CrossFit: My First 10 Days

By J. Rich Wilson

In Athletes, Special Populations

January 26, 2011

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After a sedentary lifestyle, a badly injured back and other health complications, J. Rich Wilson dives into CrossFit in an attempt to better his quality of life before turning 40.

As a kid, I did all the typical suburban WASP stuff—tennis, soccer, the summer swim league. In high school, a pair of defective knees took me off the pitch and into the pool full time. I swam year-round for a fairly competitive team and found some athletic stride for the first time. College began the slow decline of my body. For the next 15 years, I coasted on decent genetics and the residual fitness of my youth.

Now, at 33, I’ve noticed the view of my feet from above is increasingly obscured by a disappointingly solid belly. A sedentary lifestyle has resulted in a mildly arthritic back, an inability to do yard work when hung over and a reputation for having a large head that I don’t remember having prior to 26.

It wasn’t long before I felt like Indiana Jones running away from a giant boulder emblazoned with the ominous number “40.” I only had a few years before it caught up to my increasingly soft body and flattened my chances to rebuild a base of fitness that could last into my middle years. I figured by the time that boulder catches up, I need to be strong enough to take the hit. Doing nothing seemed like the way to ensure maximum suck-ness at 40. It wasn’t until a critical mass of those around me started drinking the CrossFit Kool-Aid that I convinced myself there was hope for my neglected shell.

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9 Comments on “CrossFit: My First 10 Days”

1

wrote …

'Belly laughs' unavoidable when reading that. I felt your pain Sir. Very good piece. Thanks
CF - the easy way it is not; and it is all the better for it...

2

wrote …

Great article! I see a lot of myself at 32 in this story.... Been cross fitting for about 4 months now and I'm hooked. Keep it up, eventually we'll be beasts!

3

wrote …

I've been doing crossfit for 3 weeks now. Two of which were in an elements class. I can relate to everything you write about glad to know im not the only one Thanks for writing this. I'll look forward to checking in on your progress.

4

wrote …

Rich puts into words what most cannot. I wish I had wrote down more when I started CrossFit.

5

wrote …

I feel like the female version of you! Thanks for this hilarious piece. I joined CrossFit 5 months ago and my back pain (also have two bulging discs s/p steroid injections)is GONE. I puked my first night and have never stopped going back. It's like a right of passage or something...good stuff.

6

Brian Holub wrote …

I think documenting your early days of CrossFit is a great idea. I wish I did it, and I agreed to pay for my brother's membership in exchange for detailed logging and progress reports during his experience. He just started 2 weeks ago and is wrapping up his elements class at Black Box CrossFit NYC. If anyone cares to read, here is his first entry.

7

wrote …

Thank you Rich. I found this article strangely motivational. It brought me to the realization that I haven't been pushing hard enough. My workout last night (5000 M row, 1 min imrpoved PR) and today (weights) were two of the most intense I have ever had. This article made me realize that unless I am getting close to puking, I am not going hard enough. Felt close last night and today. I’ll bet this plateau I have been stuck on disappears now. Thanks for writing this.

8

wrote …

Awesome. I had back problems before CF, now they're gone. I laughed out loud a lot at your article. Good stuff. Keep it up!

9

wrote …

I love this. I completed my 5th WOD today and can relate to everything you are writing about. I might be lifting an empty barbell in class but when I finish a WOD I am left with an indescribable combination of feelings including accomplishment, nausea, and holy crap am I weak and flabby. It's awesome. :)

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