What brought you to CrossFit?
The practical answer is that my wife attended an On-Ramp session and I thought if she can do it so can I, but I’m not sure that sums up why I decided to try CrossFit. I came to CrossFit 2311 because I thought it was the next thing that I should try.
I spent a long time dormant, not exercising or taking care of myself. Then in April of 2013 I realized that I had gained a lot of weight over the past decade or so. I started gently, doing yoga and paying attention to what I ate. Then I slowly added running because it was free. Within a few months I’d ran my first 5k. I survived that, and I realized that I was afraid of weights. It was some sort of thing from when I was a kid and not liking the jocks in high school. I decided to conquer that fear. I could run (very slowly, but I could still do it) 5 miles, so why couldn’t I lift weights.
Right around this time my wife started CrossFit. I waited a month to start and I’ve pretty much been here ever since.
What was your first impression? How has that changed?
My first impression was that it was the worst thing that I’d ever done. I was exhausted and all of the weird motivational aspects of the training I was uncomfortable with. I think that I was worried that if I talked to too many people that someone would tell me that I didn’t belong at the box.
Now after 10 months or so of coming to CrossFit 2311 I don’t mind the exercise so much. It’s really hard work, but I see a goal and a purpose for it.
Some part of me really loves the moment in the middle of the WOD where everything inside my head starts to break down. The loud and lazy part of me says to just give up, or cheat on my reps and to go home early, that nobody will really care. Then the other, harder-working part of me speaks up and starts to say hey, only a few more. Two years ago that part of me didn’t exist. Last year before I came to CrossFit it was a pretty quiet voice. It just gets louder and louder.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on not shying away from the lung burner exercises. I think that when I first started I was attracted to the brute strength stuff because of the immediate gains that you see from picking things that are heavy up and then setting them down. But I want to be stronger and faster. I can’t do that without cardio, which means that I have to get out of my comfort zones.
I think that will happen because CrossFit seems to laugh at the idea of comfort zones.
I’d also like to work up to doing pull-ups. It’ll happen one day.
What was your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement has been sticking with CrossFit. That’s one of those things that has made me very proud of who I am and who I am becoming. I’ve gone from scaling every WOD and finishing in dead last to Rx’ing a WOD here and there and finishing next to last. I know that stuff isn’t supposed to really matter, but it matters to me.
I also think that coming to CrossFit 2311 has been a tremendous boon for me personally. Not just the getting stronger part. I didn’t know anyone in my community outside of work and my wife, and now I have friends who live here. That helps make this area my home. It’s also great being part of a group of folks who come from all walks of life and philosophies, not just the group of aging hipsters that I’ve called my friends for the last 20 years.
What’s your favorite CrossFit 2311 memory?
I don’t know if I have one particular memory, but I know that I really love the part of the day when we are all in a circle and stretching. For some reason, when the class is together and warming up and laughing it’s a nice feeling. It reminds me of being in the hallways at school between classes.