Misadventures in CrossFit

Somewhere along the way I turned into a bit of a yo-yoer where my weight is concerned.  It’s always been super gradual either way but it’s gone up and down about 40-50lbs nonetheless.  After getting married three years ago it’s gradually gone back up until I recently decided that it was time to get my ass in gear and head back on that downward trajectory.  In my moment of determination I bought a ten class package for my local CrossFit gym and despite some reservations and a lot of anxiety, I went to my first class last week.  The following is an all too true account of my thorough ass whooping/humiliation.

I purchased ten classes because I knew the first would be rough and I wouldn’t necessarily have a great opinion of it simply due to the fact that I am wildly out of shape.  So despite the ability to try a single class for free, I dove right in.  Upon completing my transaction I got an email from the gym’s owner asking me if I was free to start the next day.  Things were getting real too fast and I immediately started to panic.  I politely emailed back letting him know that I could not make it, but would be in the following day, which luckily it turned out, was my day off.

I arrived just before 9am last Tuesday to the cavernous, loading dock looking gym.  I was greeted by Bryan, who had been emailing me, and quickly got set up in the system.  Warm ups started and I immediately felt the urge to run away.  Cartwheels were one of the warm up exercises, and as an awkward and sometimes very uncoordinated person, it felt like I was having a waking nightmare in which I show up to school with no pants on.  Additionally, I was already getting a little tired from the warm up.  This was not a good sign.  This however, was followed by the beginning of our WOD.  It was fairly simple and straight forward, 5 sets of deadlifts at 5 reps each.  I managed to do 70lbs on my last set and I was feeling a little proud of myself – cocky even.  You’re the daughter of a bodybuilder I told myself, it’s in your blood.  This was a mistake.

The last bit of the day was 20 minutes of body weight exercises.  20 pull-ups, 40 push-ups, 80 sit-ups, 160 squats, 80 sit-ups, 40 push-ups, 20 pull-ups.  The scaled down version was still 10/20/40/160/40/20/10 and I can’t do a single pull-up.   I was, how do you say…oh yes, fucked.  Luckily Bryan could sense the imminent death in me and kept me more or less on a minute on minute off cycle and I made it through.  The workout was mercifully over and I had survived.  But at what cost?  I made it home just in time to be hit with incredible nausea.  I took an Advil, some Pepto Bismal, and a 45 minute nap.  The next morning and indeed the two days that followed were marked by soreness so unspeakably painful I wondered perhaps if I had pulled every muscle in my body and was now one big walking injury.

So what’s the verdict?  Will I complete my 10 classes and emerge victorious and triumphant?  Will I drink the CrossFit Kool-Aid? Or, will I throw in the sweat soaked towel?  Well, the jury is still out on whether I will complete all 10 of those classes, but I do plan to return – tomorrow in fact.  I’m definitely not sold on the greatness of CrossFit just yet.  Everyone talks about the incredible community but aside from one girl, who played rugby of course, and was very nice to me, everyone else in the class stared at me with disdain and quiet judgment as I huffed and puffed through the exercises.  Beyond that, it’s going to be a rough hurdle to overcome for me, to get to a level where I’m on a more even footing with everyone around me and don’t feel profoundly embarrassed that I can’t keep up.  But, despite the immense challenge of it all I didn’t hate the experience and I did feel accomplished if pained afterwards.  I’m definitely going to give it a fair shake – so stay tuned for more misadventures no doubt.  “


I Did That Fitness Thing! 

After posting earlier today and getting some positive feedback from people who struggle with the same gap between who they are and want to be, I made it to yoga tonight for the first time in a few weeks.  Sometimes you need to celebrate a small victory…and hope it carries you on to another, and another, and another. 

I hope the rest of you are finding some small successes! 

That Thing, That Thing, That Fitness Thing…

What is that thing, that barrier between who we want to be and who we are? Why is it so hard to go from sincere desire to do something to actually doing it?

Since the beginning of 2015 I have been trying to switch to an AM workout routine.  When I get home from work at night I just want to be able to veg out, catch up on Mad Men, Daredevil, finally finish Breaking Bad (!), and spend time with my husband.  I don’t want to worry about cooking dinner, eating, digesting, and THEN getting in a run at the gym.  AM workouts make sense – give up a little sleep, start your day off on the right foot, and have your after work time for whatever your heart desires! It’s a total win-win.

My cousin Dan, myself, and my fitness hero/inspiration, Dan's wife, Nicole.

My cousin Dan, myself, and my fitness hero/inspiration, Dan’s wife, Nicole at our Engagement Party in 2013.

And yet, for the last two weeks especially, I have been a lazy pile of mush.  It’s like I’ve just given up and I feel miserable about it all day.  I’m not kidding you or myself when I say that I really, truly, do want to be the person that makes working out a part of their every day.  I want to be the person that makes healthy choices.  It’s not just who I think I should be – my heart half in it. No, it’s the person I absolutely WANT to be.

My husband (then boyfriend) and I at 205lbs, in 2010.

My husband (then boyfriend) and I at 205lbs, in 2010.

I’ve seen my attitude towards fitness change over the last 5 years.  In the summer of 2010 I was 205lbs.  After spending all my years from childhood through college active in sports, I was living at home, dating my now husband, and making all the wrong choices.  I was never active.  I ate horribly. I didn’t even realize how much weight I had gained until my friend Juliann posted some pictures of me from a concert that summer.  Chuck and I booked our first trip to Disney not long after that – I got a personal trainer at the gym, joined Weight Watchers, and I dropped 20lbs in two months.  At the time I didn’t start because I wanted to get “fit”. I just wanted to look better in pictures on our vacation. It was pure insecurity and vanity.  I gained about 10lbs back over the winter but then I signed up for a mud run and started running 3 times a week.  Slowly but surely over time the weight kept coming off.

After my first 5K mud run - exhausted, but one of my proudest "fitness moments".

After my first 5K mud run – exhausted, but one of my proudest “fitness moments”.

Excuse the overly shady pic - A snap of me on our honeymoon at 154lbs - in the best shape I've probably ever been in.

Excuse the overly shady pic – A snap of me on our honeymoon at 154lbs – in the best shape I’ve probably ever been in.

By the time I got married last year I was down to 154lbs and since then I’ve gained about 10 back. But honestly, it’s never been about the numbers – the scale, the pants size, etc. Since that initial weight drop I have really just wanted to feel healthy and feel good about the person I see in the mirror.  And most of the time I do.  But lately, it’s been harder. I don’t know if it’s my sleep schedule – I often wake up when my husband does around 4:30 or 5 in the morning and then try to go back to sleep for a bit and get all messed up – or mild depression because I just don’t want to go to work that badly.  Whatever the reason there is a distinct disconnect between who I want to be, who I’ve been working towards being for the last 5 years, and who I currently am.  Why is it so hard to do something you actually want to do? Why can’t I just flip a switch in my brain to get my act together?