Ants Marching: To Live or Die

“Gentlemen, I’d like it to be known that I work in almost perfect harmony with ants.” Coach Turley continued into what felt like a ridiculous comment with, “I respect their work ethic, focus, and orderly disposition.”


At this point in my college career, there was an entire website devoted to the one liners and retorts of our famed strength and conditioning coach, Shannon Turley. This story about ants would likely be added to the gallery of other quotable ridiculousness by the end of the week. 

“In my office, there is a trail of ants across my desk moving about in a perfectly straight line. Ants, gentlemen, will walk in a single file line carrying as much as five thousand times their body weight to complete a task. Put an obstacle in their way? They simply work around it. They are relentless and orderly. I respect that,” Turley declared. “As a result, I don’t kill them. If, however, an ant loses its way and comes across my work station, it will be compromised.”

Clear enough, coach. Thanks for sharing. We died laughing about this (later). 

I could see Coach Turley was using his classic deadpan humor to both break up the mundane nature of the dog days of our training and teach us a lesson about relentlessness and disciplined work. 

Today I look back fondly on this moment and find a different lesson. I’ve learned how to walk single file and take on five thousand times more work than I should. Maybe you have, too. Today the important lesson in this story comes from the perspective of Coach Turley working at his desk with a clear boundary. 

It’s almost as if he’s saying, “I respect others and will even praise you publicly but if you impede on my peace, that’s where I draw the line.” Maybe it’s just me, but many folks who self-identify as high achievers have the first lesson of the story down. Put your head down and work. Got it! Many high achievers, however, are amateurs in the other lesson about holding boundaries to protect your space. 

1/27/21 WOD


[Meet at Anderson Park]


[Meet at Pan Pacific Park]


Supine Grip Barbell Row 
**Perform a :30 L-Sit Hold between working sets 

Then, complete 2 rounds for quality of: 
8 1-Arm Seated DB Presses (ea) 
12 DB Rear Flys
Max False Grip Ring Rows
 -Rest as Needed- 

Then, complete the following for time:
Devils Press (45/25) 
Pull Ups