Growing up, YHC liked to watch championship boxing matches on TV. This was before pay-per-view, children; you’d actually see marquee events for free, often on ABC’s Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoons, with the inimitable Howard Cosell on commentary. The biggest draws were Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, and, of course, Muhammad Ali.
Ali died three years ago today. He’s a polarizing figure. Some deride him as a pretentious loud-mouth (“I am the greatest!”), others laud him for his skills in the ring and his social activism outside of it, and some regard him as a traitor for refusing induction into the US Army during the Vietnam War, famously saying, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.”
When Ali repudiated the war, he was already one of America’s greatest heavyweights, ever. He’d won a gold medal for the United States in the 1960 Olympics when he was just 18 and four years later, he became world champion, defeating the fearsome Sonny Liston. (Along with his day job as a boxer, Liston reportedly moonlighted as a hit man for the mob.) Ali had everything to lose by coming out against the war, and lose it he did – he was stripped of his title, he was not allowed to leave the US, and he was not allowed to work in the US. He sacrificed it all for principle.
In 1970, the New York State Supreme Court ordered Ali’s boxing license reinstated, and the following year the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction in a unanimous decision. After 43 months away from the ring, Ali returned on October 26, 1970, and knocked out Jerry Quarry in the third round. Four years later, he regained the heavyweight belt after knocking out George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle.” (This was before Big George became famous for selling lean, mean, fat-reducing grilling machines.)
Ali is known for several memorable quotes. The most famous, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” is pure poetry. At the start of today’s workout, YHC shared another with the Pax: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” And with those words resonating in the gloomitidy, it was time to suffer. On to workout!
WARM-UP: Mosey, SSH, Cotton Pickers / Reacher, Hillbilly, Merkins.
• Circuit Round I: 27 stations of fun. 25 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest / move to next station
• Beat the Clock: Set watch for four minutes. Move bricks and golf balls around the parking lot, finishing before the time limit to avoid the dreaded burpee penalty. Penalty avoided!
• Circuit Round II: Revisit said 27 stations of fun. This time, 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds to rest / move to next station.
• Rows (use dip bars, feet on bucket)
• Plank Jacks
• Flutter kicks
• Rapid SSH
• Low plank
• Jump rope
• Side raises with bricks
• Hellooooo, Dolly
• Slam ball press slams
• Diamond mercans
• Shuttle Run
• Balls to the light pole
• Lunge pulses with bricks overhead – R leg back
• Shoulder shrugs with sandbags
• Bobby Hurleys
• Lunge pulses with bricks overhead – L leg back
• Side plank on R elbow, L leg pulse
• Manmakers / Brickurpees
• Monkey humpers
• Side plank on L elbow, R leg pulse
• Squat press w/ sand bag
• Mountain climbers
• Weighted calf raises, sandbag each hand
BOM / COT
With the pungent Pax again circled in a ripe BOM, YHC offered up another Ali quote – “Live every day as if it were your last, because someday you’re going to be right.” YHC implored the Pax to do something special today – call a friend you haven’t talked with for a long time; surprise the wife with, well, a surprise; seek out how you can make a difference in the life of someone who could use some help. Prayers for FM’s cancer-stricken sister-in-law, safe travels for McD’s M and all others spoken and unspoken.
Always a pleasure and an honor to Q. YHC is out!