« Rest Day | Main | WOD 6.24.12 »

Sumo Deadlift


Perform 3 sets of the following:
A) Sumo Deadlift x 6 reps
Rest 30 seconds
B) Tall Plank  x 45 seconds
Rest 90 seconds

4 Rounds NFT Of:
12 Weighted Step Ups
12 Weighted Sit-Ups

Perform the Sit-Ups anchored with a heavy Dumbbell held across your chest.

6 Minutes Jump Rope Practice


15 minutes to work up to a heavy single Sumo Deadlift. Perfect technique, good speed through hips. Emphasis on NO FAILING.

Mini Flight Simulator
In 6 Minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of the following rep scheme.
10-20-30 Unbroken Double Unders

4 Rounds NFT Of:
12 Weighted Step Ups
12 Weighted Sit-Ups

Perform the Sit-Ups anchored with a heavy Dumbbell held across your chest.

Post results to comments.
SDL exposure 4/4 compare to 6.18.12


Underneath the Hoodie: Laurel Madar

By Margie Lempert

Height: 5’6”
Weight: 135
DOB: 5/29/81
Born and Raised: Corvallis, OR
Place of Higher Learning: Reed College, Economics

When Laurel came to CFSBK a few years back, she was long-haired and rail-thin with translucent skin that suggested a sickly past. In keeping with appearances, she threw up after her first class. But she loved the vast decrepitude of the Lyceum and Shane’s quips right away, so she got on with it. This was a tipping point in her life; after years of chronic illness, she was journeying back to the exuberant tomboy she’d lost when she was a child.

As a kid, Laurel preferred playing like the boys: running around, back-packing, doing pull-ups and gymnastics. When her parents divorced at age 11, she experienced a profound shift in her sense of self that so many kids in that position often deal with. The divorce was compounded by a sick Mother, troubled brother and difficult relationship with her Father. Her exterior and interior life drifted apart: she presented as an exceptional student, pleasant, and incredibly active. There was soccer and theater and enough other activities to fill her days. No one suspected her difficult home life and inner change, though there were signs. She started to get sick a lot and slowly withdraw from being friends with the popular kids, instead taking up with the more rebellious crowd. The kids who liked to cause mischief and smoke and cut class - not that Laurel did those things. She was still well behaved, but her delicate stature was non-threatening enough that the kids accepted her. Being with them was a physical release for her; yeah they caused trouble, but they were out roaming around, doing things.

In Junior year of high school, Laurel got the flu. She was exhausted and achy and generally felt crummy. 2 months later, she hadn’t improved. Soon after, her mother, with whom she’s always been very close, also fell ill. Laurel stopped going to school and her Mom worked intermittently. The two laid about the house together, Laurel had her couch and Mom had her chair. They started visiting doctors, one after the other, each with a battery of tests. Was it Fibromyalgia? Depression? An infectious disease? No one really knew, but Laurel in particular roused the interest of a variety of specialists, who quickly lost interest once her problem couldn’t be identified.

She felt like she was living in water. So she read voraciously: Austen, Wolf, Nabokov, Tolkien all became her companions. And her crew of crazy friends turned out to be an incredible support system, cutting class regularly to come carry her from her couch to be outside.

At some point deep into being ill, Laurel and her Mother decided that if she were going to lay around all the time, she may as well do it somewhere new. The parents of a French exchange student who’d stayed with Laurel’s family owned an orchard in the south of France. It was arranged that Laurel would go and stay with them for a little while - just to see if reading on their couch would bring improvement.

Amazingly, it did. The French couple spoke little English and Laurel spoke little French, but they knew that the best thing to do was to feed her. So she ate. And ate. And slowly started to take walks through the orchard. And then she’d eat. And read. And walk. After about 3 months, she’d regained enough strength that when her best friend asked to meet her for a weekend in Paris, she said yes. The weekend turned into 2 and a half months of the two of them wandering around Europe. Not that her French hosts knew. Typical teenager, in the haze of new found energy, she forgot to call them for about a month.

When she returned to Corvallis, Laurel was ready for school. In fact, she wanted to go to college. Her teachers helped her to compact 2 years of high school into one and soon she was off to Reed, still unsure whether she could physically handle the demands of college life. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes she had to miss significant parts of the semester and make it up later. But she developed another circle of close friends, who again would help her physically when she relapsed. She was often astonished by the degree to which people, even strangers, were always willing to offer her on arm.

One night on campus, she came upon a boy costumed in women’s pants with forties of Old English attached to him. It was Malcolm, and Laurel took notice. For their second encounter, Malcolm kept the pants, but swapped the bottles for plungers and added an interpretative dance. But it wasn’t until their third meeting, Malcolm outfitted in an old frock coat, lace and collar, where they began to know each other. Soon they were inseparable, save for the semester Laurel spent in Italy.

Malcolm assumed the role of the French parents, feeding Laurel bacon ends and putting her to bed. He made sure she had a lot of protein in her diet, which made her feel better than other foods. In fact the two of them would start to realize that she functioned best on proteins and vegetables and cheese, and not as much on breads and sweets. As it turns out, that’s mostly what she was eating in France. She and Malcolm slowly took up Tango, and after college they decided to run away to Buenos Aires to dance. They spent 6 months living nocturnal lives, but eventually money started running out. Laurel applied for a position with the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and got the job from a phone interview while still in Argentina. The two moved to the City to start “real life” together.

Taking a job at the Fed was a strategic move towards earning a PhD in Economics. But as Laurel has delved into her work, she’s come to find the real world application more meaningful and compelling than the idea of returning to school for research. Secretly, though she would love to be a researcher in Psychology. Influenced by Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow, she’s fascinated by the emotional aspects of decision making, especially within the context of economics.

Since moving to New York, Laurel’s health has radically improved; Malcolm and CrossFit have been instrumental. Not long after their move, Malcolm discovered CrossFit. After a rather unfortunate run in with “Fran”, he decided he should get strong, which lead him to Starting Strength. Laurel played along at home, doing bodyweight exercises (she was always good at pull-ups, even at her sickest). She continued to feel better, but it was when the two of them started working out at CFSBK and adopting a paleo diet that all the niggling ailments truly cleared up. She finally understood that she was gluten intolerant and that the fatigue of her youth was rooted in autoimmunity.

Laurel was quite taken with CFSBK, and with the changes she saw in her capabilities. She’d spent years being unwell and now she was rapidly gaining incredible strength. She loved that she could measure her progress - that there was progress to measure. Eating well and getting strong made her feel invincible. She pursued her new identity and found herself an individual competitor at the Northeast Regionals in 2010 where she finished in the top 20. But being an athlete after being sick was also an unexpected and often confusing investigation into redefining discomfort. Her knee jerk reaction to pain was to assume it meant she was sick again. Overcoming that to compete in Regionals must have been a terrifying and electric process.

Listening to Laurel talk of her youth, my mind kept conjuring this scene for some reason (note the girl with the ‘kerchief). The ill child, ensconced in classic literature, convalescing in the French countryside; it’s hard not to color the story with whimsy. But actually it’s a remarkable journey of transformation and persistence.

Parting Shots:

Secret Skills/Obsessions:
Can dance the Tango
Loves costumes and dressing up (now you know why Malcolm caught her eye)
Is fascinated by little things and has a collection of miniature items
Prefers swimming in the buff

Favorite Authors:
Nabokov, Austen, Wolf, Tolkien, Diane Wynne Jones

Favorite Music:
Chopin’s Nocturnes; Pugliese; The Decemberists; Mimicking Birds; Portishead

Favorite Way to Eat Eggs:
64.5" Approach Jump

Indoor Sprint Training
Study: 58 Percent Of U.S. Exercise Televised

Reader Comments (30)

Great writeup as usual, Margie!

I am apparently such a creature of habit that I have to do 7 AM class on my vacation. I have to say, it really made me appreciate our coaches even more than I did before. Not to say that the class I visited today was bad, but there definitely wasn't nearly the level of coaching and encouragement that I get at SBK. Missed you, Keith, Jules, and KH!

(That being said, I'm not the least bit sorry that today I was back squatting instead of sumo deadlifting.)

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Yes, great writeup again.

"Secretly, though she would love to be a researcher in Psychology. Influenced by Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow, she’s fascinated by the emotional aspects of decision making, especially within the context of economics."

And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the finger on the pulse.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Great write-up Margie!

