Hello Friends! Yes.. You read the title correctly. This gal went to check out my local CrossFit Gym last week! WOOOOOOO!!!! (Can you ready my level of endorphins?) Let’s back up for a moment though to tell you how I got to this point.
Back in November 2015 I had been listening to an Elliott Hulse video. I had heard it 100 times. If you want to lose weight, start out with going for an hour walk every morning. Listen to audio books and educate yourself while you walk. That one day in November I dropped my kids off at school, pulled in the driveway and something was calling to me. I looked down my little dead end road and took off. Well turns out there’s a new road down there making it much longer than our little street.
I’ve been walking almost every day I could. I even got a FitBit for Christmas that is very helpful. I’ve gotten very consistent. As long as it’s not raining…I’m walking. I’ve done up to 4 miles in one morning. I often hit 5 miles with regular activity walking. I am feeling great! And actually… If you take a look at this picture… I even look a little different. Which still freaks me out a bit… But that’s for another post.
Left- December 2015, Right – February 2016
A couple weeks ago I decided on a really tough goal. I haven’t really told anyone but the key players in my life what the goal is. But basically, it’s a physical test. Both strength and agility are necessary. It’s a big goal. HUGE goal. Especially considering my fitness level at the moment. But, I have a a little under month.
To reach this goal, I came to the conclusion that I need more help. I can’t do this by myself. I knew CrossFit might be the perfect match of what I need for this test. It has a lot of strength and speed.
But I was SO nervous! I try to stay pretty grounded about where I am at. I’m still 270 pounds. While I know I’ve come a very long way in the last few months… I know I need a lot of work.
I messaged the gym and asked them when a good time would be. I picked up the kids from school and headed that way. I had my workout clothes on just in case. I didn’t know if they’d want to let me try something.
I walked in and met one of the female trainers. She showed me around to the owner. I was a little intimidated but he kept it really cool and put me at ease within minutes. There was no judgment, or questions about my size/health/weight.
We warmed up with rowing. It’s not something I’ve done before and frankly… My rhythm sucks! My husband was a drummer in high school and he has that inner rhythm that is unmatched. I couldn’t tap out a cadence to save my life. Thankfully, the owner was my coach and he was very patient and great at explaining it in easy and understandable language. It was a really great warm up.
Next was wall balls. Fun at first… I loved how the coach gave great tips on form and encouraged me as I was doing the movements. My biggest issue was keeping my heels on the ground. But… Interestingly enough… That’s one of my biggest issues I’ve noticed during workouts on my own for years.
Next, we did box jumps. It was a great, padded box. I’m not sure how high it was but this was one of my goals! Jumping at this weight is pretty scary. I did it several times to learn the movement. Then…
We did a 7 minute circuit of 7 wall balls and 7 box jumps or step ups. Let me tell you… I pushed harder than I ever imagined that I could all thanks to the coach. I got 3 in and thought I was going to have to give up. He says… “I think you can fit in two more. You can do it!” I look at my board… I keep repeating my workout mantra… Your mind quits before your body. Keep going. I got those two more in plus 7. He said my score was a 77. Not sure what that means, but it’s better than just 7.
I was pretty sore the next day but I ended up going back in for a full wod (workout of the day). This was an amazing experience. I was scared. Nervous. Sore as could be. Mainly my quads. Here’s what we did:
- 100 m rows then 3 burpees for 3 rounds
- Back squat, 1 Rep per Minute, Maxed at 75 pounds, 2 reps
- Modified Pull Ups (5) and Push Press, 35 pounds (5), for 7 rounds
I was so proud of myself. I didn’t realize I was this strong! Back squatting 75 pounds!? I thought I would have to stop at 55 pounds but my partner bumped it up and I said…What the hell. I’ll try it. I did it. Twice! I even did modified pull ups for the first time in my entire life! I’ve NEVER been able to do a pull up. I nearly cried because I was given a modification and I was able to do it. I was on top of the world.
In cooking and in life…
Well… Shortly after I started to feel like I fell off it and dropped into rock bottom in some other universe. The soreness was terrible. I did the best I could. Magnesium. Epsom salt bath. Valerian Root at bed time.. But it didn’t budge. I was strongly considering not going the next day. I was really struggling with my count down and not wanting to miss one day. That test will be here in no time!
