I hate writing negative blog entries, but I have something to get off my chest. I need to vent, and it’s my blog, and vent I will. If you don’t want to read a rant, stop here.
So, working on my fitness has been a long-time project for me, and it’s not going very well. 🙁
I started “running” last year (well, more like jogging), and did my first 5K. ever since winter break I’ve been slow to pick it back up. I keep telling myself I’ll get back to it but I always fall into some sort of excuse and I never do it. So I run only sporadically these days. My running skills were never all that great anyway, the “fastest” average I could ever get was 12:44 minutes per mile. So, more like fast walking.
I tried Crossfit a few times at a local “box” (that’s what Crossfit gyms are called) in January 2014 and couldn’t get into it; it was too expensive and too far away, plus I wasn’t feeling it. I was also the worst in the class. Couldn’t keep up, couldn’t do basic squats, just general all-around sucking. So I decided Crossfit wasn’t for me. After all I still can do dragon boating.
I tried Crossfit again in September 2014 at my company’s annual meetup in Park City, Utah. That box was amazing. I really enjoyed that experience and changed my mind about Crossfit. My performance, while far from great, was better than how I did in January. I though, OK, maybe I can do this after all, and it’s just a matter of finding the right “box”.
Dragon boating is fun. I love, love, love the team and I love paddling, but I have to be honest and say that I have plateaued with it. I really need to add something else, some other fitness routine to continue getting in better shape. Running is good but I also need something to build strength, specifically upper body strength. One of the things I’ve heard a lot about my paddling is that because I lack arm strength, I compensate by using my legs and bending a lot more during the stroke. Which is fine because paddling isn’t an arm exercise, but having arm strength can make your stroke more powerful. I don’t have arm strength. So I need to build up.
A few weeks ago I found this neat Crossfit box (which exists inside a gym) that’s easy for me to get to and costs $75 a month. You get membership to that gym plus Crossfit, yoga, climbing wall, and all their other classes, as well as access to their other locations. Considering the cost of other boxes around here, that’s a pretty sweet deal IMO.
So this morning I went to their on-ramp beginners’ class, for the first time. It was rainy and cold and I almost decided to wait til next week. I got there and I liked it immediately. The instructor was very nice and gave us actual instruction/personal attention, something I didn’t get a lot of at other places. We didn’t do a timed workout and instead there was a lot of focus on instruction, which I liked.
What I’m upset about is how horribly I performed. I gave by far the worst performance at a gym of my life. I struggled with the most fundamental, basic things that should be easy. When we did barbells, I kept forgetting the proper way to stand and hold the barbell. Basic, elementary stuff. The thing weighed 33 pounds on its own without weights. Just 8 reps without weights nearly killed me. A large part of Crossfit is about lifting…and I can barely lift it without weights! I got a LOONNNGG way to go. Good god.
I didn’t get really mad at myself until we did deadlifts. No matter how much the poor instructor AND other people in the class tried to explain it to me, I couldn’t figure out how to get in the right form to lift the barbell off the ground. I kept arching/curving my back, and my scoliosis doesn’t help (the instructor pointed out how my back was uneven. That wasn’t his fault though since I didn’t warn him about my scoliosis beforehand). At one point he told me to just take a break and watch everyone else. The entire class was looking at me. I’m sure they were all thinking, “it OK, we all know you suck”. I’m sure they were all pitying me and thinking “wow, what a Class A idiot.” I have never felt so embarrassed and ashamed of myself. I played it cool, even laughed it off, but it was all I could do not to break down in tears. Then he had me grab a training barbell and go off to the corner and do a modified version — the “Sumo Lift”. He pointed out part of the problem is that my legs are long but my torso is short. Great, so I don’t even have the right kind of body for this. NO ONE ELSE NEEDED THIS KIND OF MODIFICATION, AND WE WERE ALL BEGINNERS!!!!
Everyone else in the class was nice. They all seemed to pick up everything quickly. Some of them had never done Crossfit before, yet they had NO PROBLEM with this basic stuff. They had no problem lifting the barbell with weights, getting into the right form for the deadlifts, etc. So why is it so hard for me? Why was I the ONLY one who struggled with this easy, easy stuff? I had the same problem at the other box I tried last January. I was the worst in that class, too. It’s harder for me to pick up basic things that everyone else gets immediately. I really think I am dumb sometimes. Class A idiot. I’m tired of this, I really am. I am tired of even caring about my fitness. I’m not sure whether to continue Crossfit. It’s clear that I am not cut out for it. And I suck at running.
I tried yoga and pilates, and while I liked both, my hearing loss makes it really difficult for me to understand what the instructors are saying. I hear better when I can look at someone’s face, and since both yoga and pilates involve looking elsewhere, it’s harder for me to keep up.
Maybe I should just stick with walking and dragon boating. I can’t seem to do anything else. I don’t know. I’m too tired to care or even give a shit at this point.
So here’s the thing. There are a lot of us on this planet and we are all unique. Some of us were born to be fitness freaks some of us most definitely were not. I think the dragon boat racing you do is amazing. Lifting weights? Sounds crazy to me. Trouble hearing the instructions for classes? Have you mentioned this to the instructors? Is there are such thing as classes that have an audio link like you get in theatres and cinemas that might help? Don’t take this the wrong way I’m just trying to be encouraging. My fitness aim at the moment is to try and get out and walk each day and if it’s too wet to do some exercise on my wii. Lots of days I don’t manage it so you are way ahead of me. Don’t give up 🙂
Thanks for your comment, it is much appreciated. I will try your suggestion about asking if the classes have audio links. Surely there have been other people who’ve had the same issue so there has to be some sort of solution there!