By Kate Yoak
The crossfit culture is growing like mad. If you google crossfit near your home in any major city, you are likely to find a half a dozen gyms to choose from within a twenty minute drive. I have encountered so many wonderful articles and resources about Crossfit experiences: Crossift is fun for all personality types. You are never too old to do crossfit; crossfit pregnancy and more.
Hear, hear! I love it too. But today I'd like tell a story. It is a dedicated to a friend who told me why she liked my blog when I was feeling down. She said, "I just like to hear about how real people are making their lifestyle work. Paleo is not simple. Cooking is tough and takes a lot of time. Crossfit is hard." So it is. It is one of the greatest joys in my life and a singular challenge.
It is 6 am. I open my eyes and it hurts. My ears too. Oh! I recognize the trumpet sound behind enemy lines to be a custom ring tone on my iphone. I know, if I press snooze, it'll be the end of me. I snatch the phone, slide the bar and fall out of bed. Several minutes later, I am stumbling around the kitchen trying to make a cup of coffee. I know, I should pay attention. Yesterday, I had made hot water failing to put any coffee in the coffee maker. A couple days before, I almost burnt the pot by doing the opposite - baking the grounds with no water... This time, I know I will prevail... Two splenda... Enough cream to drown a tiny gerbil. Mmmmm! I think I can face my day...
Then a familiar anxiety comes over me. In a half an hour, I will have arrived at Crossfit 310, my new beloved crossfit gym. It'll be hard. Really hard. There are days when I collapse at the end of a WOD. (What's a WOD? The thing crossfit trainers call a series of exercises intended to give you a near-death experience without doing any permanent damage. It stands for Workout Of the Day. Doesn't sound nearly as scary as WOD though, does it?) I become slightly afraid. Excited too, but definitely scared. My old trainer Max used to say, "You should always be a little afraid of the workout." Thanks, Max! I am.
On the way I listen to Cultivating the Virtues, a parenting podcast that causes me to think about that, which I do best and I relax. Walking into the gym, I feel confident. I've done it before - and I can do it again!
15 box jumps
3 times... And that's just the wam-up. I try the box jump to make sure I know what I am doing. This is a new gym for me and the equipment is slightly different. The big box looks...well... big! I take a deep breath - and my feet stay on the ground. I am terrified! Nah, with all my might I take off and land - right on top of the box! Victory!!!
After the WOD we do strength training with bench presses. At the end I run. I am not a big runner. Cardio is actually my limiting factor. As I start running, I realize I am too exhausted to think about it. I just run. I don't pout, don't even wonder whether I can make it. After 300 meters, I realize that I am running neither slowly, conserving strength, nor fast, decreasing the time... I am just running. And it's not hard any more. It just is. I experience some kind of an elation as I realize, I could run for a long time now: it's just a way of existence...
I am vaguely aware as Kris, the trainer, gives me a high five. I walk back inside the gym and collapse on the floor. Some people are talking. Some listening to music. Everyone is recuperating from overcoming the challenge. I lay flat, face down, feeling my body and nothing else. After a while, I get up. With some surprise, I realize that my legs are taking me where I want to go. My hands pick up my belonging. My brain and mouth are cooperating at the friendly good-byes. Now I am in the car, with silence as my companion. I did it! I made it! And I will do it again...