Many of my friends ask me what CrossFit is, and the simple answer is a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercise, gymnastics, and Olympic weight lifting. But the deeper answer lies in the use of classes to motivate and encourage you to be balanced and progressive in your exercise routine. Susie, my daughter and I are members at our local CrossFit brand gym, the Training Box in Estero, FL.
Our experience with CrossFit started out when I was looking for a gym to add to my exercise routine, mainly bicycle riding and a couple hours of soccer every other week. I lost 35 pounds and took 2nd place in doTerra’s Slim and Sassy Life Style competition last year, after changing my diet, starting to regularly exercise and managing cravings using doTerra’s products. However, one aspect of the Slim and Sassy program is to ‘Stick with It’, and I knew I needed a little bit more when I gained back a few pounds.
I passed a number of gyms around town filled with fancy equipment, and I was discouraged with the idea of driving to the gym, plugging myself into a treadmill once or twice a week, and heading home. It’s lonely, and my time with my family is too valuable. I have a lot of pride in my work, my family and my way of life, and wasting a few hours of my precious time running ‘no where’ and doing curls with some barbells was not a winning strategy for me.
Additionally, I had done that all before. I was a member at Bally’s gym near Detroit for nearly 20 years, and probably only averaged a once a month visit there. I had a personal training session there a few times, but couldn’t stay motivated in the routine on my own. I bought my whole family a membership to Lifetime Fitness, and the few personal training sessions there were high-tech and motivating, but eventually I slowed down, and when my family lost interest, we left. Last year, year I bought my daughter a membership at L.A. Fitness for her graduation. She loved it! However, I saw history repeat itself as her initially vigorous schedule slowly diminished.
The Training Box
My first free class at The Training Box was not what I expected. Like a kid at a new school for the first time, I followed the others around, trying to figure out what to do and trying not to hurt myself. I was really impressed with Kory’s advice to just do what I could and try my best to keep up. If the class did ten reps, but I could only do one, that was fine. Maybe next time I could do two.
I had another free class, and realized how much stretching we did before each work-out of the day. I had never appreciated or benefitted from stretching, and this was really a wake-up call for me. I started CrossFit with some chronic shoulder and knee pain, and after a few months both issues had greatly diminished. I hit forty years old this year and thought I would have those pains for the rest of my life. I can’t tell you how happy I am that they’re going away.
Susie tried the Slim and Sassy Challenge this year, and I encouraged her to join CrossFit as a way to reach her activity goals. Susie has a great metabolism, and for the twenty-one years we’ve been married I could never really get her to exercise with me. She didn’t have to. However, things were catching up with her, and this year she seemed interested. She came in for a free class, and has been hooked ever since. Eventually she encouraged our daughter to try it, and we ended up trading in her first graduation present for a better model.
What is the difference?
If you’re still wondering why I think this gym is so great, it’s because of the classes. I know full well how hard it is to keep healthy while alone on a treadmill. However, like a one-room schoolhouse, CrossFit basic classes are mixed with new members and experienced members. The goal of reaching a new rep count, doing a pull-up or handstand, or just jumping rope better is better as a class. You look around and everyone there is working hard (yet at their own pace), and the atmosphere is contagious.
The coaches are fantastic. I honestly didn’t believe Susie would really want to join. However, our coach Kory is very patient. He didn’t fire-hose us with information, but helps with technique and training as needed. We feel dignified that we’re doing the workouts ourselves, but when we’re ‘doing it wrong’, Kory, Tim or one of the other coaches point it out and teach us how to correct it. We learn a lot from watching the others in the class too. And when I have three push-ups to go with only ten seconds left, I hear Kory calling out ‘Come on Peter!’.
The Price is Right
The personal attention in each class is like a time-share with a personal trainer. If I paid the gym price of $50-75 for each personal trainer session for the three times a week I go to CrossFit, it would cost me a fortune. Plus, there’s three of us now! Even if we could find a coach who would split the cost, that’s still a lot of money. Our CrossFit memberships are a fraction of the cost of splitting the cost of a personal coach.
doTerra’s Slim and Sassy Life Style Competition has helped our whole family to enjoy a more healthy life. We make better food choices, we use essential oils and other natural products for maintenance and therapeutic benefits. I’m also happy to say it has also introduced us to the best exercise routine I’ve ever had in my life. I wouldn’t call myself an Elite athlete, but I feel stronger now than I ever have in my life. If you decide that you need to change to a winning strategy, I strongly recommend that you give doTerra Slim and Sassy and CrossFit a try.