Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crazy Weightlifting Lady A.K.A Why I love Crossfit!

I've been called a crazy weightlifting lady! It's not true. O.k. the crazy part...I'll give you that. I do lift some weights! They aren't crazy by any means.


You should see the ladies (and guys too) in our gym, Synergy Strength and Conditioning, rock out the heavy lifting! I aspire to lift weight like they do. Not to degrade the weights I do lift! Because for me they are pretty cool, and I have room to grow which is awesome.

The thing I love about lifting weights and Crossfit in general is that I am continually surprising myself. Every time I walk through the door to the gym and look at the WOD (work out of the day) I think "Holy Mother of Pearl" how am I going to do that?"

And then, I do it!

Many crossfitters will tell you it is the energy of those people who are working, sweating, grunting, groaning and getting it done beside you which pushes you to do one more pull up, one more box jump, or one more kettle bell swing.

It is in those moment when you are the last person doing the WOD, and those who are done stay to cheer you on to the finish, that you realize strength is in numbers. No one is left alone to finish a work out and so you dig deep to get those last 5 power cleans in. Other people know that you can do it even when you think you can't and they will make damn sure you don't give up.

Community is everything in Crossfit, because in all honesty it would be really hard to do these workouts on your own. At least for me it would be. I never been to a gym before now where I have actually made friends with the people who are also working out there. That is because the standard gym, for the most part, is a solo effort. Crossfit gyms are not like that. You work out with the same people everyday. You become friends and cheerleaders of one another.

Crossfit has been deemed a 'cult' by some. A derogatory term used by people who have no idea what they are talking about because they have never tried it. If by cult you mean, a group of people who gather together because they have the same fitness, eating, and healthy-living lifestyle goals than heck ya! It's a cult! And I'll sign up any day.

But I'm getting caught up here...

I started Crossfit because a friend recommended it and I could see how it had changed her physically as well as mentally. Yvan wanted to try something new and more challenging than we had been doing. So we took the leap and stepped outside the box....or rather inside the box. (Crossfit gyms are called boxes because typically they are large warehouse boxy spaces.)

2 years later we are still doing it and seeing gains every day.

If you follow me on Facebook than you know I signed up to do the Crossfit Games Open . I know I won't make the games this year. That is just fine with me. I didn't get into Crossfit to compete just to get healthy and strong.

Along the way though, I saw the benefits of competing now and then....in challenging myself to push myself harder than I might do in a typical WOD on a typical training day. I didn't think about the fact I wouldn't be able to complete some of the more technical movements. Instead I thought to myself, "Let's see how far I can go during this challenge and do my very best."

Kimmy says best it best on her blog "Sometimes It's a Little Bit Like a Butterfly". Now there is a gal who has gumption, dedication, determination and an awe-inspiring attitude towards life.

As always happens with Crossfit, I have surprised myself. After two rounds I am still in the Open. I have been able to do both WODs to the best of my ability. Am I the best in the world? Nope, but it's not the worst either.

Last week, the second work out was my Nemesis in terms of weightlifting - The Snatch! (It's a lot of people's harbinger of evil). The snatch is a movement where you lift a barbell from the platform to locked arms overhead in a smooth continuous movement. It is a very technical movement and damn hard.

I have just started getting the hang of this movement. Just. Started. To. Get. The. Hang. Of. It. After two years. So, when it came up last week to do multiple snatches in clusters of 30 at increasing weights with a time cap of 10 minutes ..well, I knew it was going to be tough.

(I should also mention here that I am actually afraid of this movement. It scares me. Putting weight up over my head lifted directly from the ground is a bit intimidating)

I got through the first 30 @ 45# in about 2:30 and moved onto to the next cluster of 30 @ 75#. I have only done 1 power snatch at 75# before so I figured if I got 1 or 2 reps I would be laughing...over the next 7 1/2 minutes I got 8 reps.....8 reps!! That is a lot for a max effort....and yes, I'm tooting my own horn here. I actually got a little teary because by the end of the 10 minutes I was beginning to really understand the mechanics of the movement and to not be afraid of it anymore.

I didn't do it by myself. My fellow crossfitters were there cheering me on. One of the coaches, who could see my frustration level rising, came over and talked me through every 8 of those snatches. I could hear people yelling my name and telling me I could do it.

Once again, I was surprised by my own efforts. Not by the people though, because you can always count on them to be there for you.

I guess what I am getting at here...is the reason Why I love Crossfit and have become a crazy weightlifting lady.

It helps me face my fears. It breeds friendship and positivity. It makes me a better, stronger, faster, healthier, more productive person.

When I have conquered a WOD, I know the rest of the day will be a breeze.

(And yes, this is a shameless plug to get everyone I know to try Crossfit at least once.)


Kimmy G said...


You have said it SO well. Amen, amen, amen!!!

I'm officially pumped to work out tonight. You're awesome Rana!

Way to go on the snatches, that's a HUGE accomplishment!!!

Tova said...

Would it be weird if I said I was jealous? And that I wish I could come with you? There is a crossfit here, but it's halfway across town and I'm too scared to go. Plus I imagine I can't afford it. Guess I will keep getting my butt kicked by Jillian in my living room and running past the crows...

Janna said...

My husband & some adoption friends of ours have been done Crossfit for several months. I've been trying to work up the courage to join them, and I think your post has pushed me over the edge! I'm a little scared, but I am ready to get fit!

Ranavan and Wee One said...

Janna, the beauty of Crossfit is that it is scaleable to your level...you start where you need to start and progress from there....

We have people who are 17 to 58 working out at our gym and all at different levels....don't ever worry about what anyone else is doing :)

Once you start you will love it!

CinnamonOpus said...

Good for you! Sounds like you really enjoy it.

Not for me, at least not while Stinkerbelle is young and at home...

Maple Walnut Mama said...

You rock Rana!

darci said...

That is so great! Mark and I have kettlebelled (intermittently)for a couple years and love it, but. Want MORE..I would love to try this..way to go!