Brace yourselves...this isn't a post about running!
If you've read any of my blog in the past then it's no secret that I handle stress in my life with exercise. It's a gift to be able to work your body so hard that you think you may die but never do (yet...keep reading...I may be marching towards my death). It clears my mind in ways that I can't do any other way and I crave pushing myself so hard that I think I have nothing left and then pushing harder only to find out I do. As a matter of fact that's my running mantra: Go until you think you're going to die and then keep going.
I knew I was going to be having to work through something really difficult soon so last week I bought a month's membership to the Crossfit gym (? I don't think they are called gyms but I'll let you know soon) near my house to take my mind off it. Crossfit is something that has made me curious for a while but I was scared to do it by myself. But another mantra of mine is to turn towards fear, not away from it, so here I am sitting on my chair counting the minutes until my intro class (37, if you are wondering).
I know several people who do Crossfit and love it, including my super badass cousin Todd. I know I've mentioned him before, he's a marine and I am convinced he puts nails in his protein smoothies for a flavor. I mean, I can't prove it since he lives in Hawaii and I live in upstate NY but I have my suspicions. Anyway, he along with several others have tried to convince me to try Crossfit over the past year. And I wanted to, I really did, but I just wasn't ready.
As it turns out, today I am. Jesus take the wheel.
Here is what I know about Crossfit:
1) It is going to make me hurt.
2) It will probably make me vomit.
3) It is going to challenge me mentally.
Here's how I feel about what I know about Crossfit:
1) I am a distance runner. I eat pain for breakfast. Bring it.
2) I have lost count of how many times I've puked in someone's yard from hill repeats. Bring it.
3) I need this. BRING IT.
Currently I am sitting here equal parts stupid terrified and stupid excited. Add on the fact that I have been throwing up for the last 36 hours and just ate a bagel as my first solid food in that time and I am not sure how it's going to go (I ran four miles last night after 27 hours of no food...it was BAD....like crying in the bar afterward bad...I'd like to forget yesterday completely. Side story about that: a lady I had just met said to me, "Maybe you shouldn't have run if you're so sick" and my running partner said, "Mary always runs no matter what, you just never know she's sick or hurt until she tells you after she's done". Kind of brought a tear to my eye ;)
I am terrified because I am scared of the unknown. Can I do it? Will it break me? How hard is hard that everyone talks about? What if I don't tone and lose weight from it? What if I hurt myself? What if they find out that I have never been able to do a pull up in my life? What if they find out how much I like cake?
But I am excited because it's new! It's difficult! It's a challenge! It's going to get me in the best shape of my life! It's going to help my running! I'm going to meet so many new people! I bet some of them like cake!
At this point of this post I'm going to stop and come back later to let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!
It's done. And what have a learned?
I think I might just like Crossfit.
It's still a little early to tell since all I had was an intro class but I love how much I am going to be able to push myself. I am still worried about being injured but I am hoping to build upper body strength that I have never, ever had. As in sometimes it's a miracle that I can get a bag of Doritos open, my arms are that weak. Like a trex, they're worthless.
My intro class was just me and an instructor. He showed me how to do a few things correctly and talked to me about them and then gave me a mini routine to complete. I had to row 400 meters, do 30 body weight squats, 50 turns of the jump rope and 15 burpees. Here's the thing about these infamous burpees: I don't love them right now but that's because I can't do them well yet. I think when I can I am going to really like the challenge of them. Call me crazy, it's ok, many have. But I like the difficult things.
And the rowing machine, where has that thing BEEN all my life?!
Anyway, my goal was to do those 4 things in as short amount of time as possible and I kind of failed. During the burpees I was extremely lightheaded and had to break them down into sets of 3 in order to do them with breaks because I had no energy. I guess not eating will do that to you? I finished in 12:28 minutes and my instructor told me he thinks I can do it in under 6. That's still probably a really slow time in crossfit land but I agree with him, I was just worn out. And sweating buckets, did I mention that? I make an awesome first impression.
The good news is that I am looking forward to tomorrow! It will be my first "real" workout and I am still nervous because there is still so much unknown about it all but I can't wait. Although maybe I'll be singing a different tune tomorrow since my legs and arms are already sore right now, I'm not sure how I will get through my run tonight.
Speaking of which I have no intentions of stopping that. I'm going to give it some time but crossfit is only a mile from my house so I may run to and from it some days. I'll also still run at least three nights a week at 4-5 miles and then do my long run on Sundays of 8-12 miles.
Because I'm crazy, I guess. But I dig it.