Sometimes you want a change. Sometimes you “just need a change”. Sometimes life changes you. So I did something that I’ve been saying for many years that I would never do. I’ve heard the hype, I’ve heard the good, the bad, the ugly. I’ve heard about the workouts, the competitions, and the competitors. I’ve watched them on TV. I’ve followed them on Facebook. But I’ve never tried it for myself. Which is unusual after all. I’m usually one willing to take risks, try new events, try new fitness routines, and certain willing to try something when encouraged by my friends. Until recently, I never had a reason to try. This time, I’m doing it on my own. No friends are along for the ride, this time I’m challenging myself. To be better, to do better, to lift better, stronger, faster, and to be a competitor. This time, I’m trying CrossFit!
Yes, I’ve been in the fitness industry in some form or fashion my “whole adult life” since age 19. I started at the College of St. Benedict as a Personal Trainer for my on-campus work study job. I had the greatest blessing of being supervised by our Strength & Conditioning Coach at St. Bens, Professor Don Fischer. Don certainly encouraged my fitness career and helped me fall in love with the industry just by his passion for it. Since then, I’ve trained at a number of facilities: a sport-specific franchise in the metro, small town private studio, the largest fitness company in the Midwest, my own 24/7 gym, personal training out of my home, senior residential living facilities, a high school weight room, and the pool deck. I’ve served as a personal trainer, group training instructor, aerobics instructor, coach, manager, owner, employee, independent contractor, and volunteer. But I’ve never tried CrossFit, until now. For the benefit of many of us in the industry who’ve “tried it all”, I thought I would share my journey.
Now, I want to be sure you can relate to me. I’m a young-adult, female, in moderately “good shape”. I’ve done a Couch to 5k class, I’ve also ran 5k, 8k, 10k, and 2 x Half Marathons. I’ve done 2 sprint triathlons. I’ve raced a muddy 5k Warrior Dash, served in the pit crew twice for the 24-hour World’s Toughest Mudder in Las Vegas. I’ve been a swim coach, figure skating coach, strength coach, and a Chair of a local health and wellness committee in my small town. I’m a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, I work full-time but I don’t have children. If you can’t relate in any way to me at all yet….let me tell you this. I STILL GET NERVOUS WALKING INTO A NEW FITNESS CLASS FOR THE FIRST TIME. There. I said it. The truth of what you’re all feeling. Hopefully this blog will help to ease your nerves.
I started my initial session by meeting my coach, whose name I won’t reveal until I tell her about this blog! She told me to come in workout clothes and I knew I would be meeting her alone. She did NOT tell me any specifics of what to prepare for but here it is:
My CrossFit Assessment
500 m row
40 body-weight squats
To be completed in less than 11:00 minutes. Very doable!
Next, she spent time sharing with me the CrossFit philosophy, which I plan to research more myself. I am an educator after all but I think it’s most important to educate myself before I share my findings with others. Here it is:
The CrossFit pyramid
- Metabolic conditioning
While I understand all of these terms that she explained, I’m very excited to put them into action.
1st workout: HEAVY DAY (Monday)
Luckily, as a 1st timer…I didn’t have to do “heavy day” Not for me! Squats with PVC pipe working on form, 1-1 with my coach was the safe place to start.
Wednesday: (non-CrossFit) cardio
6 laps on outdoor hill for :45 min cardio, light jog, walk up hill, run downhill, 1 set 20 stairs (each lap)
While working out early on a Saturday morning may not be considered a “Favorite Day” to you, it was a great start to my morning. And it was right up my alley. Group fitness ! Not necessarily specific to CrossFit as a workout but working on the Metabolic Conditioning part which is the foundation of the CrossFit. For a gal who loves to run, swim, hike, loves a good circuit or HIIT workout, or can spin through thousands of spin classes, this is my style of workout. Even better is doing it with 14 other women! New friends, might I add. I’ve always specialized in working with female athletes from my college work-study days, to fitness classes, as well as personal training clients. Naturally, I felt very comfortable in this class.
2ND workout: MetCon or Metabolic Conditioning (Saturday)
4 x 1:00 minute circuits for 24 minutes total
1:00 situps/ 10 pushups
1:00 handstand (free/wall/box/plank)
1:00 Farmer carry with 2 KBs or 1 KB single-arm overhead press for 60 m
3rd workout: HEAVY DAY (Monday)
Back to heavy day and this time I get to participate!
5 x 5 back squats
Warmup 45#, workout 95#
4 x 25 reps abdominal/low back set
And now, I’m on week 3 of my CrossFit journey and I love the challenge! The only thing I wish was that I could get there more than 3x per week. It’s nothing to be scare of and if your personality meshes well with your Coach, you’ll be sure to have a safe and fun experience. I’m still just getting started but now I hope you do it too!