Once upon a time, my husband and I saw a Groupon for Crossfit classes near our house. My husband had been incessantly trying to get me to lift weights with him ever since we left our collegiate athletic careers behind. I was the soccer player who would only lift light weights during our team-mandated lifting sessions because I didn’t want to ‘get big.’ My husband was a wrestler who lifted heavy weights and ‘was big.’ Logic at its finest. Deciding that hours running on the treadmill were getting a little tedious, and missing the action of our collegiate days, we bought the Groupon and hit up our first Crossfit class...
The owner was so nice and enthusiastic; it made me just a little bit more nervous. Didn’t people call this a cult? Was this what a cult leader looked like? Questions and queasiness kept me at a distance, while I analyzed the cult leader and wondered about his life and his family. I simultaneously watched my husband fall face first starry-eyed into the cult leader’s every word. Not the best first impression for me.
The workout was HARD. I remember slamming a hammer into a tire and getting yelled at, ahem motivated, to hit the tire harder. At this point, I remember thinking, “What am I doing?” After spending four years as a DI athlete, my life was owned and ruled my soccer. At this stage of the game, I enjoyed the luxury of ending my workout when I wanted. I left that day getting the best workout of my life, and knowing I would never do it again.
My sad and deflated cult-member husband continued to use the Groupon, and stopped when that was over. What can I say, we like to work out together, and he was sad to not have a partner in this athletic venture. After this tiny glimpse into the Crossfit world, I realized that I should maybe listen to that nagging little bird, I mean my husband, and actually start weightlifting.
Our lifting days went something like this-
“Okay Steph, let’s do deadlifts.” (Shows me how to deadlift)
I begin deadlifting while Greg is busy staring at the TV or drinking water or just not paying enough attention to me.
“HEY! Is this even right?? Ow it hurts, should I be turning my neck like this to talk to you?”
As a novice weightlifter, I was intimidated to be in the gym with all men, and at times it seemed my husband was barely paying enough attention to help me at all. Edited to add: he would probably tell you differently. In hindsight, I can see that I may have been a little needy in this area of my life that made me so nervous. After months of weightlifting, and being happy with some of the results, I started to get slightly uncomfortable with the fact that I was following my husband’s college wrestling weightlifting plan. College. Wrestling. Is that the body I wanted? I decided at this point to stop yelling at my husband and sign up for a personal trainer. I immediately signed over my paychecks to my gym. In spite of the exorbitant amount of money I was spending, I was thoroughly enjoying doing interesting things like using bands and jumping around. Things in the gym that I definitely wouldn’t have been comfortable doing if I was there alone, something called a very specific and detailed archery-type movement, became commonplace in my workouts.
This stage of my life was good for learning about movements. My trainer watched me and helped me with different weightlifting techniques, and most importantly of all, I couldn’t yell at her the same way I yelled at my husband. Now that I was a weightlifter extraordinaire and had no money, I stopped the personal training and went back to spending days in the gym with my husband. We ate cleaner, we took supplements together (Why didn’t I know about pre-workout before?) and I became an all-around meathead. A feminine meathead, but ya know, no cardio and just lots of weight lifting.
Pro tip #543: If you are too tired to workout and are thinking about skipping the gym, take pre-workout! Then, you can’t skip out on the sweat session. Unless of course, you don’t want to sleep that night.
I think I made my husband nervous when I started to rip all of the sleeves off of my shirts and drink Muscle Milk…
No. Actually I started to research Crossfit because I craved a higher-level of activity. Now that years had gone by, and my collegiate career was more of a distant memory, I missed being pushed and pushing myself to my limits. My husband’s reply to starting Crossfit again—“You didn’t even like it before. You wouldn’t even go!” He had kind of a point, however, I ate my words and went with him. I no longer felt like the enthusiasm was because I was part of a cult (or maybe that is because I have fallen down the rabbit hole?), and I genuinely enjoyed spending time with my husband and making new friends. An added bonus is the increase of muscle and decrease of fat on this meathead body of mine.