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.


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  1. Adventures in CrossFit (Part 2) | Million Ideas

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