CROSSFIT… IT AIN’T FOR SISSIES!

11.12.12

As many of you who have read my blogs in the past know, it was around this time three years ago that I had a series of life changing revelations. Several years of heartache, frustration and chocolate cake came to a screeching halt as I slowly realized that my hopes and dreams did not hinge upon another person, they relied solely on me and me alone. So many little things were happening around this time, tiny little things that another person would find insignificant or maybe never even notice, but to me they were huge insights into the person I wanted to become. Then again, some might say they were glimpses of the person I had always been, I just hadn’t taken the time to get to know her yet. Either way it was a time in my life when I knew that things had to change or else I would continue to waste what valuable time I had on this earth wishing and hoping instead of living and doing as every person should…

From all of this came my first decision which was to change my lifestyle and become a healthier person. This meant no more of that chocolate cake I mentioned before, or at least it meant that I couldn’t continue to eat it daily, by the wheel barrow full, alone, in the dark:) I had always wanted to run a 5k, you know, be one of those cool fit people who enjoy things like running and exercise of various kinds. I’m pretty sure at that point in time the last “running” I had participated in was at the Central Middle School gym, circa 1995, where I proudly served an entire season as chief bench warmer for the girls basketball team. I decided I had nothing to lose (maybe a lung here or there but who’s keeping track of those anyway) so I chose a 5k in Washington, D.C. and moved on to my next task, convincing Mary-Alice that this was in fact a fabulous idea. We had just taken our first trip together a few months before and as far as I knew she was about as enthusiastic when it came to exercise as I was. Could our friendship survive such a physical feat? Of course it could, she would no doubt help me drag a lifeless body from my home to an undisclosed location of my choice and it doesn’t get any more strenuous than that, well, unless you’re at CrossFit but I digress;) As always, she jumped right out of her safe little frying pan and directly into the blazing hot fire with me. I joined the YMCA and started running, and of course by running I mean lightly jogging approximately 50ft before stopping to catch my wheezing breath. Slowly over the course of about four months I worked my way up to a solid 3.1 miles, this was farther than myself and many others ever thought I’d get. In the process I lost 20lbs and found renewed joy in shopping for clothes without elastic waistbands…

Since that time three years ago Mary-Alice and I have dabbled in a little bit of all things exercise… Zumba? Check! Hot Yoga? Check! Half marathon? Check, Check! Our latest endeavor into the CrossFit world, so far, has proven to be the hardest and best workout yet. Mary-Alice and I started this venture into a strange new world two months ago on September 10th, but who’s counting? Oh yeah, that’s right, we are! Not since my very first lap at the “Y” back in 2009 have I felt so challenged and completely out of my box. I consider myself a sissy by pretty much every definition of the word, CrossFit however, is not for sissies! Therefore I had to suck it up, take off my sissy pants and step outside of my box… Ok, ok I’m not gonna lie, in all actuality our trainer Richard had to use the jaws of life to open the box and proceed to drag me out kicking and screaming. He then had the nerve to flip the box over and tell me to jump on it, as if I know how to levitate! Well, apparently you can learn how to do just that at CrossFit 55, no I’m not jumping on boxes quite yet but I am jumping higher than I ever have before. I’m actually doing a lot of things I’ve never done before. I’ve always been the girl who hated to sweat or get dirty or tolerate any sort of discomfort in general. I conquered a lot of that when I started this whole “get healthy” journey, never the less, even three years later I have never pushed my own limits. When I got tired I stopped, when I lost my breath I stopped, when it hurt I stopped, unfortunately for my sissy self there is no stopping in CrossFit! At CrossFit 55 the motto is: “I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done!” this is a concept that is very foreign to me. Usually I stop when I get to hot or when my legs start to burn, actually the only time I’ve ever really powered through the pain was around mile 12 of the half marathon when Mary-Alice all but threatened my life to speed it up so we could beat the 4 hour cut off. Even then it was only a matter of getting it done so it would be over and I could collect my medal, as opposed to pushing myself to be better…

When Mary-Alice and I started this latest adventure we had no idea what to expect. We had heard about CrossFit from friends and watched videos and quite frankly did not know if it was something we could even do, well at least I for one wasn’t sure. There were a few places in town offering CrossFit classes, after a little research I talked with Richard via email and he assured me that with a little hard work we could in fact do this. So, we decided to give CrossFit 55 a shot, we went in for a free introductory class and after the first night we were sold. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the baseline workout kicked our ass so hard it was clear we needed to get in shape or the fact that everyone there was so nice and encouraging, whatever it was has kept us coming back for more. From the moment we walked into CrossFit 55 everyone we’ve worked with has been nothing but kind, accepting and encouraging. Our favorite trainer Richard has regularly pushed us to our physical limits and beyond. As a result he’s also gotten a lot of lip from us girls, thanks for putting up with all of our craziness and encouraging us to be better no matter how hard we resist your efforts. Thanks to Richard I can now jump rope like a big girl, lift more weight than I ever thought I could and “box jump” with both feet at the same time (even though technically I’m still doing “plate jumps” I am quite proud of this accomplishment). Hopefully with his continued help I’ll eventually conquer double-unders, pull-ups and box jumps that involve actual boxes:) Dayna and James, we haven’t gotten to spend a lot of “quality time” in the gym together but you guys have been great to us as well, thanks for welcoming us into the CrossFit family. To all of the other CrossFit junkies at CrossFit 55 who have welcomed us, motivated us and encouraged us these past two months, thanks for making us feel like a part of the family. It isn’t always easy to walk into the unknown, especially when it involves physical fitness or the lack thereof, you guys have all made it super easy and fun for us! And of course, I couldn’t have done this without my girl Mary-Alice, she is always right there ready and willing to participate in whatever crazy schemes I come up with. You continue to amaze me as a friend and a person, my person, the Christina Yang to my Meredith Grey. You have busted your ass these past two months, I can see you getting stronger every day and I am so proud of you!!!

As it says in my bio I whole heartedly believe that the man who wrote the “sunscreen song” is a freaking genius, one of my favorite pieces of advice within the song says this: “Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.” This could not be more true, the only person worth competing with is yourself, the only person to beat today is the person you were yesterday. I may not be the skinniest or the prettiest, I may not be able to jump the highest or run the fastest, I can however work my hardest every day to become the me I want to be. If you want to make changes in your life there is no better day than today! If one of those changes involves a new workout routine I highly recommend CrossFit 55, the people there will challenge your mind and your body, and most importantly they will make you feel like one of the family as soon as you walk in the door…

I will hit the big 30 in a little over 2 months and there’s still a lot of things to mark off the completely not famous 30 before 30 list. Will #21 “Wear a bikini and feel good about myself in it” actually happen? Who knows, while Richard is an awesome trainer, he is not an actual magician so that may be a goal just out of reach. I suppose we’ll find out come January, until then I’m gonna work my hardest to make it happen and if it doesn’t I’ll keep working until it does. If you have a similar goal or want to make a change in your own life, please, do it now! I promise that this time next year you will thank yourself and be grateful for the progress you have made. If you’re looking for a new challenge that will change your body and make you stronger than you’ve ever been before CrossFit may just be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Just make sure you leave your sissy pants at home, because CrossFit is not for sissies!;)