The Big Kid In Gym Class – He’s Turned 32

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.

Burpees. The root of all evil.

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.

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7 thoughts on “The Big Kid In Gym Class – He’s Turned 32

  1. Awesome blog, Drew– I can relate to a lot of what you were saying about being a big kid when you were younger. Wish I lived closer to you and Jess, I’d join in the WitFit class!

  2. I could go on and on with encouraging words, inspirational quotes, etc. but the bottom line is crossfit is f’ing hard and you all kick ass for doing it!

    Also, why’d you hasn’t to call M.W. out like that ;).

  3. Good on you. I need to hit the gym as well. I’ve been in a downward spiral for the past few years. When Nike+ came out and had all the fancy schmancy online interactivity, I did that and lost a bunch of weight. Was running 4-5 a day. It was amazing. I remember thinking it was odd that I was fiending to run–even on vacation. The first time I was able to run a mile in a decent time I cried.

    Because like you, I hated the presidential fitness rigmarole as well. It was a horrible system of torture. The only thing I got superfit in was the reach box contraption. Oh, and that year I got superfit in sit-ups because my friend and I lied about how many we actually did.

    The mile-run though–that was what I feared most. We’d all walk up to the high school and try to break world records, which halfway through the first lap, we discovered, weren’t going to be broken on the Bel Air High School track. Its funny though, because it was such a big thing at a certain age, and then by 8th grade 90% of us walked the entire mile because we wanted to kill more class time.

    So good on you. Its hard to get back into a routine. To invest time. To build sweat equity.

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