As you’re all sickeningly aware by now, I’ve been subscribing to the cult of CrossFit for the past 3ish months. I took a 2 week hiatus after breaking a rib (or two) followed by getting sick, but I’m back, and working harder than ever.
I wanted to give you all an update on what I’m loving, liking and not-so-muching about CrossFit – and maybe it’ll help you make the decision to take the plunge (or not).
Listed in no particular order – not even likes vs dislikes, here are my assessments:
- I love having a coach pushing me to work harder, because I generally tend to give up too easily. I’ve always been alright with being a middle-of-the-packer when it comes to fitness. I’ve never been a star athlete or even a fast runner. I’m a 9:30 pacer with JV skills. That’s ok with me. But that is probably due to that fact that when I’m tired, I quit. I walk. I slow down. I don’t really try any harder.
- I love tracking my progress. Granted, there hasn’t been a lot (yet) – but this is one of the same reasons I love geeking out over running long races. I love tracking my mileage and pace, knowing that I’m getting better. In CrossFit, I’m tracking my max weights, WOD performance, my overall strength and ability to do each exercise. And I’m feeling myself getting stronger every week.
- I’m not crazy about the schedule. I’ve been able to go to the 6:00 am class a few days each week, but the evening classes are at 5, 6 and 7. Prime dinner cooking and bedtime-ritual hours. I wish they had a 4:00 or 8:00 class – it’d be perfect.
- I feel like a total wimp. When I started, I thought I was in pretty good shape. I had just run a marathon two months prior – that’s pretty badass, right? Wrong. Some of the girls at CrossFit are crazy strong. But none are crazy big, like body-builder big. They’re just ridiculously strong, like Monica strong. And most of them also run – like half and full marathon run. So, I am humbled and have something to work towards. I don’t know if this is a positive or a negative – because at times I feel inspired, and other times discouraged.
- The community. Ah the community. Everyone is coaching everyone in the class – pushing each other, helping them get better and stronger. People take the time to introduce themselves before class starts. We all know we’re at different levels and it doesn’t matter – we push ourselves to our own level of pain. It’s fantastic. Really. (This is my Foundations class – I’m second from the right. I’m also one of two people in this photo who continued with CF after our LivingSocial discount expired.)
- I want to keep running. Or do I? I’m not sure. But right now, I do. And that means that I can’t CrossFit more than twice each week. I’ve been thinking of upping my membership to an unlimited month – just to see what my body can do and how it changes – but as I review my schedule, I just don’t see it possible to hit CrossFit more than 2, maybe 3 times each week unless I give up running or double up – which would be nuts considering I have kids and a family.
- My hands are getting destroyed. Right now, I’ve got two ripped open wounds on the insides of my thumbs and the palms of my hands are building something akin to tree bark. I both like and dislike this. On the one hand, I feel tough. On the other hand, I have no need to feel or look tough while coding websites and typing emails. I definitely don’t like the ripped-open callouses – that’s some serious pain.
- I’m sore, pretty much always. Since I’m only working out twice weekly, each workout is like a new level of pain for my body. This week on Monday, we did 4 rounds of 80 squats – so 320 total squats. I have hardly been able to sit down for the past 3 days, and felt very much like I did in the days after my marathon. I love it. I love working out and feeling it afterwards because I know my body worked hard.
- I’m strong(er) and lean(er). I can feel the muscles in my legs and arms now. Especially my quads. I’ve lost body fat, gained some muscle weight and am down a size in pants. I know a lot of this is attributed to the diet I’m following too (sorta-kinda-Paleo), but the muscle building is all CrossFit. I like it.
So there ya have it. And, I just got an email from my box asking about making more convenient schedule changes and adding childcare – so a couple of my issues may be resolved soon enough!
I’ve joined the cult, it seems. And I’m starting to get it.