Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I know what you're thinking: everyone who does crossfit feels the need to TALK ABOUT CROSSFIT. Well, I can't lie, it's pretty true. But it's also true of people who run, workout, do yoga, or go on some kind of fad diet like Herbalife or Body by Vi. People like to talk about stuff they like. I also talk about my kids a lot :) They're kind of awesome and I kind of love them a bunch.

So anyway, where was I? Oh right... I started crossfit the first full week of February at CrossFit Ada, which means I've been doing it now for a little over 4 weeks. When our gym first became affiliated with it, I'll be honest, my initial thought was, "Great, now we're going to be overrun by those crazy people who think they're better than everyone." Before that point, I'd honestly imagined crossfit to just be a fancy term for people who "cross-train" and didn't think the movements or the workouts would be all that different from what I'd already been doing for the past 7 months. I mean come on, is it really all that hard?

My first day, I attended the early class and was the only girl there. Now if you know anything about me, you know I'm stupid competitive. I get it from my mom and her side of the family (my sisters can back me up on this, right Tonya!?). You should see us all play volleyball at a family reunion. I  know nothing about volleyball, but when it comes time for a family reunion, all of us act like we've been playing for years and will fight and argue like volleyball is our life. We end the day sun burnt, mad at each other, sand stuck in embarrassing crevices, and ready to do it all over again next year. We don't mean to be that way, it's in our blood to compete.

So the first day of crossfit, being the only girl there, the Tomlinson side of my brain kicked in and I made it a goal to keep up with the men. I put on my big girl panties and acted like I was really as strong as a 6ft, 200lb man. We did box jumps, hang cleans, some kind of weird walking push ups, and rope climbs. The push ups nearly did me in. I didn't modify, I didn't act like I was dying, but deep down all I could think was, "WHY AM I PUTTING MYSELF THROUGH THIS?!?" But I did it, and while I did not finish ahead of all the guys, I did finish right with the very last of them. Sure, he was about 30 years older than me, but whatever. I can't remember how many full rounds I did, or even how long the workout lasted, but I remember coming to 2 conclusions. 1) I wasn't dead. 2) CrossFit was out of my league.

After the first week, I really wanted to quit and just go back to what I'd been doing before. I didn't like the workouts--they were too hard and I sucked at every movement we did. I didn't understand any of the lingo "What the heck is AMRAP?" and "Why does everyone keep saying 'prescription' like it's suppose to mean something?" The first time I did "toes to bar" I felt like giving up, especially in the last round when the callouses on my hands split wide open. I barely got through each workout, and there were very few things we did that I didn't have to modify. Pull-ups: use a band. Push-ups: on my knees. Hang cleans: no weight on the bar. Squats: pathetic. OH squats: impossible.

But then, after the first week, something magical happened: I started to get better. Who would've thought all that hard work would pay off!? So then of course I started to actually look forward to going. Instead of the big fat green band on pullups, I started using the not-quite-as-fat purple band. Instead of doing push-ups on my knees, I was able to do TWENTY full push-ups on my toes before going back to my knees! If you've ever done anything in your life and gotten better at it, then you understand the feeling I had. Okay, I was still terrible at toes-to-bar (and honestly still am and hate them more than anything in this world), but I will tolerate them if I have to. And rest assured: I still run, too. My love for running will never go away! In fact I signed up for another half marathon which I am totally unprepared for, but I'll live. :)

This past week the CrossFit Games released the first "Open Workout" 14.1. No way on earth would I actually register for the games, but it was still fun to do the workout and compare myself to hundreds of thousands of other crossfitters. The workout:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 double-unders
55-lb. power snatches, 15 reps

I'd never done a "double-under" in my life. All it is: jumping rope, but instead of the rope going under once, it it supposed to pass under your feet twice (per single jump). Saturday morning I grabbed a jump rope and gave it a go. I didn't totally suck at it for once. I couldn't get very many in a row, but I could do a couple. So I decided to alternate my jumps: single, double, single, double, etc. This means I ended up doing the Rx of 30 double-unders, but I also had to add 30 singles which takes longer. As for the power snatches, I was originally going to just do the bar (45 lb) but then all my lady friends started adding weight. I'm competitive, remember? So if they do 55, then what choice do I have? So in the end I did the full prescribed workout (and I actually caught on to what that means!). 

I did 3 full rounds, plus 30 double-unders and 11 power snatches. My final rep count was 166 (it was actually 176 but apparently can't add in the heat of the moment, lol, so on the board it says 166. I need to relearn math.) As far as the Cross-Fit games go, 176 is nothing. The lead woman scored 472. And thousands and thousands and thousands of submissions later, you might find 176 somewhere way down on the bottom of the leaderboard. So while yes, I'm very proud of the fact that I could do the workout, I'm nothing special. 

BUT, what is special, is having a group of people that support each other throughout the entire process. I mean, yeah, we're competing with one another, but it definitely isn't the Tomlinson family reunion kind of competition. We encourage one another, cheer, and lift each other up. We high-five and fist-bump. So while I love crossfit, what I love more is the people. Maybe we aren't supposed to get all mushy, but I can't help it. I love my fellow crossfitters. 

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