Johnston: Pitching a CrossFit
The Aspen Times
A little more than two weeks ago, I attended an Aspen Film event at Cache Cache. It was a dinner with open seating, and I knew no one. So I picked a table of people I had never met but who looked fun and interesting.
And through the course of conversation that night, one of the gentlemen I had dinner with suggested that I consider trying CrossFit. I won’t get into what it means when someone you just met suggests you sign up for some exercise, but he promised that the owner of Aspen CrossFit would call me. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that they were going to have someone call me who never did, I’d be a billionaire. In this case, Erik Larson did call me. The next day.
I’ll be honest. I’ve read and heard a lot of things about CrossFit. I wasn’t sure it was for me, and I was a little nervous that it was somehow dangerous. I think it’s like any sport — it’s dangerous if you lack focus, let your ego get the best of you or use bad form.
I agreed to a two-week Elements class to introduce me to the fundamentals of CrossFit. It’s more like an introduction to hell, but Elements sounds a lot kinder and gentler. Midway through the first class, Erik told us that we’d be doing a 10-minute workout at the end of class. Ten minutes? What the hell? I drove all the way out here to work out for 10 minutes? My grandma can work out for 10 minutes. And then we worked out. And at about 6 minutes, 35 seconds, I was praying as hard as I could that the pain and suffering would end. I accidentally looked at the clock at 7 minutes. Three minutes to go? Jesus, I’ll die first. And that grandma’s workout left me begging for mercy every time I had to cough, laugh or sit down.
So I came back for Day Two. And Three. And Four. And Five. After the first few classes, I was feeling good. The “I got this,” kind of good. And the other day was pullup day. I’ll tell you what “I’ve got.” I’ve got the inability to knock out even one body-weight pullup. I gave it all I had, and I think, conservatively, I pulled myself up about 2 inches. I guess there will be Day Six. And Seven. And Eight. I keep hearing that I’ll become some kind of beast if I stick with this. I’m interested to find out what that means. Stand by. (It is much less painful than sitting. At least for me.)