What happened to the old me? Okay, she’s still here, but there’s certainly a pod person overlay on the lazy, unmotivated, tired woman that I used to know. This pod-personality is someone who is excited about cooking good food, moving her body, and is even willing to get up early tomorrow morning to take a Crossfit class.
Yes, I am already amazed at myself that the last two Saturday mornings I got out of bed and drove to Crossfit Flagstaff for open classes (other classes require private sessions to learn the movements and lifts). I loved it and wanted more. So I’ve signed up for my five privates sessions. I’m meeting Katie tomorrow morning at 6:30 to work on my squats. Me, excited about learning to do squats? Who is this pod-person that’s taken over me and please don’t go away!
I still laugh about attending Crossfit classes, as I’m probably the slowest person to ever make it to an affiliate-sponsored Crossfit class. I first learned about Crossfit sometime in late summer last year. I think I was reading Mark Sisson’s blog, Mark’s Daily Apple, and the commenters kept mentioning crossfitting. I was trying to figure out what exercise “crossfitting” was. Luckily, one of them posted the URL for the Crossfit site. The first time I viewed the workouts I figured it was all about hardbodies strutting their stuff, not a workout for an obese, exercise-challenged woman like me. It seemed like there was way too much testosterone flying off the videos and images. Yet I found myself enjoying watching videos of women doing pull-ups and lifting heavy weights. I could fantasize that I one day maybe I would do the same. Then I stumbled upon video of grandmothers doing scaled versions of the exercises. Crossfit claims to be for people of any fitness level, and I could see that there’s was nothing to stop me except my own fear and unwillingness to try.
My slow progress started with working on the warm-ups listed at Crossfit Ozone. Do ten of each:
- back extensions
Now build up to three rounds of these. Whew. My push-ups started up against the wall and I slowly built to doing them on the floor on my knees. Though earlier this week, I managed to pull off about six full body push-ups and will start working on those. That’s how it works for me: baby steps. I would keep scaling up to make a move harder when three rounds, ten each didn’t seem as hard. I started the pull-ups by standing in a doorway and holding on to the top of the door jamb and pull up an inch or two. I then tried getting on my knees and pull up to the kitchen counter (tricky, as my legs wanted to help). Now I have an Iron Gym pull-up bar in a doorway and try to do jumping pull-ups. I’m nowhere near able to, but I’ll keep working at it. It took six to seven months to get this far. Now I can practice and get the coaching at a real Crossfit gym. My goal? REAL pull-ups.
Silly how an exercise like a pull-up seems such an achievement. I just remember how weak I felt when both my rotator cuffs acted up, and I ended up with frozen shoulders. The idea that I can now hang on a bar with my arms fully extened above me seems miraculous.
In January, I started going to one of the campus P.E. classes, a version of Crossfit called Crossfit Bootcamp. It doesn’t have all the equipment, but we do tons of versions of exercises using our body. Squats, push-ups, and various versions of them all. Last week we practiced doing handstand push-ups! Very assisted, of course. We’d get a group of three, and one person would put themselves into a handstand with the other two holding catching and holding the legs of the handstandee. Very scary to throw my body into a handstand, but very fun also.
This experience with doing even modified Crossfit gives plenty of benefits. This pod-person I’ve become has muscles. Sure, I still have the upper-arm wattle, but the top of my arm has that lovely muscular cap with a bicep that shows through. My legs have tons of muscles under the remainder of my extra fat. I figure that when I lose about another 10 percent of my body fat (I’m about 31% body fat now) that those muscles will show up.
Yesterday’s Crossfit Flagstaff class did a “Fight Gone Bad” type workout (the Workouts of the Day — WODs — often have names). We had three rounds of a minute each of doing ball slams, using the rowing machine, attempting clean and jerk with dumbells, trying pull-ups, and doing some punching flurries with a punching bag (this was very fun…and therapeutic — take that Arizona Legislature!). The coach, Lisa, scaled me down to a lighter ball for the slam, lighter dumbells, and had me do a jumping pull-up (I’m on a large box so I can hold on to the bar, lower myself so my arms are at full extension, then jump to get my chin over the bar, and back into the arms hanging on again). I was smiling the rest of the day.
I recommend Crossfit. I can’t wait to learn how to do the Olympic lifts. Shoot, I’ll even work on running if I have to. If interested, here’s some Youtube videos of people doing Crossfit. You’ll notice that not everyone is carrying Perfect Bodies. These are real people.
What is Crossfit?
1st Year of Crossfit (I like watching how people progessed during the year)
What is Crossfit? (another Crossfit affiliate — music is definitely not save for work or family)
Find a Crossfit affiliate near you. The list of states is on the left side of this page.
Now I just wish this pod-person that’s taken over enjoyed dusting and vacuuming.