The Instruments of Fitness

When dealing with awkward equipment, athletes adapt on the fly to succeed.

Wodapalooza Bayfront Park

By: Ana L. Ruedaquintero

On Day 1, athletes attacked Assault On Fran: a twist on the classic workout that added calories on the Assault Air Bike. However, not all athletes have access to such a beast.

What makes the bike so challenging is the limitless air resistance generated as the athletes pedal. The harder they pedal, the more wind resistance they feel. By the end of the session, the bike will make your legs feel like gelatin and making a simple stroll a great challenge.

The bikes effects were apparent after athletes completed the Assault; the stages looked like a wreck had just passed through leaving people gasping for and trying to move their lifeless legs.

Admirably, with or without experience, athletes adjusted and took on the challenge.

“I felt like my legs were burning throughout the whole workout and they were moving by mere God’s grace,” said Kerry Valle, a first-time WZA competitor from CrossFit Muscle Farm.

“After that first WOD, my legs were so tight that I had to spend extra time mobilizing them to loosen them up,” she said.  

On Day 2, the TrueForm runner made its stellar debut at WZA with a 2,400 meter run powered purely by athletes’ efforts. However, the average gym doesn’t have a TrueForm runner, making it an unfamiliar device for almost every athlete. In fact, “Bi” was the first workout many of the WZA athletes had ever run on one.

“The TrueForm is a different thing though, it’s not like running,” said Scholl, a former collegiate runner and Olympian hopeful competing in the Elite Women’s division. “To me it’s more like cross-country skiing than running; it’s a lot harder. It’s not easy for me even as a runner, you can’t propel as easily so it’s more exhausting to me.”

On Day 3, athletes took on heavy sandbags in “Monkeying Around,” made more difficult by an up-and-over hill sprint. The concept of the sandbag isn’t new for the sport of fitness at all; however several athletes struggled to raise the bag to their shoulder. Compounding the difficulty was the hill: the bag weighed athletes down on the way up and gave them too much momentum on the way down.

All of these instruments pushed athletes’ limits and skills as well as both physical and mental strength. What better test of fitness is there?