I walked past a gym near my building a hundred different times with Dexter. Loud pop music was always emanating from this industrial-looking building. Through the open door I would see men and women climbing ropes, flipping tires and bench pressing. As I leisurely walked past with Dexter the group would sometimes sprint outside and go right past me on the sidewalk.
I was slightly intrigued, slightly frightened by the amount of red faces and sweat-soaked humans coming out of this one building. The name of the gym is Badger CrossFit and to be honest, I had never heard of CrossFit. One day while walking by a woman with a water bottle in hand was going to her car. This woman was young, slim but not over-the-top in shape. It gave me the courage to ask her straight out, “What the hell goes on in there?”
She told me it was a CrossFit gym. You strength train, you have high-intensity workouts and as a woman, she’s never felt more empowered from a workout. And with that testimonial, I was sold.
That Saturday I went to the free class. Along with three other women we went through the basics of a push up, squat and burpee. We did a sample workout and I no joke, almost passed out. I stopped before the third round and had to sit down. I felt like a failure. Turns out, you need to eat before working out. But it was a Saturday morning and I rolled out of bed just 15 minutes before the class started. Lesson learned.
For some reason I wasn’t scared off and I signed up for the four-week elements class beginning the following Monday. Oh yeah, and did I mention that it starts at 6:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday Friday?
My first class I was anxious to say the least. I made sure I stocked up on a hearty amount of carbs before and walked to class (walking to the gym is one of the best perks about it).
I was also inspired by the all-female group that I worked out with during the free class. I figured if anything else it’s a good place to meet young professionals like myself. But during this 6:30 a.m. class it’s just me and one other guy who also happens to be a tennis pro at a country club and looks like he’s in incredible shape. Awesome. <– Sarcastic awesome.
We do our warm ups and review the squat and Tyler teaches us the push press. Near the end of the class we start our workout, which he explains is a “benchmark” workout to see where we are in our fitness level. We’ll do the same exercise on the 12th class to see how we’ve improved. Then he also weighed us and checked our BMI. Let me tell you how mortifying it is to have a man who can do an infinite amount of pull ups and doesn’t eat sugar, grain or dairy check your BMI. Just for a second try to imagine the look on my face as he measured my stomach fat…
We’re doing this benchmark workout and I feel like I’m working hard but I’m managing. I’m pushing myself but I’m not passing out. All good things. My classmate is of course ahead of me in the round but I’m staying steady. Finally, it’s over and my heart is pounding. Eight minutes and 47 seconds of high-intensity and relief is settling in. I walk around the gym and take small sips from my water bottle when I see my classmate run to the bathroom.
Oh no…he’s not..he can’t be…really? That was the succession of thoughts going through my head when I heard him retching his guts out in the gym bathroom. Yup, dude totally blew chunks on my first day of class. And I swear my next thought was, “show off.”
When Tyler realized the turn of events he quickly walked over to reassure me the goal of this program was not to make you work so hard until you hurl. Thanks, that’s…comforting?
For some reason almost passing out and seeing a guy puke hasn’t turned me off from this new world of CrossFit. I’ve never worked harder or felt so out of shape before, but I am committed. I want to do this, I can do this.
Before each class I have heart palpitations because I’m anticipating the most challenging workout ever, but I’ve also never felt a bigger payoff than when it’s all done.
Since the first class I have been sore in places that I didn’t even know could be sore. Hopefully, by the end of 12 classes I’ll have results to share. No matter what though, I’ll definitely graduate this program a more empowered woman.