Early on with Complete Human Performance, Alex had a lot of things programmed for me that I had never seen or heard of before, despite being a reader and forum lurker on a couple of well-known weightlifting sites for quite a while. You folks brought in so many new accessory lifts to help support my development and rehab (I had shoulder surgery literally two months after joining up for a pre-existing injury, and my programming hardly skipped a beat then, or during subsequent injuries and surgical rehab stints) that it was obvious to me, despite the half-dozen years I'd been lifting and the year I'd been an online client of a very strong and knowledgeable and accomplished coach/lifter, that this was some next-level shit.
I may yet delve through three years (!!!) worth of training logs to find the most onerous, sadistic, demanding, or ecstasy-inducing training sessions - which, until recently, would absolutely have been my plan of attack to answer your question. Right now, that's a trip down memory lane, supplemented by paging through a badly sweat-stained logbook. There have been sets taken to failure in many lifts at many weights. There have been runs where "stopped to barf" is in the recap notes. There are a couple of memorable lunge sessions where the only thing that kept me from weeping openly in public is that I couldn't spare the breath for it, and all my available fluids and electrolytes were being turned to sweat, so my tear ducts had to take a number.
Have there been non-training highlights? Absolutely. Winning my division and setting state records at my first powerlifting meet - which was also my introduction to how warm and friendly my fellow CHP athletes and trainees are - Paul and Derek - is always going to be a cherished memory. Joining the team for our distributed virtual assault on the Kinghthood of Sufferlandria fundraiser - and then still having enough gas in the tank to play in my rec league's ice hockey championship two hours later was an absolute blast. Trying my hand (feet? heart?) at an ultramarathon with Derek and Jonathan was one of the more entertainingly questionable decisions of my life.
All that being said, I have a much more recently-minted memory that stands out as my finest training day with CHP.
A couple of weeks ago, Jenn Rotsinger generously offered to mentor me during her own Sunday morning workout session a few days before she was announced as the newest member of CHP's coaching staff - she was simply helping out a fellow athlete and trainee. The selflessness and willingness to share her knowledge and expertise is absolutely in line with my experience with everyone else I've worked with here, but knowing the context of where this workout was in her training cycle - getting ready to compete in an event where, if all goes well, she'll be topping her own world records, *and still being this generous with her time and attention,* in addition to, frankly, prying the top of my head off to pour in a tremendous amount of invaluable feedback - nothing else I've done in my training comes within miles of touching that.
My numbers that day were, to me, a small disappointment, but that wasn't the point. I've been a better lifter, both objectively and subjectively, since that day. I've been more careful about how I eat, just based on a casual, off-hand remark she made during some talk about our future goals. That workout didn't just change me as a lifter, it has made me a better person.
So, to sum up, before I get any more maudlin on y'all - a huge thank you to everyone at CHP - both the coaching staff and my fellow athletes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I seem to be leaking some emotional electrolytes.