My {brief} Love Affair with CrossFit

As quickly as the affair started, last night it ended.  Since lacing up my first legit pair of running shoes in late 2011, running has been number one in my heart when it comes to exercising.  Sure, I like to do other things like yoga, cycle or kayak but running has been numero uno.  Well, until this month when I let another form of exercise into my heart.  CrossFit.   But alas, yesterday evening was my final class.

running

If running is my love, CrossFit has become my paramour.  I realize that may be a bit of an extreme example, but it’s the best way I know how to describe it.  When I signed up for my month of on-ramp (beginners level) classes at Bandit CrossFit I had some expectations of what I hoped to achieve. My ultimate goal was to learn some weight lifting techniques that would improve my running.  What I gained from the experience was so much more than that.

From the very first class, I knew I had found something special at Bandit.  CrossFit has always intimidated me quite a bit and to say I was nervous is a complete understatement.  I was petrified of the unknown.  Can I handle this? Am I going to make a fool of myself? Lord, please don’t let the instructor eat me for breakfast.

Wall balls practically chewed me up and spit me out.

Bandit CrossFit. Best. Box. EVER.

However, all that worry was completely wasted energy.  When I met my instructor Janice (she also owns Bandit CrossFit) I practically laughed at how worked up I had been.  Janice carries herself with the ease of someone you’ve been around your entire life.  She and her amazing assistant (co-instructor) Kim have the patience of Job when teaching us something new. And trust me, my lack of coordination meant LOTS of patience.  But don’t mistake that patience for slack, I got my butt handed to me on more than one occasion. “McKnight! Chest to the floor. McKnight! All the way down on those squats.”

Kim (R) & Janice (L). Excuse my tired look, this was post WOD.

Kim (R) & Janice (L). Excuse my tired look, this was post WOD.

I learned to push through the bruises and muscle aches to discover a strength in me I didn’t know I had.  Over the course of this past month I did things I had previously told myself “I can’t” do.  Man, am I glad I threw “I can’t” out of my vocabulary! Because I learned that I can….and I did! I did climb a rope all the way to the ceiling. I did do pull-ups. I did do deadlifts, hang snatches, wall balls and rowing. And I did do lots of other fun stuff. Each class was a new challenge and I couldn’t wait to tackle it.  It’s amazing how much we can accomplish we the right mindset.

My first attempt at rope climbing (pictured) didn't go so well. BUT I owned that rope the week after!

My first attempt at rope climbing (pictured) didn’t go so well.
BUT I owned that rope the week after!

What??? You don't dead lift in obnoxiously bright socks and no shoes? Clearly you're doing it wrong.

What??? You don’t dead lift in obnoxiously bright socks and no shoes?
Clearly you’re doing it wrong.

<3<3<3 Rowing!! <3<3<3

<3<3<3 Rowing!! <3<3<3

And what fun would CrossFit be without some inappropriate humor sprinkled in? I present to you my poo stance.

And what fun would CrossFit be without some inappropriate humor sprinkled in?
I present to you my poo stance.

The other thing I was surprised to find was how much of a ‘family’ my on-ramp class became.  The cheers and encouragement of my fellow crossfitters helped me push through the WODs when I felt completely spent.  Each time one of my classmates pushed themselves past their limits I felt complete pride in them.

Happy on-ramp graduates. LOVE this group of people!

Happy on-ramp graduates.
LOVE this group of people!

I honestly didn’t expect to grow so attached to CrossFit which makes stopping so much harder.  However, with training for marathon #3 (in a year!) looming in my very near future, I won’t have the time to dedicate to it; after all, my husband needs to see me sometime, too.  After a month of CrossFit, I feel like I accomplished my goal of learning techniques to improve my running.  I’m excited to take that knowledge and apply it on my own. But I can’t lie that I’m going to miss the heck out of it.  I’m still trying to figure out a way to mesh the two (running and CrossFit) together but haven’t come up with anything yet.

If you have ever wondered about CrossFit or considered taking a class, I highly recommend it.  Put your fears aside and just take the plunge.  YOU CAN DO IT! I encourage you to do an on-ramp class first that way you don’t get overwhelmed.  If you live in an area that offers more than one Box, don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the right one.  You want your box to have instructors who will take time with you, teach you proper form and correct you when you’re wrong.  I was lucky to find my box, Bandit CrossFit, in the first try.  If you’re on of my local readers, I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else.

And before I completely forget, the winner of my ViewSPORT sweat activated t-shirt giveaway, selected by Random.org, was lucky comment #40.

viewsport winner 2viewsport winner

Congratulations Hollie for sweating like a man and being proud of it! Be on the lookout for a message from me on how to claim your prize.

Question:  Have you ever done something outside of your comfort zone and loved it?

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33 thoughts on “My {brief} Love Affair with CrossFit

  1. I won’t deny my excitement level to have won. I am ecstatic over here.

    That being said, I have watched over the last month how excited you have become to crossfit! (Is that how you say it?). I remember your first post where you were so nervous and now your loving it. I think it was exactly what you needed, not only because it looked like a lot of fun but it gave you some nice rest from working your running muscles!

