Friday, July 8, 2011


Let me tell you what I liked and hated most about Thursday's class at CFCC.

Ho.Lee.Shit. It was humbling.

See, I decided to check out crossfit because it seemed fun. Lots of emphasis on functional movements, heavy weights and short, intense spurts of hard freakin' work. And I felt like, hey, I'll be good at this! Maybe not number one immediately, but I'll be good at this - I'm naturally kinda strong and I'm in decent shape.

On Tuesday, our focus was on double-unders (which I knew I was not going to be good at - coordination, she is not my strong suit), and one-armed shoulder presses (which I know I am OK at). I felt strong through the shoulder presses in the WOD, and - blessedly - was able to jump rope - at least the single-unders - without looking like a complete moron. I was happy.

And then I saw that pull-ups were on the schedule for Thursday. And I'm like, PSHHH. I can't do a bodyweight pull-up (yet), but I've worked up to one or two in a row with only 20 or 30lbs counterweight on the assisted pullup machine in our gym, and I regularly do anywhere from 6-8 sets of 8-12 pullups each with a 50 or 60lb counterweight at least once a week. So I figured I'd be solid through this class, and I was excited.

And then it was time for class. And I couldn't even hang from the bar with my palms facing in - my grip strength sucks, and my wrists were killing me. So I had to "hang" with one foot on the box.

And then I did some pullups. And I had to use a resistance band to assist me, which was OK. I came pretty close to getting a solid pullup with a "mini" band, which made me pretty happy. And then it was time for the WOD.

We did tabata work. For the uninitiated (like me), that is interval work: twenty seconds of balls-to-the-wall work, followed by ten seconds of rest. We repeated eight times each for a total of three rounds of different moves. So, eight times twenty seconds of all of the pushups you can do. Eight times twenty seconds of all of the pullups you can do. And then eight times twenty seconds of all of the (unweighted) squats you can do.

For my first pullup interval, I was like - this is cake. I did, I don't know, maybe seven or eight pullups that round. And then my grip started to fail - REAL bad. I could barely eke out three pullups each round after that - not because my back couldn't handle it, but because my wrists and forearms were killing me. I failed halfway up for what feels like a thousand pullups each round.

And here's the thing - most of the other people in my class don't suck at pullups. And I didn't think I sucked at pullups. I expected to be right up in there with the rest of them. And I wasn't. I don't suck, but the way that I've been training so far has really hidden the extent of my weaknesses.

Thankfully, the next on-ramp class has us scheduled to work on deadlifts. I am hoping and praying that my legs are as strong as I think they are, and that I'm able to redeem myself a little bit.

All this to say - holy shit. Crossfit is awesome. I do like it and I'm glad I joined - both because it's straight up fun, and because it's bringing me down to earth in terms of what my actual abilities are.

That, and I can't wait to get a real pullup.

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