Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cross what?

If you name a trendy exercise class/group/video I can probably tell you exactly what it is, how many times I've done it, why I hate it and why I quit. It's no secret I've spent the last 6 years of my life trying, trying, and trying again to find some form of sweaty exercise goodness that I actually liked and could stick with.

I tried joining a gym but found myself just walking from machine to machine gently touching them, eventually going so far as to actually sit on them and attempt to read the directions...but usually just getting onto a treadmill until I felt adequately sweaty and never actually working out. I even hired a trainer at one point but we ended up chatting on the mats about movies/relationships/anything but working out and I never actually got a work out from that either.

Next I tried BodyPump which was a group workout of circuit training using weights. I actually enjoyed the class but it was at weird times for my schedule so I always found an excuse not to go.

Eventually, I convinced myself that since I liked dancing perhaps I might like to try a fitness dance class or some step aerobics. The people I saw from the gym window always looked like they were having so much fun! It took me all of 20 minutes to "get a drink of water" and just never come back...the steps were way too complicated and made even more so because I don't know my right from left without some serious thinking.

Last but not least - there was running. I want to be a runner SO BAD but it's just so damn hard. Not only that but I'm so self conscious running on the sidewalk. In my mind people in their cars wondering if the lumbering girl they're driving past is having a seizure or exercising and the folks on their front porches are thinking that perhaps they should stop trimming the hedges and offer me CPR or supplemental oxygen.
I could continue to go on and on about my exercise endeavors. There was the time that Stacey and I decided tennis was a good workout and bought raquets, skirts, and tennis balls (only to use them twice.) Then there was swimming which meant a new bathing suit and goggles that I only wore once. Not to mention spinning (my butt STILL hurts from that seat!) and Bikram Yoga (too expensive.) I could have started to get discouraged buuuuuuuuuut...
{***drumroll please***}

I found CROSSFIT!!!! I officially think I found my workout love. Crossfit is a workout I tried while in Iraq (it was the trendy thing to do after work) but absolutely despised it. I swore I'd never go again because I hated the jumping jacks, jumping rope, and jumping onto/off of boxes.

Recently, however, I decided to try again and holy moley am I glad that I did! Turns out the workouts I did in Iraq were just poor imitations of the actual Crossfit. It should be more like boot camp and less like step aerobics with some jump rope laced in.
My motivation in trying again was figuring out that our wedding is now less than 100 days away (gotta get rid of the chicken breasts hanging from my underarms!) combined with the fact that the Alamo Crossfit gym was literally 100 yards from my front door. I have been made to run, lift weights, use a rowing machine, and do squats until it feels like my butt will just fall right off (a good feeling, actually) alongside other people of every weight/age/fitness level you can imagine.

{This is not me, obvi, but an example of an exercise.}
I was DREADING going to the first day I signed up for Crossfit. Once I got there it was even worse when I looked around and saw the fit/cut/ripped/hard-core people. I started thinking, "no one knows me, I could run out right now." I even started coming up with alternate routes I could drive to and from my house so that I would never again have to drive by the gym.
BUT I DIDN'T LEAVE. I didn't do what I normally do and bail out and make an excuse. I almost died the first workout (and still come close to death almost every time) but I feel different this time. I look forward to going to see what I can push myself to do that day. I love feeling so tired it takes me 20 minutes to walk the 1/2 block home to my house. I love being so sore I have to use the handicapped bars to make it up the staircase. If you have a Crossfit gym around you - TRY IT! I'll be writing more about my adventures at the gym...and in the meantime - go try a workout and let me know how it goes! You won't regret it:-)
DISCLAIMER: It's now been 2 weeks and I have yet to tire of this place...check with me in 2 more weeks and we'll see if it's still as great as I currently think it is;-)


  1. Well yay for findind something that works for you! I too had wanted to be a runner SO BADLY but didn't for alot of the reason you don't run and even more! I consider myself a runner now even though I can only run two miles...Its in the heart and I have a heart for it now:) Just gotta find that driving reason that makes you want to get out there and do it! That IS the key darlin because lets face it, it IS hard and a lot of times uncomfortable physically and socially:)

  2. Good for you for finding something you like. (For now) If you hate running why do you want to do the icky old 5k?

  3. A lot of people really seem to be into CrossFit. I'm a tennis and swimming girl myself. These are the only two "workouts" I don't mind getting all sweaty and really pushing myself.

  4. So wait a second....if i'm reading this right, then you were in a crossfit routine during Memorial Day, and that means you did the Murph with the Alamo crew? Because if so, then that's insane. I'm gonna try and do the Murph on D-Day, and it absolutely scares me to death. Congrats on finding a workout you like and actually look forward to.

  5. Hey - after a few months of crossfit, without any extra training (except maybe a couple extra long runs)- I can nearly garrantee you will be able to run a 1/2 marathon with a very good time! If you wanted...:) I didn't know you were doing crossfit. My friend and her hubs have been talking to me about it for over a year. The first time I heard about it I thought it was ridiculous and over the top. But now, I think it's just what I need.:)

  6. PS. is the gym I'll be using. Starting Saturday! Yikes.