As I sat in the car on the way to my first CrossFit Class, I felt sick. I was terrified that I would be the most unfit person, I would embarrass myself in some way and everyone would laugh at me. It took less than ten minutes for this anxiety to disappear. (This was possibly helped by the fact that I spectacularly broke the ice by falling backwards onto the floor when the instructor told us all to stand back up….I told you I was clumsy…!)
When everyone came together to do a quick warm up, I stayed close to my boyfriend for moral support and glanced around the room at everyone else. There were people of various ages, shapes and sizes, and it was a complete mix of men and women. The deer-in-the-headlights look on many other people’s faces helped me to relax a little… it was their first rodeo too.
The first part of the class was back squats, which is something I have always swayed away from in the gym. The barbells are reserved for males, and more specifically, big groups of them, right? Whilst there is nothing or no one to blame but my own insecurities, I have always felt a little intimidated by the squat racks.
So how was I going to tackle something I hadn’t done properly before?
After watching a demonstration, I learnt (and am still learning) that the best thing to do is to, just do it! (No, Nike didn’t pay me to say this!) I kept the weight light, and completed five reps of five at 25kg. Whilst this is something many people could do with their eyes closed, hands tied together and their hair on fire; it was a huge achievement for me. I walked into that room having done very few back squats before, so anything I walked out with would be an improvement. Whilst my squatting technique is far from perfect (I will leave this for another post….) I was still able to complete the first part of the workout, which I never expected.
The second half of the workout was a 15 minute Metcon. (Metabolic Conditioning = i.e. something tiring that usually hurts and leaves you out of breath!)
This part consisted of the following:
20 jumping lunges
15 wall balls
10 pull ups
5 clean and jerks
The aim was to complete as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) in the allocated time. I couldn’t do the wall balls (it was a lot harder that it looks…) so these were swapped for squats and my pull ups were scaled down to press ups so I could work on my upper body strength. I had to leave the workout halfway through for a minute as I thought I was going to be sick… but apart from that, I managed to complete it all! As the timer went off, everyone dropped to the floor in unison.
After we put our equipment away, did a few stretches and cooled down, it was time to reflect. I had just completed my first ever CrossFit workout, I hadn’t been sick (almost!) I hadn’t burst into tears and I somehow had a grin from ear to ear on my face?
I think I had made a great decision….