Operation Skinny Jeans: CrossFit

Thursday, October 10, 2013

CrossFit

As you might know, two weeks ago I had the opportunity to give CrossFit a try at a local gym. I immediately jumped on the opportunity because for as much as I have heard about CrossFit, I had NO idea what it was like. And I am never one to pass up a chance to work out, so I counted myself in.

I will start with my expectation vs reality for CrossFit. Having no real clue except that it was popular and hard core, my idea of CrossFit was pretty scary. I expected a lot of jumping (which I am terrible at), a lot of hurling my body over tall objects, and a lot of lifting extreme amounts of weight. These might be actual things that CrossFitters do, but thankfully these were left out of my workout that day.



When I arrived, I was nervous. The gym looked different than a normal gym. There was no cardio equipment (aside from a rowing machine I got to know really well) and there were tall boxes and large metal monkey-bar type set-ups. I was really thankful when Nicolle, the owner of the gym (CrossFit Stapleton, if you're local) stuck right by my side and walked me through everything.

She had me warm up on the rowing machine while everyone else was arriving, and then she showed me around some of the equipment. When everyone was there, she introduced me to the whole class, which really helped ease my nerves.

Side step- People who don't work out think working out is scary. As a relatively new fit person, I know this is true. People who don't work out also think that athletic people can be mean or judgmental, something I, as an unathletic person, have thought in the past. Let me tell you, THIS IS FAR FROM THE TRUTH. I could (and probably will) write an entire blog about this, but for now, just know that those 15ish EXTREMELY athletic people were probably the most supportive and kindest people I have worked out with in my life.

Moving on.

We did some stretching and more warm ups on the rowing machine, then a tabata warm up. Tabata is higher intensity exercises for short amounts of time, so this one was cycles of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest and we did sit ups, jump rope and med ball cleans 3 times each. This got my blood pumping, like an active warm up should, and I enjoyed it. I like timed things because I can convince myself that I can do ANYTHING for 20 seconds (or however long) so I don't quit. Mind over matter.

Next came the workout. The workout was structured so we did 3 activities back to back to back, timed it, then rested for 3 minutes, 5 times. That sounds confusing but it wasn't. So I would row (yep, I told you me and that row machine became besties) for 200 meters, do 10 squats, then 40 jump ropes. I would time how long it took me to do that, write it on the board, and rest for 3 minutes before I would do it all again, 5 times total.

I can't tell you if this is a normal CrossFit style workout, seeing as it was my only one, but I REALLY enjoyed it. I liked the variance in pace, and the fact that I knew if I worked really hard to do it fast, I would get to rest (which lesbehonest is the best part.) I also liked that we were competing with ourselves to improve our time. My 4th round was the fastest, and by the 5th I was so exhausted I was impressed I finished at all.

I learned that I suck at Jump rope.

BUT in that lesson I also learned the power of supportive people. I was obviously the slowest one in there, but at every turn SOMEONE was telling me "Way to Go!" "You've got this!" "Keep going!" "You're Awesome!". There is nothing that makes you feel like an athlete like athletes supporting you. So it was the last round, last set of jump ropes, and I made it 27 straight without tripping. I was exhausted, my mind was giving up and my legs were allowing it. Then the support started. "You can do it!" "Just a few more!" "You've got this!" and suddenly I did. Those 13 jump ropes were the hardest thing I did all day, but with 15 people counting them down for me, cheering me on, I finished them. Then I stopped my clock, recorded my time, and died.


Kidding, I didn't die.

But I did sit down. I almost wanted to cry. Ok I am a cry baby, but still! It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment. Not only did I just try something I was really afraid to try, I finished it, and all of those people HELPED me do it.
After the workout. See it didn't just kick my ass! The lady in the fetal position is Nicolle, my guide.
So my review of CrossFit as a general workout is a resounding 2 thumbs up. The variation and the repetition (sounds contradictory but you know what I mean) was awesome, and kept me from feeling bored. The element of timing yourself and competing with yourself kept me motivated to push even harder. At no point did I think I was going to puke or die or bleed, all things I honestly was kind of expecting.... And I never would have expected that I would find such an amazing group of people. If I could go back and record their voices, I would listen to it every time I worked out.

So if you have been nervous about trying CrossFit, or you are looking for a change, go for it. If it makes you feel more comfortable, call the gym before hand and tell them you are a beginner and that you are nervous, and they will probably do all they can to make you feel at home. Remember, they are a group of people from all walks of life meeting together to better themselves. They aren't different from you.

Here is a pic we took at the end of the session. You can tell I went hard because my face is BRIGHT red. It happens :D


Ever tried CrossFit? Do you want to now? Do you live in the North Aurora/ East Denver area? If so, ABSOLUTELY check out CrossFit Stapleton!

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5 comments :

  1. You are amazing!! Trying Crossfit is on my bucket list. :) Keep up the hard work. I'm so proud of you!

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  2. Thanks for this post... I'd actually like to give it a try at some point but you're right, it can be intimidating!

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  3. Hey girl hey :) I did crossfit and almost cried when I was able to do a box jump!! I feared hitting my shins every time!! Keep it up lady!

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  4. I did CrossFit for 9 months!! I totally attrubute my weight loss to it. I did it 3-4 times a week at a local gym and I was in GREAT shape! It's super expensive though, so I have to take the next couple years off while I focus on school :/

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  5. Amazing!! I've tried Crossfit twice, and I was sooo humbled. The athletes are super supportive, like you said. Joining a Crossfit gym in a month! #excited

    http://muffintopsnlovehandles.tumblr.com

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