I’m walking normally today. Usually that isn’t something to write about, but today I’m thrilled about it. I’m so happy, I think I will write it again. I’m walking normally today.

On my first day of CrossFit (a Saturday), I went to the free class and I was there with a bunch of young to simply younger men. They were all much more able to do the things the coach asked us to do. I was nearly dead after a 400 meter run and the rest of the hour went steadily downhill from there. However, being stubborn and not fully aware of how out of shape I am, I valiantly tried to keep up. I got home feeling like a schmuck since I couldn’t get through the entire thing and spent the last portion of the hour trying not to pass out and watching younger, fitter people doing stuff I only dreamed of doing.

I really want to do this CrossFit stuff because I hate being this fluffy, out of shape, and weak. So I signed up for the Fundamental series of three classes. I scheduled myself for Monday at 4 pm.

I was sore when I got home, but nothing too bad. As the day wore on, it got worse. On Sunday morning I was barely able to walk at all. I took a hot bath. I took an Aleve. I called Craig and asked him what else I could do. I did that. I took three short walks around the block. I stretched. I hurt.

Monday morning I could walk but not very well. I was really happy that I could make it up the stairs at work and didn’t wimp out and use the elevator. I have never used that elevator and I want to never have to use it (unless I’m bringing something massive into work). I made it up and down the steps, but still I winced each time I sat down or stood up.

For some reason, this did not seem like a deal breaker for that Monday appointment. I went and met Christine, my coach for the series. Thankfully, we did the rowing machine as a warm up and I could manage that. Then she wanted me to squat. I tried. I was pathetic. I couldn’t force my legs to work. They were smarter than my brain and simply refused. We worked on shoulder mobility and I learned to lift.

I made an appointment to return on Wednesday at the same time. By Wednesday, my legs were only slightly sore, but not all that good still. At 4 PM, it was 87 degrees with a heat index of 95. My warm-up was a 200 meter run. I was wearing a heart monitor by this time because I’m not only old, I’m not entirely stupid. About ¾ of the way through that, my heart rate was over 150 and I was winded. I walked back. However, I was now so overheated, I was having a tough time.

I worked on squats (not very well and not very deep) and had to keep resting. My legs hurt but I believe it was more an issue with the heat and my heart rate trying to keep up with my oxygen demands. I was wrung out and feeling horrible. Christine was patient as I kept resting and allowing my heart rate to drop to something compatible with life, but as soon as I resumed, it would skyrocket again. We finally quit early.

She suggested we try something a bit different and instead of my coming back on Friday at 4 (our original plan), I would come back on Saturday morning at 9. It would be cooler at that time and we would see if that would help.

On Saturday, it was cooler and it did help. I could get through the rest of the fundamentals and learned all the basic moves. I know when I’m doing them wrong, but can’t quite do them all correctly (yet). It was much better when it was cooler. My heart rate still went up, but when I rested and it went down, it stayed down. I signed up for CrossFit and came home feeling much, much better than I had on Wednesday evening.

Monday was a holiday and so I had extra time to rest. My plan is to go to the box every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So Tuesday was another day to rest. All weekend long, when I wanted to pick up something low, I squatted instead of bending over. I tried to use my new movements as I moved through my day.

I showed up yesterday at 6 am. While it was hot and muggy, it was still much cooler than at 4 pm. There were three other young men at the workout. Christine is the coach at that time of day. She knew how fragile I still am. While they began with a 400 meter run, I started out with a 300 meter row. I was warm, but not overheated.

She then scaled the entire rest of the workout for me so that it was still challenging, but it wasn’t overwhelming and I was able to complete my assigned task. My WOD included squats, pulling myself to the rings (I wish I could remember what that is called officially), and slinging around a PVC pipe. I couldn’t manage to do too much with the real bar which weighs 22 pounds. I did some, but even that is too much and there is nothing between light as a feather and 22 pounds.

I ended up doing more squats yesterday than I done since I started at CrossFit. I did squats as part of the warm-up. I did squats as part of the WOD. I did lots of squats there. With the drills, I was using my legs to help power up the bar (while I was actually lifting the bar). I was sure I was going to be just like that first Sunday.

I came home and then went to work. I kept waiting for my legs to tell me I did too much. I watched as I got out of my chair or sat down on the sofa. Nothing. My legs worked. And today, I am walking normally.

My shoulders know I was lifting weight over my head, but they aren’t too sore. My brain ruled there and I didn’t overdo it. My legs are telling me I was at the box, too, but they aren’t yelling at me about it. So, I know I worked out yesterday.

But … and this is the most important thing. Today, I am walking normally.

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