Category Archives: My CrossFit Journey

Guest writer, Hayli, wanted to share her unfiltered experience in her first month with us at CrossFit Regeneration.

My CrossFit Journey – Day 7

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.

Problem: My knees hurt.

I refuse to believe this is because of all the “dangers” of CrossFit.

I’m sure you have all heard the horror stories of someone trying CrossFit once, then ending up in a hospital bed with a broken finger, rib cage and pinky. But it’s not like that. If I’ve learned anything these past few days of CrossFit classes, it’s that you will get hurt if you do a movement incorrect. But that is why there are always Coaches walking around. They will correct you.

End of rant. My knees hurt, but I’m self-diagnosing them to my squats. I’m finally learning to do them properly and my knees are learning to support more weight. It’s a learning process.

Chiming in from a month after I wrote this. I did not tell my Coaches about this because I thought I would seem weak and/or needy. I felt weak enough not lifting heavy weights, I figured I could just suck it up. That was dumb. When I finally did tell a Coach, he fixed my squat again and I have not had any knee pain.

 Before our actual WOD, we went over kipping again. No progress there. Le sigh. Everyone says it will be something that just *clicks.* I’m very much looking forward to that glorious day.


We also practiced double unders!

I was immediately taken back to first grade and having jump rope competitions with my friends. I was so excited to try again.

Turns out, double unders are not like riding a bike, unfortunately. I couldn’t do it anymore! And I have the whipping scars on my ankles to prove it. But knowing that I had once been able to cross that jump rope under my feet twice, challenge accepted.

 Today’s WOD:

Row 500 meters
30 wall balls
25 push ups
20 double unders
15 wall balls
10 push ups
5 double unders
Row 250 meters

My knees made everything about this hurt. But I appreciated the wall ball practice. Before we started class, our Coach told us that we have to do a movement a thousand times before it becomes a habit. I took that to heart. I’m going to have to do a thousand squats before that movement becomes the norm to me. This was perfect practice.

But also, rowing. That is hard, but fun cardio! And there’s more movement to rowing than just strapping your feet in and pushing back while pulling a bar to you. There’s a proper way to row in order to get the most distance per rowing motion. And you’re going to want all the distance you can get.

Our Coach told us about a time he had to row 1000 meters in less than 3:15. After rowing just that prescribed 200 meters, I could not believe any human survived that. Goals.

This workout was difficult because of my own pain, I loved the endurance and I loved that I had to push myself to finish every exercise. I actually felt like I was in competition with myself. Again, I will never understand CrossFit programming, but I believe the Coaches understand how to put together workouts that are great for some, and hateful to others, and mix it up well based on different members strengths, likes and dislikes.

I feel like I say this often, but cheering on each other in the middle of the workout is one of my favorite parts I’ve experienced about my Foundations Class. There’s no other word to describe it besides powerful. It’s worth 150 wall balls or burpees or double under whipping scars.

(Chiming in again to let everyone know that 150 wall balls is a thing. It’s a workout called Karen. It’s terribly great.)

My CrossFit Journey – Day 6

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.

This was my first Saturday waking up at 7:30 a.m. to go workout. And it wasn’t as hard to wake up that early, knowing that I was going to do a hard workout, as I had expected.

After hearing that I missed a lift last Saturday (front squats) I didn’t really want to miss another. I felt behind. And I was excited to be with my team again.

Typically I’m really lazy on Saturdays. And typically, I start my Saturday’s trying to find the largest bagel in the bag or at Panera. So this seemed like a better option. And I figured the bagel can wait until after I workout.

When I got there, there was new Coach sitting on the couches. I had recognized him from my introductory visit to the Box, but had not been to a class taught by him.

We started by talking about nutrition. He had us define CrossFit (and I’m really not sure I’ll ever be able to memorize and recite it as well as my classmates, but it was also 8 a.m. so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.)

He admitted to not being the best person to talk about nutrition because he believes as long as you workout well, you can eat whatever you want.


Having just interviewed three nutritionists for a story that week, and having an interesting relationship with food in the past, I had so many questions in my head. Well what about food being fuel? What about all of those pre-made meals CrossFitters spend major $$$ on each week? Does this mean I don’t have to feel guilty about my bagel?

