Stage 1: Discovery. I look in the mirror and acknowledge the truth: I’m unfit and fat. Not that I’d ever really use the word ‘fat’ — I’d use ‘heavy’ or ‘overweight’. I know I need to make a change. But I’m not athletic, don’t like exercise classes and can’t seem to make a long-term commitment to a gym. So what to do?Well, there’s a new place — CrossFit — that just opened up. So I walk in the door to see what it’s all about. I’m pleasantly surprised that it looks like fun — small group of people doing different movements, participating in what look like simple exercises. Initial misgivings that it would be all ‘jocks’ seem unfounded. Women outnumber men; ages range from young to ‘mature’. Not everyone is thin. Looks promising. Adam, the instructor, seems nice — unnaturally cheerful and upbeat, but then most fitness instructors usually are — I might come back and try a class.
Stage 2: Doubt. That first class gets off to a rocky start. Adam, how can you call this ‘just’ the warm up? Nine exercises, 10 to 15 times each — I call it enough, in fact, more than enough. And you want me to do these nine exercises three times — for a WARM UP? You are out of your mind. You say you start the class AFTER the warm up? I just might start for the door and see you later.
Stage 3: Discomfort. Casting aside doubt, I come back for more CrossFit classes but find myself in a state of negativity: My body doesn’t bend like that. I can’t possibly lift that much weight. I’m too old to try that. But Adam has a trick: He says you can ‘scale’ the movements. If you can’t do a pushup from your toes, try it from your knees. If that doesn’t work, try it standing at the wall. He says it’s the range of motion that counts. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, at least for now. I’m feeling the effects of these classes throughout my body. To my surprise, my body seems to like the movements.
Stage 4: Realization. Hey, what’s going on? After a month of CrossFit, I can walk up stairs without stopping on the landings . . . the numbers on the scale are decreasing . . . my clothes aren’t tight anymore. Then two months of classes and you know what I’ve learned — Adam was right: My body DOES bend like that . . . I CAN lift that much weight . . . I’m NOT too old.
Stage 5: Enthusiasm. Wow — I love CrossFit. Adam makes sure each class is different . . . the classes are very intense but mercifully short, usually about 20 minutes. I’m losing weight, gaining strength and fitness, meeting great people. As an un-athletic person who has had a very tenuous commitment to exercise, I’m now committed to CrossFit. The results feel great — and you can’t keep me away from class!