Trying Something New

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Last night I attended my first night of Crossfit Elements at a local box - man am I SORE! I have the opportunity to try things out free for two weeks before deciding to continue the elements course and join the box.

I can't tell you how GOOD it felt to be working out with people again! I really feed off positive vibes & I love that people cheer each other on (this is also why I love running). Nearly everyone in the class was new to Crossfit so we were all in the same boat. Everyone was at different levels of fitness and knowledge about the sport and yet it was scaleable to our personal abilities - that's the mark of something good to come.

Last night began with a dynamic warmup: jumping jacks, arm circles, etc. Then we went over three basic movements: air squats, push ups, and ring rows. At first I told myself it would be easy - I've done all those things before, right? WRONG. Squats are my jam, I can do them forever but push ups are a totally different beast. Especially when you realize you've been doing them all wrong on a regular basis. By "wrong," I mean compared to the proper Crossfit style pushup. I'm sure there are multiple ways to skin a cat but for our purposes, its more like this:

If you do yoga, it's basically a Chaturanga pushup. I've been doing a wide grip push up since I can remember which I realized isn't really targeting as many muscle groups. I also realized that I'm not coming all the way down - or the full range of motion. Anyway, pushups were interesting and I definitely realized how much upper body strength I'm lacking...particularly on the actual "push UP" part. :(

So after we reviewed the three basic moves, our instructor has do a benchmark workout that we will repeat in two weeks to see if we improve. We had to go in groups of 4 because there were limited rowers available so I volunteered to go first. Then I realized I was the only girl who volunteered and I was going to be working out with a group of guys. Not that it's about competing or "beating" other people but I was immediately worried I would be super slow compared to them...spoiler alert: I didn't do too bad in comparison.

When I finished the WOD, I was toast. My arms immediately started to seize up. Not in a painful way but more in a "oh shit, here comes the lactic acid and inflammation" way. My lungs were on fire - I've only worked out 3-4 times in the three weeks or so. I'm definitely not in top shape. At the same time though, I felt REALLY good. I almost NEVER push myself that hard at the gym these days but something in my came alive again. Maybe some endorphins kicked in, maybe it was the competitive spirit or the fact that I was being timed. Maybe it was fear of being last to finish. Whatever it was, I can see why people enjoy it! 

This morning when I woke up, I felt the familiar soreness of a job well done. Not that every workout needs to leave you sore and/or miserable, but it's really gratifying to feel that ache again. 

Regardless if Crossfit becomes my "thing" or not, I'm so happy to have been introduced to running and weight lifting. Up until the last few years, my "ideal" body type was very different from what I picture today. When I look at myself, I see a good amount of muscle...covered in a hearty layer of fat. My point is, though, that my body type is not conducive to natural "thinness." Rather, I have a curvy, hourglass figure that craves muscle mass. More muscle = more curves. I don't have it in me to look like an actress or model but maybe my body can transform to be more like an athlete?  Maybe I should embrace these "thunder thighs" by building up my strength and using them to run hard and lift heavy. Maybe I shouldn't set my sights on being a Victoria's Secret model and instead strive to be the best, healthiest version of Heather I can be. I guess we'll see!

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet 


  1. I respect your mindset. I've never taken up crossfit before, but I heard that becoming accustomed to such kind of exercises would make military training a lot easier. Ideally, the pushup expected of military members should look like the image you presented. Unfortunately, many females I know lack the upper body strength necessary to pump those out. Doesn't mean it's impossible.

  2. I admire you for trying Crossfit! I feel like everyone makes it seem so intimidating, but I have been dying to try it out. I didn't realize that they had beginner classes, and I'm going to look into what my local boxes offer! Can't wait to hear about your progress!