I’m not going to spend alot of time explaining why I’ve made the decision to join a crossfit class with my wife. That’s a whole other blog. I needed something to do physically, and the gym wasn’t cutting it. So there.
Waking up at 5:30 am, going out into the frigid cold to work out with 25 strangers in a crossfit class isn’t exactly a blast. But it’s what I’m doing. My wife did it as a pre-wedding weight purge plan, and it worked. And it worked well. Meanwhile, my pre-wedding workouts at the gym were less a workout and more a couple of routines I probably comparable to bringing in big bags of groceries. I wasn’t exactly pushing it.
I’ve never exactly pursued physical fitness. It was always one of those things i figured I would get around to at some point. I’ve never gotten around to it. I was the fat kid in gym class. And to understand what that’s like, well, it’s a little difficult to put into words, but try this on for size: When you’re at your must fragile in the self conscience department, when kids are really at their nothing-is-off-limits meanest, gym teachers would do the annual weigh-ins for physical fitness testing. They’d start telling the class about it a week ahead of time, and it was the most horrific day of the school year for me. When you’re the biggest kid in class, getting up on a scale in front of 35 of your classmates was like going to school naked. Looking back, it was probably the worst possible way to do it, but i don’t think the fragile psyche of an overweight 12 year old was at the forefront of gym teachers’ minds.
So here I am, at 32 years old, 20 years removed from that trauma, and I’ve consciously decided to join a group of strangers for exercise 4 days a week first thing in the morning. There are what they call burpees, an unholy little exercise that on the surface, looks harmless. It involves dropping to the floor, doing a pushup, and lifting yourself back up and ending the whole thing by clapping your hands above your head. Despite it’s non-threatening look, it is absolutely as painful as it sounds, and as looks just as ridiculous.
There is of course, running. Which, even those who run marathons will say isn’t exactly an “enjoyable” exercise. I’ve never understood the appeal, and my wife has tried relentlessly to explain it to me. And here we are……..running. Great. I’m 15 yards behind everyone. I’d done what i had always done, which was scan the group beforehand and try desperately to find someone I thought I’d finish ahead of. I’d found him, and we’ll call him Marcus. And now Marcus was 15 yards ahead of me. I was last. It was 1992, and I was in 6th grade all over again. It’s ok though. There’s a difference this time, it seems.
In years past, I may have bailed out. I’d have done a few laps, found a reason i needed to quit-you know, because it’s getting cold-but here there’s some sort of push from the trainers that kept me moving. This isn’t boot camp, and there’s no screaming. It’s a positive, methodical approach that I realized is why so many of these people have come back. It’s why my wife has been raving about it for months, and telling me that going to the gym after crossfit just wasn’t the same. These trainers are as encouraging to me as they are to the first person to finish the warm up run. So this, this might be the environment I’ve needed for so long. It’s an even playing field for everyone, at every level. I think I speak for most of the big kids in gym class-that’s really all we’ve ever wanted.