The Older Woman’s Guide to CrossFit Part 5

These are my notes from my efforts, as a 49 year-old woman, to join the paleo hipsters by trying 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

Read about the previous session

CrossFit Session 6

WTH!! My period arrived three days early. It never, ever does that. Ever. Strength training obviously disrupts the hormones. Hopefully they’ll settle down next month.

At least I can get the worst over with during the weekend which begs the delicate question: what does one do when Aunt Flo arrives on a CrossFit day?

Do you power through it? Make it a light workout? Or follow ancient Chinese wisdom that respects that women should go easy, and take the day off entirely? Please enlighten us, experienced CrossFitters; people ( like me) need to to know!

At sixes and sevens

I’ve been in a bit of a muddle this week. I’m having a hard time giving up my regular workout activities.

They’re well-established and habitual and I keep doing them plus a few strength moves to build myself up a bit. But I worry I’m overdoing it when I find my knees aching or I get twinges of pain, so I stop.

I think T-Tapp is a good complement to CrossFit and really helped with the soreness after the first few sessions. I do walks of several miles with friends a few times a week and that seems to be the hardest on me, especially my knees on top of the strength work, but I’m loathe to give them up as I enjoy them so much.

Anyhow, there have been times this week where I’ve felt I need to pull back to protect my joints which I’ve found a bit disappointing and frustrating. I do not want to get injured.

So my habits are a little out of whack and I’m working out my limits, but I’m excited to report that my push-ups are getting deeper! I can really tell my elbows are bending more and my chest is getting lower. I can’t tell you how excited that makes me. A full push-up is, if not in sight, certainly a prospect! 🙂

The class

Today was a compulsory session. We started with skipping, still unable to do double-ups (spin the rope around twice per jump) which makes me no different from anyone else, but got the heart pumping. We progressed to learning about cleans and dead lifts, first with PVC pipes, then with a 33 lbs bar.

I was the last to try it and was nervous, but in fact it was fine. I was chuffed. Felt like those people you see on the telly, at the Olympics! 🙂 And it’s amazing how the same weight feels so much lighter/heavier depending on the type of lift. I had no idea.

Friday night is quiet, so there’s a lot less grunting and crashing of weights to the floor from the regular class that goes on alongside us. I do watch them and wonder how I’m going to fit in. Perhaps they have a beginner class for those transitioning, I’m not sure. The 6pm class seems very proficient, a third are women. I’m a little bewildered about how it all works.


Our WOD was 3 rounds of 5 lifts, 10 squats (with or without the bar,) and 30 single skips (or 15 double-ups). I didn’t feel quite myself today, not ready to push myself as hard as usual, and it worked out okay.

I still got a sweat on, practiced the lift technique with correct form. It felt like this was really important to get right; messing it up with weight could really hurt, so I focused on doing it right. I’ll worry about weight another day.

It’s Friday and I wanted ice cream on the way home. I resisted, of course, but as I drove, I did reflect that nothing we’ve done in our sessions has been as tough as that first session; even if we did it now, five sessions later, I’m sure we’d all still be dying. It was so hard. Do they do that on purpose, do you think? Make the first session really tough? Or is it my imagination?

What happened next…