Celebrating the Hill


A) 3X5 DL @ 80-82.5%

B) EMOM 8 – Snatch Complex for quality
*Each minute, without dropping bar, perform the following:
1 Power Snatch
1 Snatch Balance
1 Hang Squat Snatch

C) 4 RFR (rounds for Reps) :30:30
:30 Row for Calories
:30 Strict C2B pull-ups
:30 Squats
:30 Max Thruster (45)


4 Rounds for Time:
200 Double Unders
30 Wall Balls (20/14)
400m run
500m row
40 min CAP
Franklin Hill Sprints are one of CFLA’s most infamous workouts. There is no other workout that is more described as a member’s “most hated workout.” I get it. I too dread and panic every time I see it listed in the programming though I know there is no other workout that will have as much of an impact both physically and psychologically. If Kenny Kane had his way, we’d hill sprint every ten days. I shed a silent, anxiety-filled tear over that thought.

Yesterday was Franklin Hill Sprint day. As my 9am all-women’s class began to arrive, one of my favorite students Julie showed up. She never looks at the workouts before class. She saw my face, then in a panic checked the whiteboard. “Are you kidding me?” she said. Julie has given a 100% effort since she signed up for my classes seven months ago, but it hasn’t been easy for her. She was inactive for a very long time. She’s not fast – in fact she loathes running. She’s getting much stronger, but some days we still use a fifteen-pound barbell. Her flexibility is coming along, slowly. But she shows up twice a week like clockwork and fights through her fears and doubts every single class. It’s why she’s one of my favorites. Franklin Hill Sprints are a special brand of torture – certainly not just for her – but in many ways especially for her. Then she told me a story.

Julie’s mother is in the hospital. She was admitted last week after a tame infection tried to shut down her kidneys. One of Julie’s main motivations to start CrossFit was because she didn’t want to use a walker like her mother. But now, after this short time in the hospital, Julie has watched her mother deteriorate at an unfathomable rate. What little muscle Julie’s mother had has atrophied in one week, and now she is unable to walk or even lift her arm to feed herself. Julie told me, “I’m more motivated than ever. I don’t want to put my daughter through that. I don’t want to put myself through that.”

“Today then,” I said, “we will celebrate Franklin Hill. We’re not going to dread it. We have no fear of it today. We’re going to celebrate the opportunity to run it – that we CAN run it.” Julie released some tension in her face and said, “Yes, I’m all in. I need this.”

Julie completed nine of the nine sprints yesterday. She had the slowest times of the day, but her times were definitely faster than all the athletes who didn’t show up to run. The hill has new meaning to her, and in that meaning the fear has faded.

Because of Julie, I too ran Franklin Hill when usually I would have whined my way out of it. My fears do not compare to Julie’s. I couldn’t tell her all that great advice and then not get on the hill myself. Parking my own fears to make room for a deeper contextual celebration of it made the sprints so much more manageable.

Julie and I will see you all on the hill in February. We’ll celebrate it together.

CrossFitLA Image

Julie leaving it on the hill.

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