Incredible coaching. Amazing people. Great food. A ropes course (and swing where you feel like you will plummet to your death.) A blob. A lake with a bit too much green on top. A field trip to CrossFit Mayhem. Matt Fraser. Do I need to say more?
A few weeks ago Julie Christian and I went to Crossville, Tennessee for the second time, returning to Power Monkey Camp, which was created by Chad Vaughn and Dave Durante. This was my second time going to camp, and to be honest I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as the first time. I worried that I had already been through all the stations, I had already learned all the material, so on and so forth. I have never been so wrong.
Returning for the second time, both with Julie as well as 80% of the group we went with on our first trip there was nothing short of incredible. The stations were even more informative than the first time. I knew more of what to expect so I was able to intake more information than I had the first time. The coaches were inspiring and incredibly patient while they stripped down all the skills we thought we knew and began rebuilding from the bottom up.
But what makes the experience so amazing is the people. Both the coaches and the campers and everyone that goes along make for an incredible week. Everyone comes from different parts of the world (Brazil, Germany, Australia) and come from every different career field you can imagine (Circ de Solei performer, Navy Officers, Candy Crush champions) and we all come together for the sole purpose of learning as much as possible in one week. This massive group (115 total this time) becomes your family for the entire week, and for much longer after that.
Oh, and I really need to mention the food. Best. Food. Ever. That is all.
During camp there are 10 stations that you rotate through for the week, and you spend 2 hours at each: Clean, Clean and Jerk, Snatch, Jump Rope, Rowing, Aerobic Capacity, Kettlebell, Bar, Rings, and Handstands.
The stations are coached by world class coaches who are experts in their field. For example, Chad Vaugnh is an Olympic weightlifter coaching the clean, Dave Durante is an Olympic gymnast coaching the handstands. Then there is Chris Hinshaw coaching aerobic capacity, the guys from Rx Smartgear teaching you to jump rope like a pro.
The coaches do an amazing job breaking down every movement, making it so every level of athlete can get something from it. In our group we had a 73 year old kick up into handstands and jump onto the rings like a pro. Then there are games athlete like Lauren Fisher and Dani Speegle rotating through all the stations and learning from them as well.
Aside from the stations there are lectures throughout the day. Jason Leydon from CrossFit Milford is there leading WODs after the stations are done for the day and going over the science behind programming. Physical Therapists are on sight rotating through your stations and having a seminar of their own. Our very own Mike Molloy has a nutrition seminar. There is an adaptive athlete seminar.
On Wednesday, we take a trip to CrossFit Mayhem, Rich Froning’s box, for what is known as “Chris Hinshaw Day” where we are put through multiple aerobic capacity workouts. At the end we get a surprise guest appearance from Mat Fraser.
At the end of what comes to be somehow the shortest week of your whole life, there is final tournament among the teams featuring some bear crawls, swimming in green water, and lots of burpees. This is followed by a costume party on Friday night and a corn hole tournament…and maybe some more things…You’ll have to wait and find out.
That was my second time to camp. I’ll be back for sure.