One of the coaches encouraged me to go ahead and come in. Even if you just do some rows she said… It’ll be fine she said. ^__^ So wod number 2, day 3… I barely got through it. I was screaming every time I had to get on the ground. Burpees were more like hell that I could ever imagine them being. Here’s what we did:
- 1 Minute/1 Rep with Partners, 5 push press, 5 burpees (3 Rounds)
- Partners, 3 Rounds, plank (modified 1 min, 1 min 10 secs, 1 min 20 secs), Toes to Bars (That I could not do, so alternated raising each knee.) 10 per round, 200 m rows per round
Don’t get me wrong. When I was working out…towards the end, I started to feel better. But, seriously… I was in a ton of pain. I couldn’t make up my mind… Do I work through it or do I need to rest? I told my coach I would probably wait till Monday and skip Sunday yoga simply because I was in pain.
At the time, I didn’t realize how bad it would get. I won’t be doing three consecutive days for a while. I went too far. I couldn’t get up and down off the toilet without screaming. My quads felt like they had been torn in half. My shoulders and arms were beyond sore and heavy. I kept doing the same things. Magnesium. Epsom Salts. Valerian Root. (Lather, rinse, repeat.) I didn’t end up going on Monday. I felt like I really needed to fully recover. I’m wanting to keep it reasonable with a Monday, Wednesday, Friday so I went back on Wednesday.
I’m so glad I waited till Wednesday. I woke up excited to go. I was so ready to get back in the Crossfit Gym. I was ready to seize the day! I was definitely not disappointed. I really enjoyed this one and while it was tough…I didn’t end up screaming in pain when it was done.
- 5 Rounds of Running, 1-200 m and 4-100m (I had to cut it down to modify.)
- 3 Rounds of 10 weighted sit ups and 10 supermans
- 5 Rounds of 35 pound bar thrusters and 50 cone jumps that I had to turn into cone steps.
I thought I might have to drop the weights on the bar… I thought it was interesting that it actually got easier. I was really trying to keep my corrections in mind. I love that my coaches will give me good advice and will watch me for form. The last thing I want to do is hurt myself because of bad form. The main things I’m thinking about are keeping my heels down, and bending my knees so that I can keep my back straight while lifting. It’s really tough not being able to see myself in a mirror. But, thankfully, if I say “Hey, how’s this look…I feel like this issues is happening…” My coaches are really responsive and helpful and they don’t seem like they’re ever bothered by a questions.
My hips ended up a little sore, but I’ve worked it out. I’m feeling great today! I went shopping earlier, no problems. No problems sitting or standing. I am interested to see how everything turns out tomorrow and the chiropractor. My body has been responding well to the adjustments and my body is holding it’s appropriate balance easier than expected.
Overall, this entire experience has been amazing. I’ve tested my boundaries and pushed myself further than I could. I proved to myself that I am strong. I am fulfilling my dreams and my goals. Best of all, I found a supportive environment with amazing people. I’m not sure how to thank all of the wonderful people at Crossfit Conway and how they’ve positively influenced me in such a short amount of time. Regardless of what happens, I will always cherish this time and being able to feel like I’m not the fat kid at camp.
I can’t tell you how much that matters to me. No, I can’t do what the other athletes are doing. But, they’ve been at this a lot longer. Instead of looking at the others feeling intimidated, me and some of the other newer people say, “Oh look what we’ll be able to do some day.” I feel encouraged, and uplifted. I never feel like I’m a burden or taking away attention from the others. I feel empowered. I can’t wait to go in, in the morning.
Don’t ever give up on your goals and dreams! I never thought I could do this a year ago, or even six months ago. Don’t give up on trying to get better. You may be on the long way round like me, but keep going. Your success story may be beginning now.
I love you guys! Thank you for all of your support in all my efforts to share my journey. Know that you are appreciated and I hope to share more and reveal my goal next month. Be happy. Show compassion. Never forget what Steph Gaudreau says. “Happier. Healthier. And Harder to Kill.” That’s my goal.
-Ami M. Lee, Crossfitter, Goal Setting, The Common Sense Cook