Monday, August 29, 2016

Workout Panties, Thrusters, Snatches and Other Things That Sound Delicious

In my last post I rambled on about WHY I decided to try Crossfit...and by the time I finished that lengthy explanation, I was tiring of my own I decided to carry over the Crossfit experience into a second post.


So let us start with some psychological tidbits regarding Amy's brain.  I would consider myself relatively fit.  I would also think it's same to say that I am physically stronger than the average 36 year old woman.  I could be delusional, but I believe I have a body that says: She works out...but she really loves tacos.  You know what I am saying?  I am confident in my physique.  Confident riiiiiight up until I think about placing myself in a situation where I believe there are REALLY fit people.  Then I am a chubby unicorn that has an over inflated sense of self.  So it was with trepidation that I went to my first cross-fit class.

Prior to rolling into the parking lot at 4:40 AM (it started at 5:00am and I apparently grossly underestimated the time required to travel to Crossfit during prime sleeping hours for the normal human beings that inhabit Pensacola), I had stalked the Facebook page, I had looked at their website.  I tried to watch any videos.  Photo stalked people who were in their posts...

I did my research.

I even sent messages to a couple of my friends that I knew went to this facility.  I prepped myself.

Then I almost pooped myself.

Well not really....although we know I do have a history...but I had that nervous stomach one gets before embarking on something that could potentially kill them.

But I went anyways.

I waited for the big garage door to roll open.

And out of my car I did go...into...

The "box".

Imagine a big metal structure, I'm not sure "warehouse" is the correct term...but gigantic garage might work.  There are racks and rigs, there are ropes to the ceiling, sleds for pushing, medicine balls, kettle bells...and absolutely no air conditioning.  I met Joe, the owner.  He looks...normal.  Well, thin and healthy.  He is training for a triathlon so he isn't even doing Crossfit right now.  So he looks more like a "runner" than a "crossfitter".  Very laid back.  Very friendly.

As the other people arrived I kept waiting for someone to show up in what I call "workout panties".
Here is a good example of workout panties...This is Dani Sidell...another one of my Instagram girl crushes.

But as I waited for people to arrive...everyone looked...normal.  There were some girls in college, there were some dudes that may have been around during Jack Lalanne was just a boy...
There were guys in their 40's, women that looked like "ladies that play tennis and shop then go eat salads and shop at Target".  There was a range of ages and body types.  And everyone was SUPER encouraging and welcoming.  And just like I find in many situations in my things are never as scary as I make them out to be in my head.

I can't even tell you what the WOD was that day (workout of the day), and I don't know how it is at other crossfit facilities, but the WOD reminds me a lot of a bootcamp style class.  Everyone is doing the same things, although at different weights or intensities, and you are doing it as a big group.  There is a warm-up, then maybe a section A, B, and C.  We usually start with something to get our heart rate up, a mix of high rep movements like box jumps, burpees, wall ball squats, and then something cardio like rowing or jump roping.  If you can't do any of those modify.  The middle section is usually the olympic lifting.  You aren't going fast, you are concentrating on form, technique, and weight.  Then the last section is the "section of death" as I like to call it.  I can last anywhere from 3-27 minutes and sometimes I think I am going to die.  Usually it is for time and you are doing AMRAP (as many rounds as possible in a certain amount of time) or you are doing a set number of rounds and reps and recording how long it takes you.

What's great about being at the brink of death is you can't really compare yourself to other people for the sweat in your eyes and the beating of your heart in your ears.

I jest.

If you don't want to push yourself you can take it my friend Higgie will tell you.  Sometimes I look over at her as I try to recover in my fetal position and she hasn't even broke a sweat and is staring off in space.

You do you boo.

But because I want to record my time (and perhaps...PERHAPS I like beating people), I usually go all out.

And before you know it...class is over.  I have learned to bring a beach towel to sit on for the ride home because it's hotter than Satan's wallet in there and I sweat like a beast.  I have to take my shirt off to get into my car.  I could literally ring it out most days.  And...I like it.

NOW, do I love love love Crossfit?  No.  But I really like it.  Some people really like the group "fitness class" idea.  I honestly prefer lifting alone...with just the Ying Yang twins to keep my company.  But there is something to the community idea.  Which is why so many people find Crossfitters annoying because it IS very easy to talk about it all the time.

