Box

by klassman

Paddy and I built a box.  We keep it in the garage.  It is nearly 21 inches tall and under the plywood there is a series of 1×1 inch cedar supports.  We jump on it when we do long Sunday hill runs together.

More often, I jump on it before leaving for work each morning.  The idea is to increase vertical leap, fast twitch muscle fibers, aerobic capacity, and agility.  An additional line may be necessary on that last word, agility.  Paddy says I should try to land on the box like a cat; be gentle, smooth, quiet and packed full of poised strength.  I do what he says, sort of.  I alight like a dead cat.

Today I tipped the scale at 192.6 pounds and when I did box jumps before work, it sounded like cannon fire.  I’ve been doing three sets of 8 jumps on a minute and have recently increased to 3×10 on a minute.  I’m not at all ready to jump on a taller box.

Deceptively brutal.  It doesn't move or change, but it always threatens to trip me up.

Deceptively brutal. It doesn’t move or change, but it always threatens to trip me up.

I’ve linked to these guys before.  They have something to say about racing in a box but to my knowledge nothing to say about jumping on a box.  Jumping on boxes appears to be a big thing with Cross Fitters.  Although, neither of them have much to say about Paddy.  I’ll do that here and now.

Paddy is a good man.  He is a friend.  We met more than two decades ago.  It was a few weeks before starting college together and we were at the home of a alumnus who hosted a reception for Chicago area freshman.  I went anyway.  We shared a dorm, several classes and eventually a trio of decreasingly hovel-like apartments.  He has an encyclopedic knowledge of 80’s and 90’s movie quotes.  For several years, he has been a neighbor and for longer, he has been the godfather to half of my tribe.  Last summer, he went all the way to New York with no purpose other than to sherpa my crap around and to send updates to the tribe at home on my race day  progress.  Then as I sat nearby full of aches and pains, he drove all the way home from Lake Placid without complaint despite giving up a great deal of time and treasure so I could pursue an Ironman dream.

As I said, Paddy is a good man and a friend.  He helped me build my box.  He is also a natural athlete and runs me into the ground on a whim.  Later this month he is leaving for a year-long deployment with the State Department in Jordan.  He is stepping out in life to do something big, challenging and different.  I support that even though it is hard.

I’m going to miss him.  However, I’m pretty sure he’s leaving the box in my care.  So I know he’ll be back.

Details matter.  In life, friendships are important details.  They bring everything together.

Details matter. In life, friendships are important details. They bring everything together.

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