Thursday, September 19, 2013

Burpees and Box Jumps and Squats, Oh my!

Mary and I have been walking/running about 4-5 days a week at 5am.  We started in August of 2012 and soldiered through the freezing cold winter and back through Spring and Summer.  I am not a runner – never have been.  But over the course of the year, I managed to get up to about 5 miles without stopping.  This was huge for me!  But it wasn’t enough.  Sure I could run, but my body was not really where I wanted it to be.   Mary and I had drinks with an old friend who told us about Crossfit.  We hadn’t seen her in several years and while she always had a thin build, we noticed that she was lean, tight and strong.  She started back in May and raved about the classes.  We both decided our “workouts” were getting pretty boring and we weren’t really seeing any significant results. 

So we agreed to give it a try.  We started August 26th at 5am.  Why 5am?   That’s the only time during the day where I’m not working and anyone that needs me is still sleeping.   I recommend a time like that for everyone.  Makes excuses nearly impossible.  So our already lean, tight and strong friend met us there for our first workout.  She usually goes later in the day, but got up early to help shepherd us into this crazy, mystifying workout culture.   The WOD or “workout of the day” was thoughtfully written on a whiteboard in the front of the room.  The room, lovingly called “the box”,  is basically some warehouse space with gym equipment lining the 4 walls.  Lots of weight bars, kettle bells, medicine balls, jump ropes and bars to hang from.  While I don’t recall the exact WOD for my first day, it most likely consisted of some running, weight lifting and core work - all in about 45 minutes, with some optional floor work (core exercises) after that.  I was pretty much hooked from the beginning.  The time in class flew by and I didn’t feel intimidated by what others could do, or how fast or strong they were.  I knew I would improve each day. 

The box is my new sanctuary.  The coaches are fantastic and the people seem really nice.  The vibe seems a bit more mellow than some other local Crossfit gyms I’ve only heard about where competition seems paramount.  I love a good competition, but for right now, I’m just trying to get through these workouts, learn the proper form for some of these moves, and not throw up during class.  But don’t get me wrong – many of these people are fierce!  And I’m certain if they do compete, they do very well.  But I like that the coaches tailor their approach to what your goals are.  Like today, all I wanted to do was get through the workout.  No one was shouting at me with a stop watch telling me to hurry up.  All I got was encouragement from the coach, and others participating in the workout. 

So you’re probably wondering since I’ve been doing this for about a month now, how much weight have I lost.  Well, that’s the one thing about these workouts, and any strength training workouts that are worth a damn.  I’m not losing weight on the scale - YET.  I’m sure I could use some help with my diet, but being a vegan and working this hard has proven difficult.  But my body is totally changing.  I can see it already.  My first goal is to reduce the extra flab I’ve got between the armpit and my bra line a.k.a. bra fat.    I know once I get my diet squared away, some of the weight will start to come off.  I’m not seeing this as a temporary fix, I really do see myself doing this long term.  I’m up to 6 classes a week now, been doing that for about 2 weeks, and I plan to continue.  I can tell that I’m stronger already.  Adding weights to moves where just a few weeks ago, all I could lift was an empty bar.  This was just what I needed to get me to that next level of fitness.  And really, at my age – it’s more about health and less about a bikini bod.   The good news is, I know if I keep this up – the bikini bod will follow!  

I encourage my local friends to give it a try.  The first class is free, you can join for your first month for just $99 and that gives you unlimited number of classes per week.  Visit for more details.   

Break out the Advil and join me – you won’t regret it! 

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