Do I think Crossfit is for everyone and you have to go sign up right now?  No.  I know you can adapt many things for many levels, I just wonder if someone with say...arthritis or terrible knee pain...would get as much out of the workouts as you should.  Some people like Zumba more than doing clean and jerks.  Some women just like to work out with other women.  

And you know what?  That's okay.

Tomorrow I shall broach the subject of "my workout is better than your workout."

But until then, Happy Monday's my friends!


Friday, August 26, 2016

Amy Does Crossfit

Something has been happening.  It started with...Instagram. As some of you 'Gramers know, you can search for pictures/posts on Instagram using #hashtags.

So, if you wanted to lovingly look at say, TACOS, you could go the search feature and type in #tacos, and your mobile device would be filled with glorious pictures of tacos that other Instagram users had tagged.

Well, one of my favorite hashtags to search by is #girlswholift.  I like to look at the posts for motivation, ideas for workouts, or funny meme's like...
This is kinda true...but we will return to what the most interesting man in the world is saying in due time.

I noticed in all my searching of #girlswholift that there was a theme in the bodies I was attracted to.  And by "attracted to" I don't mean in that "I'd like to picture you naked when I am naked" kind of attraction (well, not USUALLY), but attraction in the sense that I was drawn to a certain body type that I liked the most.

Exhibit A:

Meet Stacie Tovar.  While I don't know her, she IS from Nebraska which IS right above Kansas, which IS where I lived for 26 years of my life.  So we are practically best friends...anyways.  I love her body type.  What we shall call "Body type Crossfit".  Thick, muscular, strong, a little stocky, fit.  And I totally get that the female crossfit body type is not for everyone.  "Too masculine" some might say.  I only caution you in saying that if you are a female because it implies that muscles = man...and women can have muscles too and still be "feminine".  But regardless...I dig it.  And even back in the when the sun first started to rise on my love parade with Heather, she always told me that most likely I was meant to be stocky & muscular...that if I started to lift and started to lift heavy, I would not have the body of say...
Charlize Theron

Which I took as her trying to flirt with me and all I could picture in my mind was a precious 30-something year old lapband patient that transformed into a gymnast/weightlifter/professional dancer.

SO, whew...long story long dude....I noticed that the body type I wanted was often tied to women that did Crossfit.

One problem with that...

Heather and I have been talking shit on Crossfit for years.  YEARS I TELL YOU!  We would say, "Lawd...all crossfitters talk about is crossfit".  Or "It's so dangerous", "It's so bad for your body", or "they aren't even doing REAL pull-ups".

Sigh.  So I viewed the crossfit girls in secret.  

THEN out came a documentary on Netflix called Fittest on Earth 2015.  It was a documentary that followed several of the top female and male athletes competing in the 2015 Crossfit games.  I watched it once by myself. I watched it again by myself.  THEN...I decided to make Heather watch it...after which I informed her that I was going to win the 2017 Crossfit games (I may need to extend that deadline a little after actually DOING some of things required to even qualify).  And being the fabulous wife that I was said to me...

"If you really want to do Crossfit I will support you and pay for it...and I will stop talking shit about it".

Say what?


But it actually took me a couple of weeks to summon up the courage to step into a "box" (they don't call them gym's.  I don't really know why but I think it has to do with the fact that the buildings are usually in warehouse like structures...not what you would picture as a gym these days?).

And while I am saving my experience thus far (finishing my first month) for my next post I will say this:

1.  It's not what I thought.
2.  I've got a lot to learn.
3.  No one is working out in their panties.
4.  98% of the people who go to my "box" look like normal people.
5.  It's challenging and different.

And that last one is important for me.  I have been working out now for almost 8 years.  (I mean regularly and post-lapband).  I started with walking.  I then segued into bootcamp style classes taught by future wife.  Then did circuit style training (a mix of cardio and weight stations) for a couple of years, tried to become a runner, and really got into lifting.  I have been actively trying to put on muscle mass for the last 2 years...and I certainly have become stronger and made gains. But for the last 6-9 months, I've kind of hit a body plateau.  So my real hope with adding crossfit to my normal workout routine is that it will be the change my body needs to start growing again.

And while I may never look like Stacie Tovar (I'm old, I used to weigh 330 pounds, I don't eat like her and I can't dedicate my days to training and fitness), I can at least by her shirts and pretend!

This is her website just in case you want to buy one too!