    • Yaaaaaaaay, I’m so glad you won!!! Hopefully it warms up in NY for you to get your sweat on!

      Obviously, I have absolutely loved this past month and it was good to take a mini break from running. This is the lowest mileage month I’ve had in 1 1/2 years and I can honestly say it helped me realize how much running is a part of my life. I missed logging my usual miles and I’m ready to get back into action. 🙂

  2. gosh that looks like so much fun. I have yet to try cross fit, I only took one free class and I have to say I kind of dug it. Unfortunately I just don’t have the funds to do crossfit but people swear by it. My coworker does it now as her only workout and really adores it.

    • It is expensive but it’s totally worth it (if you have the funding). I had a blogger friend who just ran her first marathon using only CrossFit as her training – no long runs. CRAZY! I definitely wouldn’t recommend that to others but it’s nice to know that crossfit is such a great workout that it can condition you to that level.

  3. Yay congrats Hollie! I loved reading this. CrossFit is so interesting to me, yet being that I am so new at the whole exercise thing (yesterday I did my first plank ever ha) I’m sure it’ll be a while before I consider it. So glad you enjoyed it!

    • Cheers to your first plank! I bet your core is thanking you today. 🙂 Welcome to the exercise world; you’re about to get hooked. There are so many different ways to get your fit on so don’t be afraid to try something outside your comfort zone. You might just love it!

  4. CrossFit looks awesome! As someone who is strength-training-phobic and couldn’t imagine doing something like pull-ups, I found it rather inspiring that you could! Makes me think about wanting to start doing classes at the gym 😉

    • Oh, man, I was totally in the same boat with strength training but CrossFit helped shatter that fear. My instructor was amazing and deserves a lot of credit! If you have classes available at your gym, go for it! You’ll be amazed with what you can actually do. 🙂

  5. So proud of you, Gina!! 🙂

    This was totally opposite your happy running comfort zone and I am excited that you found such a welcoming box and got to understand how it’s so much more than just another workout.

    I really hope after your marathon training you can rediscover it… 😉 Take hubby too!

    • Thanks, Jen!! I definitely have a new admiration for everything you do in CrossFit and don’t worry, I’m not totally done with it. (I can’t be; I completely hooked!) I just have to figure out how to work it into running / time with hubby schedule. It would be ideal if I could get him to do one or the other with me but alas, he refuses. =/

  6. Im so glad you loved the crossfit experience! You are so inspiring to me! Trying yoga and pilates was out of my zone, but i did it, and now im so addicted!! I will maybe one day work up to cross fit!!!

  7. Congrats to Hollie! Gina, I’m so glad you had a great CrossFit experience! Anything that takes you outside your comfort zone (in terms of fitness and life stuff ;)) is scary, and I’m so proud of you for rising to the challenge. There’s definitely a way to mix running and CrossFitting/strength training, but it’s different for everyone; I know you’ll find a system that works for you. 🙂

    • Yes, it was an amazing experience! I’m definitely going to incorporate weight training into my routine but my crossfit class was 2 hours each time I went. That’s why it’s hard for me to work into marathon training. =/

  8. I’m one of those people who wants to try CrossFit but is seriously terrified, haha! I might have to give it a shot once I work up enough dolla dolla bills.

  9. I powerlift as my main form of exercise (with some interval training thrown in there) so Crossfit is always on the horizon for me. I think I’ll definitely give it a go this fall if finances allow (crossfit boxes in NYC are SOOOO expensive!) but your post made me even more pumped at the idea of it. Glad you had such a good experience!

    • I love that you powerlift! Lifting was one of the things in CrossFit that took me a bit longer to get the hang of. Every time I was bad at a life, it just made me that much more determined to get it right. Once you can get into a box, I have no doubt that you’ll love it to pieces!

  10. I am so glad you liked Crossfit! I did too, and felt the same way. I do think that I want to try another box around here soon! I’m still incorporating a few of the Crossfit style workouts into my weeks, but since I’m on a mostly runbreak, maybe now is the right time for another month 🙂

    • It was nice having a runbreak this past month and now I’m even more jazzed to get back to running. I say give CrossFit another go before MCM training kicks up. You’re body will thank you for the extra strength training attention. 🙂

  11. While I’ve never done crossfit since 1. I can’t afford it and 2. the closest one is over 30 miles away, I have tried new things like Turbo Kick, Zumba, and Barre classes! Love Barre and Turbo Kick for sure! I’m sure I’d like Zumba if I had a more experienced instructor…. so happy to hear you had a great time with crossfit! Still can’t get over that squat face!

    • I’m DYING to do a Barre class but we don’t have any around here. One thing my CrossFit instructor pointed out was how incredibly tight (even tighter than I realized) my hip flexors are. I think Barre would be a great way to loosen up. Or I guess I could just get back to doing yoga consistently… 😉

  12. Wow – it sounds like you got HEAPS out of crossfit. In fact you sound stronger. Mentally.

    I am so exited for you and what you decide to do with this new-found love of strength! I can’t wait to see you harness it for marathon #3

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