Life comes at you weird.
I was in my very late 30’s, newly divorced and incredibly out of shape. Looking back on it, I was a mess. I wasn’t taking care of myself physically and truthfully felt miserable emotionally because of it. There is something crippling about being in a place physically that you don’t want to be. I knew I needed to do something about it but didn’t know where to start.
My ex-wife called me one day and told me about this exercise program she had purchased called P90X. She hated it and wondered if I wanted to buy it from her. Now I had seen the infomercials that promised if I did exactly as they said for 90 days, I would be “ripped”. Every time I saw the infomercial on TV I would think “I want to be ripped!” and then I’d get up off the couch, get another slice of pizza and a beer. I knew I wouldn’t do it and I didn’t need that negativity in my life. Ya’ boy is independent!
Anyway ~ The Ex must’ve caught me in a moment because for some inexplicable reason I said yes. I guess I had finally reached a that point in my life where I felt I had nothing to lose but a little time. That place is commonly referred to as “F*ck it!” We’ll be referring back to that place several times during this story so keep up. I wasn’t overly concerned because the program in it’s entirety is only 90 days and all I had to do was follow directions. I’ve always been good at taking orders and following directions (except when I was married of course) so I gave it a go. I’m not gonna lie. That sh*t works. For those of you that have never done P90X it is basically a ton of pushups, pullups, lunges, plyometrics, yoga, and sh*tty catchphrases. I got really good at the pushups and catchphrases…
It didn’t take long to lose a bunch of weight and put on a little muscle. I mostly lost weight. I was a skinny b*tch and fabulous but I was getting addicted to working out. Tony Horton became my personal trainer of sorts and I thought I had reached the apex of physical fitness. Man did I have no idea how wrong I was and how much my life was going to change.
Shortly after my second round of P90X I was at my youngest daughters soccer practice and a buddy showed up who had a kid on the team. At some point he asked me what I did to stay fit and I proudly told him I had been doing P90X. He asked me if I had heard of this thing called “CrossFit”. When I asked him what it was he said “It’s like P90X but on steroids. It will be the hardest thing you have ever done.” I actually laughed at him smugly and said “I’m sure I’ll be ok. I do a lot of pushups and pullups”. He told me to meet him at this new gym called CrossFit Distinction for a free “Intro workout” on the following Saturday.
I arrived early, eager and ready to go. The gym was sparse and I had never seen anything like it. Just a pullup rig in the middle of a warehouse with some barbells, plates, kettlebells, and medicine balls. One of the two owners introduced herself as Regina and told me she would be walking me they the “Intro WOD”. I didn’t want to seem dumb so I didn’t bother to ask what the hell “WOD” meant. I was just ready to impress them all with my P90X athleticism. Regina told me she would be walking me through the workout.
The CFD Intro WOD as prescribed is:
3 rounds for time of
10 Thrusters at 95#
100 foot Overhead Walking Lunge at 45#
Here is my personal diary from that workout.
MAY 21, 2011
(Note to self: What kind of dumb ass decides to do a new workout program on an empty stomach?…….this guy!)
Regina walks me thru the movements for the intro workout and explains that the workout will be timed.
Me: (in my head) – I hope that clock doesn’t go any higher than 5 minutes because this should be easy.
Regina: “Here is your workout. Since it is your first day you will be scaling the weights. 3 rounds – 10 Thrusters with a 45# bar, 20 burpees, 50 foot overhead lunge with 15# plate.”
Me: “Sounds good.” (in my head) -” 45# bar and 15# plate. EASY! 20 burpees? Those are like pushups. I’ll kill that no problem. They are all going to be impressed at how good I am at this.”
Regina: “Ready? 3-2-1..Go!”
Round 1 Thrusters: I’m going to fly thru these thrusters so I can get to the burpees. Those look easy. 7, 8, 9 10. Whew…not too bad but I’m a little surprised that I’m starting to breath heavy.
Round 1 Burpees: I’m 5 burpees in and a little confused. Why are my legs burning? I thought these were like pushups? Also why does the clock now say 5 mins and I’m only on number 10. Regina said I could take a break but screw it, I’m gonna power thru these last 10…..18-19-20 done with the burpees. I have two questions now. Why does the clock say 8 mins and did I update my will? Holy mother of God I can’t breath. Regina keeps yelling something at me but I honestly can’t concentrate on her. I hope she’s yelling “Does anyone know CPR?”
Round 1 Lunges: These suck. I’m going to check this plate when I am done because there is no way it weighs 15#. These Crossfitters must be straight up liars. Why does the clock say 12 mins? That damn thing must be broken…
Round one is in the bag and by “in the bag” I mean it kicked me in the man bag. I go to the door to get some air and hear Regina yell from across the room “Don’t go home!” Nice touch Regina. Not embarrassing at all…..
Round 2 Thrusters: After walking around like zombie for a couple of mins I jump back in. The thrusters are sucking the life out of me and feel super heavy. I see a girl half my size across the room lifting the same bar with what appears to be close to 100# on it. It occurs to me that I will be peeing sitting down from now on because I obviously have a vagina. I actually wish I had a vagina because that girl is a lot stronger than me. Why does the clock say 16 mins?
Round 2 Burpees: I am doing these in fantastic sets of 2’s now. I can’t decide which hurts more, my arms, legs, or lungs. I am also a little afraid that I am going to drown in that pool of sweat under me. It’s getting pretty deep and I am pretty sure that if I do one more I won’t be able to push my way out of it. I’m hoping that strong girl across the room will snatch me over her head and carry me to safety.
Round 2 Lunges: Damn. I forgot to check the plate. I think the lack of oxygen getting to my brain is causing me to hallucinate. I swear the clock says 24 mins but that can’t be right. That MF’ing thing must be broken….
Round 2 is in the bag. I notice that Regina has not only quit yelling at me but she is also no longer making eye contact. That can’t be a good thing…
Round 3 Thrusters: I only have to do 10…..I only have to do 10. That’s what I keep telling myself. Each one feels harder than the last. I think after all this leg work that there is no way I can drive home after I am done. Maybe the ambulance I am about to need will swing me by there…..
Round 3 Burpees: I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No seriously. I think I just saw my Grandpa, Elvis, and Abraham Lincoln. I think they call these things “Burpees” because calling them “the worst exercise ever that will make you feel like your legs are on fire and you have been kicked in the nuts” would just scare people off.
Round 3 Lunges: All I have to do is get across the room with this plate over my head. Sweet baby Jesus my legs are burning and I can’t see from all the sweat. Or are those tears? Whatever, I am done! That lying SOB clock says 36:00. When I get my composure in a few weeks I am going to check it.
Me to Regina: “So where do I sign up?”
Regina: (astonished/embarrassed for me look) “Online. See ya next week.”