I was first introduced to Crossfit in February of this year (2009). It had been over a year since I had quit water polo. I don't normally get sick, and I was recovering from a sinus infection that knocked me off my feet harder than a bout with mono in 2006, while I was at my fittest in the middle of my Division I college water polo career. I knew I had to get back in the gym.
So I splurged on a trainer at a local gym. He did Crossfit. I liked it. I lost fifteen pounds between February and May. He introduced me to all the movements, some pretty gnarly workouts, and the joy of the paleo zone (but lets be honest, I've been failing at that as of late).I did Crossfit with him, frequently, though not on a daily basis, until the summer when my paycheck was cut in half.
Lucky me, though, I had a couple friends in my hometown who joined an actual Crossfit gym in SLO (Crossfit Inferno). I've only been there a week and my Crossfit fire (pun intended...or not) is totally re-ignited. I think a big part of it is being in a gym entirely devoted to crossfit, doing the same workout alongside 8 other people, all super intense, all cheering each other on, all totally stoked on Crossfit. I am so excited to get started at my first trainer's new Bloomington-Normal Crossfit gym.
My feelings on Crossfit:
Minutes before each workout, I just get that heavy knot in my stomach, and think "I'm gonna die." Minutes after each workout, I'm not too good at moving. An hour after a workout, I still can't make it down stairs without my legs feeling like they are going to collapse. By the time I'm ready to pass out in bed, I'm on the crossfit website watching videos and itching to know what the next day's WOD will be, because I can't wait to see what I can push myself to do.
But Crossfit isn't about the workouts themselves. It's not about how much weight you can lift, or how fast you can go, though it might seem so. The most important thing I've learned from Crossfit is being able to say, "just one more."
To quote from the Crossfit Inferno website:
"...you are constantly working on "the Mind F#&%K". What we mean by this is, when you are pushing hard and you get to that point where you feel like quitting, you start to think about how much you have left... it is your brain that is telling you to stop. You body wants to do what the brain is telling it. It is at this point where you need to learn how to push all those thoughts back and continue to advance forward."
It's about pushing just one more past what you think you can do, five pounds heavier than you did before, 15 seconds faster than the last time you did the same workout, just one squat more in the 20-second round to keep your "score" at 10.
So this is my official announcement: I'm hooked. Thank you, Crossfit, I hate you. (It's the kind of hate that's love, all love...it's like I can hear Crossfit saying, "This hurts me more than it hurts you...it's for your own good.")
Today's WOD was "Freddy's Revenge." (5 reps for time of - 5 overhead, 10 burpees) I was the only one without weight on my bar. And still some people did it faster than me. It was weird, not to be one of the strong ones (remember, I had a good 6 years of being the star/"stud" water polo goalie). It was a little discouraging...at first. But you have to start somewhere. I finished, and one of the Inferno members, Claudia, showed me her workout log from almost a year ago. She had been right where I was, she knew what I was going through, and she took the time to show me.
That was the moment I was convinced that Crossfit - the program, the workouts, the attitude, the people - was exactly what I need, and worth every penny and drop of blood, sweat and tears.
So I've decided to keep this blog, chronicling my love-hate relationship with Crossfit, a sport in itself, in hopes that someone out there that thinks their "glory days" are over, will think again, and believe they can be at their fittest - whether they're 23, 37, or 73. I'm not there yet, but the more I go, the closer I'll be. Just one more.