I walked into the studio and was immediately in awe. From the state of the art facilities to the variety of workout equipment that was readily available for use, I felt completely out of my element. The only thing there that I’d ever come close to using were the gymnastic rings hanging from the ceiling – and that was when I was seven. The genuinely friendly staff started showing me around the studio and I started to feel a bit more comfortable.
Before we began the work out, our instructor took the time to ask us questions about ourselves and to teach us a little bit more about the world of CrossFit. I learned that before you even think about picking up a dumbbell, you must take a few intro courses and work your way up. I found this incredibly interesting and was surprised to learn how gradual the process is. I also learned that CrossFit isn’t just about lifting weights – it’s about correcting our bodies’ natural form and learning how to carry out every day movements in ways that make us stronger and healthier.
We began the warm-up on an air bike, which I had never seen before in my entire life. To me, the concept seemed pretty cool because it’s like a manual fan that run’s on our bodies’ fuel. The novelty of this new machine quickly wore off, though, as I was dripping sweat in minutes even as I was apparently cooling myself down. Our instructor then walked us through the exercises we would be doing next, all one after the other. 20 calories on the air bike, 15 push-ups, 20 squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 burpees. To say I was terrified would be an understatement.
I’ve never pushed myself as hard as I did during that half-hour workout. How can something feel like it would never end while also feeling like it only lasted 10 seconds?! My head was spinning, my heart was racing, and I feared I would have to make a run for it to the nearest trashcan. Somehow, I pulled myself together while we finished off with some stretches as a group. As I looked around I noticed that while we were all definitely burned out, we all also had a spark of energy that wasn’t there before. We had ambition, we had motivation, we had purpose.
I think that the majority of people who have never done CrossFit before have a lot of misconceptions regarding what it’s all about – I know I did. It’s not just about being the biggest or the strongest. It’s about being your healthiest, sturdiest, strongest self… whatever kind of self that means for you. CrossFit showed me that I could be so much more than just what I think I am in every aspect of life. While I’m not sure if I’ll ever become a CrossFit queen, I learned I’m already a queen because I tried, because I pushed myself, and because I followed through with my commitment.
Hannah Jacobs, newfound wellness enthusiast, is spending her summer trying a variety of fitness & wellness firsts. She will return every Friday to share her experiences and insights.