Last night I tried my first crossfit class ever at Crossfit Bytown.

Let me start out by saying I was skeptical. I had the usual reservations about crossfit: Bunch of hyped-up adrenaline junkies who couldn’t hack it at real sports so they started a cult called crossfit where you go balls-to-the-wall in some bewildering attempt to destroy your body through sloppy uncontrolled movements devoid of any technique. Harsh yes. And as I soon discovered also inaccurate. I am an athletic chick. I’ve always played a variety of sports at a competitive level and continue to play sports now as an adult. I’m one of those people who’s just good at pretty much any sport she tries; not the best but pretty good. I go to the gym 4-6 times per wk depending on my schedule and I eat right, allowing myself the occasional indulgence but I felt I was plateauing I think mostly because I didn’t know ‘how’ to challenge my body anymore. So, fit? Sure. As fit as I want to be? No.

I arrived at 7:30PM for a free trial session and lucky me, was treated to a private session with Everett. I was glad because for my first time I didn’t want to feel like I was competing against other crossfitters already hooked on the kool-aid. I was pleasantly surprised that the warm-up Everett walked me through consisted of movements and stretches I was quite familiar with and have done for years as part of my fitness activities. Then we moved on to the WOD:

400m run, 30 box jumps, 30 wall ball, 5x through. I thought, ok challenging but I should be able to complete the 5 rounds. I did 3.

Not ashamed though! I enjoyed it and I was happy that the WOD pointed out areas I was strong in and those where I had weaknesses. I was also happy that Everett stressed the importance of form and proper breathing above all else. No sense in doing a movement if you aren’t going to do it correctly. After the WOD I stretched for what felt like a good 20-25min combining a mix of yoga, traditional stretching and aids (foam rollers, blocks, bolsters, etc.). I left the gym feeling great. Got home, supplemented with a protein shake, L-glutamine, and magnesium- glycinate and as a result feel amazing today (read: not walking around like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz).

In sum, my preconceived notions of what crossfit is isn’t. I was wrong. Truth be told, anyone can hurt themselves doing any physical activity if they do it wrong or are told to do it wrong. Having an athletic background may have given me an advantage in that I know my body, I know how the movements should feel, and I know proper technique and just need little tweaks here and there to improve. I went to that crossfit class with prior injuries sustained from being hit by a car, from soccer, climbing, swimming, snowboarding, running (etc. etc. etc.). I didn’t get them from doing the class.

My experience at Crossfit Bytown was great and I know a large part of that positive experience is due to the professionalism and knowledge of Everett. Not all crossfit gyms are like that. There are bad ones where coaches sacrifice technique in favour of just packing in as many people into as many classes per day as they can (read: $$$). Would I recommend to friends and family that they start doing crossfit? No. Would I recommend they TRY a class to see if crossfit is maybe for them? Yup. Am I converted to the church of crossfit? No. I’m non-religious and kind of a sports slut. I like to play the field so I’ve added crossfit to my stable. She was down and dirty and I liked it.

Will you see me again at Crossfit Bytown again? You’d better believe it. And next time I’m going to crush the WOD!