Getting Healthy with CrossFit

By Katie Gregory | March 3, 2015
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Some days, like last Saturday, I sit in the clothes I slept in until after 5 p.m. and watch 10 episodes of New Girl. And I only changed because I was meeting a guy for dinner and my campaign to make sweatpants and a hoodie attractive/socially acceptable anywhere, anytime hasn’t really caught on. Yet.

And then some days, like yesterday, I work a full day, read an entire book in one sitting, and do 115 wall balls and 40 burpees. (Remember week 1 when I could barely do 50?!)

Life is just kind of like that, I think. Some days you’re going to want it more than others. I think that’s okay, I think that’s normal. But here’s the thing – every now and then, you’re just going to have to push through.

Get There

When I leave work, I turn left to go home and I turn right to go to CrossFit. Last Tuesday, I was already very sore from back squats the day before and man, I just did not want to go. I turned my left blinker on and headed home.

Then I thought about it, thought about how good I would feel when I left, did that frustrated sigh I got from my mother, and turned around. That was the first day my workout did not have to be scaled.

Honestly though, most days I’m excited to go. And I’ve never said that about any other type of exercise I’ve tried. I like yoga a lot but it’s not going to get me the results I want and is better for people who are capable of clearing their minds, which most days I am not. I “tried” (I use that term loosely) running but I realized about a half mile in that I would literally rather be unhealthy. Don’t get me started on my hatred of running.

Get Better

One day last week, I busted it. I don’t mean in the cool, worked my butt off kind of way. I mean I actually fell on the floor. I have this irrational fear that whenever we’re doing something overhead with the bar that I’m going to drop it and it’s gonna catch my ponytail and yank me down with it. I told you it was irrational.

Anyway, I overcompensated for my fear and pushed my shoulders up too far. Awkward story short, I ended up on the floor with the coach looking at me, saying “That’s… not exactly what I told you to do.” Easy for him to say, he doesn’t have a ponytail.

But I am getting better.  I’ve learned all kinds of new lifts and exercises.  And because the workouts are alway changing, I never get bored!

And, I can feel myself getting stronger. I mean, I’m still very much out of shape. I can’t tell a big difference physically yet. My goals have changed somewhat in that regard. I am no longer so concerned with the number on the scale. Actually, I haven’t lost a single pound. (Side note: I did take measurements after day 30 – lost an inch and a half in my waist and half an inch in my arms!) But I am definitely stronger. Week 1 I could back squat 75 pounds, Week 3 I did 115. Week 1 I couldn’t do a single toe-to-bar and Week 3 I did 15. In a little less than a month, I’m more than happy with that result.


Get In, Get Out

One thing I’ve come to love about CrossFit is that it is so quick. The workouts are quick, the results are quick, the familiarity you feel with the people there is quick. I’ve never been one of those “just rip the band aid off” people. I’m more like, “let’s just peel it off really, really slowly, maybe take a couple breaks, and then we won’t notice it.” But that’s not a good attitude to have while working out. You shouldn’t do 5 pull-ups and take a breather to check your biceps in the mirror at the gym. You shouldn’t check your biceps in the mirror at the gym ever probably.

But really, the workouts themselves are never more than 25 minutes. Warm-up and all, I’m in and out in 45 and you just can’t beat that. How a 20-ish minute workout will make moving more difficult the next day, I’ll never know. Actually I do know, but still can’t talk about it.

Get Healthy

That book that I read in one sitting yesterday? It was Donald Miller’s Scary Close. An excellent read, open and honest, and he talked a lot about what makes a person healthy.

That’s a little bit of a scary thought to me. To be healthy – mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally- that’s going to take a lot of change. A lot of work. A lot of me admitting things I’d rather just brush off. “Ignore it and it’ll go away”, that’s my motto. Seriously. When my car starts making weird sounds, when my apartment is a mess, when my student loans come in…just ignore it and it’ll go away. (Kind of kidding about the last one.) But the book helped me think about things I’d never really let myself think about before, things I need to work on. This is taken out of context but I think it can apply to a lot of areas:

 “Then it occurred to me what it was. I wasn’t scared to jump or swim or to feel the sudden coolness of the water. I was afraid of change. On the dock I was warm and dry and in control. I knew once I jumped I’d be fine, I’d enjoy swimming around. But it was still a change… I thought about that then, how much I fear change, even change for the better. I thought about how there are so many lies in fear, so much deception. What else keeps us from living a better story than fear?”

Just push through it. I’m telling myself the same thing on the days I don’t want to go. Push through laziness, push through feeling unmotivated, push through anxiety, push through whatever. I have never once left my box and regretted going. I have left with my legs shaking like I’m about to walk in to the principal’s office. I have left trying to casually hide how hard I’m breathing until I get in the car.

I’ve been doing this for a little over three weeks now and just like that, I’m hooked. Still, there are days that I really just want to turn left. And that’s okay. It’s okay until turning left becomes a habit.

Embrace the change, people. Jump. (Box jump, even.)

(Trust me. the smiling stops when there’s actually weight on the bar.)

This is part three of a three part series on “Getting Started with CrossFit”.  The first article is: “My First Week with CrossFit”.  The second piece is: “CrossFit, Just Give it a Try”.

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