Sunday, April 26, 2009


Hi Lauren.

Life is full of fantastic things, things that everyone should do, things that seem to exist solely for our pleasure and edification. Smarter men, better writers and more eloquent poets than I have already written tomes on the subject far beyond my meager abilities - I will not even try. I am more interested in discussing other things, for today I must write about (cue the scary music), THE THINGS THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE.

Of this topic I am the expert. I am (stop the scary music already) the preeminent scholar. I am without peer or equal. I am the Grand Poobah, the Lord Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Buckhounds, Lord High Auditor, Groom of the Back Stairs, and Lord High Everything Else of SHOULD NOTNESS.

Now there are many things that SHOULD NOT BE DONE, but there is one THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE that is most NOT TO BE DONE, and that THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE today I have experienced and today has made me The Grand Poobah of SHOULD NOTNESS.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. It seemed like something fun I could try and then blog about. Like something people would like to hear about, something I could brag on and then challenge others to try. But no. Like so many other THINGS THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE, this THING seemed harmless, but do not be deceived, this THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE is most foul and villainous. Let me explain.

Last night I had what I thought was a most excellent idea. For the next few days of the Burpee Challenge, I would start introducing burpee variations - and why not start off with a bang. Here is what I proposed:

  • Burpee #1 would be performed from start to finish with one arm. The other arm would be braced against the back of the thigh and was not to lose contact with the thigh throughout the entire repetition. The burpee would end with the active hand patting the top of the head at the top of the jump
  • Burpee #2 would be performed with the arms switching roles
  • Burpee #3 would be performed on one leg. The passive leg was not to touch the ground at any time
  • Burpee #4 would be performed with the legs switching roles
  • Repeat the above variations 25 times for a total of 100

And thus was my doom sealed.

At the appointed time and with a lilt in my step, I unknowingly attempted a THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE. After a sufficient warm up I positioned my water bottle close to hand, set my timer and was off. The first round of four was a bit more of a load than I expected, and my CrossFit, cross-trained, do-anything ego felt a cold shiver down its back. I shrugged it off but quickly reached the point where my brain doesn’t get enough oxygen and it becomes difficult to keep track of reps. Then my vision dims as the pounding in my ears tries to drowned out the sound of my breath ripping from my lungs.

And from there it got worse.

The THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE had me in its clutches and I was no longer a free man, but shackled to this beast until I satisfied its hunger. Burpee followed slow burpee as my limbs quickly transformed into concrete, brick and lead. My count slowed, stopped and then seemed to reverse until I feared never to be done. The THING worked its evil, took its toll and when the 100 were accounted for, left me in a quivering heap.

Vile, treacherous deceiver is man’s own pride, so often leading to one’s own doom. Such was my fate and such a fate I do now hope to protect you from. Do not tarry here and tempt the same doom that was the ruin of me.

Oh really - it wasn’t that bad. I finished in 14:13.4, which is just 6 minutes slower than my regular burpee time. I wrote most of this stuff before I actually did it, and well, you know how I go on. If anyone out there would like to try it and beat my time (which I am sure many of you can), I would most graciously bestow upon them my Grand Poobah of SHOULD NOTNESS crown.

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan

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