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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Weekend Plans

First of all, let me start by saying ‘thank you’ to each of you for your prayers and sweet comments regarding my stepmom’s surgery.  Each comment was so sweet and pretty much had me in tears from the outpouring of love.  The surgery went very well and now she is recovering.  Starla still has a very long and hard road to travel with recovery, but we all feel very blessed with the current outcome.  She is such an inspiration to me and really all that she comes into contact with.

With that being said, I will be traveling later today to pickup the packet for my next ½ marathon and tomorrow, I will be running the Inaugural Mississippi River (half) Marathon.

ms river
This is the race that I’ve been talking about trying to reach my sub 2 goal.  I will be running it in honor of Starla and the battle that she’s going through right now.  With only two weeks until my marathon, I’ve already been lectured about trying to push myself too hard but if Starla can go through a double mastectomy, surely I can push myself for a measly 13.1 miles.  That’s my thought on that and I’m not going to change my mind. {crosses arms indignantly}

The race starts in Arkansas and finishes in Mississippi so this will be my first interstate race – yay!  The course brags about how flat it is and judging from the event page, I’ll have some beautiful views.

mississippi_run_slide7

mississippi_run_slide1  mississippi_run_slide5Photo Source

I’ve updated my playlist and will be jamming to some major rock songs from the 80s (think AC/DC, Scorpions, Joan Jett…) along with some newer songs from Neon Trees, Mumford and Sons, and Young the Giant.  Sprinkle in some oldies from the 60s & 70s  and some 90s heavy metal and you have a good idea of my playlist.  It’s pretty eclectic &/or random…just like me.  And hopefully will distract me for no longer then 1 hour, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. 😉

Question:  What are your weekend plans?  Do you ever race in the weeks before a marathon or 1/2 marathon?