It will not be too long before the first gym that I started actually doing CrossFit decides to close it's doors. So, the story goes a little something like this:
Back in 2007, a military friend of mine told me about CrossFit. It is a similar story shared by 1,000's of CrossFitter's everywhere. . . . I looked it up online, and thought, "Meh, I can do that. ."
I was already back on track, after leaving the military three years earlier, I had let myself go just a little bit. Weighing in just a smite over 250 lbs in 2006, I decided I would try my hand at getting healthy on my own. I started slow, I went to the gym 5 days a week, worked on the elliptical and the bike. Worked static machines, worked isometric movements (aka bicep curls, tricep extensions etc), and dabbled a little bit in running. I lost about 25-30 lbs, went from a size 42 to a 38. I wasn't sweating walking up a flight of stairs, I was doing pretty good. One of my main motivations was a lifestyle change, great motivation for the individual. After a year it got pretty boring, pretty quick. Same movements, different ab workouts, the whole nine. So, the year 2007 roles around, I get a phone call, I look it up, and start the workouts at the gym. Meanwhile running anywhere from 5-20 miles a week.
Yeah, I didn't finish the first one . . . ugh, I feel like shit . . .('scuse the language)
Second one took a a little over an hour. . . and 35 lb dumbbelllls are heavy. . . good thing I used 20 lb . . and then 15 . . . ugh, I still feel like shit
Took the rest of the week off. . . . yeah that really took 4 days to recover (yeah, that's bullshit, I didn't want to go back)
Third one, whew, just lifting - wait - what the hell is a deadlift? I'll do backsquats instead, although, I did later "learn" how to do deadlifts from some of the "hulky" guys at the gym. Don't think they would like the way it would looks now if I remember correctly, still need that weightbelt
*caveat - nothing against weightbelts.*
I had a workout buddy at the time, we'll call him Ricky. Well, Ricky had never done CrossFit before. I was in it now for two or three months and this workout came up that I thought looked friggin awesome! It was called
95lb Thrusters (WTF!?!)
And when the main site posted it, I couldn't be more psyched! I could do five pullups, I thought I knew how to do a thruster. . .I saw these times like 2 min and 30 seconds, 3 min and 15 seconds, comments about people just blowing through the workout in under ten minutes and I thought to myself, "This is my speed!"
I was wrong. . .dead friggin' wrong . . .
Ricky had never done the CrossFit workouts before, I was partially used to it. With a Smith Machine (you know, the one that slides on tracks) I was trying to keep the bar straight up and down doing thrusters (just laugh, you can picture it) and when I failed at the third pull-up (it's okay to laugh again), I went to the gravitron, and what started as 10 lbs, then 20, then 30,then 50, I think I ended up doing the workout in 12 min and change.
I was embarrassed, I was running up stairs and downstairs, trying to use a Smith Machine for thrusters, I couldn't do a pullup to save my life, something had to give, I mean there were guys and girls older/younger/bigger/smaller, doing this workout in under 5 minutes, what an awful misconception of ink on paper.
Well I didn't feel too bad until Ricky attempted the workout, and he could bang out those pullups, but Ricky's arms starting hurting at around 12 or 13 during the pullups on 15 and he stopped. . .said he couldn't do another one, it hurt too much.
Little did I know that I had caused him some serious damage. Probably an early case of Rhabdo, but it cleared up after a week or two, hydration and no arm movement. . . whoops, my bad. . . I didn't know then what I know now.
Lets speed up, this is getting long, I moved from one apartment to a house in Berlin, well that house in Berlin, CT was a mile from a local business called CrossFit USA which had opened a month earlier. I tried the gym, liked it, cost was a little steep, but it was worth it, every friggin' penny! I did Murph my first day, 72 min and 37 sec. still got it written down. . . .
We struggled early on, challenging each other everyday. We played late night Dodgeball, Hooverball, Waterball Tossess, we challenged each other on WATTS in rowing, broad jumps, high jump, who would be daring enough to try a workout, *cough, cough HANSEN*, we would joke, bleed, and push ourselves to exhaustion, only to have a competition - work hard, then sit back, drink a beer, and relax. It's where we learned the nomenclature around CrossFit; L-Sits, Levers, Thrusters, goblet squats, and "the Hopper" . . .
There was a small family there, a camaraderie I had known back when sports teams were a part of my life, back when "team" wasn't corporate jargon, it was the military members I was working with in San Antonio and Spokane, WA. I have made great friends, changed my life, and started a new path. I have seen huge changes in people that are indescribable, the #1 thing shining through - confidence!
I have been Coaching for over a year now, legitimately CrossFitting for two! Illegitimately CrossFitting for 3! When I say that it's a sad day, it's only that those memories will be missed, but I look forward to new ones.
"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends."
To all of those who started with me at CrossFit USA, who worked out with me at USA, if I don't see ya, I am only an email away.
Goodbye CrossFit USA
- Coach Tony