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To the Pain by Scott Stricklin - CrossFit Journal

To the Pain

By Scott Stricklin

PDF Article

Teams of warriors in Medieval armor gather in France to try to injure each other with axes and maces.

We grappled, spinning and hacking at each other, until we both ended up slamming against the fence. In a flash, the Belarusian was gone and I felt the weight of another opponent on my back.

Against the fence and immobile, I leaned into the barrier and threw one arm around a post to keep from being borne to the ground. The dead weight of at least 200 lb. on my back threatened to bring me down, but I was secure for the moment.

This situation is what we call “deep water”—when escape is impossible and defense is diminished to a reliance on armor and stubborn determination. Some fighters find themselves under the tender care of two, three or more pitiless enemies, each using weapons to tee off with impunity.

For me, this unfriendly treatment began almost immediately as a stocky Belarusian leaned over and started throwing mighty sword blows into my thighs. I didn’t see any friends nearby and just hoped that my disadvantage was going to remain merely two against one.

When those blows started falling and my thick leg armor took the damage without failing, I was suddenly filled with relief and, surprisingly, joy. A man I’d never met before was pounding on me with a sword with all his strength, and I started laughing. Loudly. I couldn’t help myself.

I laughed right in his face.

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8 Comments on “To the Pain”


wrote …

As you wishhhhhh...


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Very interesting! Sounds like some brutal fun.


wrote …

NERDS!!!! (ala Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds)


replied to comment from Ryan O'Donnell

It's true. I am a huge nerd.


Dale Saran wrote …

Shit. I should never have read this. I could get addicted to this kind of nuttiness.
Scott, where can we - er, "try this out?" And, uhhh... who's your armor manufacturer?


replied to comment from Dale Saran

There are a number of armor makers, foreign and domestic. Best to get in contact with people within the team and then work toward getting the right gear. Here's the Team USA web site, and information on how to get involved:


wrote …

Don't encourage him, he's old, he might fall and break a hip.

Or he'll push for all of the trademark cases to be settled by trial by combat. Actually that might not be a bad thing.


Oh, Come on now, Craig. Don't tell Scott how old and decrepit I am. Plus, what would be wrong with challenging some infingers to settle the matter with a shield and falchions until one man yields? Dude, think of how quickly we could "cut down" on IP Theft problems?? :-)

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