Today marks the official beginning of Daylight Savings Time, an inevitable wrench in a bunch of people’s scheduling plans, I’m sure. Because of this, my sweetheart and I happened to be the only participants in my gym’s 10:00 AM CrossFit WOD. How fucking cool is that?
Wait, lemme back pedal. I actually am super into all the other members at my gym that I have met. It is a brand new box (I think the Grassroots CrossFit six month birthday might be coming up!) and in my eight weeks of working out there I am willing to bet that I have probably met all of the regulars at least once. At our gym we have numerous couples, a mother/son, a father/daughter, a seventeen year old, and a family that has literally used their kid as a weight so that they could get their sweat on without needing child-care. The community at GRCF is great! For all its smallness it is beyond mighty.
I love being in a space where the common thread between the people is the choice to push themselves hard and that we don’t have to do that alone, because all the different kinds of people who come are attacking the workout together. I love the people I work out with because every time I see them, they are trying as hard as they possibly can (how often can we say that in our day to day lives?!). You can see the effort on their faces while they row, sprint, pull-up and rope climb. You can see it in their bodies when they completely collapse in a heap of sweat as the clock ends a workout. Its amazing to do that with people you don’t know all that well, amazing enough to forge bonds that are tight within the course of an hour. There aren’t many avenues in my life that supply this same feeling. The closest approximation is going to punk shows, but its been a long time since that community felt so simply positive. Each time I get to experience the comradery at GrassRoots I am grateful. My gym buddies really feel like teammates.
That being said, basically having a personal trainer for Kett and I is fun, and like a really aerobic date. Today’s workout was as follows:
20 minutes, AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
250 meter row
21 double unders (or 42 singles)
15 glute ham developer sit-ups
9 back squats
This workout is a really awesome example of how comprehensive CrossFit can be. I completed about 4.5 rounds in the 20 minute allotted time so this means that in less then five minutes I was rowing, jump roping, doing crazy sit ups on a wild ass medieval torture device piece of equipment and lifting really heavy weights. (Well, heavy for me- although I would say 75 pounds isn’t exactly something to shake a stick at, considering that 20 pounds seemed heavy to me to months ago)
Although each exercise in this workout presents its own challenges, I was totally shocked that the thing that was the hugest hurdle for me was the GHD sit up. As I mentioned before, it was on a piece of equipment that you essentially an elevated metal thing that you strapped yourself into by the feet and did sit-ups on. When I saw the move I wasn’t worried about it in any way, but when I got on the thing I realized I was terrified of it.
Basically, it tapped into the same fear that always comes up for me during handstands. I am really really scared to feel all topsy-turvy and like I am not stable in a movement. I have surprised myself by actually enjoying the Olympic lifts that I have tried out thus far and I think maybe the thing that just really works for me about them is the fact that a stable base is paramount for performance. I am completely comfortable pushing myself to my max on these lifts because even if I get down and can’t get back up, I will fall just a few inches on my butt, I can drop my barbell and that’s it. With handstands, if I fall, I see a broken neck in my future (probably not true, but hey I’m an artist, I have a wonderful imagination.) with the GHD sit ups you basically lean back into the abyss and although cognitively I know there’s really no way I can fall I literally broke into a cold sweat and started shaking when I attempted to get going.
Luckily my trainers are rad. Kris said I could do a regular sit up if I wanted, but I think he, Kett, and I all knew that I was totally physically capable of doing this part of the WOD as prescribed and if I walked out of there having modified I would be really disappointed in myself. Because the class was so small I simply asked Kris to hold his hand to the point where my back should be hitting so that I both felt like there was something to catch me and also so that I didn’t cheat myself out of the full movement due to fear. By the end of the WOD I was busting them out and I left feeling like I had conquered yet another thing that freaked me the fuck out. Awesome.
As we finished the workout Kris set the timer again and busted out the same workout on his own. If this isn’t evidence that CrossFit works I don’t know what is: dude has a regular full-time job, a partnership and friends, co-owns a brand new business, and has a serious commitment to health by means of working out and eating healthily on a consistent basis. You think this energy comes from the heavens? NAH. I’d bet money that shit is from the CrossFit.
Coming soon we have a cleanse wrap up! In it I shall discuss how my six weeks of the cleanest eating I’ve ever done went, how I feel eight weeks in to CrossFit on a vegan diet, and gasp my thoughts about what leaving 100% veganism behind could mean for me. (Don’t freak out too hard, I’m just….thinking. No actions yet)