800m is a force to be reckoned with in our world. The 800m run is as respected and feared as anything that could come up in a workout. For us, it’s long. It’s time consuming. It’s hard, and uncomfortable.
Squats? Achieving proper depth and body position is a walk in the park, compared to the run in the park that our 800 meter jaunt most literally can be. Burpees? OK, burpees suck, but you can always regain sanity between reps, or use that clap over your head as a small celebration that can be just enough to motivate you to get your chest off the ground to do one more. But, the 800? That thing won’t end until you’ve dragged your carcass a half mile. Period.
I’ve recently been reading about Earnest Shackelton’s superhuman effort to be the first to cross Antarctica in the early 1900s in the book so properly titled, Endurance. Now while Antarctica is no Palisades Park. 800 meters on the South Pole and 800 meters on the plush cliffs of Santa Monica, however, are equal in distance. Maybe these men didn’t have any clapping push ups before they took off, but in the early goings of their trip they spent a miserable 5 hours of relentless exertion to cover just 800m. You read that right. 5 hours of non-stop work.
I share all the emotions that come along with running 800 meters with every athlete who has ever done it. I couldn’t help but read about this particular “800m run for time” and chuckle.
You can never take this stuff too seriously. The “agony” is temporary, and in our case it’s relatively insignificant. I say the next time an 800 meter run shows up in the workout, we handle our business and move on. Perhaps we even celebrate the same way they did with, “cold seal steak and tea– nothing more.”
On the Whistle