Diary of a Fat Crossfitter – Getting Started
I started CrossFit last week, and it is both as awesome and as miserable as expected. That is to say, I feel like a million bucks after a workout, and then the next day, I can’t walk. Or lift my backpack. Or really, even crawl out of bed. I made a four month commitment to my neighborhood CrossFit
gym box*, and you, dear readers, are going to suffer right along side of me. Well, perhaps not along side of me. Probably a day or two after, once I’ve started to recover and manage to haul myself into an upright position and get some typing done.
Because I’m obsessive about researching expensive life decisions, I spent several weeks looking into CrossFit and the
gyms boxes relatively near my home. I queried friends. I spent hours on seedy Internet forums. And I finally checked out the box closest to where I live. After two classes, I’m pretty confident I made the right decision. I’ve been to a lot of gyms before where most of the people there are fit. And slender. And are confident they know what they’re doing. And I feel completely out of place. Even if people are patronizingly welcoming about this fattie joining their gym.
Here’s the thing that impressed me the most about this particular
gym box. All of the workouts are completely scaleable. Unlike even in say, Zumba, where there’s a minimum level of capacity to dance and do an aerobic workout, every single CrossFit movement can be scaled up or down to meet your individual capacity. Can’t master the push jerk with the 15 lb training bar? NO PROBLEM. Here are two 5 lb dumbbells. Can’t figure that out? Back to the PVC pipe. Need it broken down even further? Put down the pipe and let’s go through the motion with nothing in your hands. In a Zumba class, a teacher never would have stood with me to break down the movements into individual bits and pieces because my clumsy ass couldn’t figure out when to dip, when to push, and when to press.
And there’s no shame in scaling.
Although I was certainly the most out of shape person in my class, my fellow CrossFitters were all quick to reassure me that they too are beginners. And look at how quickly they’ve improved. The class was a motley crew indeed, and everyone was incredibly friendly. Real people. Doing real workouts. Together. Team fitness, so to speak.
I don’t have a lot of patience for “my workout is better than yours” arguments. I’ve been fat forever, and believe me, I have tried it all.
Right now. Today. At this moment. In my crazy frantic globetrotting life, CrossFit is working for me. I spent a fair amount of time debating whether I should write about working out and diet and obesity and all of the RAGE I feel about being so insanely successful elsewhere in my life, but finding myself absolutely incapable of changing my body composition (code for: less fat, more muscle). Whether any of the changes I’m currently making in my life can do anything about that is up in the air, but here’s what I know: I am happier today than I was two weeks ago. And two weeks ago, I was happier than I was two months ago. And it has to do with changes in what I eat and how I move.
And whether I manage to change my body composition or not, happiness is a win in my book.
Four months. Damn. We’ll see how it goes.
* CrossFit gyms are actually called “boxes”; however, I feel like an asshole every time I say that I attend a “box”.