Confession: I woke up with butterflies in my stomach this morning.
Technically Monday was my first official CrossFIT WOD, but that was a one-on-one private introduction. This morning was my first group setting and I was super nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Being a newbie can be very intimidating, especially in a group setting where everyone else looks like they know what they’re doing.
Fortunately, I didn’t have anything to worry about. Not only was everyone very welcoming, but I wasn’t the only newbie in the group! All of the more experienced CrossFitters were more than happy to help the newbies out and everyone was very supportive in cheering others on to reach their goals. It was pretty empowering actually.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I showed up about 10 minutes early before my class (do they call it classes in CrossFit? I don’t even know) and caught the tail end of the class before as they finished their WOD. Everyone was sweating, breathing heavy, and warning those of us watching from the next class that it was going to be a tough one. Gulp.
As soon as they finished up, Coach Paula pulled the next class into a huddle and started our class with a couple of announcements. She made sure to welcome back the newbies who were about to start their 3rd or 4th classes, then got to me and announced that it was my first class and made a joke on whether I was ready or not. I feigned horror (while secretly keeping the butterflies silent in my stomach) and told her to bring it on. Famous last words, right?
Warm Up: 400 m run, Burganer 1×5 w/ a light load or 1×10 w/pvc
Basically, my rule for today was to just follow what everyone else did. When she told everyone to take a lap, I followed the rest of the group (there were maybe 10 of us?) outside and did a lap of the parking lot for the 400m. I ran with two girls who introduced themselves and welcomed me to the class. One had been doing CrossFit since July and the other just started on Monday.
When we returned we all grabbed PVC pipes and started the 1×10 sets of Burganers. Paula broke the Burganers into 6 steps ( listed on the photo above on the right), which were basically the skills that eventually lead to a proper snatch when all put together. I liked having the movements broken up so I could concentrate on form and getting it right.
Skill/ focus: Snatch version 10-15 minutes to build to heavy one
Next we spent 10 minutes practicing snatches with the bar, building our weight with each round. I was paired with the other newbie (who started Monday) and a more experienced CrossFitter who helped us as we took turns trading the bar off. It was a little awkward learning to snatch with the shoulder shrug, but by the end I felt a little more confident with my abilities. I can’t thank the two other girls enough for being so helpful in my learning process.
- 7 hs pu = handstand push ups (I did pike push ups)
- 7 burpees
- 7 ring dips (I did stationary dips w/ a band)
- 7 kb snatch tot (I used 12lb dumbbell)
- 7 rounds for time
This is where the real fun began.
As you can see above, Coach Paula assisted in altering the WOD slightly to fit my current skill level, which was a huge relief. Handstand push ups? A little out of my league. Pike push ups seemed a little more manageable. She actually helped me find the proper technique for the pike push up by moving my feet closer to my hands and having me go down at an angle and not straight – felt the burn with those adjustments!
I was already familiar with the burpees (of course that didn’t make them hurt any less!) and the dips were fun with the band.
You put your knees in the band and dip down as you would normally. The goal is to build your strength up to bands with lesser resistance, until you’re eventually doing the dips band free or on the rings. However, the only downside is the bands get sweaty and slippery as the WOD progresses.
The snatches were fun. These were with one arm and I was happy we had some practice with technique before hand so I knew what I was doing. I had no idea what weight to start with, so I went with the 12lb. I think next time I would aim a little higher.
I went through all 7 rounds, taking small breaks when I needed to and trying not to kill myself in the process. You’re only doing 4 things, but doing all 4 things in a row for 7 rounds is rough. I made the HUGE mistake of taking a sip of water before diving into a set of burpees and was afraid the water was going to come back up for a second. After that I only took water in before the dips, that way I had time to let it settle before the burpees started in the next round.
The seven rounds were tough, but I pushed it through and came out the other side with a smile.
I called “time” and Coach Paula documented my finish.
My first official WOD time! I’m darn proud of that 18:58!
I should have got a photo right when I finished. I was DRENCHED in sweat. My arms were shaking so hard, I could barely take a photo of my time (I had to take 3 or 4 before I got one that was in focus and not blurry from shakiness!)
Even better, when I finished almost every person in the box congratulated me. “Way to go, newbie!” “Awesome finish, Newbie!” It wasn’t just me – every time a person finished, everyone gave a big congrats. There were high-fives, cheering, and just a huge sense of camaraderie in the group.
Why did I have those butterflies this morning? There was no need to be nervous, everyone was extremely welcoming and encouraging, even to a newbie. I can see why people really get into this, the sense of community alone is a mood booster.
After class was over, I stayed and talked a bit then headed home for breakfast.
Two-egg omelet with avocado in the middle.
And a side of apple slices.
Polished off with two GIANT cups of water. (I’m still thirsty!)
The only problem is now my body wants to nap. I’m pooped and the day has just begun! I was told the first week is the worse, but recovery gets easier. Let’s hope!