My First Day of Crossfit

Okay so I’m writing this retro-actively. In reality my first day of Crossfit was I believe in late July of 2012. I still remember all the feelings. The blood rushing to my head, my stomach tying and untying itself in knots, my vision starting to go black… What a great day.

I exaggerate a bit. If you haven’t heard of it, Crossfit is a “gym” that operates much differentl than a traditional gym. Each location or “box” is franchised out to individual owners. Owners set their own hours, charge their own prices and generally create whatever workouts they wish. Crossfit focuses on, “Constantly varied, functional movements,” meaning workouts consist of things that would help you in real life such as pulling yourself up, building your endurance or increasing your balance. One day you might be climbing a rope and doing sit-ups and the next you might be walking on your hands and bench pressing. It’s an amazingly fun alternative to a traditional workout and it creates an aspect of challenge and competition.

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This isn’t me.

The major premise is that you’re supposed to push yourself as hard as possible. Forget walking on the treadmill for an hour or doing 30 minutes on the elliptical. Instead run, jump, push and press as much as you can for a short period of time. I’ve had a workout that was literally eight minutes long and I was close to throwing up. Some may say they don’t want to get anywhere near a gym where they might throw up, but once you see and feel the results, your opinion might change.

With a handful of Crossfits around Des Moines, Iowa, I ended up selecting “Crossfit 515” in Grimes, Iowa. I could not speak more highly of it and think it just might be the best Crossfit in the country. My affinity for it could fill many, many blog posts. Concerning my first day though, I walked in and started talking to the co-owner Jaime. Jamie walked me through the first workout and showed me some of the movements. I was familiar with Crossfit and knew it was on a different level than a regular Gold’s Gym so I will say I didn’t come in with too much pride. I knew I needed to pace myself. As I started the workout I realized that maybe even me “pacing myself” was still going too fast, and maybe the weight I thought I could do with no trouble was still too heavy.

CrossFit Happy Valley

I joke now about blacking out, and in reality I probably wasn’t as close as I claim, but as I’m bent over with my hands on my knees, gasping for air, I see Jaime standing over me with a look of concern. “You know you can sit down if you need to,” she says pointing over to a chair. “Really it’s okay, you can sit down over there.” ::Gasp:: Gasp:: “No”:: Gasp:: “It’s::: Fine:: Gasp::: I’m okay:: I laugh about it now but that first Crossfit workout is a game changer. “Come on Steve. It’s bad enough you barely got through the first set, at least finish the workout before this girl calls you an ambulance,” I thought to myself. In summary, I don’t even remember what I finished with, only that I went too fast, lifted too quick and the weight was too heavy. It was a ridiculous workout in every sense of the word and I probably only did it for about 5 or 10 minutes.

I was hooked, and since then I’ve never even considered any other type of gym or fitness program.

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