Part of the adventure of moving here has been joining the Crossfit gym in Ansbach, a town that is about thirty minutes away from where we live. Joining the gym has been one of the most rewarding ventures I have taken up in a long time and for many different reasons.
I have been interested in Crossfit since my brother, Chris, joined a Crossfit gym in Loveland while I was living with him. At the time, the gym was way out of my price range (I was unemployed at the time and not married and only living off savings...) and I felt as if I was nowhere near fit enough to try. Crossfit may be one of the most intimidating workout regiments I have ever encountered. I think most people would agree that no matter how much Crossfitters advocate for it, or how interesting it sounds, it is a milestone to actually set foot in "the box" (barebones Crossfit gym) for a "WOD" (workout of the day). My brother always told me that every workout could be set to a scale and any person at any level of fitness was welcome and would be able to benefit. Lets be honest. I did not believe that shit! If my brother, who is a strong and atheletic man, could come home after every day's workout completely exhausted, sweaty, and sore there was no way in hell I could keep up!
Over the past couple of years I have tried a lot of different workout programs and classes. I started out lifting with Cody at the Fort Rucker gym, I then did a running program to try to banish my hatred of jogging (it was succesful until I injured my foot), and I eventually ended up trying almost every group workout class at Rucker. I became a huge fan of yoga, zumba (after being forced to go the first time, I fell in love with this fun and silly cardio), circuit training, and weight lifting classes. I was so sad to leave my classes behind because I was no longer motivated to go to the gym by myself and lift bi and back, or plod along on an eliptical for thirty minutes.
When we showed up here in Illesheim and got picked up by our wonderfully amazing sponsors, Tiff and Chris, we quickly found out that in their active and busy lifestyles they attended a Crossfit gym. Cody, who was the less interested of the two of us, ended up going to a class with Chris one afternoon because we both were feeling pretty awful about not working out for over a month. He came home and told me how much he loved it and that I should attempt to go with him. Tiff pushed me to go one morning with her, Chris, and Cody by telling me that the owner, Rob, would have his wife there to do a beginner's workout with me. I was assured that I would be off to the side, not attempting the WOD, and it would be a pretty simple day for me, even though I hadn't worked out in ages. We got to the gym and found out that we were going to end up working out with the group afterall! I was really nervous, but at that point, it wasn't like I could back out...
This day is when Rob and Crossfit earned my complete loyalty, love, and respect. I won't go into all the details, but Rob was so attentive and was always making sure I put my form above all else. I could have done more, but he made sure I didn't push myself too hard, and that I learned everything the correct way. Even with going slow, I was still pleasantly ass-kicked by the end of the workout. I felt challenged but not defeated.
Since that first workout less than a month ago, I have only fallen more in love with Crossfit Ansbach. I can't speak for every Crossfit gym, but there is none of the judgement or cliquish-ness that you may expect at such a hardcore gym. There is the greatest community feeling no matter what workout you go to (Rob and his trainers are amazing and provide a ton of AM and PM classes for anybody's schedule) and I love that there are always locals and military members/spouses/family members working out together. Everybody really does work on their own level and focuses totally on themselves, but even though nobody is paying attention to others in a judgemental way, everybody is focused on encouraging eachother and pushing everybody around them to finish the workout. I have finished last or not met the time limit for several WODs and although that is something that would make me feel inadequate and embarassed anywhere else, I have always felt accomplished and proud of finishing at Crossfit Ansbach.
What brought on this whole post is how amazing I feel about my accomplishments in the gym today :) I got a terrible nights sleep last night after having some drinks with friends last night and did not expect much out of myself today. I got to the gym and the class before me was covered in sweat and the board was full of all sorts of numbers and lifts... I knew today would not be a day where we took it easy.
I completed the warm up and moved on to the first workout: 10-8-6-6-4-4-4-4 deadlifts, working up to max weight, and doing a set every two minutes. I worked up to 55 kg on the last 4 deadlifts, which is equivalent to 121 lbs! I had no idea what my max was, and I may have been able to eek out 1 rep at 60 kg, but I am awfully proud of 55kg nonetheless!
The next workout was a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 deadlift, pushup, ball slam which had a ten minute time limit... when I saw that time limit, and started thinking about the workout, I literally thought that there was no way I would get even half finished in time. I started with the prescribed 40kg and made it to the set of 8 reps and couldn't finish. I dropped down to 30kg and I'll be damned if I didn't finish the workout at exactly 9minutes59seconds! With the trainers and my workout partners all coming over to give me high-fives and hugs for finishing right in time and completing a workout I didn't think was possible, I felt incredible! I think I will be on a high the rest of the day :)
If you live in this area, you have to check out Crossfit Ansbach. If you don't, you should never be intimidated by joining a Crossfit gym. The results you will see, the accomplishment you feel, and the community you join makes it so worth it!