My CrossFit Journey Series
Have you been hesitant to come give CrossFit a try? Back in 2015, our guest writer, Hayli, wanted to share her unfiltered experience and was kind enough to document her first month with us at CrossFit Regeneration. What follows are her words. You can read all of her posts here. Originally posted on her website.
I am sweaty mess. But I lived.
When everyone awkwardly arrived to the class and greeted each other for the first time, we sat in what the CrossFit Regeneration team calls “the 3rd Place.” Charlie introduced everyone and talked to each person as if he’d known them for a long time.
Before we began the workout, he explained we would not be doing the movements I saw every day at work. He explained the class is actually an “on-ramp” course, in which we will progress to CrossFit Games level in about 10 years, give or take. Essentially, that level is not expected of us.
What was expected was that we try and be open to learning and changing movements.
Next, he had us define CrossFit. Like a definition to the barbell lifting, barbell dropping, box jumping workout. The first two words that came to mind were heavyweights and intense.
Instead, Charlie used Greg Glassman’s, the founder of CrossFit, definition.
CrossFit (n) [Cross-Fit]: constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity.
My whole athletic career has been focused on endurance. Running to get in shape. Increasing mileage. Decreasing time. Sure, agilities had been a part of that, but lifting heavy things had never really been.
As I got ready to hear about our first workout, I was thinking of only terrible things that could be asked of me.
AS MANY FRONT SQUATS AS YOU CAN WITH 30 LBS BARBELL.
20 HANDSTAND PUSHUPS
PULL UPS, WHICH WE ALL KNOW YOU CAN’T DO
But I was wrong. The workout was going to be intense, but Charlie explained when we finish all workouts in the course, we should be tired but able to say, “Yeah, that was hard. But I could do it again.”
Our first workout was going to be for time. Then, on our last day, we would do the same workout for time, and see how we’ve improved. The goal of the entire class is to improve our average time by a full minute.
The WOD (CrossFit slang for Workout Of the Day) was:
Run 200 meters
Run 200 meters
Everyone has heard of these movements and probably performed them. But this is when I figured out I have been doing squats wrong my entire 22 years of existence.
Apparently, I look like Bambi. Which is hilarious. I bend my knees in and lean toward the left, presumably because of stupid grandma hip.
But Charlie and another Coach (capital C, because CrossFit lingo) took the time to come over and show me a proper squat and what I was doing wrong. It was a lot harder, but it felt right. They took the time to help others scale, modify and correct their movements as well, so that they were doing it safely and correctly. I realized, this workout wasn’t to see who could get it done the fastest and impress everyone. It was so we performed each movement correctly to get the best workout and not injure ourselves. And the Coaches were experts in the field. And far better than my two-a-day soccer coaches.
But also, they pushed us. The Coaches weren’t just going to let us do push ups, like bending your arms as much as you can. No, you had to put your body on the ground, lift your hands up, and then push yourself back up.
Then the workout began. Because of an immense downpour, we couldn’t run the 200-meters, which made me sad because it was the only part I could do OK-ish. But also thankful it wasn’t so cutthroat he was going to make us run in the downpour.
I sweated. A lot. Doing those movements, I didn’t think they were a big deal. Squats with no weights. Push-ups will always suck. And sit-ups were OK. But the added pressure of time and doing them in a relay-type row, I was dripping. I was gross.
I finished in 5:32. And it was hard. But I could do it again.
Not only was I proud to have finished the workout, but the other people next to me started cheering me on when they were finished. Then I, in turn, did the same for others. We were already forming this little community everyone had told me came with CrossFit. I guess that’s what happens when you sweat together.
In a Nutshell: I am a sweaty mess. But I could, and will, do it again.