So I was convinced to try Crossfit by my friends Shana and Melissa! I had no idea what it really was. I had some friends whose husbands did crossfit. I went in thinking it was this man dominated, high intensity, crazy workout. I was right about a few, it’s high intensity and crazy at times. It is NOT man dominated!
I was in contact with the woman who was to become my coach. I asked poor Heather a million questions via Facebook before I even started. I had NO idea what I was getting into. I committed to 4 foundation classes. Heather had an already in progress foundation class and allowed me to come in for the last 4 of 8 sessions. I’ll be honest, I really hadn’t watched a crossfit video to even familiarize myself with what I was about to dive into. I think that was a good thing.
It was early December, and I showed up to a garage, literally a garage, in a parking lot of a local hotel. I was to be there at 8am. I of course showed up early, and sat in my car not having a clue where to go. I now know that people usually show up just before a WOD when it is that early and that cold out!
Finally I got out of my car and wandered around clueless. Finally a few women started pouring out of their cars. They told me where the door was, and I gathered as we waited for Heather. They ALL said hi and introduced themselves to me. The one that stuck out the most, maybe because she looked like a badass, and tiny, was Jessica – later became Coach Jessie! I cannot remember who all was there, as most of that hour was a blur. I went into this tiny garage. Heather got to teaching the others in the class, and had me do a warm up, since I was coming into the middle of a foundations class. She had me warm up on the “airdyne”. I am glad that she pointed to a stationary bike, because I had no idea what an Airdyne was lol.
After that she had Jessie work with me on various things, that I cannot remember. I was scared, and wondering if this was for me. Then came my WOD. I had to run!!! I don’t run! But there I was, being told to run, so what was I to do but get my fat butt in gear and run. After the close to 400 meter run, I did a variety of other common WOD movements, then to finish it off, another 400 meter run!
I was done, and EVERYONE was so so so supportive. Cheering me on while I clearly struggled. They didn’t care what I looked like, how fat I was, that I had non crossfit shoes on (more about that later), or that I was out of breath like a 60 year old smoke-aholic man. I did it! I finished and almost threw up. I really really thought I was going to throw up. I was dizzy, sweaty, nauseous, and tired.
It would take me 2 more classes to become hooked! As we say, I drank the kook-aid! It was an amazing feeling to push my body like that, and do it. I was doing things I never thought I could. I was learning how to work out. it’s 1 hour long. Someone tells me what to do for a warm up, what my WOD will be, and I’m done!
I was the kid who hated PE throughout high school. I danced, I did color guard (with the marching band). I wasn’t sedentary in my youth, but I HATED real exercise. Crossfit is so different! It’s different every day, you can see in a relatively short time, improvements you are making! It’s fast paced, and you are with people who are there for the same reason.
It can be intimidating when you walk in as a “fat” woman. You see skinny, athletic type women and men and you think to yourself, “why am I here”. It is scary. As a fat woman, most of my fat life I have tried to hide my body, not sweat, not show my fat rolls. There is no hiding that in Crossfit. A crazy thing happens. You start to not care about what you look like, because you ARE doing it! I have not met ONE Crossfitter that is rude, mean, or judgmental toward someone. I felt like I belonged for the first time in a LONG time.
I continued my Crossfit journey into January, when I completed an entire foundations class. I learned to push myself, to lift weights, to move my body in ways I never had, or hadn’t in a long time. The folks in the regular classes would come in and cheer us (the newbies) on! I would see them cheering each other on. I had never experienced that type of comradery before.
Once I finished the foundations class, we were offered a membership to join the regular classes. I jumped on that! My first day was scary lol. While we had learned a lot in the foundations class, we can’t learn it all. I was suddenly out of my comfort/safety zone and back to being scared. The other athletes jumped in to help, as did the coaches.
In crossfit, many of the WODs are timed. You try to do your workout as fast as possible sometimes. So we are ALWAYS looking at the time and we record our time and our WOD that day. I’m the “fat” on at my box. It took me a while to be ok with that, but I am now. I make jokes, but I am really am ok with it because I am working on it instead of just complaining while sitting on the couch. Being fat, we carry more weight and are generally more out of shape than the average athlete. I remember the worst WOD ever. I had to do jump ropes along with a few other moves. I had to do 90 jump ropes at a time, before moving onto pushups or something. I was THE last person still working. Everyone was sitting there watching, albeit cheering me on, but watching lol. I felt like I was on display. But as I kept going, almost throwing up, I realized these (mostly) women were cheering me on!!! My success was exciting to them! Everytime I thought I couldn’t go on, they cheered and pushed me to finish! It was like something I had never in my entire life experienced. I collapsed on the floor when I finished (a good 10-12 minutes after the rest). They ALL stayed to cheer me on! They could have finished and left, but they didn’t. They stayed!!! They all came up to me and gave me a high five. Shana took a picture of my sweat angel on the floor I made after collapsing onto the floor. It was like this amazing thing I had done, yet I thought I was an embarrassment for taking that long.
Crossfitters are the most encouraging, supportive people I know. After that day I KNEW I was hooked.
I still struggled with my image, my skill level and just pushing myself. My box decided that alongside the Crossfit Open, (weekly workouts set up by Crossfit.com for athletes to compete in) that they would do an inhouse Open. 3 levels so we could scale certain movements so that everyone had a chance. I refused to enter, because I knew I couldn’t do as well as the rest. Then as I got more into it, I decided to go for it and I signed up. I was in the last category at our box, the most scaled. I DID come in last. BUT I did it. I completed it. I worked my butt off and did it. EVERYONE was so empowering and encouraging!
I now WOD 5x a week, and there are days I wish I could go twice!
I have never felt an endorphin before. I now know what it is, and what the feeling is! I LOVE it!!!
If you think you are too fat, not in shape enough, too slow, too weak to Crossfit, you are WRONG!
If I can do it, ANYONE can do it!
Thank you to all the coaches at the best box in the world.
Thank you to everyone at Crossfit Kaiserslautern for helping and encouraging me!