After killing it with my running challenge (OK, not entirely, but doing really well), I decided to take it up a notch. Two of my best friends are obsessed with the Cross Fit program, a strength and conditioning program originally meant for police academies, champion martial artists, and military special operations units. Or, in other words, not my scene.
A few years ago I even did PR for a bootcamp program, and actually refused to participate, having my business partner report back to me on her 5 a.m. workouts. But I couldn’t help but notice the Fearless Athletics Cross Fit branch literally sharing a wall with my son’s preschool and offering bootcamp classes precisely at drop-off time. Inspired by friends’ enthusiasm I decided to give it a go.
While the bootcamp program is not identical to the Cross Fit program, it essentially features the same elements – strength training, endurance, and cardio achieved by jumping up on boxes and running down the street with a medicine ball.
Immediately, I hated it. Like many newcomers, I was shocked to find out that the warm-up was just a warm-up. And after a failed attempt at box jumps I was ready to get the hell out of there. But halfway through the workout, something happened. Maybe it was my better ability at tasks like squats and ring rows. Or maybe I had just gotten over that initial hump. But by the end of the first class, I was ready for more.
As expected, the next day I felt like I was shot out of a cannon. But after a few days of stretching and powering through, the sore muscles subsided and I became more and more engaged in the classes. As someone who has been picked last for gym class, I was surprisingly into the team workouts. Maybe it was my competitive streak, but suddenly I was itching to push myself and kick some ass.
Sometimes, a new guy will show up for the first time, and I take glee in literally running circles around him. But the truth is that everyone really encourages and supports each other in these classes, and the workouts can be scaled for any ability. There’s even a woman in my class with a broken foot who does a variation on the workouts – she is also my favorite partner because I feel like her disability puts me at an even playing field. 😉
I am currently in my third week and feel significantly stronger. After each class I feel an energy rush akin to a strong cup of espresso, but without the crash. I realize now that the work-outs I did before I started running and Crossfit were really just maintenance workouts. I wasn’t losing weight because I wasn’t challenging myself. That said, I better be looking significantly toned by New Year’s or I’m deleting this whole post! 🙂