Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why I Crossfit*

                                                                 Hubs and me courtesy Crossfit Pushbox
This post is dedicated to Coach Matt Cannavino and Coach Eddie MacDougall at Seminole Crossfit along with heartfelt thanks to all of the members there.

 Workouts that are like play are pretty darned addictive.

That's kinda the same thing for number four on the list of twenty-five Paleo-ish things that I wrote a couple weeks ago.  Upon further thought, I have a tendency to embellish a little.

The first time I walked into Seminole Crossfit, I was pretty nervous and pretty sure Coach Matt would tell me that Crossfit was not a thing I should do.  Now I knew Hubs would shine at it, but my back pain was at an all time high.  We had  just started eating strictly Paleo a few days before, so the anti-inflammatory magic had not yet taken effect.  

But thank goodness, I was wrong.  Coach took us through a private workout and explained a few things to me.  I had treated my back too gently and had helped to make it weak.  The scoliosis, herniated/torn discs, cyst on my sacrum and bone dams seemed like a good excuse to me to avoid certain movements like squats.  But not to Coach.

"Miss Kim.  Get your ass back and drop as low as you can go.  No, lower than that.  Lower."

I've heard that quite a few times over the last thirteen months.  Our workouts are hard.  Srsly hard. 

I've been sure that deadlifts would certainly cause me to perish, but our other trainer, Coach Eddie, always says, 'You got this all day long."  He once made me follow his eyes as he knelt down beside me during a deadlift session and wouldn't take no for my answer.  I pulled a boat load of weight off the ground.  And now I can lift even more.

Who wouldn't keep going when someone is that confident in you?

I have a hard time understanding some of the lifts.  I don't like to jump and I sure don't like to be upside in a handstand-up-against-the wall position.  I haven't mastered a strict pull up yet, but I am close.  (ARRGHHH!)  In spite of all that, I love Crossfit because of what I can do and what I will do.  (Just maybe not handstand.)  ('Cos I don't like to be literally upside down.)  

I was working on cleans one night during open gym while some of the tougher guys were yucking it up to see how much they could press overhead.  They laughed and screamed and failed and threw their barbells down like school children playing those games where they're the only ones who know the rules.  A few times they came and helped me with some tips...I am terrible at cleans, but the encouragement was (and always is) there.  Something came to me that night...most of us stopped playing at some point in our lives and our fitness suffered for it.

So I Crossfit because I can.  I can move and play and lift heavy stuff.  The workouts are so varied and so flexible that at every level, I've been able to kick my own hiney.  When I don't think I can do one more rep, I take a deep breath and keep going.  Some folks compete against each other in our box, but I am good to just compete against myself and that is fine with everyone.  It is truly the only place I have ever worked out where the loudest cheers are for the last one to finish.  It always makes me weep with joy when that happens.

And I am hardly ever the last to finish these days so I always cheer loudly because I remember.

With everything that is hard or new or different, there are detractors or 'haters.  Crossfit gets a fair amount of this.  I am pretty sure that there are some Crossfit boxes out there that don't have the same energy, and caring as ours.  Hubs and I have visited a few other boxes when we've been traveling and have had great experiences.   Greg Glassman, the founder of Crossfit, seems to like a free enterprise system, where the best of his affiliates will rise to the top.  That is the spirit of free enterprise.  I don't see anything wrong with it myself and if you don't feel safe or think the instruction is good at a particular box, I really don't think that's the norm.  We have to take that responsibility. I know I could get hurt.  (I am a biggo klutz, so it could sure happen.)  It hasn't yet because I am careful and I listen well.  (Bruises don't really count.)  My responsibility, right?  

I would much rather get a little bump up than look back on my life and know that I wasted the opportunity to be fit, healthy, and strong.  I can do this; it is a blessing.

Whenever I feel like I might whine, I think about the guy in this photo on the left, and then I know:

Some day, I'm gonna do that pull up.

Take good care, k. 

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