A CrossFit Encounter


I have never been into sport, I have had the odd yoga class and meditation retreat, I was always more prone to reading books,travelling or partying. And sweating was definitely a man’s thing.
But, somehow after three years of Paleo, and my proximity to forty, I decided to switch it up a notch and try CrossFit. My mind still boggles, why, after two months I am still eager to go. It could be the addictive buzz I get afterwards, (if only I had of discovered that high ten or fifteen years ago…… ) or the challenge of stepping completely, a million miles out of my comfort zone and discovering the courage to try it. The humility of going each time and knowing you are going to totally suck at everything and come in last, can really chip away at your ego and encourage self development.
The challenge is physical and mental. Yesterday, for example the WOD ( Work-out Of the Day – CrossFit has it’s own language with loads of acronyms, somebody should write a dictionary!) was; 30 air squats, 20 sit ups and 10 push ups – and all of that five times! After the first round I was sure, I couldn’t make it – 30 squats – seriously?
And if you do the math, it adds up to 150 squats at the end of the work out. Squatting not being my strong point and to add to that, the trainer knows it! So any cheating is reprimanded. ‘ lower Antoinette ‘ I hear, just when I thought he wasn’t looking. Sounds tough, but, I must mention that all of the trainers at CrossFit Chiang Mai are wonderful and patient.
Everything can be scaled down to accommodate your own level of strength and flexibility. For example, the twenty sit ups in the workout , actually included holding onto a circular weight that usually belongs at the end of the dumbbell. You can then choose to scale down and just do regular sit ups without the extra weight – that is what I did! Which is anyway enough, especially when they have to be done 100 times.
The worst part for me is the weightlifting. It has taken me two months to figure out how to put the weights on, convert pounds to kilos, stop imagining myself as a chunky Dean Lukin and get over this idea of ‘ I am a girl and this is totally butch – What are you doing? ‘ I keep hearing the trainer saying ‘ Now when you watch Olympic Weightlifting you will see …..’ What? HA! HA! HA! When would I ever watch Weightlifting?
And then, there are the techniques you need to remember in order to lift it up. There are several ways to lift a weight, each with its own specific name, which I am still yet to distinguish one from the other. I never imagined it would be so difficult.
I still feel so stupid picking up those weights. You have to stick your butt out, with your back straight and shoulders back, while squatting, try it, it feels really odd.
Then there is position one and two and three, that you are not suppose to think about, and somehow manifest it all into one flowing motion – LOL. And guess what? You don’t use your arms to lift the weight – you actually use your legs! Go figure? I need a few more months before I conquer this segment of CF, but who knows, maybe I will be sitting down to a Weightlifting You Tube video, somewhere in the near future.
I have only been going to CrossFit twice a week for the last two months, but this month I am going to try three times a week. I find myself simultaneously, afraid and excited about what the WOD will be, each time I park my car under the tall trees outside the gym!
Who is crazy enough to go to CrossFit you may ask? It’s a mixed crowd of friendly people all encouraging one another during one hour of pain and endurance. And? Do I have some results to report? Well yes, I have definitely increased my muscles and stamina. I feel stronger. The scales say, that I haven’t lost any weight yet, but my clothes are more comfortable and my friends see a difference, so yes it is paying off.