Ain't No Mountain High Enough
In the build up to this Summer's OTB Peaks, OTB's biggest fan, Mark O'Brien, gives us a recap on what happened last time and what to expect.
Mark was an OTB original - training with us at various locations across Manchester and is now a committed member of TRAIN Manchester. With his new found love of CrossFit, Mark has won his category at The Rainhill Trials and can be regularly spotted running sub 3hr Marathons and setting PBs across Europe!
The OTB Peaks adventure was a trip the Peak District with people attending from OTB, TRAIN Manchester, and the wider community for an action packed day of workouts, walks and weights in the great outdoors. One of the great things about OTB away days is that you meet people from other boxes, who you form friendships with that last way beyond the trip. On a previous OTB day at Tatton Park I was in a team with ‘The Beast from Bury’ and KITBOX athlete Darren Freeman, and on the OTeepee trip which took place a few months after OTB Peaks I was part of #TeamGlam with CrossFit judge extraordinaire Rob Lowe and his better half Sharon.
On OTB Peaks that person was Peter Hunter, who despite never meeting me before spent the better part of 10 minutes trying to explain the feet placements of the split jerk, and with his help I managed to smash out a 40kg split jerk (sadly not a typo, and worse, that was a PB), barely giving him enough time to lift anything, but still managed to almost double my score. The first part of the day was lifting weights in a school playground, something I was very familiar with from all of the OTB sessions in Altrincham, and then we some running technique work with the nice folk from INOV8 which involved looking at our cadence with us jumping, walking, hopping bouncing, and we even did some running.
After this we went for a little walk into the peaks before getting ready for a team workout involving battle-ropes, sit ups, wall climbs (on a tree), and hill sprints, where the athletes rotate through the circuit until everyone has ran up and down the hill twice. This hill was long, and got steeper closer to the top, so a challenge was given: if you ran up the hill without stopping you won a free drink, which was a challenge I promptly accepted and achieved as I managed to run up the hill in one go. I then decided I would try and sprint down the hill and ended up losing my balance going head over heels to the floor, but somehow managing to get back to my feet without losing too much momentum, so once again I started to sprint down the hill, once again I lost my balance, once again I went head over heels to the floor, and once again somehow managing to get back to my feet without losing too much momentum, but due to the screams and the horrified looks in people’s faces, I decided to slow down and jog down the rest of the hill, and reached the bottom with my vertebrate intact. This was the first time I almost killed myself during a workout, but not the last following my ‘Clatch’ attempt at Rainhill which almost resulted in me decapitating myself!
We had lunch, and then went on little trek which was really nice, as the OTB crew remembered to invite the sunshine along for once. For what was the better part of an hour, we had a pleasant walk up and down hills, round a reservoir and even up a waterfall, before taking a break at the top for a drink and a snack, before getting ready for the final workout of the day. We finished with a partner workout: 100 over-unders where one of you holds plank, and the other one crawls under and then jumps over, and divide the reps between the two of you until you have done 100 in total, you which led us to getting some odd looks from the dog walkers, although the dogs themselves didn’t seem that judgemental. We then had a wander back to base camp, before the end of the day where we said our goodbyes with some heading for the train back to Manchester, with others heading to the nearby pub for some much needed carbs.
The great thing about these days are that they really are all inclusive, just look at the people who have attended previous trips from KITBOX athletes like Josh Saville and Chloe Barrett to relative novices like myself or Oliver Barnes, if you come along, you will have a great day, meet new people, work hard, and maybe even get a 40kg split jerk PB!