People are surprised when they hear that I’ve never done CrossFit. They see my ripped arms, my six pack, the legs of a warrior princess and wonder how I got such an athletic body.
While that first part is not true in the slightest, CrossFit has always been on my bucket list to try. How could one not want to try it when all the pictures and videos shown of CrossFitters have bodies of well, Greek gods?
Josh Samara, the owner of Get a Grip CrossFit, graciously allowed me to crash one of his classes and schooled me on what it means to be a CrossFitter.
Listen you guys, I can squat like nobody’s business. Deadlifts are my bread and butter, and I enjoy feeling strong. But this was different. Parts of my body got utilized in ways that seemed unnatural at times. At the encouragement of another person in the class who started doing CrossFit a couple years ago, she helped coach me along the way as I tried to not look ridiculous.
CrossFit involves functional movements, performed at a high intensity.
At Get a Grip, one will do more than just jumping up and down and throwing kettlebells around. They mean business.
Atlas stones, are literally just heavy stones used in strongman competitions. After a dynamic stretching warmup, Samara demonstrated how to hoist the stone up onto my shoulders.
While he explained it very well and did it with ease, I felt a bit of panic.
First, was this going to mess up my manicure?
Second, could I ensure that I would not end up dropping the stone on my feet?
Third, was there an attractive way to do this?
The answer to the last one, was “no.”
I squatted down, with a big stone ball in between my feet, lifted it, curled my body over the ball, squeezed my knees together, popped my rear out, thrust my hips forward to force moment to get the sixty-five pounds of weight to my shoulder, then dropped the stone to which I squealed like a little girl who just saw a spider.
Despite the inefficient use of my body, I felt tough.
Samara then showed me “toes to head.”
Imagine yourself at a playground on the monkey bars just hanging out, then with the force of your lower abs and a little momentum from your legs you elevate your feet to the bar, or if you’re me, you lift your knees barely past waist high.
Needless to say, I made strange noises and faces trying to lift my bodyweight.
CrossFit is not for the faint of heart. We performed a workout of the day (WOD) which consisted of lifting the stone up and performing the toe to bar touches. These two movements worked the entire body.
After the class, I had what I call “gym brain,” meaning that formulating sentences and thoughts deemed itself too difficult. I felt helpless.
How could two movements wear me out so quickly?
I thought about asking Samara to carry me to my car. I thought about asking for a wheelchair. I thought about napping in one of the chairs or sprawling on the floor in defeat.
But that CrossFit class taught me one thing: you can do anything you set your mind to, even if you look completely ridiculous doing it.
Written by Anya Alvarez | Photography by Emily Brashier