Friday, June 1, 2012

I drank the Kool-Aid

I admit it; I thought Crossfit was just a fad. Yeah, lots of people do it, but lots of people used to work out with Jane Fonda videos too. I wanted to try and class and see what the fuss was about, but life kept getting in the way.

Then I started hearing all these great stories about people who changed their whole bodies with Crossfit. My friend J dropped a lot of weight, drastically improved his health and became a better athlete because of it. Fellow blogger Jamie used to grind out miles, but she started crossfit and saw some amazing results. On top of all this, people tell me the gyms are awesome, there is no judgement, no egos, and a very encouraging environment.

Let's back up a couple of weeks.  Remember how I went through some pretty big life changes all within a couple of months in early 2011?  Yeah, I decided to do that again.  I recently moved to Virginia and started a new job at an AWESOME company. My commute is a bear (2-3 hours a day--but I do live with my brother and his family for peanuts) but I LOVE my new job.  My new company even has a gym in our building, free to employees, with classes throughout the day.  If you know me, I am a sweaty beast, and I do not want my coworkers seeing me like that; at least not in my first few weeks.  With that commute, I am just exhausted and unmotivated to work out when I get home.  Wouldn't you know I drive right by a crossfit gym on my drive home and one day, while staring at the sign (really VDOT--lets close down a VERY busy MAJOR road to one lane at 8 PM on a Thursday--I really enjoyed the 25 minutes it took to go one mile).  I decided to shoot the owner and email and try out a free class.

First, the owner was super helpful and very friendly.  I walked in and I think he knew I was a first timer because of the terrified expression on my face.  Seriously, the gym and the workouts are serious.  He had me watch an earlier class finish up, and its a wonder I didn't walk out right then.  He walked me through some of the warm ups, was impressed with my squat form (this is a very core move to crossfit) and introduced me to the instructor and everyone in the class. 

I can not say enough about HOW supportive the whole experience was.  We started out with some stretching, working on forms and jumping rope (ok, I am not great at the double under, but I did get a few of them in.  Jumping rope makes me feel like a kid again, even if it is for three full minutes).  To prep for the big workout, we needed to pair up and figure out our max weight for thrusters (a front squat and pushing up to an overhead stance) that we would reduce for our big workout.  The owner and instructor made sure I was squatting correctly, and were impressed with the weight I managed for my first class.  Everyone else in the class was so friendly and encouraging too.

The last workout of the class involved doing AMRAP (as many reps as possible) in 10 minutes or 10 Thrusters and 10 Burpees at 70% of our max thruster weight.  I managed to slog through three sets and start on my fouth and I was DRENCHED, sucking air and felt wobbly.  I was grinning though.  The class was over, I felt tired and STRONG and empowered.  I stayed and chatted with a few of the other women in the class, got a lot of encouraging remarks and felt very welcomed.

So, I drank the Kool-Aid.  The owner of the gym emailed me last night to check in, remind me to drink lots of water and to keep moving, and I emailed him back to let him know I would see him next week for the 7:30 class. 

What about you guys?  Have any throughts on Crossfit?  Any workouts you swear by?