flips I found very easy, simply because the weight was much lighter than I am used to..."

    Are you glad that you had the opportunities to flip "Big Poppa" at Balance before you left for Europe? ;-)