This month, I decided to switch gears. Instead of my conventional gym workout, I signed up for a 30 day trial membership at a CrossFit gym located 10 minutes from my house.
Why? Well, my good friend, MB (short for Mary Beth), has been doing CrossFit for a while now & really likes it. She says it’s an ass kicker workout, she has gained strength & the people at the gym are like family. I thought that’s kinda cool. Of course, my friends at my current gym are like family, too, so I’m not sure why I thought it might be any different.
Anyway, a little backstory… I stopped working out with my friend & long time trainer, Kevin W (aka KDub), in November of 2016. The commute to the gym &the demands at work/home were killing me. My gym is 26 miles from my house, that’s just mile one way 😩. In DC metro traffic, it can take up to an hour and a half to get there or as little as 40 minutes, depending on the day of the week, time of day, weather &/or traffic collisions anywhere along my route! Fortunately, I was able to start back up with KDub in January of this year. Only once a week on Friday mornings. Something is better than nothing but I was looking for something to jumpstart my workouts & also be closer to home.
MB’s CrossFit gym seemed like a good option. Close, new people, completely different way of training than I’ve done before! Perfect! I can be a beginner again. Start fresh! I was totally excited.
Last week, MB told me Groupon had a special offer for her CrossFit gym so I bought it!! MB told me to call & let them know I was her friend & worked with her, Dan M & Dan K, so I did. I called, I talked to Mark, who told me he was the owner. How cool. He laughed when I told him MB, Dan M & Dan K were my friends & coworkers! Awesome, now he knows I hang with a group of crazy (fun) people 😆.
Mark asked if I had time to stop by on Friday 3/23/18 to watch the members doing the 18.5 workout. I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about but I said I’d be there. I told him I’d be coming from a fundraiser with my dog (he’s a @goteamtherapydogfrederick) and asked if it was okay to bring my dog in. Mark asked me if my dog, #BigBoyBuck, was friendly & well trained, which he is, and it was two thumbs up! 👍🏼 They got me at… Sure you can bring your dog! We love dogs!
I showed up on Friday evening and saw two very fit women sitting outside the front door on the sidewalk wearing tank tops & tights, with flushed faces. The temperature outside was in the low 30’s! I made a friendly comment about how cold it was & one of the women said they just finished their wad. wad? What’s a WAD (oh yeah, WOD, workout of the day)? I smiled & Big Boy Buck (my 12 yr old Amstaff therapy dog) & I went inside. Buck laid on the mat by the door while kids came up to pet him. There were weights being slammed on the floor around him but he was totally chill. There was a crowd of people, adults and kids, cheering for the athletes. I arrived in time to watch the last two guys do their 18.5 WOD, which I learned was the last of 5 workouts for the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games Open. Not sure if I’m explaining this right but this workout looked brutal. These guys were deep squat pressing (thrusters) with a loaded barbell then doing (chest to bar) pull-ups, then back to the barbell, then back to the pull-up bar for 7 minutes each time increasing the # of reps by 3 incrementally doing as many reps as possible! Holly crap 💩 Those guys were AMAZING! I later found out the younger of the two guys was Mark’s son. Way cool!
I found this video when I did a internet search of “18.5 WOD 18.5 WOD Random YouTube Video
While I watched, an athletic bearded man, who looked to be about my age, came up to me and said my name. He introduced himself as Mark. He was very nice. I stayed until the end, then Mark came and talked to me again. He gave me the name and contact info for April. She was one of the coaches. I was to reach out to her & set up a date/time for my first session. I thanked him then Buck and I rolled out. I was even more excited to get started!
I didn’t want to seem too overzealous so I waited until 11:04 am Saturday morning before I sent April a text. The convo went like this…
Me: Hello April, Mark gave me your number to talk about setting up an intro to TFL.
Me: My name is Debi
April replied right away with: Hi Debi! When would you like to start ?
Me: Is this weekend too soon?
April: No:) Sunday at 11?
(I know, four exclamation points? 😬)
April: Ok I will see to then!