I would have loved to hear more about the types of food to avoid and what foods to implement. At the same time, I appreciated there wasn’t any pressure to completely change my lifestyle. And I appreciated that I wasn’t being told I had to buy a bunch of protein and one of those cool bottle shaker things.

We went into the gym to learn about back squats.

Back squats were one exercise I had done once before with a barbell. My friend Nick tried to teach me how, using a stationary machine. It didn’t go well. Most likely due to my lack of being able to squat in general.

I was more nervous for this attempt at a back squat because there wasn’t a machine or a Nick to catch the bar if I couldn’t get back up.

Instead, the Coach taught us the proper way to back squat (sorry, Nick) and what to with the bar if we could not get back up. Simply move.

One of the cool, and somewhat intimidating, aspects of CrossFit is letting the bar hit the ground. Because I don’t feel like I lift enough weights to be worthy of dropping the bar (to which I will later learn is a stupid thought. It’s heavy enough to me. And it hurts my back more if I try to put it down gently.)

We were taught to toss the bar behind us and move our body forward. No one gets hurt and we get to make a cool, loud sound (and other important factors.)

Of course, my back squat was not perfect. But I was excited to learn it the proper way. It felt a little silly, and crude, to stick my rear out so, but I definitely feel the soreness from the exercise now.

Leg day


The WOD:

7 minute AMRAP
7 wall balls
7 push-ups
7 overhead squats

It was so fun to encourage each other when we did wall balls. Literally everyone was pushing each other and encouraging each other to “finish strong!” It was powerful. I forgot it was 8 a.m.

The overhead squats were also harder than expected. I could tell already that I was going to have a hard time walking for the rest of the day. And with wall balls and the squats, it was great to feel the burn in my arms and legs. I truly felt like I got a total body workout.

So, it was hard, but I felt like I could do it again. And now I am eating a bagel.


My CrossFit Journey – Day 5

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.

Today my Wodify app warned me we would be going over more toes to bar.

At first, my stomach sank. Then I realized I was too sore for my stomach to sink (or laugh or cry or show any emotion, for that matter) and I became excited to try again. Even if I wouldn’t get my toes to the bar.

But the second part of the skills practice was handstand push-ups – a little bit of gymnastics.

I will not ever attempt to understand CrossFit programming. It is amazing to me how these Coaches are able to assemble tough, yet even workouts every single day. And they’re different every single day.

Regardless, it’s like they know they need to challenge complete opposite workouts, so some athletes enjoy the toes to bar/hollow body rockers (army guy) while others enjoy the gymnastics and cardio.

I’ll be clear: I cannot do a handstand push up. But it was so fun to try. And we tried as a team.

Everyone had the option to try a handstand – it wasn’t mandatory in case anyone knew already they could not do it. I appreciated that about our Coach. He let us trust our knowledge of our bodies.


But those who did try encouraged each other. We offered tips to get up and stay up on our hands. And when we fell, which we all fell, we didn’t laugh like the kids in elementary school laughed at me. We cheered each other on for trying.

Next to my amazement to programming is my curiosity to scalability. As previously stated in another blog, everyone can do CrossFit because every workout is scalable, meaning a workout can be modified to workout the same muscles, just at a more accessible level.

For example, I can’t do a pull-up by hanging from my arms and pulling my chin up to the bar. But I can pull myself up when my feet are planted from the ground and I’m leaning about 45 degrees perpendicular to rings. And so can the woman who is my mother’s age next to me. And when she finishes before me, she encourages me to finish strong.

I seriously cannot get over it.

Today’s WOD was fun.
3 rounds for time:
Run 200 meters
10 Toes to Bar
5 Handstand Push-Ups

After swallowing some pride on Tuesday, it was nice to have a challenge (toes to bar) and something I enjoyed (handstands!)

The workout was still hard. And I left just as sweaty. But I had fun.

A few days into CrossFit, when we were learning the proper way to grip a bar, the Coaches told our class that we will start to grip everything with our thumbs tucked beneath our fingers. And sometimes we will snatch something – a book – just to practice form.

I thought they were weird and I tried to picture them, then myself, snatching a skillet. Couldn’t quite envision it.

But since, I have been practicing my handstand push-ups against the door of my apartment. Because I don’t trust myself to do it against a wall. And today, I gripped my steering wheel with my thumb tucked beneath my fingers.