As I mentioned in my April recap I’m starting a couple of non-book posts each month, the first was Culture Corner, and this is my second monthly series where I’m going to talk about my workout experiences and holding myself accountable.
Two months ago this past Friday I joined Commonwealth CrossFit which is less than ten minutes from my house. For various reasons I’d become incredibly unhealthy and unhappy over the past year and I knew things needed to change. I chose CrossFit for a couple of reasons, but it took me awhile to start because I needed to make sure I could afford it and was mentally ready for it. Well I finally was able to pay for it, yay new job, but I found out pretty quickly how unprepared mentally and physically I was. But that was two months ago and I’m still going strong so go me! And as no post is complete without a photo, I stole one from the Facebook page. This post is mostly just a recap of what I’ve done the past two months and what I’m hoping to get out of it.
As with most CrossFit programs, this one started with On Ramp, a two-week course designed to introduce you to basic movements and help provide a certain amount of comfort in the gym for your first ‘real’ class. Mine was with three others and we had one coach and an additional veteran who helped out and provided encouragement. Each night the workouts got easier to do, but more complicated, but the killer was that first night. For the first night we did baseline to see where we stood (see the WOD here for what Baseline includes). It took me 24 minutes and a lot of encouragement, but what was most telling about how unprepared I was, was the walk home. What should have been a 10 minute walk took me closer to 35 minutes. (It is all uphill and I had to sit down a couple of times – I’ll take a picture of the hill for next month’s post.) Since On Ramp ended I’ve tried to make it three times a week, generally at 6AM and have been mostly successful. Each workout lasts an hour and generally consist of a few minutes stretching then strength work then a Work out of the Day (WOD).
Things usually go great until the WOD when I really just want to yell quit trying to kill me, but as much as I’m convinced they are trying to kill me I have noticed it gets easier and I push myself harder each time. One example of a recent WOD, called a running FRAN is below and we did it for time:
- 200 M Run
- 21 Thrusters (I did 45lbs, just the bar in the second part of this video.)
- 21 Pullups (I did jumping kip as seen here.)
- 200M Run
- 15 Thrusters
- 15 Pullups
- 200M Run
- 9 Thrusters
- 9 Pullups
I did all of that in 15:30 and was frankly shocked. If you would’ve asked me two months ago to do any of it I would’ve laughed at you. Now add that we started the day with strength training in dead lift and that only adds to the exhaustion.
What drew me to the CrossFit community is no matter how slow you are or how much you’re struggling someone is always there to keep you motivated. This could be the instructor or someone else in your group or just another member who is in the gym. When you get to that point where you’re convinced you can’t do one more there is always someone there to count with you and motivate you to finish
Aside from finishing the workouts, which is always an accomplishment in my book, another highlight from the last two months happened last week. When I came in from a run at the end of a WOD (I hate running – there will be an entire post dedicated to it at some point) the instructor asked if anyone else was out there. After the shock that he assumed someone might be slower than me, I shook my head no, but probably looked crazy because I got a boost of confidence because someone thought I might not have been last. To put that in perspective, 99% of the time I finish last.
I always push myself, I always have to work for those last few reps and I’m always winded when I’m finished, but I am usually slower because one I’m still new and two I make sure to pace myself and keep my form correct because injuries terrify me (old or new). So when someone asked if there was anyone else after me, I was a little shocked and a little elated someone thought I wasn’t last.
The only thing I haven’t talked about are my goals for CrossFit. I don’t really have specific goals other than to become a healthier me, but that works with the full body broad scope of CrossFit. A couple of smaller goals have arisen since I started and those include
- Do an unaided pull-up – I am doing jumping kip (above video) or ring rows.
- Run a nonstop mile – I have never run a mile nonstop, even in middle/high school.
- Improve my times in WODs – I don’t care as much about improving how much I lift as much as I care about being able to do them efficiently.
- And I’d like to run up that hill mentioned above after a workout (or even just in general). After each work out it feels easier to walk up the hill, but one day I’m going to run it non-stop. Think Rocky and those steps. Yeah.
Well this turned into more of a long-winded recap than expected. Hopefully next month’s will be more of a this is what happened and here’s what I’m hoping to happen, but who knows what will happen? So much can happen in one month.