By Coach Dan Bell
SufferFest day at ELITEAM is special. We hype it up the night before, outlining just how hard we will push our bodies and minds. We talk about how completing a tough workout not only makes you stronger, but gives you confidence too. We talk about how much we will hurt and how you will have to Dig Deep.
100 Tuck Jumps
100 Rock Core Twists
100 Yard Rock Sprint x 2
100 Yard Rock Throw x 2
100 Rock Presses
100 Core Shots
100 Yard Suicide
During the 7am morning run and stretch each group completes 50 push-ups, some light cardio and stretching, along with digging a ceremonial shovel of dirt to give homage to the Dig Deep Gods. During breakfast the excitement was building to the event. The campers were also excited to meet Olympian and World Cup DH winner Marco Sullivan.
We biked down to the fields, set up the cones, laid out the rocks for SufferFest and waited for Marco. And there he came jogging out to the field to meet the ELITEAMers. Marco told us that when workouts get tough, he digs deep by thinking about how important fitness will be when he’s competing in his toughest races in the winter.
Marco gave us a quick Tuck lesson and we were off. The tuck jumps hurt, but jumping next to a World Cup winner gave everyone extra energy. We struggled and suffered through it all together. Everyone’s favorite part was watching Marco lift, carry, and throw the 60 pound rock we brought for him!
After we finished the first half of SufferFest, Marco went into the COE to continue his workout and we hit the hills for our first Mtn Bike of camp. One group hit some vertical and challenging single track right off the bat, while the other group cruised the double track and went for the single track fun on the way back to the NAC.
After a lunch, it was down to the COE to learn more about sport physiology from US ski team performance director and sport scientist Troy Flanagan. We learned about the body’s three different energy systems of the creatine-phosphate system, the lactic acid system, and the aerobic system. With the new knowledge of how our bodies access their energy, we hit the COE gym to complete the second half of SufferFest!
When asked about their SufferFest experience, Stella said, “I thought I was going to die, but I survived.” Isabella claimed that she actually enjoyed the burpees. Danika said, “My abs hurt sooooo bad!”
Next it was time for the Foam Pit Challenge. Groups of 7 jump into the pit and see if they can find one of five tennis balls. The foam pit seemed to be bottomless, as only a couple of the tennis balls were recovered. Then it was another dance practice before heading out to the athletic fields for a soccer tournament in the spirit of the World Cup. After several grueling matches, team Brazil and team Italy tied in the finals.
After dinner half the camp split off to learn about nutrition with Kelley, Doug and Megan, and make some delicious No Bake Almond Protein Bars. The other half of the group learned how to shoot a laser biathalon gun in a prone position, and control their breathing in pressure situations from North American Biathalon Champion, and ELITEAM coach Jessica Jortberg. After a practice shooting round, the campers competed in the foot race version of a biathalon with Coach Dan’s team prevailing. The entire camp finished the day with a relaxing yoga session to wind down, and regenerate the body for another full day of ELITEAM.
A huge day, but a great day.