HACE in your face!

Oh. Oh, wow. Wow. Yup. Wow.

So I went today, at 7:15 a.m., my chosen time because that’s the only guaranteed time I know I will not be running my ass off for work or some other such thing. Getting up? Sucked. Getting there? Sucked. Walking in? Sucked. The workout? Sucked.

BUT I AM IN LOVE.

Before I dive into the technical side of Crossfit, let me explain to you what I’m pretty sure is going to keep me there: the people.

Thankfully, my class today was small, comprised of myself and three others. I could not have asked for a better number of people, because it made me feel more comfortable that there weren’t a ton of eyes on me. We started off our WOD (Workout of the Day. Don’t worry, I’m sure soon I’ll be posting a terminology list of some sort because Crossfit has, like, it’s own language, man.) with running, and we ran as a group and we talked a bit as we ran and it was AWESOME. Karen, Eric, and Gordon all told me that the 7:15 class was the cool one and, as Eric said, “We put vodka in our protein.”

Come on now.

Another amazing facet was Kyle, the coach for the class. As an intro person you do your own thing for the first week, something not as intense, to get your body used to what it’s about to go through. Well, Kyle was awesome and encouraging, having me only do a part of the WOD the rest of the class did. I will never forget how, during my second round of running, he told me to “Go catch Karen’s ass!” because I was running out of the box (which is what the gym space is called) right after her.

One thing that had me a little shaken? When signing my papers to start (if this is your first class, PLEASE go early to do the paperwork) I pretty much signed something that told me there was a chance, albeit a small one, that this type of physical strain could kill you.

SPECTACULAR. Good to know, though. I’m not being sarcastic when I say I’m glad they had a little packet of reading material explaining things to me – it makes me feel like I’m in good, responsible hands.

So, let’s get on to the WOD, shall we? You must know that there are some Crossfit workouts that are named after women because, as Coach Glassman, the founder and President of CrossFit said: “I want to explain the workout once and then give it a name.  I thought that anything that left you flat on your back, looking up at the sky asking ‘What just happened to me?’ deserved a female’s name.  Workouts are just like storms, they wreak havoc on towns.”

So, today’s was a mixture of two: Helen and Grace, which they named Hace.

Helen:

3 rounds for time of:

400m Sprint
21 kettlebell swings
12 pull-ups

Grace:

30 reps for time:

Clean and Jerk 135 lbs

How many of those letter combinations confused you? Because I walked in, looked at the white board that they always write the WOD on and went, “What in the actual fuck?”

But the one I did understand, the pull-ups? I balked, big time. I have no upper body strength. How do they expect me to do this?

With colored resistance bands, that go green, blue, red, and purple, all different tensions. You hook that bad boy onto what they refer to as the “thunder dome,” an apparatus in the middle of the gym that’s meant for work that involves hanging from a bar, rope, or rings. You put your foot into it, wrap your other foot around your leg and go to town, with the bands helping to lift you, taking away some of the body weight you’d otherwise be pulling up.

My job was to complete the Helen part. It. Was. Daunting. I hate running. I’ve never laid eyes on a kettle bell until today and you already know my stance on pull ups.

For all the hell I felt, the sweat, the need to vomit, the doubt – when I was finished, I felt like nothing in this world could touch me. I had pushed myself to do something I had never done, and I was so god damn proud. And not only did I feel that way, everyone in the class expressed what a great job I had done, coach included. Who doesn’t want that kind of reinforcement?

Did I walk into that gym feeling terrified? Embarrassed? Full of doubt? Absolutely. But it was what I felt walking out that is going to make me go again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.

I have not felt so accomplished in a long time. They always say the first step is the hardest, and it is, but I already foresee it getting easier, at least mentally, as the days go on.

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