So, a little bit more about Crossfit.  I didn’t know much about it before I tried it.  I knew it was a style of workout that was trendy right now… And that a certified instructor from our church was offering free classes once a week.  The church is actually renting out a gym every Friday night so that people from church can come and get healthy together.  It’s actually a really good idea.  Smart church idea.  Actually meeting needs in a community.  For those of us who can’t afford a gym membership, who don’t have much knowledge or experience when it comes to knowing how to exercise properly and who need accountability, providing a place for us to get those things from someone who can offer that to us… It’s pretty amazing.

So my lovely friend Karina invited me a few weeks ago to Crossfit and I basically laughed in her face.  I had been telling her that I had really been struggling with my weight due to some medical issues and medication changes and I had rapidly gained a lot of weight.  That’s extremely hard when you are already overweight.  She told me about Crossfit with church and what an encouraging atmosphere it is.  She explained that it was incredibly hard, but incredibly rewarding.  The next day, I told Jon I wanted to go, and the day after that, I went.  Sure, I have nervous diarrhea the whole day leading up to it… But I went.  And of course it was the hardest workout EVER.  Not only for me, but for EVERYONE.  And as soon as I got there, Karina told me she couldn’t stay the whole night.  Totally devastated.

There I was on a Friday night in my semi-fitting workout clothing in a small public school gym ready to start a “Chipper”, already feeling super self conscious and worried and totally scared out of my mind.  This chipper contained only two things:  burpees and kettle bell swings.  Now if any of you have ever taken any physical education ever, you have done a burpee and you have hated a burpee.  Burpee:  jumping up, dropping into a planking position, doing a push up, getting back up then repeat. Awful.  Then a kettle bell swing.  Lifting a kettle bell from between your knees, thrusting your hips forward and with the momentum, swinging your arms forward until the kettle bell reaches eye level.  For more advanced, that kettle bell goes straight over your head…. Doesn’t seem so bad.  But this was a ladder chipper.  20 levels with a run of the gym back and forth between each level.  Level 1 – 1 burpee, 20 kettle bell swings, Level 2 – 2 burpees, 19 kettle bell swings, Level 3 – 3 burpees, 18 kettle bell swings all the way to Level 20 – 20 burpees, 1 kettle bell swing.  At this point you want to puke, think you are going to faint and can’t catch your breath.  Wait a second.  I didn’t get that far… But I did get to level 13.  At 30 minutes of doing this constantly I called it quits.  I couldn’t do it anymore.  At level 13 I had completed a total of 89 burpees and 189 kettle bell swings.  I was so proud of myself.  And I had a right to be, that was the hardest thing I had done in a really long time.  And I only cried once.

I was doing slight modifications, I never ran the gym, I only ever did a fast walk… I needed that minute to catch my breath.  For burpees, I never did a full push up, I did a plank from my knees and did a push up from my knees, and I basically never jumped when I got back up from those burpees.  The kettle bell swings, well, I totally rocked them.  I think I had enough body motion to keep those things going!   Modifications are allowed, you are competing against yourself.  It’s all about doing your best and improving your skill.  I was starting with little experience, little skill and my will power was based out of avoiding embarrassment.  But hey, it worked.  Luckily, I had an acquaintance who quickly became a friend, Melody, join in beside me and did every single burpee and kettle bell swing along with me… And when I called it quits, I got to continue to cheer her on until she finished the whole thing!

When everybody was done, I felt good, I was proud of myself…. But I was disappointed that I couldn’t finish.  But everyone was so encouraging and so glad that I was there and that I had done so well.  I couldn’t believe how great it was.  It made the hell that it felt like, feel not so bad after all!

The next day, oh was I feeling it.  My body had not felt this sore… Well, since surfing in 2003.  Then the next day came.  It was worse.  And I thought it would go away, but still, two more days of feeling sore… I still was walking all those days, doing my work outs… Getting exercise.  I lost 3 lbs that week.  I swear it was those burpees!

So, every Friday night, there I am with my workout buddies.  Me, working out, doing my best!


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