It’s a Girl, and her name is Fran

The first night I lumbered into CrossFit, the most physically challenging thing I had done that day was to tie my own shoes. I am not kidding. At my size, things that most people don’t have to think twice about take planning. I would be out of breath walking 50′ up the driveway to to my mailbox, so committing to an hour of activity was more than an aggressive goal.  The warm up had me gulping for air. I always feel like should use air quotes when I talk about the warm-ups at CrossFit, because they are harder than a lot of workouts I have done in the past. Things like a 200 meter jog, followed by 10 push ups, 10 crunches, 10 air squats and 10 ring rows. Then you do it again, and maybe once more if the coach thinks you aren’t giving it your all. 

After that, we do a series of stretches that I have come to truly appreciate. I have never been good about stretching, but the intensity and variety that we do as part of this workout  is nothing short of amazing. I definitely credit the mobility portion with keeping me from being crippled up from the heavy strength sessions. The strength portion follows, and we usually do 1 or 2 different exercises that are close to traditional weight lifting moves. 

Finally after all that, the actual WOD (Workout Of the Day) starts. That can take anywhere from 5-25 minutes, depending on what the program for the day is. Every single day is different. CrossFit is about becoming proficient in 10 different areas; Cardio/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination and accuracy. The WODs generally challenge you in all these areas. The first one I ever did took me just under 11 minutes. It consisted of 3 rounds of 10 step-ups onto a one foot box, 10 ring-rows, 10 air squats and 10 push ups (I had to do my push-ups on a wall). This was my “fit test”. Each time I do it, my time should improve OR the intensity of what I am doing will increase. Eventually this will be 10 jumps onto a 2′ box, 10 pull ups, 10 push ups and 10 air squats. 

Some of the hardest WOD’s are names after girls. Something about how if “its capable of leaving you flat on your back and incapacitated, but still lures you back for more, it deserves a name”. 

Last night, Hugh and I completed our final session of private training. He joined me about 3 weeks after I started. In a masochistic celebration of what we’ve accomplished, we got to do one of the girls for our final workout. We met Fran last night. She looks like this:

21 Thrusters (squat low with a bar racked on your shoulders, stand up and press the bar overhead in one explosive movement. My bar was 45lbs, goal for a woman is 65) 
21 Pull ups  (I do a modified jumping-pull up) 
15 Thrusters
15 Pull Ups 
9 Thrusters
9 pull ups 

AS FAST AS YOU CAN. It took me a little over 9 minutes. There are people who can do it in less than 2. 

I’d love to tell you that as soon as I started working out this hard, the weight started to fall off. It didn’t. In fact, the first two months the scale barely budged. Before you go all “But you were building muscle!!” on me, I was also taking measurements- and they weren’t changing much. What did change dramatically is what I was capable of doing. That fit test that took me 11 minutes the first night, I have down to 5 minutes and 11 seconds. I am also sure that the next time I do Fran, I will shave a chunk of time off. As I chip away at one workout after another, I know I am getting healthier and I am sure the weight will eventually all come off. I breathe better, my posture is better, my sleep is better, my mind is sharper. All that from 31 workouts. 

Oh, and I have lost 24 lbs as of this morning. 

3 thoughts

  1. 24 lbs is NOTHING to sniff at Kai!! That is SOLID because it is real loss because you are challenging your body to become stronger and healthier. You are also causing your mind to feel better, which makes good endorphins that help to curb appetite and give you a better outlook. Food becomes less of a crutch, and exercise becomes pleasurable. See how far you have come! You go on with your bad self girlfriend!! I am proud of you!! 🙂

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