CrossFit, Part 1


I first noticed the CrossFit people in the summer of 2011. I was picking up a prescription at the Bartells drug store, and the folks from the nearby CrossFit gym (I cannot bring myself to call it a “box”) were sprinting laps around the block. They were all in fabulous shape.

At the time, I had done a lot of running but not very much strength training or other aerobic conditioning. I’d suffered a couple of injuries–in particular, I fought a bad case of sciatica at one point. I also occasionally struggled with gout due to a medication I was taking. I was afraid that my naturally fat ass was doomed to more injuries, and I was intrigued by the promise of a continually varied program.

It took a few months for me to work up the courage, but in December 2011, I finally wandered into that gym intent on giving CrossFit a whirl. Per their website, I showed up 15 minutes before a scheduled workout. The coaches introduced themselves and asked me to fill out a waiver. They gave me a quick tour of the gym. Then it was time to work out.

There were only 4 or 5 other people in the class. We started with 15 minutes or so of stretching. I wasn’t able to contort my body into the various positions the instructor was demanding. She kept correcting me, and I kept trying, but I’m not sure the desired result was ever achieved.

The “WOD” (Workout Of the Day) was:

50 Wallballs

40 Doubleunders

30 Box Jumps 2420

20 Burpees

30 Box Jumps 2420

40 DoubleUnders

50 Wallballs

…as fast as possible. The instructor gave me a crash course on wallballs, told me I could do singles instead of double-unders, and then we were off.

I completed the 50 wallballs, 40 singles, and made into the 20’s with the box jumps before the instructor mercifully ended the workout. I knew immediately that I had hurt myself, but I attributed it to being out of shape, not overworked. We recorded our times and high-fived each other. I remember woozily saying “I need this” to the instructor before stumbling out the door. “Drink plenty of water today,” she advised. “You’re gonna be sore.”

Sore was an understatement. Getting into and out of chairs was gut-wretchingly painful for the next 2 or 3 days. I had pushed myself far too hard, and I was angry at the instructor and the gym for allowing me to do it.

It took me almost two full years before I was willing to try CrossFit again.

To be continued…