Friday, March 22, 2013

Fitness Friday - I Drank The Kool-Aid

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I am now a member of the Crossfit cult community....

I don't know if I have ever addressed my feelings about this on le blog, but I have always been a little apprehensive.  Knowing what I have learned through my husband, who is a corrective exercise specialist, there is a lot to be done wrong in the world of crossfit.

As with any "fad" or "new craze" out there, there are people that jump on the bandwagon to get a piece of the pie.  Where there are people obsessed with a product or service, there is plenty of money to be made.  Depending how you go about it, opening up your own Crossfit gym, or Box, doesn't take a ton of start-up capital.  Some people start theirs in their garage.  All you need is a certification and a group of people to sell your service to.  Unfortunately with a lesser business model in crossfit, the owner isn't the one that gets hurt.  It's usually the client.

Done the right way, Crossfit can be awesome and empower you to feel confidence in finding a strength you never knew you had and doing things you never dreamed possible.  Done the wrong way, it can cause injury.  Improper form and over-use without rest/recovery/release can cause the body to break down, which puts you even further from the goal you initially set out to achieve.

I went to high school with Blair.  Take a moment to click on the link and see how awesome he is. 

You're welcome.

Quite the physical specimen and also a really nice guy.  After he came back from college overseas, I suggested he look into getting a job with my husband, enhancing the future of fitness professionals.  He also decided to open his own Crossfit gym which happened to be on my way to/from work.  His approach to Crossfit is phenomenal.  JB and I went to the open house and I was really excited to come check it out once it opened.

But then I got scared.

I have major anxiety about going into gyms alone.  Doing most things alone, really.  But especially gyms.  If you have been reading my blog for any length of time this may come as a shock to you.  I hate people thinking I don't know what I am doing, and even worse, ACTUALLY not knowing what I am doing.  Instead of realizing that everyone there is focusing on their own workouts and fitness goals, for some reason I always think they have nothing better to do than observe and judge my every move...

The next couple of years passed and I never went in to work out at the gym.  See, people who do Crossfit are seen as elite athletes in my (and most people's) book(s).  The olympic lifting mixed with serious metabolic conditioning is not something any old Joe Schmoe can just power through on his first run.  It was always something that intrigued me though.  The competetive part of it speaks to me.  I am always striving to be a better version of myself, and if I happen to be better than some other people in my class, well, good for me.  I also hated knowing that I would go in knowing no one, and there would already be a camaraderie amongst the members. 

The problem is, you have to start somewhere, which means you have to actually START.  Knowing the issues that can arise from a poorly trained coach and a poorly laid out program, I didn't just want to join a random Box. 

And you know me and my Groupon/Living Social deals.

Blair had now expanded to three gyms and had a promo running for the one closest to my house, so I bought it.  I tried like hell to get a buddy to join me and no one would.  Not a single soul.  Bitches.  I knew I needed to wait out the other people that had bought the deal as I didn't want to deal with the crowds these things tend to bring in.  But mostly, I was stalling.

I stalled until I could stall no more.  I do have a trip to Greece coming, you know?  I spent the months of January and February getting my nutrition back on track and told myself come March 1st, I was going in.  I sent Blair an email to make sure that starting on a Friday wouldn't be a problem and he told me to go for it.  And I did.

I'm pretty sure I sweat more sitting in the car waiting to go into the gym than I did during that first workout.  I got there early and just sat in my car surveying the gym, strategizing my plan of attack.  I noticed that the "front desk" was actually in the back of the gym and I would have to walk across the entire workout floor just to get to someone who could help me sign my waiver to get started.  As the minutes ticked down, I became increasingly more anxious and worked up.  By the time I got in there, I was shaking so bad I could barely fill out the paperwork they gave me.

So ridiculous.

Long story long, I did it.  I got started that night and as each day went by I met another person.  I was still uneasy and anxious as I walked into the gym.  Planning my timing just right so I didn't have to stand around too long before the workout, with a bunch of people I didn't know who all knew each other.  I made it through my five days of "on-ramp", each day learning another lifting technique with proper form, new terminology and movements, and was finally cleared for Level 1; which meant I could work out with the general population who already knew what they were doing.

These people?  These elite athletes?  They are pretty cool people.  Very supportive and kind and welcoming.  I guess when you are all battling a common enemy (the workout), it's easier to join forces and support one another.  Seeing people achieve a new personal record on a lift or master a new skill is something worth celebrating and congratulating.  Knowing how hard it is to get through a particular workout makes you want to cheer that next person on who is trying to finish.  Knowing how overwhelming it can be to be the new person, an outsider, makes you want to introduce yourself to new faces.

Last night I bit the bullet and signed up for the next three months.  I know that I won't be able to achieve what I am hoping for in the next week, or next month for that matter.  I am already stronger and am seeing improvements in different movements.  My dance/gymnastics background has really helped out with balance and my previous experience with personal trainers and weight lifting has come in handy as well.  I love the feeling of achievement I have after a workout, even if it wasn't my best.  I know that I will improve over time.

So for the next three months I will be driving all of my FB friends crazy with my check-ins at Crossfit Anywhere Roseville and using Fitness Friday to check in on my progress.  Next week I will try to post some of my initial stats that I am currently tracking on my phone.

Have you ever done Crossfit?  What did you think? 

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