Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm still alive people, and I have a new obsession...

This post is about my experiences at Crossfit Infernal in Chandler, AZ. They are not aware that I'm posting this, and my opinions are completely my own. If you're interested, you can check them out at, or on twitter at @CFInfernal

OK, so about a month ago, I told you all that I was going to try Crossfit. Then I didn't post anything for a month, so I'm sure you thought I died attempting to do a hand stand push up, or something equally heroic.

Hint: I can't do this
Well I didn't die (yet). However, I absolutely love it, even though it still terrifies me, so I'm going to tell you why. (Did you hear @autamday just groan, because she's heard me talk about nothing else for the last month? 'Cause I did. I heard her groan.)

My first day at "the box" (which I'll admit always sounds a littly dirty)
  • I was immediately greeted by Will, in a very open and friendly way. He made eye contact, he didn't look at me and scoff. By the way, this is Will:
Will Howard
In case you thought that open friendly eye contact meant a lack of intimidation
  • He took me through a starter work out to get a handle on my (lack of) fitness. This included 500m row (cake), 400m run (I'm still slow at 400 m), 40 squats (surprisingly ok!), 30 situps (I was hoping for death about 15 in), 20 push ups (girly ones allowed, still stunk), and 10 pull ups (or as I like to call them, jumping up and down on a box while holding onto a bar)
  • He was very encouraging and nice. His coaching was constructive and positive. He made me feel like I did a good job.
  • I stayed for the real workout, which J attended. About 4 minutes into it J was trying to be supportive, and I wanted to die of humiliation. We left mad at each other, and determined (again) that we cannot work out together. We also determined that this was completely my fault - which it honestly is.
Day 2:
  • Where I met Greg, one of the owners. He was possibly even nicer, and very welcoming. He told me to do "only" 75 wall balls, rather than 150, and let me do every 3rd monster truck tire flip, instead of every other one.
Greg Santilli
This is Greg. Totally not intimidating, right?
  • My notes for this class said "I feel proud!"
Day 3: Greg again
  • The workout was 30 handstand pushups, 40 pull ups, 50 kb swings, 60 situps (remember when I wanted to die at 15?), 70 burpees
  • Eileen: So... I can't do any of those things
  • Greg: Give it a try. We'll scale if you need to
  • Eileen: *dies*
  • Eileen actually completed something along the lines of this workout in 22:15, which was approximately 12 minutes slower than her husband. She knows this, because the box has a white board where everyone's daily results are listed. This validated that they should not work out together, ever.
  • My notes for this workout said "My knees were down on the pushup, even with the blue band (the heaviest assister) pull ups are still impossible, kb swings were at 18lbs, sit ups meh. Burpees had horrible form, I don't even know how people can do these. This was really tough - but I will get better."
  • Coach Greg made sure to tell me after class that I had done a really good job.
  • Note: the next day, I was trying to make myself eggs, and I couldn't press the spray on the spray can down. True story.
Each class has gotten better, and I've been more and more confident that I can survive the class. I even attended a class with J last Monday morning, and I was not super self-conscious, and consequently we decided that maybe we can occassionally work out together. Yay!

Overall What I Love:
  • I love the coaches. They are all bad asses, but they ensure that the environment is positive, supportive, and community based. There's no egos in this place. I could see making friends here.
  • I love that scaling is a part of learning. No one looks down on me for modifying a workout to my abilities. The coaches do make sure that I'm challenging myself, but will never ask me to do something I can't physically do.
  • I love that it exposes your weaknesses, even the most unusual. For example, I am totally incapable of jumping with both feet at the same time. No, I swear, it's true. I cannot jump on a box with both feet. I can't jump rope with both feet. I can't frog jump with both feet. I can't jump through a tire with both feet. I always lead with one foot. Who knew that it was even possible to have that problem?! Still, now that I know this, I can work on it.
  • I love that every day I need to have a pep talk with myself, and listen to inspirational music on my way, and read off my tools for being mentally tough to get in the door, but I've gone every time, and I feel like a rockstar when I leave.
  • I love that they post the WOD's for the week, so I can youtube school myself on things like "What is a turkish get up?" and "What does AMRAP mean?"
  • Related - there's a website that has amazing amounts of detail for the maven in me.
  • I love that Bonnie (another coach) yells at my hubs, and he loves it. I also loved her face the first time I did a clean and jerk, and was so excited/amazed that I immediately dropped the bar and bear hugged her. I don't think enthusiastic hugging happens that much here.
Bonnie Atilano
She can also maybe lift more than he can...
Updated Pysical Goals for 2012:
  • Complete a marathon
  • Run a sub-29:24 5K, achieve 2600 pts in the Summer Series
  • Stay under 150 lbs
  • Do an unassisted pull up
  • Switch to real pushups, yo.
  • Beat the box monster at 20" - it's totally mental. I need to stop thinking and just DO it.
  • Rx a workout (do it as actually prescribed) - which will not be happening this week.
I feel great challenging myself at something I'm not good at. Every day that I attend class is a victory, and I feel proud no matter how much I blew up the workout!


  1. I looooooooooove your description of pull-ups. That made me laugh when I first read it in my reader, then again when I pulled up the blog to comment, and I'm laughing a little at it now.

    Oh, and I am pretty sure Autam is one of the most patient people I know, and would never groan when one of her friends was excited about something :)

  2. Really great post! Keep up the great work.

  3. You can cross out "do a workout RX". I am excited to see you accomplish all those things you have listed. Trust me it will happen maybe not overnight but keep pushing yourself and you will get there. I am living proof. :)

  4. Your intro states "you do not fit into boxes well" I beg to differ...YOU fit in the CrossFit Box perfectly!

  5. You are the quintessential Crossfitter! Loved your blog!

  6. You've got heart and that's all you need. Keep up the awesome effort, you inspire more than you realize.....