Before Crossfit I was not an athlete. I’d never played a sport, and had only adopted regular exercise as an adult to reduce the 40-45 pounds that had somehow crept on since high school and set a good example for my young children.
It took me about a year of tracking Crossfit online before I scheduled my first Elements session with Sean just before Thanksgiving in 2010. In retrospect I am glad I gave myself some time to prepare mentally and to have some successes on my own: I’d completed several duathlons (running/biking) since the birth of kid #2 in 2008, had lost 15-20 pounds, and most importantly, I knew what it felt like to push myself really hard (but I admittedly didn’t do it often enough!). What finally made me sign up was that winter was approaching, and moping because your bike is in the garage does not burn very many calories. I knew I’d gain weight and lose fitness over the winter unless I did something different.
Weight – 152 – 128
Blood pressure 138/88 – 108/68
Back squat – could not complete full depth squat without weight (due to knee
stability issues) – 110 (full depth)
Deadlift – could not deadlift from the ground due to knee stability issues – 185
Pushups – on knees – got ’em
Running pace/mile – 11:35 – 9:45
Fastest mile – 10:40 – 7:57
1) Crossfit is really fun. Ok, so there are moments where you pray that there is a fatal dose of burpees or wall balls and you’ll be mercifully spared the rest of the workout, but it really feels good to work your body really hard, and it’s really inspiring to be around a whole bunch of people who are pushing their limits, too. The people here have become friends in and out of the gym.
2) My life is better because of Crossfit. Not only am I healthier and more active, but I am also more confident, less stressed, and tougher in other aspects of my life.
3) I actually fit in here. When I started I had to modify every workout for my level of fitness, yet never have I felt looked down upon for lifting less weight or doing a modified exercise. The effort you put in is respected much more than the weight you lift or the speed you run. I am just now starting to do some of the workouts Rx.
4) The paleo diet is totally worth it. I have been pretty consistent since early January. It’s made a huge difference in my recovery times, speed and strength, and generally in how I feel (more energy, less stress) and look. And because I never go hungry, sticking to it has really not been a big deal. I’ve also found that when I cheat, the non-paleo foods are a whole lot less satisfying. I have fewer cravings if I just eat clean.
5) Crossfit is great for the time-poor. I own a consulting business and have two kids. I don’t have hours and hours to train for marathons or major distance events, and I travel for business and can’t have a fitness program that requires much specialized equipment. Crossfit is perfect. You’d be amazed at how sore you can be after a 12 minute workout, if you’re doing it right. It’s funny, whenever I go to a conventional gym now I laugh at the guys on the weight machines and how inefficiently they use their time. Me, I keep moving, sweat buckets, and get ‘er done fast! It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment if it’s done at the right intensity.