CrossFit is a special kind of animal. I looked up the definition once and forgot (Although the Urban dictionary definition was especially insightful and surprisingly 50 percent accurate). Several CrossFit coaches and enthusiasts have explained to me what it is, but I have condensed their words in my own way. It is a whole body workout that includes so many varieties of strength training, cardio, gymnastics, yoga, and etc. that you would think that the American fitness industry is attempting to accomplish our American dream of a melting pot.
Before I tried CrossFit, I had mixed feelings about the whole movement. I had seen the Facebook posts of tanned toned abs riddled with tattoos and beast like biceps. The pictures impressed me, but I had no desire to follow the people’s lead. Then there was the Spartan races, the obstacle course races, American Gladiator, and 50 percent of the participators appeared to be Crossfitters.
Of course I also saw Reebok’s hyped up ads of wonderful average Americans swinging across bars like Tarzans, whipping ropes, throwing weights, and flipping tires. Plus, there is always that scene.
A man or a woman is clapping their taped hands together and white chalk powder flies off into the air and mixes with little droplets of sweat as he or she lets out a silent primal cry with a look that would kill even Angry Birds.
The hands move in Slow-Mo speed. And to add to this already incredible scene, amped up music plays in the background with a voice over saying “WHY DO WE DO THIS?”
“We are doing this to be better PERIOD. We are doing this to be MORE HUMAN.”
I fascinate having that experience, even though I know I will not look that fantastic. No matter. My interest is cooled by articles about torn muscles, swelling, irrevocable injuries so disturbing I stopped looking at CrossFit skeptic essays. Beefed up muscles on the verge of tearing was not a future I wanted to live.
However, being the fitness enthusiast I am and suffering from a bit of summer boredom, I ended up trying it any way. Here is what I found out:
- The people at CrossFit are human. Sure there is extremely ripped dudes and flying acrobats, but most are people who are just working on getting fit like me while listening to some friendly rap music.
- I need to work on my flexibility and my puny little arms. I am sure a five year old has better arm strength then me. My arm muscles are just wobbly water balloons ready to pop at a hint of any excursion.
- I have blisters on my hands. I guess gripping metal bars for more than five seconds does not agree with my hands. How did I handle the monkey bars as a child? Additionally, why are my hands so sensitive.
- I like jumping on boxes and hitting tires with hammers. There was a part of me that knew that I had the natural ability to jump on a box and hit things. Give me a hammer and I’ll start . . . Man I feel like John Henry.
- Crossfit is helping me. I mean I paid for it, so it should. No honestly, CrossFit really has helped build my upper body strength and core. I am training for another marathon and I feel stronger somehow. I don’t feel like I am going to die ¾ of the way through my 9+ miles runs (Although, there was that one time I did CrossFit the night before my long run.) Just recently, I finished my 18 mile with a strong undignified sprint and the next day I barely felt my usual soreness. Tired? Yes, maybe it is my imagination, but I am definitely feeling some superwoman strength. Let the CrossFit adventures continue! #marathonPR