Adventures in CrossFit (Part 1)

CrossFit Revival

For the record, I can’t do this….yet.

It started innocently enough. I received a message from an old friend that read:

“Hey buddy. How have you been? I have a free month of CrossFit to give away to a friend….. You should try it out and blog about your experience! Let me know if you’re game.”

Peer pressure, you’re a despicable beast!

Here’s the deal, I’m not exactly what you’d call a “physical specimen.” I’m skinny to the point where every time I visit my doctor, I’m hoping my BMI (body mass index) hasn’t dipped into the “Seriously dude, gain some weight!” territory. My exercise habits revolve around running and a hodgepodge of city league sports (where my only redeemable asset is my hustle). However, since my son was born last year, I’ve fallen desperately out of shape. So when I got the call to try CrossFit, it felt like the kick in the butt that I needed. As an uber-skinny, half-coordinated, out of shape non-athlete, I didn’t have high hopes that I’d excel, but the peer pressure was enough to get me in the gym.

As I’m writing this (written March 12, 2014), I just finished my first class. I can barely lift my arms high enough to type (during this post, if you read something like “jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj” that means I’ve either passed out on my keyboard or my fingers got too heavy to lift). Here’s a timeline of events from day 1 of my adventures in CrossFit.

5:30 am: The excruciating wake up. The gym that I joined, CrossFit Revival in Eugene OR, offers a bunch of classes throughout the day. As a relatively new dad, finding time for exercise is always an issue, so I opted for the 6:00 am class. This seemed like a great idea until my alarm thunder punched me at 5:30 am. I threw on some sweats, pounded some Cheerios, and I was out the door.

6:00 am: The un-intimidation factor.  When I pictured a Cross Fit coach, here’s what I imagined:

CrossFit Coach

But in reality, my coach turned out to be one of the nicest, least intimidating people I’ve ever met. Here’s what she actually looks like:

Coach Jo

That’s Coach Jo in the red.

Coach Jo (she goes by Jo, but “Coach Jo” has such a nice ring to it) gave me a tour, introduced me to the class, and her warming personality tricked me into thinking that CrossFit would be a breeze. As I’d learn shortly, Coach Jo was a master at mind control, because there were no breezes to be had.

6:03 am: The “Holy cow, this is just the warm up?!” warm up.  We did a series of movements, squats, and stretches that would usually constitute my entire days’ worth of exercise. Turns out, we hadn’t started yet. This was the first moment when I thought CrossFit might be a bad idea.

6:15 am: The work out of the day (WOD). As a class, we dug into the WOD. Today’s work out consisted of rowing, running, and pull-ups. Here are my thoughts on these activities:

  •          Running: No problem, I was running in Pampers
  •          Pull-ups: Sucks
  •          Rowing: Suuuuuuuuuucks

After two sets of each exercise, I was ready for a nap.

6:40 am: My Baseline Test: Apparently today’s WOD was a “light work out.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! Coach Jo’s definition of “light” seems downright insane. So with our “extra time,” Coach Jo asked if I wanted to do a baseline workout to see where I stood as a CrossFitter. It was at this point that I realized that Coach Jo was trying to kill me. My baseline workout consisted of the following:

  •          Push-ups
  •          Rowing (Yes, more rowing. Can we stop with the rowing?!)
  •          Sit-ups
  •          Squats
  •          Pull-ups

I think I blacked out about halfway through my sit-ups. I can’t be held accountable for any of my actions after the sit-ups.

7:00 am: Yep, I might lose my breakfast. Things went a little white after I finished my baseline test. I realized that my combination of being desperately out of shape and ridiculously competitive is a recipe for a CrossFit disaster. I pushed myself to the brink, and it tore me up! That being said, it was the best total body work-out I’ve ever packed into an hour.

Was I tired? Yep. Did I almost puke? Yep. Do I hate rowing? YES!!! But with all that, I actually had a really good time. The class was full of awesome people, and even though I was clueless as to what I was doing, I felt 100% welcomed by the crew. And, even though I accused her of violating my thoughts using mind control, Coach Jo was amazing. I’m not sure what my career as a CrossFitter looks like, but I’m going to stick with it.

I plan to document more of my CrossFitting, so stay tuned. That being said, If you never hear from me again, it’s because we did more rowing, and I’ve lost the ability to control my limbs. Blame Coach Jo.


Nutrition Month (part 4): Give Your Meal a Makeover!

We’ve reached the grand finale of Laura’s Nutrition Month series (it’s been a wild ride, here’s part 1, part 2, and part 3). Thanks so much to Laura for being such a great guest blogger, and here’s her fourth and final installment of her ode to National Nutrition Month®:

Registered Dietician, Laura

Registered Dietician, Laura

Chili is a delicious way to enjoy a meal that is high in fiber and protein but low in fat. Unfortunately, canned chili is loaded with salt. A typical canned chili con carne with beans has over 1,000 mg of sodium (salt) in a one cup serving. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends no more than 1500 mg of sodium per day for most adults. Even with very fuzzy math, you really can’t make that cup of chili work into the dietary guidelines.But chili doesn’t need all that salt to taste fantastic. Here’s a staff favorite recipe for chili with our Healthy Life Committee stamp of approval. One cup of this chili has only 370 mg of sodium, so you can enjoy a big serving! 

Hint: If eating beans give you gas, try taking a digestive enzyme that includes alpha-galactosidase which helps break down certain complex carbohydrates the human body can’t break down on its own.

Easy Crock Pot Chili

The Get Out, Get Covered Tour Ends At Treefort Music Fest

Treefort MainpageThe Get Out, Get Covered Tour ended in true rock star fashion. As a finish line for the tour, we hit the Treefort Music Festival; a four-day indie music extravaganza in the heart of downtown Boise. The goal for the tour was to reach people in unexpected locations. So we figured, “Who’s going to expect us at Treefort?” So we spent three days listening to music and answering questions about health insurance.

We posted up between a robot couple (that greatly resembled something from the Jetson’s) and PacificSource employees mingled with music fans at the “Recharge Bar.” The Recharge Bar allowed Treeforters who had been out for a fort night to stop by and charge their cell phone, tablets, and bike lights. While they were charging their phone, we answered any lingering health insurance questions they still had.

Treefort Booth 1The event was a blast, and our employees had a great time rocking out to some great indie tunes while helping our community get covered.

Check out more photos from Treefort here:



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