Article by Liz, who blogs at InnerTeub. Cross-posted here.
In second grade, I got busted for skipping class. Now, I agree, any seven year old skipping out on classes (my preferred method of truancy: ask to go to the bathroom, and then never return) is cause for alarm – that behavior is clearly not going anywhere good. What makes me laugh, however, is that the class that I was skipping was GYM.
OMG I hated being forced to play. HATED. I skipped recess, too. I much preferred to curl up with a book and read throughout rather than OMG INTERACT WITH KIDS MY AGE PLEASE MAKE THE FUN STOP. (Side note: You know how on Gilmore Girls, Rory is first approached by CuteDean because he noticed her reading a book and was all a-swoon with how hot she was, sitting there being all intellectual? THAT NEVER HAPPENS. EVER. The CW is LYING to you, Book Smart Girls of High School Age. LYING.) (Side note to my side note: Keep reading anyway. High school boys are dumb and the mostly all end up living in their parents basement wondering where their glory years went. But you? You will live a full life of awesomeness that will only be enriched by your bad book lovin’ self.)
ANYWAY. My point: I hated gym, and did basically EVERYTHING in my power to avoid any gym type activities.
Life is a bit different for me now. Something clicked as I got older and I began to really embrace physical fitness in non-group sport form. Individual sports were totally the key for me, and being an “adult onset athlete” has shaped my life (and ass) in more ways than I ever imagined possible. That being said, I still stand by my hatred of gym class and group sport activities. So it makes me TOTALLY giggle that I’ve been going three days a week to a crappy run down gym complete with pull up bars, free weights, and other intimidating gym class type torture devices, and PAYING SOMEONE MONEY to recreate gym class.
That’s right folks: I’ve embraced the CrossFit fad completely.
There’s a lot of writing on CrossFit and its philosophy and methodology, but for me it basically boils down to a shorter, more intense workout that kicks my butt and makes me want to cry. Now, I’ve cried at the end of three hour runs before, but it’s nice to be able to get to that point more quickly, y’know? (…erm. No. You might not know.) Anyway, after so many years of pure long distance endurance, this shorter, intenser, power/strength based workouts are totally intriguing me. You do CF on your own (the website has the Workout of the Day posted um, daily), but it’s great to have a dedicated coach watching to make sure I don’t do anything stupid to hurt myself (in addition to going over – and over – the correct form for everything from rowing to deadlifts to pullups) and a group of people to suffer with.
Take this past Monday. I showed up at 6am to find the group doing the following workout:
30 kettlebell swings
Which was slight different than Friday’s workout:
Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
Now, I cannot do 30 pullups (and I certainly cannot do them 5x in a row), but I can do modified pull-ups, and hopefully sooner than later I WILL be able to do a full one unassisted… and then another one. And while I still like going on long bike rides and runs, it’s fun for me to have a workout that can resoundly kick my ass in 30 minutes or less. And more so than that, these workouts are making me stronger overall, which is only going to help me get better and better at the longer distance stuff I love so much.
While I know CrossFit is a hugely hyped fad right now, I’m loving it, and I’m seeing the results. And it has the added benefit of reminding me how far I’ve come from that second grade bookworm who was petrified of gym.