The PE staff at school claimed last week as ‘fitness week’. They offered free fruit to staff at lunch and during morning break, and they also put on a variety of activities at lunch and after school for staff to participate in. Whilst Monday and Tuesday were write offs (I had reports due in Wednesday morning, so all free time was spent getting stuff done), on Wednesday I threw myself into the activities.
At lunchtime there was a ‘step aerobics’ class. Or so we were told. The reality was the male PE teacher who had offered to run the class had no idea what he was doing, and made stuff up on the spot. This led to a gym full of teachers trying to mirror someone who looked no less graceful than an epileptic fit in full swing. Still, it got the blood pumping, as well as the laughter.
After school was the class I was most looking forward to trying: crossfit. Having seen gazillions of people posting about crossfit on facebook and dailymile, I was keen to see if it really was as good a workout as people made out. If tasting burning in your mouth after a ten minute workout means you’ve worked hard, then I guess my answer is ‘absolutely’. I had varicose veins lasered under local anaesthetic about a two years ago, and the taste when the laser is literally incinerating your vein – burning flesh – is the taste I had in my mouth for a good five minutes after my very first WOD (which stands for ‘workout of the day’, but never stops sounding ridiculous).
The whole class lasted just over an hour, and included a good 10-15 minutes of Cameron, our instructor who came over from CrossFit Aberdeen, going over what crossfit is. Then we had a warmup and went over some basic moves (squats, push press using just the bar, etc) to ensure none of us were retarded and would end up somehow fisting ourselves, or thrusting a bar up someone’s nostril. We must have all demonstrated that we were capable to continue, because we went back to the whiteboard to hear what our WOD would be. And it looked a little something like this:
3 rounds for time of:
- 20 calories on the rowing machine
- 15 over the bar burpees (having to lie on the ground with your arms up to prove you weren’t cheating, and bascially doing tuck jumps over a bar in between burpees)
- 10 push presses (with 10kg on the bar)
It looked deceptively simple. Looking around at the other staff, my enthusiasm dwindled. I realized I was surrounded by two of the male PE teachers, a male physics teacher, and my boss, the head of English, who can kick my ass at running any day because she is ridiculously fast, and I hate that. Well fuck.
We took our places on the rowing machine and Cameron hit ‘start’ on the timer. I chugged at the rowing machine, rather affronted that I had chosen the malfunctioning one that was racking up calories at a snail’s pace, and eventually made it onto my first set of burpees. My opinion on burpees – that they can go suck a dick – remained unchanged during my crossfit experience. After 15, I got up (feeling a bit light-headed) and hauled the bar up for my 10 push presses, which miraculously felt easy (thank you Body Pump) in comparison. Once the bar was on the floor, it was back to the rowing machine for round 2. I looked at my heart rate at this point and it was over 190. Holy shit. I chose to not look at that again. During the last push presses of the third (and final) round, I was panting harder than a coked up Charlie Sheen on speed ‘Go’, but I wasn’t last so I ignored the feeling that my arteries were going to disintegrate under the pressure of my blood pumping through them at 999,999,999,999,999 miles an hour and finished.
Overall, it took me 10:15 to complete all three rounds, and I managed the second best time there. I mean, it took me at least 5 minutes before my breathing returned to normal, but I felt pretty smug. Despite my body pleading for me do do something like this:
Spin was painful.
On Thursday, there was Body Pump after school. Because one of the male teachers from crossfit was there, my rarely unearthed competitive side [insert maniacal laughter] reared it’s ugly head, and I obviously made sure I always had more weight on the bar that him. Success (if success means nearly crippling myself).
Friday was 5-a-side football (or ‘soccer’ as I prefer to call it). Thankfully I wasn’t the only female teacher taking part (there were two others), but I am incapable of dialling back my aggression in team sports, and was the only person to end up on the floor (bruised and bleeding) after a particularly aggressive attempt to steal the ball from a (much larger) male opponent. I was a bit annoyed I never managed a goal, though I did hit the post 3 times, so it isn’t as though I sucked completely.
Today (Saturday), I went to pump at the gym and spent about half an hour on the elliptical machine, but I feel broken. I have a feeling that the Forfar multi terrain half marathon tomorrow is going to hurt. Quite a bit.
Clearly, I am a glutton for punishment, as I have managed to talk myself and Danielle into attending the free one hour taster session at Crossfit Aberdeen next Saturday. The day before I am scheduled to run 19 miles for training.
Whatever I said earlier about not being dumb enough to somehow impregnate my nostril with a weight bar — yeah, disregard that.