Josh & Thoughts on Being a Lady Crossfitter

Today’s workout was Josh.

21 overhead squats (RX was 65, I did 43#)
42 pull ups (red and orange band)
15 overhead squats
30 pull ups
9 overhead squats
18 pull ups

I did this in 11:28. It wasn’t too terrible even though overhead squats are really difficult. I went pretty light today because during our warm up, my shoulders were really tight and sore. Even just lifting an empty 45# bar was really difficult for me, so I stuck with a 33# bar and then added 10 more pounds for the workout.

Pull ups were OK. I’ve been trying to work back down to just an orange band and even just a red band, but when I’m doing more than 30 in a row, I really need an orange and red band together to help me through. I was going to try and move down to just an orange band for my last set of 18, but by the time I got there, my shoulders were so wrecked that I didn’t feel like it was possible.

This is the first time in awhile that I’m sticking on track with a Crossfit progression (3 days on, 1 day off, 3 days on) and I can definitely feel it. Usually the day back after a rest day I am feeling great – not sore anywhere and ready to go, but yesterday was my rest day and I woke up sore again this morning from Friday’s workout. My hamstrings are KILLING ME. I rolled out and stretched them last night and they felt a lot better, and then I did a pretty long roll out/stretch session after today’s workout, so hopefully they’ll be back to normal soon. Right now my muscles feel pretty good. Warm and worked but mostly good.

When I first got to the workout today, I was the only lady in a room full of maybe 10-15 dudes. Usually it’s a little more even than that. Luckily my friend Liz showed up right before class started, so we were two ladies strong. I’ve always been jealous of gyms that have ladies nights and all-female classes, and I kind of miss having a female coach. We used to have one, then she left to start her own gym, and now we have two male coaches. I love them both a lot and think they’re both awesome coaches, but I do enjoy having a strong female to look up to.

My coach’s wife also owns a gym run by a couple of ladies, and she was there working out with us today, so that was cool. I wonder how other ladies feel in Crossfit gyms. Mine is really open and encouraging for women, although sometimes I do hear things that make me wince (AKA, guys talking about how when they first started Crossfit they got “beat” by a girl and that made them angry/upset/humiliated). Gyms are such macho environments which can be somewhat off-putting for women at first, although I think Crossfit does break the mold in some ways. None of the gyms have mirrors anywhere, and from day one, you’re encouraged to “leave your ego at the door.” Almost everyone is friendly and encouraging, and our coach seems pretty into the fact that Crossfit is something that both men and women can do together and be awesome at. He is quick to point out when his wife is able to do a workout faster than him and which workouts appeal more to the strengths of women.

One of the things I like most about Crossfit is the fact that it encourages women to be strong. I remember seeing a shirt that our female coach used to wear that said “Strong is the New Skinny.” The word “skinny” is problematic to me and can be somewhat triggering for many women, but I like the underlying sentiment. As I think I’ve said before, since I started Crossfit, my body has transformed. I am enormously stronger than I was, my muscles are growing by the day, I have longer endurance, I have more energy, I’m happier, and I am more fit all around, but I literally have not lost any weight. I am the same 145-150 pounds that I used to be, except my body composition is really different, and my body looks really different. I’m never going to be a delicate, stick-thin lady, especially not if I keep doing Crossfit. But I can be strong and fit and healthy, and Crossfit can definitely help me do that.

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