I started on a Monday at 6:30 a.m. This was a huge challenge for me because I am someone who can’t get out of bed unless something really important is happening. I woke up before the sun, laced my shoes, and headed for the “Box,” which is what Crossfit calls the gyms. I walked in to find music blasting, people sweating like crazy and defying gravity by hanging on poles and climbing ropes. I instantly knew that I was in over my head and proceeded with caution.
For the first two to three weeks, this particular box requires that all new members join a class that teaches the basics. I learned how to do deadlifts, kettleball throws and all sorts of presses, all involving contraptions that I generally avoid at the gym. What was really great about these first classes was that looking stupid is not possible. You might think that you look stupid when you’re trying to overhead-press a barbell, but it’s reassuring to know that everyone else looks the same, and quite frankly, no one cares. People grunt, yell, get red in the face -- all to get in shape and challenge their bodies. Before doing the Workout of the Day (WOD), people are upset. No one wants to run a mile, row 2000 meters and then run another mile for time. No one wants to do three reps of pull-ups after push-ups, burpees and kettle ball throws. But as much as the workouts suck, these people keep returning day after day because it works.
What really struck me was on how much fun everyone has. Yes, weighted planks are awful and wall balls (my personal love-to-hate exercise) make you question why you’re doing this to yourself, but after that dreaded circuit and after it’s all over, you will feel like a million bucks, albeit drenched in sweat and looking a little crazy. Everyone leaves class smiling, joking, and although at times, it looks as though it is difficult to walk, they are happy and ready to take on the day.
After my first session, I returned two days later again at 6:30 and was ready to learn some more. I was sore in places I didn’t know could be sore (armpits?!) and I felt stronger. I am a strong believer in mixing things up in order to get results, which may explain my memberships to all different studios, and I am really glad that I finally came around to trying Crossfit. Of course, things have yet to get really hard because I’m still in the beginner’s class and still learning the basics. I haven’t had the ultimate a**-kicking just yet. But, I watch with envy while the veterans run a mile with sandbags and push tires around. I’m still doing assisted pull-ups and my push-ups are still on my knees, but each time it gets better. I’m excited to keep this up for a month and see how I change and toughen up both physically and mentally.
By: Michelle Chang | Image: Source