Category Archives: Stories From the Gym



Charlie Sims

A story of love and loss, and the benefits of addressing weaknesses.

Last summer, I caught a jerk funny, and because my lower traps are weak, I caught the injury bug. It hurt to put any kind of weight on my shoulders, so no weightlifting at all. It even hurt to pull from the floor. So I put the barbell on the wall, and did one of the only things I could do without pain.


Lunges were my first ever CrossFit Workout.

It was a 400 meter walking lunge for time, and since that day, that single exercise has been in my head more than any other. I was so sore after 12 minutes and a quarter mile, that I swore I’d never do them again!

But that little injury and the nervous energy of wanting to keep up my training shook me out of my fear of lunges. I decided to lunge a quarter mile every day until my back was better.

At first it was pretty brutal, but after only 3 days, my soreness was substantially less. I was able to add running afterward and was feeling pretty awesome… Aside from the pain in my back…

I started adding distance after the first week.

Have you ever made friends with someone who you thought was a jerk until you got to know them? That’s me and lunges.

I lunged exclusively for three weeks while my back healed, and once I could hold a barbell on my back again, I was able to hit a new Back Squat PR.

Immediately after this, I was so convinced of the benefits of lunges that they started making a weekly appearance in our class programming. We did every kind of lunges: distance, overhead, front rack, back rack, front and rear leg elevated, etc.

Everybody complained.

Until Thursday night.


I didn’t know that lunges would be in the Open. In fact, I didn’t think they would, especially like they did, but there they were. My new friend.

And my gym was well prepared.