That Was CrossFit

Last night I stepped WAY outside of my comfort zone and tried something that people have been raving about for years, but I’ve always been too nervous to try. CrossFit was amazing, and every screaming muscle in my body this morning makes me a believer that this truly is a different type of workout than most runners will normally put themselves through.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, CrossFit describes itself as “CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,” with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.’ “ Thanks Wikipedia. With the few weeks I had in between Providence and starting my official training program for the Newport Marathon (which starts this Monday- eep), I wanted to try all the workouts that I’ve heard about but couldn’t fit in with a full marathon training program going on.  I’m all for cross training a few times a week, but after an 18-miler weights never seemed appealing to me. I’m much more of a yoga, spin, maybe a swim if it’s during the summer type of girl. In fact, until last night I don’t think I’ve ever lifted a weight in my life. This was certainly something new.

When a friend of mine told me it was “Bring a Friend” week, I really had no excuse not to go and try it out. I met him at the gym at 6:30, changed in record time and was just in time for the warm up: running a mile.  I immediately thought to myself “Ok, maybe I won’t suck at ALL of this”.

The rest of the warm up went pretty well, then we went to the weights. I can squat with the best of them (thank you Yoga) but when you had me a barbell and tell me squat while holding 25lbs I’m going to be a little apprehensive. Thankfully, Coach Chip was VERY patient with me while he had to correct my form about 15 times. Oops.

Once I finally learned how to properly squat and lift, we moved into the “workout”. Apparently, the actual “Crossfit Workout” is only about 1/5 of the class. There is a timer on the wall, and once the whistle blows you do whatever the WOD (workout of the day) is. Yesterday was something called “Elizabeth”. What this meant was 21 squat lifts, 21 ring dips, then 15 of each and finally 9 of each. It reminded me of the “Pyramid” workouts I used to have to do at kickboxing in college. Kick the bag  20 times, punch the bag 20 times, then 19, 18, so on, and once you hit 1 you work your way back up to 20. I hated those more than any physical activity I’ve ever done in my life. No wonder I only lasted 3 months.

By the end of the set of 9 I wanted to puke. But- I completed my first CrossFit workout in 11:30, which Chip kindly told me was a respectable time. I’m not sure how much I believe him, but I like to think I didn’t completely embarrass myself.

I won’t lie- I’m sore today. Really sore. And the thought that I have Spin at 6:45 tonight is a little daunting. But I’ll power through. My marathon training program actually involving scheduled runs starts on Monday, and while I’m really excited to get back into the swing of things, I’m really glad I took these couple weeks to try some new workouts. I’ve found a lot of things that I love and I think will help me get that goal time at Newport Marathon I’m hoping for.

What workouts did you never think you would try that you fell in love with? What should I try with my last few days of workout freedom?