Friday, October 14, 2011

Impossible Things: Crossfit

A few weeks ago, Chelsea and I, newly married, found ourselves walking down an alley in the early evening. The alley was, as alleys are, kind of gross. There was some trash strewn about and the ground was wet. A few people walked by eying us warily and we warily eyed them right back. It's an alley. Alley law says that no matter how put together someone looks that you give them weird looks just to be on the safe side.

As we continued to stroll (briskly) we saw a light coming from a building- our destination. As we approached our destination we heard:

Loud rock music
Crashing
Yelling

We turned into the building and saw the source of the sounds- 20 men and women tossing barbells over their heads and back to the ground while an instructor shouted words of instruction/encouragement at them to the dulcimer tones of heavy metal music. The workout looked- in a word- terrifying.

This was/is Crossfit. Chelsea and I were there to sign up.

Okay, so it wasn't a done deal by any stretch. We're both fitness people now, and I've been looking for a new physical challenge in the wake of our wedding. I had been researching Crossfit as alot of people seemed to be doing it all of a sudden, the workouts seemed intense and awesome, and Crossfit Defined (the name of this particular Crossfit facility) was a five minute walk from our apartment.

When the crazy workout wound down, Noal, one of the instructors/coaches took some time to explain Crossfit to us. It's basically a fitness program that strives to create "complete" athletes- meaning they train you to be not just strong, agile, or fast, but all of those things. The gyms are Spartan. There are no treadmills, or stairclimbers, or Nautilus machines. There ARE barbells, pull up bars, kettlebells and rowing machines.

There is also a sense of community which I really like. If someone completes a workout early, they cheer on their classmates who haven't finished. You aren't there to beat your Crossfit fellows. You're there to overcome your own challenges, and help them overcome theirs- to me, THIS is what separates Crossfit from other gyms.

It has been a few weeks and we are now nearly done with our On Ramp program in which we have been taught the basic techniques that Crossfit incorporates. Soon, we will begin to participate in the "WODS"- workouts of the day.

So, when some future young couple shows up at Crossfit Defined and sees 20 people tossing around weights and shrieking like a Pict attacking Hadrian's Wall (look it up), two of them just might be Chelsea and myself.

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