You know exactly who in your circle of friends is doing Crossfit. You know how you know? Because the mini-cult that is Crossfit cannot stop talking about it. All day long, on every form of social media, there they are….throwing their exclusive acronyms and stats in your face, posting videos of their PRs and their protein shakes, boasting about the benefits of their Paleo lifestyle. Walking around in their fancy little spandex pants or muscle tank tops that actually look good.  Even when they travel, they’re searching for the nearest “box” or place to perform some unnecessary pull-ups.

well. At least Jesus likes these.
well. At least Jesus likes these.

I’ve always been wary of anything trendy. In some cases, like high-waisted shorts, we’re all thankful I avoided it. But in others, such as when I hated on the Harry Potter series for years before finally realizing all the joy I would get out of pretending I might one day be a wizard, it’s really just a losing game for me that I’m losing all by myself like a loser while everyone else is living life as God intended.

Crossfit is one of those things. Everyone is on it like a drug. It makes me nervous. Like, why would we need to do a pull-up at all? When will this ever save my life or the life of someone I love? Why would I need to drag tires on the ground? Why would I ever need to repeatedly pelvic thrust a giant steel ball into the air?

But a few weeks ago, in a post I’m almost embarrassed about, I told the world I was depressed and fat and angry at life, and needed help and needed to change. My friend Andrea was like, “hey, do a Crossfit bootcamp with me!” and my aunt offered to pay for me to join a gym for a while, and it seemed like divine intervention.

Oh yeah baby
Oh yeah baby

So against my better judgment, after a few beers and while brewing even more beer, I signed up. I mean, I’ve always been athletic. Which is what we tell young girls they are when they are chubby and mildly good at sports. And I am coordinated to a certain extent. But I’ve always been built for comfort, not for speed. I think the quality that makes me “athletic” is really “Rachel is competitive to a degree that is almost dangerous for herself and those around her.”

Which is actually what is making Crossfit pretty fun. If left to my own devices, my workout consists of mindlessly watching Netflix while on the elliptical for two hours, just because I like how it makes my legs burn out, and then maybe lifting heavy things for two minutes until I decide I’m sweaty enough to warrant a glass of wine and ice cream when I get home.

But at Crossfit, I’m paying a woman I thought I could destroy in a bar brawl to tell me to throw giant medicine balls in the air as far as I can, and to squat down farther, throw this harder, get off your damn knees and do a real pushup.

Like I said, I thought I could take my trainer down. Then I watched her do about a thousand pushups, pullups, and then swing a 70lb kettlebell like it was a ribbon. She’s 116 pounds. So. Maybe I put down the rest of the M&Ms tonight.

The second day, little-trainer-that-could announced our warmup would be burpees to a song. To “Roxanne,” in fact. And every time Sting sang the word “Roxanne,” we had to burpee. My crossfit pals were all “oh, this will be fun!” But I, having played a drinking game to this song in college (GAUCHO PRIDE BABY!), knew exactly how many freaking times Sting was about to sing “ROOOOOOOOxanne.” The answer: too many.

We all barely walked away.

I want to hate it so bad.


But it’s pretty easy to see how people get obsessed. In the middle of a ten minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workout, I find myself staring into space, barely breathing, determined to squat/run/push-up/plank my body onto another plane of existence, just to see how far I can physically go. There is a certain high that comes from doing something you’ve never done before.

However, the Paleo bit is rubbish though. I’m starving. All the time. Paleo is basically this: think of all the foods you like to eat. Now only allow yourself to eat three of those – bacon, avocado, and tequila. That’s it. That is all you can really eat. Forever. Paleo is the biggest joy-suck ever.

Luckily, my aunt sent me a care package of M&Ms that I’ve been slowly ploughing through each day. So. Maybe I haven’t been super Paleo after all.

Anyway. Watch my video of inner turmoil of going to Crossfit or not. I’ll check back in tomorrow with a report of which limbs I’m currently unable to move after tonight’s grueling kettlebell workout.