About a year ago, I gave away a bookcase.
The neighbors who adopted the bookcase invited me to visit their gym. I shrugged, said my maybes — but with the forthright style I’ve come to think of as their own, Linda and Tony asked, “How about Tuesday at 12:30?”
I was adrift a year ago, hungry for purpose and friendship and an excuse to get out of the house. As a result of pre-move restaurant binging, I had hit 183 pounds. My freelance business was in its infancy, I knew practically no one in Colorado, and I was a constant ball of anxiety.
I needed something, and that something would turn out to be the local gym, Yeti Cave CrossFit. The WOD (Workout of the Day) was Loredo, but all I remember is that it included air squats, because I could not walk down my stairs the next day. The dry erase board in the gym was full of jargon I did not understand (AMRAP, EMOM, etc) and I couldn’t tell you what most of the implements in the gym were used for — besides the occasional hotel gym, I doubt I’d never been in one.
The workout that day exhausted me in a way I had ever been exhausted before — and I wanted more. I signed up for a membership that afternoon (which proved to be wise; I never would have signed up after finding out how sore I would be). CrossFit was such a far cry from anything that I had done before that I knew it was what I had been missing: a total change of pace to match my total change of practically everything else. I had spent the first two months of my time in Colorado trying to rebuild what I had in Cincinnati and it wasn’t working. What I needed was a completely new environment, a new playground.
One might think that after a solid year of CrossFit — 4 days a week at first, and now I’m up to 5 or even 6 days when my schedule allows — that I would be trim and fast and ripped. It turns out to be harder than that. My diet hasn’t had the same overhaul that my exercise routine has…
…a bout of adult-onset asthma knocked me on my ass, and it takes more than a year to go from zero to 60 anyway. I have lost 10-15 pounds (it honestly fluctuates), not counting the muscle I have built, which is substantial (if slightly invisible).
The goal of CrossFit is to build “functional fitness” which applies to the rest of your everyday life, and that has been the second biggest benefit of my time at the gym. I want to explore everything that Colorado has to offer, and in this past year I have felt more prepared to do that — and with a smile on my face.
The biggest benefit of joining Yeti Cave, however, has been joining the community. Things clicked for me in a big way when I found myself making friends and looking forward to seeing the regulars in class each day.
Gym goals for the next year:
–Manage one single pull-up with no banded assistance (Linda is almost there already!)
–String together 5 push-ups with no banded assistance
–Whittle down the time it takes me to run mile… currently 11:48, sub-10 would be fantastic
–Lift all of the weights! I just hit 200lb on my deadlift… can I hit 250 this year?
–Climb that rope… I feel physically ready to do it, but I need a confidence boost
–Lose another 10-15 pounds (hey, it’s not the most important goal, but it’s definitely a goal)
Here’s to another year of discovering strange bruises, of making new gains, of building confidence and making the kind of friends who lift you up.