My next adventure had taken me to God’s country (or as the locals call it Mendoza). This is home to some of the world’s best Malbec (and not to mention my favourite varietal of wine, so much so that I only drank Argentinian Malbec’s for 6 months before I left Australia). Drinking hadn’t really come into play too much on this journey so it hadn’t affected my ability to get up and hit the local box. But as most xfitter’s would attest to, life is all about balance and I wasn’t going to say no to any Malbec.
The first xfit box we went to (conveniently located around the corner from our hostel) was INCA Crossfit. The coaches here didn’t speak much English but we could always find someone in the group who would help translate a little. These guys were a hoot, we started with warm up games, one of them I had been lucky enough to play back home at Crossfit 2480 so not much explaining was necessary. The pizza game (where you hold an ab mat straight above you and run around trying to knock everyone else’s down) is a great ice breaker. I had Argentinian’s charging at me left right and centre. The laughs didn’t stop there, the next game saw us in two lines playing a sort of version of Simon says cross musical chairs. Whatever the coach said then we had to do it, he then would randomly blow a whistle and we would all rush to grab a cone (with obviously not enough for everyone). The Argentinian’s had a very clear advantage which was quite humorous as we were always about 3 seconds behind the rest to do a movement. There were smiles all round at this xfit box.. until we heard the workout.
Being Halloween they decided to let fate decide the WOD (well not so much fate but the winner of the warm-up activities). We ended up with a 25 minute AMRAP in teams of 5. One person does 5 heavy wall-balls then the team does 5 burpee-jumps then the next person does the wall-balls and the team does the 5 burpees. It was a killer, one of those workouts that you look up at the clock and wonder how it’s only been 8 minutes and how the f*#k you’re going to get through the next 17 minutes. As with all stories this one had a happy ending and I survived to tell the tale.
The second box was Crossfit ANDINO. Located not far from the centre this operation was more aligned with textbook crossfitting. Some great Spanglish coaching in a full class with a focus on deadlift technique. The workout was a 12-9-6 of heavy deadlifts, pull-ups, kettlebell snatches and handstand push-ups. I will take any excuse to practise my HSPU’s (I only just got them before leaving xfit BONDI so always love seeing them in a workout now!). ANDINO was a nice change from the cardio buster that was INCA. Mendoza produced the goods with some great xfit boxes, awesome communities and inviting coaches. Every workout I walked away smiling, remembering why I had decided to take on this journey and why I loved crossfit so much. You can xfit anywhere in the world and in any language. This sport has no boundaries.
And… just because I preach balance, below is a photo of our tribe at La Garde bodega in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza.