Before joining CrossFit, my wife Fiona and I adopted a pretty sedentary lifestyle. We ate fast food frequently and spent most of our free time just being lazy. We would come home from work everyday with absolutely no energy. Most days, we didn't even have enough energy to make a proper meal, so we would order out or get fast food on the way home from work. As a result, I started 2011 with one illness after another for the first five months of the year. I hated the way I felt.
In the Spring, we decided to convert one of the rooms in our house to a home gym. We had most of we what thought we needed in the house already. There was the Bowflex we bought off Craigslist a couple years earlier and the treadmill we bought a couple years before that. Neither were ever really used. We painted the room, hung the mirrors, bought a pull-up bar and moved everything in. We were ready to get in shape. That was the end of May, 2011.
The weekend after we finished our gym, we met Scott at a pool party at his Mom's house. We mentioned that we just finished our gym and he started talking about CrossFit. He was clearly in great shape and very passionate about it, but I was skeptical. The concept that short workouts (many of which take less than 10 minutes) could yield real results, just had this informercialesque, too good to be true, ring to it. But after talking to him for a while, I agreed to show up the next morning to do a baseline workout and start a two week trial.
The half baseline WOD consists of a 400 meter run, followed by 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups and 10 pull-ups. If you are capable, you can complete the whole baseline WOD, by repeating the first half in reverse. I completed the first half in 8 minutes, 35 seconds and honestly thought I was going to die. I laid on the floor for nearly a half hour after I was done until finally, I threw up. Needless to say, I didn't complete the whole thing.
I'm not sure why, but the following Monday morning I went back. And after the first couple weeks I was hooked. I've tried various workout "routines" over the years and I've never stuck with anything for more than a couple months. I get bored every time. This is the first thing that has ever captured my interest long enough for me to stick with it. The fact that it's constantly varied and not a repetitive routine keeps it interesting. I rarely know what I'm going to do when I show up for a WOD.
Along with that, Scott is a great coach. He is very detailed in making sure everybody understands how to properly execute each movement and watches everybody carefully during our WOD's. He constantly reminds us to correct our form and gives us tips to move more efficiently. And more than that, I can think of countless examples when I was near quitting and he was able to react in a way that kept me going. It has been fun to see him grow in that role since I joined 7 months ago.
I also love being around the other people at the box. Everybody is positive and encouraging. I never feel like they are looking at me as if I'm doing something wrong or that I'm not cool enough to be in their gym. Many of us have gotten to be friends outside of CrossFit, and those friendships have honestly been one of the most fulfilling rewards of this experience.
Finally, I'm getting real results. I look better, and more importantly, I feel better. I'm stronger and have significantly more energy. I've achieved several accomplishments I never thought I would be capable of. Some of the highlights are reducing my first half baseline time by 35% after just 3 months, eclipsing 300 pounds in my deadlift and completing the Tough Mudder in Tampa, FL with the CrossFit Beloit team.
If you're looking for a real challenge and an opportunity to truly enrich your life, I highly recommend CrossFit.