A month ago, Tracey and I purchased a LivingSocial deal and joined a CrossFit gym. Not wanting to be That Guy, I quipped on Twitter and Facebook, "Just started a month of CrossFit. I promise never to speak of it again." Today, on the last day of that month, I decided to break that promise, because I have found it to be a pretty tremendous experience worth sharing about. Also, I was mostly kidding.
We are doing a modified version of CrossFit called Bootcamp that is designed to teach people the basic movements of the CrossFit regimen. Bootcamp is an interval based workout: six exercises repeated three times each for one minute at a time. There is a fifteen second break between stations and a one minute break after every third station. If you pace yourself wrong, you'll be dead after the first round. It's as intense as you make it, and many full-scale CrossFitters have told me that they think it's just as hard as their regular workouts.
I love it.
I was probably in the worst shape of my life when we started. I hadn't done anything active in about two years, for reasons that I don't need to go into right now. I was a little nervous about starting, because I wasn't sure how I'd handle it and because I am generally intimidated by gym rats and personal trainers. But thankfully, the people at Flower City CrossFit couldn't be nicer or more accommodating. It has been a very low-stress experience to work out there.
I'm not going to share before and after photos or weight amounts—of my body or the dumbbells I choose. But I'll say this: I have been a casual athlete all my life, and I've never had better workouts than this, and I've never actually enjoyed going to the gym until now. Let me tell you, I ran a marathon five years ago, and I get ten times more out of 18 minutes of Bootcamp than I ever did out of three hours of running.
(Never again with the distance running. How many miles per week should you run? Approximately one more than mile than you are being chased by bears.)
Most importantly, CrossFit passes the true test of a worthy self-improvement: it spills over into other areas of life. I'm going to bed earlier, eating better, being more disciplined in my work, and accomplishing more in most of my endeavors. It's expensive, but it's 100% worth the cost. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to afford it, but for now: we are signed up for another month.
I'd promise never to mention it again, but we know how that would turn out.