Me: Perfect, thank you
April: Your welcome
I did it! All signed up for my first official experience with CrossFit. I have watched the Reebok CrossFit Games and I follow Crossfit & The CrossFit Games on Facebook. I see the super athletes doing WAY hard shit, like handstand push-ups, walking on their hands, wild looking pull-ups (chest to bar), rope climbs, farmers walk, and all kinds of other crazy (potentially dangerous) exercises! The athletes themselves are monsters, especially the women! Jacked! Shredded! Great legs and, of course, great butts 😆 but do I think I could do what they do? Um, not really. Do I think I would tear muscles, tendons, break bones or seriously injure myself trying to do what those fit as fuck CrossFit athletes do? Most definitely 🤕. So why am I so pumped to get started? Um, cuz, like I said before, it’s new! Different! Challenging! Something I’m not good at so I can start from zero and learn the basics correctly to be stronger and super fit!!
Finally, Sunday morning arrived! I picked up MB in my monster Jeep 🚙 at 9:45 am so we had enough time to swing by Starbucks first. A mobile order for Venti Skim Caffé Misto w/three Splenda for me and a Grande 1% 1 pump vanilla Flat White for MB. Next stop, TFL (Train For Life)! We arrived early because MB was doing the 18.5 WOD at 10:30 a.m. while I watched & waited to train with April at 11. Several people did the 18.5 WOD. Each had a referee who judged their performance. Pretty cool! I saw this cute young (young compared to me) fit woman wearing pink tights judging or refereeing (not sure of the correct term). MB had pointed her out when we arrived. That was April. I watched MB and snapped a quick pic of her ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️
She’s gonna kill me for sharing this with you 😱!! Anyway, I think this picture is badass!
I also met Kim, Dan K’s wife & another fit woman named Jill. Jill explained the whole CrossFit Open 18.1 through 18.5 WODs, when they are announced, how they are done, what AMRAP means and several other things about CrossFit. THANK YOU Jill!
Kim was in front of me doing her workout. Dan K & I were chitchatting about work, CrossFit, being fit, getting fit, diet, retirement, all while he was cheering on Kim. She was awesome. She totally was killin’ her workout! 140 reps for Kim! Dan K said she only started 8 months ago. She’s a mother of two but you couldn’t tell to look at her. She was in great shape. MB kicked butt, too and finished her 18.5 WOD with an impressive 140 reps, too!
All the athletes were wiped out when they finished their 7 minutes of balls to the wall, no quit, challenging WOD! I couldn’t wait to start! They all totally motivate me!
Okay, it’s 11 a.m. and its my turn to burn some calories, crank up the heart rate & fatigue some muscles!! I introduced my self to April when she walked by. She had a very focused serious expression on her face but as soon as I told her my name she broke into a big smile and gave me a friendly welcome! There was another young woman who was a Groupon person. Her name was Tiffany and this was her third or four coached training session. Tiffany was very petit. I felt huge compared to her but this is about me vs. me!
April handed Tiffany and me jump ropes & told us to jump rope for three minutes to warm our muscles up. I like jump roping. I was wearing my baggy extra long UA athletic pants and a UA hoodie. So my jump rope kept getting caught on my pant legs. MB was yelling at me (in a fun teasing way) to take my pants off!! 🤣 Nope! I kept on going & very quickly I adjusted my jumps so the rope wasn’t getting caught, stopping my roll. I like to stay covered up. I feel like I haven’t earned my spot at the gym yet & busting out some cutesy fashionable gym tights & expensive strappy tops is not my way (although I LOVE Lululemon Athletica 😍). Covered is my way in a new place. MB didn’t care. She just likes fuckin’ with me 😂!
Jumps done. Heart rate elevated but nothing ridiculous. Now some instruction. April told us we were going to work shoulders. I LOVE working my shoulders because I really want to build muscular shoulders #boldershoulder! My shoulders need more muscle! Let’s do this!
April taught us how to correctly hold the bar in various positions for front squats, overhead press, how to use our legs to assist with the overhead press, then putting it all together. Basic movements, performed with light weight or no weight to practice the CrossFit movement correctly. This is exactly what I wanted!
Now its time to do our workout. Three movements. If I remember correctly, it was 5 overhead presses, 5 hanging knee raises then, with a 20 lb dumbbell in each hand, walking lunges across the length of the gym & back then repeat & repeat & repeat. April put 7 minutes on the clock and the workout began! I LOVE it! I kept going all the while MB joked & made me laugh. When I talked, she yelled, “If you can talk, you’re not working hard enough!” 🤩 When I was done, I had lapped my workout partner & was super happy I had a face flushing, heart pumping, muscle burning workout! Thanks April!!
Next workout? Tuesday at 6pm!
Stay tuned! 💪🏼
Train Hard, Eat Clean, Stay lean, Live Well