Little story: when I first came to CFSBK, Laurel INTIMIDATED me. I think a group class had just ended before foundations, and I was like "Maybe this place isn't for me." Then, in my first group class, as I introduced myself, Laurel turned and gave me a dazzling welcome smile. Suddenly, I felt much, much better. And of course, she's been a wonderful coach and inspiration; watching Laurel do the clean or any lift for that matter is an educational experience.

Lastly, Laurel and Malcolm's wedding party is one of my favorite CFSBK memories.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

6am with El Oso. Worked up to 405 on the SDL and then failed at 425 (sorry coach). I really thought 425 would go up but I may have under-rested to try to squeeze in that last attempt. Mini flight simulator was fun - just fell short of finishing the 5th round. The NFT circuit was less fun. Only got 3 rounds in @45lb and called it quits.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBetz

Its great to hear the back story of the wonderful Laurel. The thought of a lethargic, unsmiling Laurel is inconceivable to me, wow. What an inspiration for us all.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterken

Hooray Laurel!

June 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterJoe

Laurel! One of the best things about my early days at CFSBK was seeing Laurel and Malcolm at the gym almost everyday ready to greet you with a big smile and good conversation.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commentershawn$

6am with Osorio.

Worked up to 375 on the SDL: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2, 355 (ugly), 355 (pretty), 365, 375 (F), 375. The fail at 375 never even got off the ground. Too much thought, not enough aggression. I attempted again less than a minute later and the weight went up smoothly. Similar problem with my ugly 355 rep where I was thinking too much about the lift and not just lifting.

Mini flight simulator was frustrating and exposed my weakening ability to do double-unders. 1 2/3 rounds. Hit 26 and 28 consecutive, but couldn't quite make 30 in a row for the second round. I've been neglecting double unders for a while. Time to start giving them some love again.

The 4 round NFT accessory was surprisingly difficult. First round with 30# DBs was too easy. Switched to 45# DBs and was rewarded with a wonderful forearm workout.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Yay, Laurel! I remember being so surprised to learn that Malcolm and Laurel had started crossfitting only a few months before me--they seemed such old hands, such fixtures of the community. I haven't overlapped with them in the gym much this year but I've loved taking Laurel's classes when I've gotten the chance. I knew most of this story already but it was great to read it in Margie's voice and string all the pieces together in one place. Thanks for a great writeup--and a great series!

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Squat: 250x3x5
Press: 112.5
Clean: 165x3x3
Chins: 7,7,7

Squats are still feeling good, have resumed 5# jumps and have had no problems so far (fingers crossed). Press was a debacle failed on the last rep of the first set, got a better mindset and got the second set done. The third however was a struggle. PRESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! (said in a capt kirk voice). Cleans were all good, no major technical issues and the weight was fine. Chins were good except there might have been a slight kip on the seventh rep of the last set, but we'll take it.

As for laurel, i'm a lifelong member of the pro laurel bandwagon. She is awesome. I remember when I first started crossfit and we used to work out together. She used to regularly beat me on everything but she was sooo nice that I didn't ever feel bad about it. Good times.

I am throwing an official flag on the gooch. The streak has been broken!

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Dynamite write up. I have very specific memories of meeting Laurel and Malcolm for the first time. Glasses, long hair and your standard blue (or was it green?) sweatshirt and sweatpants. It has been amazing watching the transformation. Like Diana Prince into Wonder Woman! Go Laurel!

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

love Laurel.
love love love love love.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterasta

hit a new PR with the sumo DL at 275. The first one I did nto think I was "up all the way" and then almost lost it. So did it again just to be sure. ;)
Thanks David for the "you flew up there so you can certainly do it again."

The step ups were hard but it was the weights in my hands that caused the most issue. holding the 30 pounders when I could hardly get a hook grip in sucked. I think twice as many situps would have been fine to do as well. (more hand rest time.)

Stella was missed.

Great write-up on Lauren!

I think this was also the smallest 7am class I have seen in a months. 8 of us?
PS thanks for a head of lettuces CFSBK!

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

Very nice writeup on Laurel! I was a recipient of that wonderful smile on Friday - it seriously lights up a room!

7am with David. I'm a mess. Also forgot lettuce. Blurgh.

