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The CrossFit phenomena, explained

Was it accurate?  Did they get it just right?  Let me know your thoughts!

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I’m So Gonna Die (CrossFit Newbie)

Hi everyone,

Thanks for having me here!  I’m happy to provide additional insight on BlackChicksWod.com from a newbie perspective.  This is my first post, so it’s a smidge longer, but worth it! Future posts will be shorter, believe me!

My journey began with a longing for change.  Something more than another New Year’s “certain-to-fail-by-day-two” Resolution.  I wanted to modify my lifestyle drastically, to exact a permanent shift in my spiritual, physical and mental health. I decided to focus on a handful of objectives:

  1. Attend Church Regularly
  2. Grow out my Natural Hair
  3. Learn a New language
  4. Improve my overall Health

As easy as these goals sound, and although I had already been making progress on the first two items (church/hair), my attempts at learning a new language and improving my health were completely shot!

Every day I would look at my dusty, unopened Rosetta Stone set for Spanish (not cheap!), and go about my business for the day, it remains unopened. Healthwise, I began making my lunches for work but completely failed by eating Chipotle for dinner. It’s highly likely my language goal will continue to exist as just a goal, but for health/fitness I decided to completely crank up the heat with…CrossFit >:o.

Now, let’s be frank: I don’t consider myself to be inexperienced or a novice at intense exercise. Growing up I was the quintessential tomboy, so I constantly ran up and down the block and beat down the boys. In school, I played basketball, track & field, and soccer…a year-round athlete! However, let’s be frank again: that was HOW many years ago? Like 10 bloody years!

At 29 years old, 5’6″ in height and *cough, cough* 115 lbs in weight, my 60+ hr per week desk job was only aiding in packing on pounds and the sports club/globo-gym model was no longer a motivating, appealing option. I mean seriously, how many times can you jog on the treadmill or deal with the “meatmarket” that is inherent to working out in that type of gym?

So…in hearing all the buzz about CrossFit from friends, people I hate for other reasons than their banging bodies and the internet/social media, I thought it would be interesting to try the ADHD workout…because thats what interval training really is right?? Lots of variations in movements and hitting body targets in a very short time frame.  I “pressed the button” and paid my fee (pound of flesh??) to begin this tortuous ride of “constantly varied, functional movement”.

As I got closer and closer to my first CrossFit basics class, panic began to set in and I started to have conversations with myself that would rival the best of them.

What in the heck did I just commit to do?!?!
I’m no longer in my prime 20’s, I can’t run and jump like I’m 12 years old and invincible!! And REALLY, what-is-up with all these monstrous dead-lift weights, kettlebells, and pull-ups? I wanted to get in shape, but not look like jacked-up Barbie.

More importantly, as a Black Chick, I didn’t want to throw up, get man-sized calluses, break an ankle, rupture a kidney or any of that mess!  I didn’t want wanna die! (Seriously…this is how I felt and what I consistently texted and emailed my friends all the way up to the start of my first class).

I resolved to whooo-saaaah and cue the crunkest, ratchet-est Southern music on my iPhone to get amped up for my walk through the fire.

Jan 2, 2013 was my first day of CrossFit, albeit the first of 6 fundamental courses. Walking into the Box (one of the first 50 CrossFit Affiliates *wipes sweat from brow*), I got a serious tingle; a slight, light-headed feeling that morphed into a crazy adrenaline rush…it was time to (wo)man up and bring it! I was intrigued by the no-frills set up; the Box was just that, a freaking big “box” with weight lifting equipment in each corner and along the wall, ropes and rings hanging from the ceiling and no mirrors. I could immediately sense that people were there to sweat and not there to be cute while running on the treadmill. I was temporarily overwhelmed by the cacophony of teeth-clenched-breathing grunts and whooshes of a nearby group completing their WOD. And the sweat, oh I smelled and saw a lot of freaking sweat, lol.
My coach, whom I will call Ms. Gunz, led our session and her appearance did very little to calm my nerves.  Her arms were huge; biceps popping!

She was kind enough to rally our group of five by briefly sharing her reasons for joining CrossFit; which was nice, but all too soon the talk was over and I found myself getting positioned to do push ups. Ms. Gunz’s intent was to show us how to properly execute pushups, situps, and air squats.
Oh air squats.
For years, I’d been convinced that I knew how to properly squat, but this was something else!! This whole “breaking the plane” thing brings to mind images of Lil Kim, but soooo not that nasty.  You’re too busy trying to keep your chest up, heels down and legs moving.

We began our first challenge, my very first “tabata”: 20 secs of work and 10 secs of rest for 16 rounds, alternating between situps and pushups. The goal was to maintain the same number of situps and pushups done in the first round throughout the remaining fifteen cycles. I felt pretty good about the situps, but the pushups were horrible for me and tired me out pretty quickly, but at least the men were dragging by the end as well (he he he).

Next we learned all about executing pull-ups and “kippings”. Needless to say, after killing my arms on pushups I couldn’t do a single pull-up. However, I was fascinated to learn of these nifty elastic bands which support some of your weight, so gradually you progress to assistance-free pull-ups!

I have no shame, I’ll be using the thickest black band for a long time.

Lastly, we rounded off the first day with 2 mins of air squats. On my 70th burning air squat, I had to do an internal check, “Really?!!? You decided to do this ish instead of pilates?!?”.

Ms. Gunz, yelled and cheered us on to finish strong.

I’m sure we were the most miserable, out of shape bunch ever…but thats exactly why we were there…why I was there. I’ve concluded…that yes, I’m probably gonna die…but at least I may learn to do an actual pull-up before doing so :).

Stay tuned!
MemphizBelle “Southern Diva Extraordinaire”

OMSAG

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3 Rounds AMRAP
1st Round: 4mins 500M Row, 10 Box Burpees, 17 Knees to Elbows; 3 Min Rest

2nd Round: 6Mins 500M Row, 10 Box Burpees, 20 knees to elbows, 15 shoulder to overhead @65lbs, 6min rest

3rd Round: All out 500M Row, 10 Box Burpees, 10 knees to elbows, 30 shoulder to overhead at 65lbs, 40 Kettle Bells (American) @ 30lbs and 50 Double Unders
Final time: 15:25

My body was literally shaking lol