August 3, 2012

TGIT: Crushing It At Crossfit

I woke up this morning with a start to my alarm – it was too dark and all I wanted was to go back to sleep. But after hitting snooze, I realized I was waking up and wasn’t going to get back to bed. Besides, I had planned a lifting workout. Time to go!

I wouldn’t say I killed it at the gym by any means – I wasn’t using heavier weights than the last time and I wasn’t getting super sweaty – but I did it, and did a fairly decent job. Not everything has to be 110%, and I was happy this morning to just not do poorly.

I ended up running late to get to work, but, oddly enough, I wasn’t stressed. Instead, I found myself in an incredibly great mood and feeling terrific. I didn’t have anything really out of the ordinary planned for the day, but for whatever reason, I was feeling happy and excited about everything – and I wasn’t going to question that! I spent the morning being incredibly productive, wrapping up some major work accomplishments that I’ve been trying to get nailed down for a while, and then was thrilled to discover that I didn’t end up with any lunchtime meetings scheduled. Lunch on my own? Nope – I was going to Crossfit!

My client’s headquarters has a team of instructors from Dallas Crossfit Central who come in every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to lead a lunchtime workout out in the grass outside the office (yes, in August in Dallas – it was 103 degrees today!). While it normally only costs $10 per class, last week they did a special promotion where new people could try it free for a week, and I fell in love with it when I tried it.

I don’t think I’m going to go crazy for Crossfit (seriously, it seems like a cult sometimes!) just yet. I have always believed in mixing up a fitness routine with lots of different types of workouts rather than sticking to one regimen. But on the plus side, Crossfit features a different WOD (Workout of the Day) every time you go – so that already appeals to my “variety” philosophy. Furthermore, the workouts are set up so that you either time yourself or count how many reps you can do in a certain time period, and many Crossfit gyms have a place for members to post their times/reps and compare to others. I love that spirit of competition from seeing how you measure up, but I’ve also been pleased to find that, at least in my Crossfit class, people are incredibly supportive of each other regardless of the competition factor. It reminds me of the running community in that way – you definitely care about your time, but you don’t get jealous of those who are faster nor do you put down those who are slower. We’re all in this together and sweating like crazy, so we might as well cheer each other one while we’re doing it!

Today’s workout of the day was particularly tough for me after lifting in the morning, since it involved weights and my grip was already pretty worn out. First, we warmed up and learned the moves – “thrusters” (basically squatting with dumbbells resting on your shoulders and then shooting your hands up in the air in a shoulder press when you stand up) and “dumbbell burpees” (just like regular burpees except you’re holding a pair of dumbbells to make it way more difficult to get up and jump at the top of the move). Our instructors had brought 10lb, 15lb, and 20lb weights for us to use, and for our warmup of shoulder presses and deadlifts, I picked up the 15s. It seemed like most of the women picked up 10s, but since I usually do 20s for military presses, I figured 15s would hopefully be okay. Plus, who doesn’t like a little challenge?

After warming up and learning the moves, it was time for the workout. We paired off into teams of two, and then one person did a set of 21 thrusters followed by 21 dumbbell burpees. After completing that set, the first person got to rest and the second person did their 21 reps of each, and then we continued alternating for two more rounds – one set of 15 reps each exercise, and one set of 9 reps each exercise. I think that the prescribed workout was probably to do all of them in a row, but I liked doing them with a partner – it gave me a good chance to rest up for the next set, which I think allowed me to use better form than if I just tried to push through all 45 reps at once (and most likely collapsed crying in the middle).

Since I had used the 15lb dumbbells for the warmup, I decided to at least try them for the main workout, figuring I could trade down to 10s if it got unbearable. But you know what? I managed to do fine with the 15s, and my partner and I were the first group to finish! I was unbelievably proud of myself for pushing myself and making it through with the 15lb weights, and, getting a little cocky, I even decided to try a set of 10 thrusters with the 20lb dumbbells after I had finished the official workout. Amazingly, I did those okay too! I realized that I’m much stronger than I maybe give myself credit for. Now, I just need to stick with the workouts (and also keep my eating in check), and perhaps I can get one of those hot Crossfit bodies like I’ve seen on other fitness blogs. New goal, and (self-imposed) challenge accepted 🙂

I was beaming from ear to ear when I got done with class, and that ended up just making my entire afternoon. After cleaning up, I headed to my favorite salad place in Dallas, Eatzi’s, to pick up a delicious grilled chicken and spinach salad, which was surprisingly Paleo and in line with my healthy Crossfit workout (though I hadn’t thought about that before I got it, nor do I intend to actually follow a Paleo diet all the time). And then I proceeded to get crazy productive for the last few hours of the day. Things at work have really started looking up since my frustrated post on Tuesday, in part because I really appreciated all the advice you gave and how many of you can relate.

And on that note, thank goodness it’s Flyday! Friday’s coming up in just a few hours, and I think I’m going into the weekend with a great start – plus a lot of fun plans. This weekend is the women’s Olympic marathon, and I am counting down the hours until it happens.

New York readers: I’m organizing a viewing party for the marathon on Sunday morning (yes, at 6am – I am not getting spoiled for this event like I have for all the others!), followed by a long run afterward since we’re sure to be inspired. Let me know if you’d like to join the fun!


2 thoughts on “TGIT: Crushing It At Crossfit”

  1. Congrats on the WOD! I do CrossFit too, so I totally understand where you’re coming from on competition and wanting to do you best. I get the cult comments too sometimes, but hey, if the workouts get the job done, and I’m meeting new people and making friends, then so be it!

  2. The workouts are DEFINITELY getting me results in a very short time – pretty amazing stuff! If that’s a cult, perhaps I am signing up 🙂

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