Crossfit beginners' class

July 18th, 2013, 10pm

It was 22.2°C. The breeze was gentle.

Day One: 21 pull-ups (using your arms and legs), 21 squats, 21 push-ups - then do a round of 15, then a round of 9. And do it all as fast as you’re able.

It took me 45 minutes to catch my breath. As I lay there looking at the ceiling, wondering if I was going to be able to walk the next day, I heard distant voices say things like “how do you feel?”, “good job”, and “welcome to Crossfit”. I sat in the parking lot for what felt like an hour, afraid I might throw up or that my shaking hands would crash the car. I stared at the moon over the red-walled gym, “Crossfit Phenom” painted in blocky white letters, listening to the grunts of the athletes and screams of the coaches. I felt terrible.

Everyone I’ve told says “that sounds way too intense for me” and I might have once agreed, but I’ve begun to learn the virtues of intensity. Intensity forces you to focus, to take the work seriously, and to be aware of the risks and mitigate them - intensity, just like everything else, has its uses.

There is a difference between what you think you are capable of and what you are actually capable of. The arrogant overestimate their abilities, the timid underestimate. You may err to one side or the other but both are equally harmful. The arrogant will foolishly fail the difficult task and blame others, the timid will never try.

If you test yourself to discover your actual capabilities, you may discover you are stronger than you think, or that you haven’t been truly challenged in a long time. Reality will come into focus. You will be uncomfortable, there may even be pain, but you will know, really know, what you can do.

Find out what you can do.

Carla, Tomomi and Paul said thanks.

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Oliver Taylor

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