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Food & Fitness Friday: I Broke Up With Crossfit

Food & Fitness Friday: I Broke Up With Crossfit
Food & Fitness Friday: I Broke Up With Crossfit

I quit Crossfit almost a month ago.

I love Crossfit. I am going to say that openly and honestly for anyone reading this with smug satisfaction. For all the people I’ve met who love Crossfit, I’ve met the same number of people who make it their mission to berate and criticize it. Don’t go into reading this with the perception that I’m about to tear Crossfit apart. I love this sport.

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But I can’t do it anymore.

What is crossfit? 

The full definition from Crossfit, Inc. can be found here, but I prefer How Stuff Works‘ summary:

“CrossFit is a program developed to offer a full-body workout that combines elements of cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and more to prepare the body for the unexpected.”

My own definition of Crossfit would be: An amazingly good workout led by experienced coaches in a positive environment using your body instead of machines to become strong and fit.

Why did I quit then? 

I had an upper back/rhomboid injury about 18 months ago. It was a severe muscle spasm while doing a Jillian Michael’s workout video (long before I ever stepped foot in a Crossfit gym). The muscle was sore for a few weeks after the initial incident but I was mostly running, so it didn’t act up too much. 

I moved to Alaska shortly after the incident and continued cardio with some rudimentary resistance training on machines for exercise. Occasionally my back ached but never more than an evening and ice or heat would have it feeling normal by the next morning. But after 6 boring months at Planet Fitness, I joined Crossfit.

I was hooked after about 6 weeks. I’ve discussed falling for Crossfit HERE and HERE so I won’t go into too much more detail.

The fallout began when that same muscle I’d injured in May 2013 began to have flare ups that became worse and worse and the worst (last month) when I had to say enough is enough.

I can’t Crossfit because: My upper back/rhomboid pain flares up with overhead and twisting movements. Thrusters, snatches, overhead squats, russian twists with kettle bells, etc. would make my back ache and ache and acheThrusters were the worst and I could pin point any day I did thrusters, I would spend the next couple nights on the floor of our living room with a foam roller and a heating pad.

I have a pretty low pain tolerance (my best friend who got a tattoo with me is nodding her head in agreement) so Crossfit was just no longer worth the days of pain, doc appointments, deep tissue massages, heating pads, ice packs, and uncomfortable aching at work.

I had to be done.

Crossfit Pros/Cons

Considering I’m still pretty heartbroken about having to quit I like to think I have a pretty unbiased point of view when it comes to Crossfit. Looking back on the 10 months in this sport, here’s my take.

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Pros:

– Amazing workout
– One-on-one advice/training/help
– Fun, upbeat, positive environment – it’s impossible to not get pumped up when you’re lifting heavy and feeling like a rockstar after busting out a pull up or deadlift or enough burpees that you’re lying on the floor in daze
– Knowledge of how to safely and correctly do MANY different workout movements. From squats to pull ups to kettlebell swings to rope climbs. I know what to do and what not do thanks to the coaches and Crossfit
– Group setting gives a competitive edge at least for someone like me who occasionally will run an extra mile on a treadmill just to outrun the person next to me….

Cons:

– FOR ME, it agitated an old injury (please note this is not the case for many people)
– I had no interest in Olympic weightlifting or competing
– The cost. Crossfit is expensive whether you’re in Kansas, California, or Alaska. I’m now saving $120/month.
– Time constraint. I had to be at the class at a specific time each and every day. I would leave work in a hurried rush trying to make it to a class that started 15 minutes later.

Overall?

I would recommend Crossfit to anyone and everyone, especially Crossfit Fairbanks. Great coaches, great program, and a lot of fun. If you have an old injury, don’t be deterred until you give it a try. My back would rather have me running or biking or doing pretty much anything that doesn’t involve heavy weight above my head. But that is just me.

Post Crossfit

I wanted to write this post after I’d been done for awhile, just to make sure I wasn’t shooting myself in the foot by quitting and the pain was from my posture at work or how I sleep

My last Crossfit class was November 14th. In just under a month, I’ve had only two evenings of minor back pain. Both I can attribute to specific movements I did at the gym. That’s the least amount pain my back has been in since last spring…

I have lost about 4 pounds since quitting which is a lot more disheartening than it is positive. I’m losing all muscle and from places I wish I wasn’t. I’m having to pull up my jeans. Again. UGH.

In the mean time…

I’m on a pretty wonky workout schedule right now, and I’d love a little guidance. Shout out to all my fit bloggers – WHAT NOW? 

We PCS (permanent change of duty station to all you non-military folk) in the late summer, so I don’t want to become too invested in another big workout cult until our next duty station. I am SO down to try boxing, more intense yoga, or barre fitness wherever we end up next. But until we move, I’d like to save money and stick to the two on-post gyms and the great outdoors when is isn’t negative 30!

Anyone have a good online resource for a workout schedule?

Although I’m seriously bummed about having to say good-bye to Crossfit (it honestly felt like a break up when I sent the e-mail), I’m excited for the fitness opportunities up next. I never intended to go crazy competing with Crossfit, so maybe there’s a much better fitness cult for me right around the corner…

“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because your health is worth more than learning.”

Thomas Jefferson

Camille Mae (2)

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