Ever since Arbor Crossfit moved in three blocks away from my apartment, I’ve gazed at it when driving or biking past with a combination of curiosity and fear.

I’d heard of Crossfit, read a few Workout of the Days, but never dared to try it for myself.

Until today.

The first class is free, and I signed up online. The confirmation email advised me to arrive ten to fifteen minutes early to sign the waiver and get a tour of the facility, so I left my apartment at ten after 6 and walked over in the cold, nervous, because from what I knew of Crossfit, I was definitely about to be intimidated. What kept me going was the thought that they wanted customers, they didn’t want to chase people away, not a business that wanted to make money.

There were two doors, and through a window I could see a group of people lifting barbells laden with weight to the sound of pounding music loud enough to be heard outside. That was a little intimidating, but once I opened the door that didn’t lead directly to the gym I found myself in a small entry area that wasn’t quite so scary.

I got registered and set up and signed away my rights to sue for injury or death resulting from the strenuous physical activity I was about to subject myself to, and then I got a tour of the facility, including parts that were still in progress. It’s still a fairly new facility. But adequate to the purpose.

I met a couple people before the class began and then we did a few warm-ups. Next I split off from the main group to get an introduction to lifting techniques. I had done a clean and press before in a lift class at my gym, but I wanted to be sure that I was getting this right before jumping in. So I practiced the movements of the power clean with a medicine ball and then a 15lb bar before adding 2 10lb plates and getting started.

I didn’t catch how many I was supposed to do, because of the time spent learning, so I’m not sure I got as many done as I was supposed to. But that was okay. That wasn’t the timed part. The timed part came next. A set of power cleans followed by a set of shoulder to overheads. 3 each, then 6 each, 9 each, 12 each, 9 each, 6 each, 3 each.

I had 35lbs, and I finished in 7:48.

Unless, of course, I lost count in the craziness.

It was hard. My collarbone is already red, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some bruising blossom up. But I did it. I had to scream and yell to get that bar over my head on the 9s and the 12. I did it for fun on the last sets, pushing and releasing that energy with a triumphant yell before dropping the bar to the ground with a satisfying bounce.

I can’t stop smiling.

I think I’m addicted.

I’ve paid myself up for a month of unlimited classes, and I’m going to go every day that they’re open if I can stand it. At least every day for the next week and a half while I’m off work.

Between that and working the bouldering cave at the gym, it’s going to be one Merry Fitness for me this year. Who needs New Year’s to start a resolution?

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