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So I’ve been running a lot.  I graduated from the Couch-to-5K program and have moved on to the 10K trainer.  But I got up to about 4.6 miles as my longest run and started having trouble breaking the barrier to my next record.  I knew I needed to start cross training to build a better core for increased stamina.  Last month, I purchased a Living Social deal for a rowing studio, where I had unlimited classes for a whole month.  It was hard but very fun.  I liked that there was little impact with the cardio portions of the workout on the urg machine, since I was really putting wear and tear on the old knees and ankles with three runs per week.  Plus, it was a different workout every time – good for me, since I get bored so easily.

But alas, my Living Social deal came to an end and the monthly membership price was a little too steep, plus it wasn’t in the most convenience location.  At just the right time, I spied a Groupon for a place I’ve been eying for a while as it is right in my neighborhood.

That’s right, y’all.  I tried Crossfit.  Now I should clarify that the Groupon was for Crossfit bootcamp classes, which are sort of the “lite” version of your typical Crossfit torture session workout.  No olympic style lifting or crazy pull-up business.  Everything else is fair game.  I had a lot of presumptions about it before I went in, but I knew it was a challenge and that’s what I wanted.  First, I really believed that I would be at the bottom of the pack in terms of what I could accomplish in a session.  And yet as we recorded our progress on a white board throughout the session, I was happy to find myself right in the middle of the pack on that first day.

I’ve also heard that Crossfit can be a little… how do I say this… cultish?  I tend to be a bit of a loner when it comes to exercise – okay, when it comes to a lot of things, but especially at the gym.  I’m just not a rah rah gal.  I was afraid my cold black heart might not fit in with the supportive atmosphere upon which most Crossfit gyms pride themselves.  But after a few post WOD (that means Workout of the Day in Crossfit speak) high fives, I started to get into it a little.  The coach even stood by the door of the box (aka, the gym) and waited for me to turn the corner of my final run of the WOD, cheering me to the finish.  I needed that.

Did I realize that any of my assumptions were accurate?  Well, I assumed it would hurt like hell and I was right.  I’ve been popping Advil like it’s candy and have discovered muscles I didn’t know I had because they hurt really, really badly. Finally, I knew that all of the pain and adjustment would be worth it for what I call the “sweat walk” and boy was I right.  The sweat walk is the time after the workout is over, after the stretching is done, where you begin the walk out of the gym and back to your car, sweating buckets but feeling like the biggest, strongest badass ever.  It’s my favorite part of working out.  On that walk I reflect on what I’ve just done.  In this week’s case, my sweat walk recalled a 250m run, 15 pushups, 65 kettle bell squats, 60 squat/overhead lifts with a weightlifting disc, 48 burpees (although I switched to straight pushups for the last couple rounds), 10 box steps (box jumps for wimps like me), and 100 situps.  When I list it all out like that, it definitely feels like something that should be remembered.

So whether or not I end up continuing with Crossfit after this Groupon is done, I feel good that I finally conquered my fears and went for it.  And with that said, I’m going to head to bed by crawling up the stairs on my hands and knees since walking up is just not an option after that much squatting action.



Laura is mommy to Charlie, who was born in April 2011. If you are in Philadelphia and spot a woman on the bus who is balancing an active toddler and the largest canvas tote that L.L. Bean makes, you've probably spotted her. Always up for a challenge, Laura enjoys her day job as a fundraiser, cooking healthy meals at home for her family, and her new workout hobby - running.

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    First, I’m so impressed with all your hard work, Laura. I wish I had the same motivation to work out and exercise.

    Also? I’m glad you called Crossfit a cult so I didn’t have to. Because from the outside it totally seems cultish!

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