Supple Leopard placed 4th last night, yesssss! Sameer came to play and there was a whole round on Turing - HELLO perfect timing. Andrew definitely pulled some rabbits out of hats as did Ryan. Currently we are still placed to play in the championships, eking enough points each week to hold a spot. Go go team!

Fun Fact: Sameer is in my phone as Robot.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules


June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Samir - Andrew was talking about the cyanide laced apple, urban legend as the Apple logo, literally before the round started. And it was the last question asked. Zing!

I suspect there will be some nice questions for you next time :)

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Great 8 am with David this morning. Biggest accomplishment: my first double-under! Next step--stop celebrating after I get one and keep going. I was so pleased I kept missing the next one. Thanks for the tip about keeping my hands in front of me, David. Made all the difference.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermartha

PS: Stellllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Not "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" style but Julie style. Miss you and hope the trip is a blast!

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

@ Samir: Not only was there a round about Turing, but one of the questions was about Wittgenstein. Definitely could have used The Professor on that one...

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew M.

@Margie - the mystery cartoon is hilarious! Thank you.

I haven't seen that for a long time, but I often felt like I was being forced into that fainting lady role (quite literally fainting on several occasions!)... while all the while I was chanting this funny kids song in my head that goes like this 'I am a truck, da na nuh da na nuh, a great big truck, da na nuh da na nuh, and I am big and loud and strong!". It has more verses, but I'm sure that's enough to illustrate. I went so far as to teach it to friends in college and we would all sing it when I was trying to do things like walk up a hill.

It's funny to read a narrative like this because it sounds so grim and amorphous, which it was in some sense, but I still loved life and had great experiences. Even from the vantage of the couch, with the final diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue syndrome with no known cause or cure, there is incredible beauty in the world. I'm just fortunate that through a variety of luck and efforts, I'm one of the few people with that diagnosis to get better.

CSFBK is an incredible community and I relish the fact that I am healthy enough to workout with all of you and harass you now and then about technique and lifestyle.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

Great piece, Margie. Laurel is the best(and hot as hell). Well, so is Malcolm. Their wedding was the most fun I ever had at CSB, never mind that I was drunk as a skunk.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Great write up on laurel. It's always interesting to read stuff on the coaches and people in the community.

12pm with Fox. That NFT step-up was a lot of fun, and really hard. Im going to incorporate these step ups into my normal work because I can sense how much weaker one side is from the other. I think it will also help me with my goal of getting 5 pistols on each leg by end of year.

Im headed down to get my pass to the redhook pool now, anyone interested in some morning lap swim? maybe 2x per week?

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterde hache tres

I want to swim.

Since the day I walked into the Lyceum Laurel has always been kind and welcoming, has well Malcolm, and their wedding was a one-of-a-kind blast. She also happens to be the source of the all-time funniest coaching cue I've heard as well, involving a flashlight and an anus. That gal makes me laugh. Cheers to you, L-Boogie.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Great write up as always Margie! Laurel, you have had quite the interesting journey, I’m glad it brought you here!

Sumo DL - 135x5, 225x3, 275x2, 295, 305, 315.
Back started to round on the 315.
4 rounds even on the mini FS (technically I finished the 30 of the 4th round at 6:03).

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDmak

Sumo Deadlifts with Shawn.

275, 295, 305 (though apparently, my knees didn't lock out fully so this might have been a no-rep). Tried the 305 again but it wasn't coming up.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

MELB with Josh

Tabata Kettlebell Swings with 20K, not so bad
Tabata Hollow Rocks, OUCH

Dead Squats
Worked up to 235x1 and then did 175x8x3

Glute Hame Raises
15x2 Goodbye forever band assistance!!!

Deficit Pull Deadlifts
185x5x3 with 4" deficit. Only had 10 minutes to do these so stayed at the lower % and kept rest to about a minute or so.

Fun day at le gym,

June 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Oh- and Laurel is the best.

June 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

one day, at cfsbk, i was swinging lucy by her arms in circles. laurel bounded over and asked if she could have a turn. after a little discussion on the possible risks, adult vs kid weight, dislocation etc, we gave it a go. it worked like a charm.

to see laurel improve as much as she has is a testament to her, malcolm and cfsbk. thanks margie for another excellent write up.

June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMcGrath

Worked up to 500 on the Sumo Deadlift. This has been a goal for some time now and I'm stoked to hit it.

June 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>