I Tried CrossFit for the First Time in 8 Months

Photo by Frans Van Heerden from Pexels

If you read my post on finding your why earlier this week, you know that CrossFit has been a major part of my fitness journey and is the catalyst behind my love of lifting weights. But since moving to Harrisburg, PA, where the cost of living is higher, I couldn’t afford the monthly rates. I went back to a commercial gym for the first 8 months and I’m now in a better position to go back to the box.

While there’s nothing wrong with commercial gyms, I’m a major advocate of quality over quantity. I would much rather be at a gym where the people are welcoming, the workouts are challenging, and there’s a barbell culture, rather than working out where I can’t always get a squat rack or have a coach knowledgeable enough in his/her field to truly help me identify and improve my weaknesses without paying a fortune for some technique improvement.

So trying CrossFit 717, which is also home to the USAW club FourteenForty Strength, on Monday evening was refreshing and reminded me why I love CrossFit so much. Their 5pm class consisted of mostly women in their early- to mid- twenties, something I appreciated because I felt like I could make friends that a) weren’t guys (again, nothing wrong with this, but a CrossFit Girl Gang sounds badass, right?) and b) my own age (not married, no kids, just looking to get fit and have a good time).

The workout was tougher on me this first time because of the humidity. Monday’s workout was Helen:

Now, there’s a lot of scaling options here if you’re new to CrossFit, have an injury, or otherwise need a modification. For my scaling, I had to use a lighter kettlebell instead of the 16kg and did ring rows instead of pullups. Both are the same movement, using the same muscle groups, but I am bringing the workout so that it is challenging, but I am able to complete it in a reasonable time frame.

Now, I had to slow down further because I could feel the heat exhaustion coming on and could feel my heart rate getting out of control. Despite it being overcast, the humidity was up on Monday and it was still 85 F outside, making it a prime opportunity for heat-related illness. I drank my water and made sure to sip water during my workout, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

I finished the scaled version of Helen at 15:00 yesterday, which is pretty good I think for being out of the game for 8 months. CrossFit 717 is great box with great people and I would highly recommend them if you’re visiting the Harrisburg, PA area. Coach Baltimore was super awesome, the people super welcoming, and I felt my competitive spirit reawakened.

Later this week, I’ll be visiting CrossFit Condor inside Twin Ponds in Mechanicsburg, PA and trying them for a full week. It’ll be interesting to see the difference in coaching, community, and facilities.

Whatever workout or sport is best for your fitness journey, I hope you find it. Nothing is better than finding something that you love to do that keeps you healthy and active. I’m hoping that I found mine again.

**Update 6/19/2019: So, at the times I want to go to CrossFit (usually in the evening after work), the commute to CrossFit Condor from my litttttle apartment doubled (17 minutes to 36 according to Google Maps). When I did the quick math, I would spend as much in gas (or more) than the $10 difference, fight traffic every day, and give myself a headache. I went back to CrossFit717 and FourteenForty Athletics and signed up for their 12-month contract. I’ll be writing about my workouts and experiences there a lot. Make sure you subscribe so that you can get it first!**

Happy LIFTing, Les

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