Why A Girl Petrified of Weightlifting Tried CrossFit

Last week, I tried CrossFit. And I'll do it again.

I should tell you that have not lifted weights since high school gym class, and that was a long, long time ago. Sure, I've picked up the occasional hand weight while rockin' out to a workout DVD, but I'm talking real weights - ones that require bars and adjustments and spotters.

In 2006, I ran my first marathon. It was the first time that I've truly put effort into getting into shape. When I was younger, I was blessed enough to be a stick (flip-side: no boobs or curves of any kind).

Well, life and metabolism were going to catch up with me at some point. So, as I've fondly called it, I had my "30 year crisis" and headed straight out to run 26.2 miles.

I've had an on-again, off-again affair with fitness routines ever since. There are a couple of things I know about myself:

1. I do much better taking a class rather than left to my own workouts or DVDs. I will inevitably skip it or slack off.

2. I need to sweat and move. I need the workout just as much for the stress release as I do to get stronger and drop fat.

I've dabbled with a number of types of workouts, but I have steered clear of CrossFit even as these gyms have surfaced like crazy all over the Chicago area.

I'm afraid of weights.

I have no upper body strength at all. My core has been destroyed by my two darling babies. I don't know proper form. I'm slow, don't know how to even think about using the equipment and I'm intimidated in a room of strong, grunting people who do.

And I have spent years avoiding any situation that involves having to attempt pull-ups. It was the single largest reason why I wanted to graduate from high school.

A few months back, I saw a discounted package available. I bought it. It sat. It even got within days of expiring.

But last week, in my attempt to do better things for myself this year, I sucked it up.

When I arrived, I hid in the front room for 15 minutes, just listening to the sounds, taking in the smells and trying to talk myself into running back out to the car.

Instead, I met one of the trainers and headed in to work out. In the first class, I learned the basics of the warm-ups and all about back squats. Form. How our muscles work together. How to get out from under the weights (Kind of. I have trouble with that.)

And you know what? This girl, the one petrified of weights, really liked it. I felt strong afterwards. I had a better understanding of where my weaknesses are. The people there were welcoming and helpful. I went back and liked it even more.

Granted, I have yet to do a timed workout, and that is a whole different level of phobia that I can't even touch yet. I'm still afraid of the phrase "total muscle fail." There's a lot to learn.

My home schedule won't allow me to get over there very often, but I'm excited to have a new outlet available to me. The winter will be a great time to strengthen my sad core, and gear back up for the running season.

I'll never be the stick I was when I was younger, and I'm okay with that. But being a strong, healthy mom sounds like a pretty good aspiration. One workout at a time.

What is your favorite way to stay in shape?

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