Crossfit – Day 65
I wasn’t sure what exactly CrossFit was and because of a few people’s good luck messages, I was reluctant to research it before I turned up at Newquay CrossFit. When I walked in the door, it was wall to wall beefcake (with one beefcake-ess). Before my challenge started, this would have been the stuff of nightmares for me, as I’m more fudge cake than beefcake. Even after all I’ve experienced since I started, I still felt really daunted.
Dan the owner came up and introduced himself and tried to allay my fears and said that I would be going at my own pace and finding my own limits. In response, I hurled a number of excuses about my back hurting and that I have self-diagnosed burpee-itis (fear of burpees). Dan took my whining on board and then in one fell swoop cast it aside, as it was time to warm-up. Thankfully, a few more ladies joined us to balance out the testosterone.
The idea of CrossFit is to build strength and conditioning through a set programme, with workouts of the day or WODs. There is a competitive element to this, as you earn points for the reps you do in whatever is assigned for that session. The afternoon crew will then come in and try and beat those scores. Essentially, I was in a room full of bad-asses.
The first element was named "Thruster" and Dan told us to pick up a bar and with your partner alternate squatting and then lifting your preferred weight above your head. Your score would be the weight, times how many reps in 5 minutes. I was handed a bar but this was heavy enough, so I declined any additional weight. My jaw dropped to the floor as we lined up and I looked around at what everybody else was attempting. I managed 50 in two and a half minutes and although I wasn’t lifting an actual weight, the 15kg weight of the bar was hard enough. I properly grimaced through the last reps.
Next up, Dan instructed us to get onto a bar and then we had to swing our feet up to touch the bar and repeat like before. The exercise was simplified to hang from the bar and bring up your knees, or for me, who could only manage 6 before falling off, lie down and then lift up my legs – which was hard enough. I was completely letting my partner down but she was very sweet and understanding.
What followed in the next 10 minutes is a place where I have never seen people go in this challenge so far, in terms of pushing themselves. As I did the toddler version of this exercise, some of the guys were alternating pull-ups and getting their chest on the bar with handstand push ups. I’ll explain this in the hopes of giving you the full visual effect. The beefcakes were getting into a headstand against the wall and then lowering themselves up and down, for a total of 60 reps. This was a different level altogether.
I just about managed to complete my version of what they were up to and I found it really tough but I was full of admiration watching everybody.
The hour was up, and I fist bumped with a few of the guys – thankfully there was no high-fiving, as my bingo wings probably couldn’t have managed that, after what they’d just been through! Although this is definitely the toughest thing I have done, I was full of the old endorphins once it had finished.
CrossFit is definitely not for everyone and although it’s on the far end of the spectrum in terms of strength and fitness, I’m glad I experienced it. These guys told me how much they absolutely loved it and how they got so much out of it. There’s something out there for everybody and if you want to go to that next level, this is definitely for you.
I said goodbye and as I get to the two-thirds mark of the challenge, I look at what is left and feel relief that I am through the hardest but actually I still haven’t tackled the likes of wrestling, gymnastics, water polo, wheelchair rugby and snowboarding. Maybe I will wait until I have completed those before I declare this the toughest.
Sofa Dodger; One Woman's Quest to Try 100 Different Sports and Fitness Classes in a Year is available on Amazon, please click here