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Is CrossFit for everyone (including me)?

Is CrossFit for everyone (including me)?

, by Cheri Rifkin, 2 min reading time


As I move into another season of workouts, I like to try something new to keep from getting bored. I still ride but it’s so cold now and the weather can keep us from group rides. 6 a.m. spin classes are back in full swing so that helps. I’ve tried various weight training classes but I seem to get nagging injuries in my shoulder or elbow joint, causing me to take time off. It makes me stay away from the gym as it takes longer and longer to recover from injuries now.

I got an opportunity through the Durango Mountain Ski Resort to take part in a free introductory seven week CrossFit class. The hard part is that it’s held at 7:15 p.m. and I’m an early morning exerciser. I make dinner for the family and try to get out the door without eating too much (I made that mistake once and won’t make it again). For me, the learning curve was exponential from week one to week two. Who would have ever thought that I’d be doing “Kipping” pull-ups, L-sits, double-under jump rope, snatches, ring dips, deadlifts and squat thrusts? It’s apparent that the program works as each trainer looks like they could compete in the Olympics at any time. Last night, our trainer demonstrated a “pistol” (one-legged squat) going down to the floor without any hesitation or wobble. I couldn’t do that with both legs!

Their motto is this: “CrossFit is not easy and it’s not simple. To be fit and physically competent to handle all of the challenges in life is no small endeavor. As you work to become a fitter and healthier person, you will need to learn about:

  • Movement - How to move safely and effectively.
  • Fitness - What it means to be fit. Its definition, the supporting theories, and how to go about attaining it in real life.
  • Nutrition - Eat meat & vegetables, nuts & seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise, but not body fat.”

While it is exciting to be with a fun group of people and learn new things, I’m not sure if I will continue. I do want to have better mobility and stability and, three weeks in, I feel stronger. Adding more and more weight to each exercise or reps for time is not of interest to me yet. I hope to continue some of the exercises at home, like hollow body sit ups, military push-ups, squats, burpees and mountain climbers.

My friend, an orthopedic surgeon, told me that CrossFit is the best thing that ever happened to his practice. That’s not a glowing endorsement but perhaps the participants didn’t follow the perfect form that is taught each session and is necessary for safety of our muscles, joints and ligaments.

The jury is still out on my level of commitment after the class is done, but so far, I’m 10 for 10 (3/week)! In the meantime, my husband is ready with the Traumeel, homeopathic arnica and a bag of ice, just in case!


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