I just posted a picture of myself on Facebook wearing a bright red Clubbell Jersey with a clubbell on my shoulder. I am standing in front of a brick wall stacked with dumbells two feet deep in the Valley Crossfit Gym in Van Nuys, California, with a clubbell “parked” on my shoulder. I posted it to prove I went, because training for it was not easy, and I found it hard to believe I was actually going, so I made all the travel arrangements at the very last minute.
I am happy I made it to the Clubbell Certification Workshop and got the training I got. I lucked out and met coaches who gave me good information and I began to feel the difference deep in my hips, pelvis, and spine. I was doing most of the work during the two days with 10 pound clubbells, which are not easy for me to handle. Though I gained strength and confidence using them, I knew well before the end attempting the 15 minute “Trial by Fire” with 10’s was inviting injury. I was encouraged to do it with 5’s a coach had brought along, and it showed me how much more I need to develop in focus and concentration.
One encouraged me to do low reps and set the clubbells down, stand up to “recover”. Another told me he’d taken 2 years to master the lighter clubs and get the forms and breathing down. He’d been overweight and in pain when he started. Angela and Emily Fisher, the two sisters leading the workshops, exhibited an amazing balance in their frames, as did the one woman coach from Salinas. I found them almost petite in person, neither fat, nor skinny, nor “cut”, just functionally strong, lean and fluid in their movements. The men were also that way, though a few of them had some weight, but not much.
My adventures in going to Tinseltown or LA and Hollywood were more mundane but no less challenging. I had Vietnamese “PHO” rice noodle soup for breakfast and lunch the first day, not knowing where to find a Whole Foods. I didn’t know how to pack clubbells, and my guy ended up wrapping them in a rug and putting package tape around them. Catching the right rental car shuttle at LAX to pick up my rental car and driving to Van Nuys in Gridlock was a litte nerve wracking.
LA really is ” a great big freeway” as the the song says, and it took me awhile to navigate. I tried to find Beautiful Downtown Burbank, a favorite LA reference of Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, and ended up in “NoHo”, which I finally figured out meant North Hollywood. I was invited to dinner with part of the group at a restaurant named “The Heart of India”. I arrived there on time, only to find out no one else was there. It was late, and I was beginning to go back to my hotel, when someone showed up.
But what I remember most was what a trainer from LA, who is high on the trainer food chain told me: He said: ” There is nothing that trains you like clubbells if you do them properly. If you do them carelessly, they will destroy you. ”