You may or may not know that I used to be a gym rat. As a matter of fact, I’ve been through several phases of rodent-like gym behavior in my 40 years on this planet. I have always enjoyed exercise (once I get my ass off the couch), and I do feel better about myself when at least one part of my body is “ripped” or “cut” or “toned”.
Over the last several years, however, it has gotten more difficult to find the time, and more importantly the motivation, to work out. (I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the adorable blond boy who lives in my house.) Consequently, everything has gotten a little softer, a little less defined, and a lot less flexible. Not to mention, I feel bad that I’m not using my healthy body to it’s full extent. I’m not conditioning my heart, keeping my core strong, or lifting weights to stave off bone loss and osteoporosis.
Not feeling fit has been a blow to my self-esteem of late, and it’s also left me with a lot of pent-up energy and a general tiredness, that I know comes from a lack of moving my body.
Well, this weekend it all came to a head. I found myself with knee pain when getting up from the couch, along with zombie-like behavior throughout the day. Sleep was the only thing that sounded reasonable to me, and my jeans were making deep impressions in my stomach. I immediately got on line to look for a boxing class in my area. Boxing has always been attractive to me, as a sport. I like the thought of punching things, I like when my arms get toned, and I need to work off some stress.
I found a place that was very highly-rated on Yelp and I called. I was all set for a free beginner’s class Monday night at 6PM. Good to go.
When I got to the gym last night, in a very industrial part of town, five miles from my home… I was scared. From the street I could see an open warehouse/gym filled with people lifting heavy weights and grunting. I parked my car and walked toward the grunts, finding myself inside and talking to a lovely female trainer. She told me to fill out some paperwork and coach Bill (that’s what I’ll call him) would be with me shortly.
As I wrote my name, address, and general aches and pains down on this yellow piece of paper, I looked around at the people working out and started feeling a little yellow myself. What am I doing here? Why are those people walking on their hands? What is this place? Why is no one boxing? How did I get to be 40? Am I too old to work out like this?
“Are you Lisa”, Coach Bill asked. I told him I was. Bill looks like Bob Harper, in that he’s compact, completely shredded, handsome, and terrifying. “Why are you here”, he asked. I told him I was just wondering the same thing. I told him I was sick of being out of shape, that I used to be very in shape, and that I was hoping to get back to that. Then I told him this place didn’t look like the place for me and I should probably find somewhere that made more sense. He told me this was a Crossfit gym, and that people do things here they don’t do anywhere else. He told me it was the best workout possible and that I’d probably get nauseated my first couple workouts, but no to push myself too hard the first time out. I told him I was probably going to leave. Then he started the class and I was still there.
We began with leg lifts intertwined with crab walks, bear walks, duck walks, and dolly walks. All things foreign to me. Then we scaled walls. Something I’ve never done in my life, as I’ve never had to run from anything, nor have I needed to make a quick getaway after stealing anything. Then we did 200 meter runs followed by squat lifts and push-ups. That’s when I got nauseous.
I did every leg lift asked of me, and every type of walk except for the dolly walk, (as this requires arm strength that had all but left me at this point). I scaled the wall four times. This was an incredible achievement for me. I ran 800 meters, (actually, I walked a lot of it), did 30 or so squat lifts (of a pvc pipe, as I felt anything else would be too heavy), and 40 push ups. 40!
The support was incredible. Everyone knew I was new, so they cheered me on, patted me on the back, and showed me the right way to lift. At the end of it, I felt amazing. Proud. Like myself. Now I have to decide if I want to go back and continue, or find something a bit closer and more convenient where I’d probably have to push myself to get the same kind of workout. A workout, by the way, completely reminiscent of Bob’s on The Biggest Loser!! I think this must be his main type of training. And I found some things on line last night to back that up.
Long story short, I think I’m back. I don’t know how I’ll find the time to workout several days a week, but last night confirmed that I have to. I HAVE TO. I’m excited to feel strong again. It might take a while, but that’s okay. It took me a while to get to where I am now, and it can only get better.
Side note: I was not sore when I woke up this morning. Now, at noon… EVERYTHING HURTS. Ouch.