After three sessions under my belt — well, four if you count my barf-inducing baseline session (and yea, I’ll continue to splatter the vomit story throughout this diary) — I’m developing a dread-slash-appreciate relationship with this whole Crossfit thing.
For someone with no history of seriously regimented exercise, dread is to be expected. I don’t look forward to getting up at the crack of dawn for the 7 a.m. beginner class, and the fear invades the previous night, hampering my ability to enjoy a bit of wine or a late night of watching movies. But that’s partially the point, claims one of my coworkers, suggesting that the early sessions are a means of keeping aspiring athletes off the booze and instead adhering to a healthier way of being.
That might be so, but the noon session I attended on Friday — while perhaps the “easiest” yet, in that I was learning technique more than pushing it — still instilled the dread like before, and caused me to lie down on my bed afterward for awhile to catch my breath. That Crossfit rest period — an immediate post-workout dive to the floor followed by about 20 or so minutes of similar inactivity once I get home — also adds to the dread: Unlike previous exercise regimes, where bike rides or jogs are fairly quickly met with the endorphin rush, it seems to take my body an hour or so to respond with that good feeling buzz.
All of those factors, however, seem to contribute to the appreciation part of this budding relationship, which ain’t no love story but might become a mutually respected arrangement one day. Due to both the physical and mental progress of thinking you can’t do a task and then following through, I can’t help but feel better about myself and my health after such an intense workout. That’s kind of what hooks people into Crossfit, especially those folks who’ve been working out their whole lives and hitting plateaus — there’s no such thing as a Crossfit plateau, they say, and I can’t help but believe them, even though I’ve only personally worried about plateauing as much as I have fretted about my run for President of the United States.
And call me crazy, but I think that I might already be noticing results after a mere three official sessions. If my assessment is actually true, it’s certainly because my doughy frame is quick to respond to any muscular stimulation, and it’s also probably because I’ve been trying to adhere a bit more to the Paleo diet, particularly staying away from bread and cheese as much as possible and turning to proteins much more often as subsistence.
Or maybe it’s just my brain tricking me in order to reconcile what it perceives as torture. In any case, something’s working, so I’ll be back.
Follow Matt Kettmann’s foray into Crossfit Pacific Coast with regular updates at independent.com/crossfit.