The only CrossFit gym I have ever been to is CrossFit Weddington, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The WOD sounded deceptively easy – 5RM strict overhead press, then 7 rounds of 90 secs on/90 secs rest of 250 m row and max wall balls.
I walked in and met the coach. He gave me a brief overview of where all of the equipment was. He looked at me when showing me the wall balls and said, “You look like you RX, so you will want to use the blue (14 lb) balls. The green ones are 10 lbs.” Well, that was flattering. I don’t think I look particularly “RX,” so that made me feel good. Until we started the WOD…
The 5RM was fine. I did 60 lbs, which I think it pretty respectable given how limited my overhead pressing has been over the past couple of months. Then we started the metcon. Basically you are supposed to row 250 m at 80% effort, and then do the maximum amount of wall balls you can in whatever remains of the 90 seconds. You get 90 seconds rest and then the next round starts.
He said 80%, so I was rowing at what I thought was a respectable pace, but got utterly left in the dust by everyone else in the class. They were off their rowers and heading to wall balls when I still had over 50 m left to row. I only had time for 10 wall balls before the 90 seconds elapsed (and I did, in fact, use the scaled green ball). I tried to pick up the pace on my rowing over the subsequent rounds, but I was always the last to finish the 250 m and at least 25 m behind the next slowest person. Wall balls are not my thing either. It takes me a lot of reps before I get into the groove of throwing the proper height, arc, and distance from the wall. Just like I got no repped repeatedly in the CrossFit competition for not throwing high enough, the coach kept yelling at me to throw higher. I managed not to hit myself in the face with the ball, which is a small victory in itself, but suffice to say that 7 rounds of being the slowest rower and doing crappy wall ball reps didn’t leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling.
The gym was less friendly and community-oriented than CFW, at least in my first experience. However, it’s less than a 15 minute walk from my apartment building, and really the only CrossFit gym within a convenient distance for me since I no longer have a car, so I signed up. I walked home feeling very discouraged though.
It’s funny because my sucking at CrossFit made me want to not do CrossFit, which is so counterproductive. Okay, maybe my conditioning and my strength are not what I wish they were. But not CrossFitting isn’t going to fix that. I am back to checking my ego at the door and focusing solely on doing the best I can and not worrying about what other people are doing. The only way to get better is to show up and do work. Show up and do work. Show up and do work. So, I showed up the following day and did work.
I also think that sometimes I take CrossFit a little too seriously (and a lot of other things for that matter). I am not a professional athlete. I will never make compete in the CrossFit games. CrossFit is exercise. That is all. I don’t need to make it any more than that. Yes, I need to take it seriously enough to show up and work hard, but when it comes down to it, I CrossFit because it’s the way I prefer to train. And I think that being strong and fit and healthy is of critical importance. So what does it matter if I am the slowest one in the WOD or have to scale as long as I am making progress?
I also decided to start working with Allison Moyer of Predator Diet again for nutrition coaching. I really want to establish good habits now that I am in Chicago, and getting my nutrition in check is important to me. I have not been completely compliant when I’ve worked with her in the past, so my results were somewhat mediocre (not due to her nutrition planning, but due to my failure to adhere to it 100%). So, I will hopefully get my new meal plan from her tonight, so I can get going on that pronto! I am not courageous enough to post my “before” pictures at the moment, but perhaps in a few weeks when I have made some progress…
I kind of love Chicago. The weather is not that bad since I have the appropriate outerwear (although I did order some Cuddl Duds and some waterproof snow boots yesterday). I actually think the snow and the cold are pretty awesome simply because I’ve never lived in a climate anything like this before. Although at first I was annoyed by the fact that I have to walk everywhere, now I am finding it pretty liberating. It’s a 30 minute walk each way from my apartment to the office, so it feels good to be so active. I don’t really miss having a car. Everything I need is usually 10-20 mins away by foot, and if I really need to get somewhere farther away, I can just take a taxi or use Uber.
I will write more on this later, but I have spent so much of my twenties trying to “fit in” and live life in a way that other people would approve of. And what I’m beginning to realize is that I can and should blaze my own trail. I read a quote once that said, “Weird is a side effect of awesome.” I have been so afraid of being perceived as “weird.” Well, no more of that. I can define my own values and my own measures of success, and other people don’t have to agree with them. I can be so much more if I could just let go of my need for others’ acceptance and approval.
I did a leg workout at my apartment gym today (upper body is wrecked from the last 2 days of CrossFit), and have a massage scheduled for tonight. I think I’ve earned it! (I’m not sure I will be too thrilled about the 20 min walk back home afterward though).