As I move through the challenges of being displaced since September because my porch caught on fire and trying to teach the post-COVID, GenZ generation, I decided I needed to add a wee-bit more Hell to my life: I started doing CrossFit.
Why CrossFit? Why not, ya know, taking short walks? Chair Yoga? Wall Pilates? Why not self-flagelation?
Because I've got a lot of aggression to burn off (see first paragraph), and my sister has been doing CrossFit for years. She is a badass that competes. The first time I saw her compete I was blown away by what she could do. I filmed her climbing ropes and thrusting barbells while my nephew sat in my lap and played with my arm fat.
When you are the sister of Kelli Olsen at Mutiny CrossFit, it elevates you to a certain celebrity status, which is cool. But, it also probably created some expectations that I immediately had to lower. As Kelli introduced me to the coaches and the regulars, I made sure to add, "I haven't worked out in years."
Which is true. I've been a runner, a gym rat, and a yogi, but I haven't had a consistent exercise routine in like forever. So, I toddle behind my sister hoping the ether of her awesomeness will detract from the shitshow I'm bringin'. But hey, I wear cute leggings and tank-tops with witty little quips about exercising on them. As long as I look good, everything will be fine.
Unfortunately, at the end of a class, good is not how I look.
Most of the time I stand in front of the workout board, pointing at the list of exercises and saying, "What is that?" and "We are gonna have to scale that shit back."
And the coaches do scale and modify so I don't die. And I've only died twice over the course of 18 classes. And I have never been so overwhelmed by testosterone that I've left with a Y chromosome and hair on my chest.
I do Deadlifts and Sumo Deadlifts. I do Push Pulls and Push Press. I'm sure there is a Push Drop; I just haven't learn it yet. I do sit-ups and Burpees; no, there are no Fartees. I'm Clean and Hang Clean. I row; I bike: I ski. I do all of the squats: Overhead Squat, Squat Jerk, and Air Squat. I Climb Mountains and Bear Crawl. I Swing Kettlebells and throw Wall Balls.
Snatches can fuck off.
I do all the exercises, but I never claimed to do them well. The coaches encourage me to complete the WOD, but mostly I DNF. I am the weakest and the slowest no matter which class I attend: a woman who has 20 years on me kicks my ass; my fellow middle-agers kick my ass; a crossfitter's kid, who I guess to be around 5 years old, kicks my ass.
If the 20 and 30-somethings don't kick my ass, that kills their street cred and only elevates mine.
But, Snatches can still fuck off.
And the icing on the cake: some crossfitters bring their dogs!
All jokes aside, don't be intimidated by CrossFit. My sister says it is for anyone and I agree. No matter what I can or cannot do, they always tell me "great job." The guy who dead-lifted 300 lbs while I dead-lifted the bar (and the beginner's bar at that) gives me fist-bumps at the end of the workout.
Competitions are more like a family event than a ruthless grapple to be considered the best. Athletes encourage and celebrate each other. And, did I mention the eye candy?
Finally, I do CrossFit because my pants do fit better. I do feel stronger. Ironically, I am polishing up this post after returning from a yoga class where I could enjoy the benefits of my new strength.
Honestly vanity is the smallest reason I do it, even though I do look pretty good in my cute leggings.