The Older Woman’s Guide To CrossFit: Part 2

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These are my notes from my introduction to CrossFit. It’s a sort of journal. I don’t know how it will develop, what will happen, it’s just a stream of consciousness as I go through the process that you are welcome to follow along with if you wish. I’ll try over time to include some pictures.

Back to the Beginning

CrossFit Session Two:

To be honest, I was kinda dreading it. I was soooo sore yesterday all round my pecs and lats. Took a sauna and T-Tapped (focusing on stretching upper body) this morning and that helped a lot. Both yesterday and today, in addition to eating my normal meals, I’ve craved tea and these truffle-like things I make from nuts, nut butter, coconut oil and a tiny bit of chocolate. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through today’s workout if we focused on muscles we used last time, and I’d had visions of me laying on the floor for most of it.

One other thing I’d been thinking about is how I now have to wear deodorant. I normally workout at 5:30am, after that I have a physically light day at home and there’s no need. Now I have to wear the flippin’ stuff. Funny the changes you have to make.

Earlier today, I’d gone by the box to check out what happened there during the daytime. To my surprise, it was quite busy. I’d had this fantasy that perhaps during the day it was inhabited by women and perhaps even retirees. But nope. All men, all hard.

The class

Everyone showed up, one guy had thrown up when he’d got home, everyone was still sore. We had a different trainer. She was more mature than the coach we had last time, she had kids, in fact I may have seen her around. I’d gone out and bought some long leggings and they worked much better than the short shorts I’d worn last time. It wasn’t nearly as hot.

We started out with a 400m run and some warm-ups that hurt like hell but after that we spent half an hour being instructed on presses and jerks which meant a lot of standing around. We used a light bar for practice and I was beginning to whistle to myself and think it was a doddle.

Workout of the Day

The WOD (See? I’m getting the lingo!) was three circuits of a 400m run followed by ten presses or jerks. No problem. Until we were sent to pick up our bars.

Apparently mine was only 33lbs but it felt as heavy as an elephant especially for the first twenty lifts. I could not get through ten without stopping and putting the bar down to rest. I was the only one to do that and was the last to finish.

Oh well. I was simply relieved that a) I got through it and b) there were no push-ups in today’s class. I’m not trembling nearly as much today. In fact, I’m not trembling at all. 🙂

CrossFit Session Three

I woke up at 5am this morning and the first thought that popped into my head was that it was a CrossFit day. As I normally get up at 5:30am, I indulged myself for a while, ruminating on why CrossFit appears to be so addictive. With only two sessions under my belt, there is a little adrenaline jolt when I think about it and a little anxiety, but those more experienced than I are overwhelmingly positive about CrossFit.

On my Facebook page, I got asked if I was addicted yet. Well, no, but I can see how it can become so. Take yesterday for example. With the exception of an unfortunate experience of driving all the way to my doctor’s office for my annual medical to be told that my appointment was next week, it was a typical day.

I got up early, did all my strenuous stuff at the very beginning of the day, and then spent the vast majority of the rest of it on my behind either at a computer or behind a steering wheel. I am taking an online course and the afternoon was spent particularly passively working through the various modules and flicking around from tab to tab in my browser.

By five o’clock, I was experiencing what Mark Sisson, in The Primal Connection, calls a sense of ennui resulting from a lack of nature and too much inactivity; a kind of mild depression or listlessness. I’d achieved much in terms of actions crossed off my “to-do” list but my brain was fried and I felt out of sorts.

Contrast that with an evening after a CrossFit session: my muscles might be aching, shaking even, but my head is clear, my mood is soaring, and I’m mighty pleased with myself. Plus, I can eat all I want for dinner plus a few dark chocolate truffles with impunity!

I find I often clear a few more things off my to-do list before I go to bed and then I sleep like a log, and so for those reasons, that “top of the world” feeling, the rush of endorphins, I can see why it is addictive. Kind of like the rush of going on a roller coaster but with more value.

The class

I got to the class early and watched the end of the earlier session. I was in awe of the two women who were there. They were both slight, one extremely so, but they could do push-ups with weights on their back! Man, the accomplishment I’d feel if I ever got to that level…

We had yet another trainer, a 6’7″ Dane this time, very pleasant guy, who had us skipping for the warm-up and my seven year-old self was in heaven, go me! We worked mostly on squats while holding a pole, followed by sit-ups and “supermans” using the equipment rather than the floor this time.

Once again, it was when we got to the weight section that I struggled; we worked on dead lifts. I had to go lighter and use just the 33lb bar without additional weight; I managed four at a time before resting. I am seeing progress in this lifting thing, very slightly. Then we moved onto kettlebell swings, something I’ve done at home. That was more manageable. I used a 15lb weight.

Our WOD for the last ten minutes was three rounds of 10 kettlebell swings, 10 floor sit-ups, 10 box jumps. By this time, I didn’t have the strength to jump up so I modified by stepping up and back down.

I had a slight conundrum today because I forgot to eat before the session. I’d eaten breakfast late at 11am and then didn’t feel hungry until an hour before my session. The advice I got was to eat something very light, so I did and hoped for the best. I did feel a little light-headed a couple of times and had to drink water, so I shall have to watch the timing of my eating more carefully next time.

On a positive note, I did not seriously consider celebrating the end of my session by going for ice-cream today! The first two times, I was sorely tempted to reward myself by taking a slight detour to our local creamery on my way home. Hopefully, I’ve nixed that urge. 🙂

Read what happened in CrossFit Session Four