RamBRO Adventure

Ram'bro adventure.

“You Only Row 100,000” Bro Row Fitness Fun Time 2015

Last weekend myself and a few of my closest friends (who happen to be members at my Box) embarked on an epic journey to row 100,000 meters for time. It all started after class one day when everyone was just hanging out, talking about life and dreaming together. Out of nowhere my friend Jack said, “Hey man, we should row 100,000 meters.”

Now, after my Ironman five years ago, I swore off dumb challenges like this. Who needs to invest all that time in this kind of exercise in futility anyway? Apparently Jack does, and after laughing at the idea for a few minutes, a few others decided that they wanted in too. Before long we had a pretty big group wanting to take on the challenge. The idea grew. Eventually, we decided to break up into two teams of five and race to 100,000 meters while watching all four of the Rambo movies.

When it was all said and done, nearly 7 ½ hours had passed and each of us had accomplished around 20,000 meters. We learned that the Concept 2 Rower shuts off after 50,000 meters and it’s probably not a good idea to mess with John Rambo. Our only regret was the pizza and beer that we used to fuel our little adventure. So, early Sunday morning around 1:15am, I laid down to sleep having deepened nine friendships and shared an experience of victory, thanks to Jack’s crazy idea.

This whole week, I’ve been thinking about our experience. Trying to evaluate the value of such an odd challenge. And I’ve come up with a few take aways:

People love a challenge

There’s something about CrossFitters. We’re a strange breed. For some reason, we’re all drawn to workouts that “suck” and have associated misery with fun. There’s a reason everybody shows up for “Murph” each year and why people blab on social media about how sore they are from yesterday’s burpees. CrossFitters like to commiserate and complain, but deep down they actually enjoy an opportunity to conquer a challenge.

People want community

These men weren’t just willing to row for 7 ½ hours; they were willing to sacrifice their Saturday night to go through it with friends. We’re at a time in our culture where we are more “connected” than ever, yet lonelier than anyone can explain. With the explosion of social media, everyone gets to filter what they want their “friends” and followers to see, so we’re all getting polished relationships. Rarely do we have the opportunity for real, unfiltered interaction.

Futility isn’t the enemy

Obviously 100,000 meters didn’t fit within our training plan. Our hamstrings, backs and hands are still recovering, and Monday’s squat session was frustratingly difficult as a result. But, I wouldn’t trade our experience on Saturday night for anything. Occasionally, it’s OK to do some stuff for the sake of fun. As a Coach, it’s easy to get overly concerned with effectiveness when what people really want is to have a little fun while they get in shape. After all, it doesn’t matter how effective your program is if you’ve bored people to the point of quitting!

The “Ram’bro Adventure” was bit of a test. It was small in scale, and super unorganized, but it was a hit. We will do it again, and next time, we’ll invite the whole gym to play.

Charlie Sims was the owner of CrossFit Regeneration in Louisville, Kentucky.