To CrossFit or Not to CrossFit?

I have been reticent to try this whole CrossFit phenomenon. I am a self-confessed cardio junkie. I’ve been spinning for almost 20 years. Before spinning it was step aerobics and before step aerobics it was something called high impact aerobics. Before that I was content to laze around on weekends eating chips and drinking full calorie sodas. Clearly the chips and soda option is no longer on the table.

A year ago I stopped making time to lift weights at the gym. I reasoned that the yoga pushups I do in class a couple of times a week would make up for any and all bicep curls. Sadly this has not been the case. I moved a few months ago and haven’t been able to drag myself down to the local YMCA to become a member so that I have a new place to meander from machine to machine to make myself feel like I’m doing everything I possibly can to take charge of my fitness level.

Tonight I found myself in my first of 6 intro classes to CrossFit. I have different sets of friends who LOVE CrossFit. They get very animated when they talk about their “Box” and their “Olympic Lifts” and their “Pull-up Clinics”. So a couple of weeks ago when I caught a glimpse of my now non-existent biceps in the mirror in yoga I decided it might be worth just trying it to see if I might like it enough to avoid joining the YMCA 6 blocks from my house.

Last week I went to a free session to see what it’s all about. I showed up at 8 am on a Saturday apprehensive but optimistic. There ended up being a dozen 20-somethings, a couple of kids still in high school, and me. I felt a little out of my element, but I know that I’m in pretty good shape so I jumped right in with everyone else

Now, I assume that I’m in fantastic shape. I do 5 spin classes a week. I am really, really close to perfecting a yoga pushup. Half a block into a warm-up jog I realized that I was in trouble. I don’t do well running and this was pretty difficult for me. All the spinning in the world didn’t prepare me for a simple 15-minute jog. Half a block in I started wheezing. I was floundering. It wasn’t pretty. I did finish and I did sort-of run the whole way thanks to an incredibly kind trainer who jogged along beside me the entire time so I wasn’t bringing up the rear all by myself. I am especially grateful because he pretended that he was still running even though I know he could have started walking and kept pace with me at any time.

After that they took us through a workout routine that included jumping rope, deep squats, sit-ups, and pushups. That’s it. It really is just basic high school P.E. I did OK with the squats and the sit-ups, and they let us do the push-ups on our knees, but the jumping rope threw me over the edge. I haven’t held a jump rope in my hands since grade school. It wasn’t just that I had to figure out how to use a jump rope all over again, the really horrifying thing is that when I was using said jump rope I discovered that my stomach seemed to move independently of the rest of my body. I have no idea when or how that happened but that alone was a big bold sign that I need to switch up my fitness routine.

The good news is that I was a rock-star tonight in my newbie Cross-fit training class. There is a timed section where everyone does 3 sets of the same exercises and I came in second. In fact, I was only 10 seconds behind a pretty fit 20-something boy. To be fair, though, the 20-something girls tonight didn’t look like they’d EVER exercised, and the 20-something boy took a break to get water from his car.

The bad news is that I’m not sure I’ll be able to walk tomorrow. I also had to cancel the spin class I thought I could go to after CrossFit as I was sure there wouldn’t be enough cardio tonight for me.

I AM open to the fact that when it comes to exercise I still have a lot to learn.

  • Erin

    Well, you are braver than I, and I am the mother of a Cross Fit trainer!! He keeps saying he’ll take my yoga class if I take his Cross Fit class. With me more than double his age, just doesn’t seem fair. That said, it’s still on my bucket list.

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