You know how the saying goes: couples who sweat together, stay together.

Don’t get me wrong – solo workouts definitely have their place but for me, nothing beats sharing the joy and pride of a workout with my boyfriend, James.

James and I run together for the majority of our runs, which are the majority of our workouts (I do pilates and he plays football once a week or so).

And while I love running with James, I’m always aware that my legs are shorter and I have asthma. He assures me it isn’t the case but I often feel I’m holding him back.

So that’s why watching James in his own rhythm, in his own time and ability, complete a CrossFit workout, was such a brilliant moment for me.

Especially as I pushed myself big time to make sure we finished at the same number of repsšŸ˜‰


Rewinding a year, I first tried CrossFit in January 2013 and loved it. I signed up for two months of sessions and went as often as I could, which was a couple of times a week.

I didn’t renew my subscription after those eight weeks because I was training for a half marathon and wanted to focus on running and I couldn’t fit it in (the sessions including travelling ended up being close to two and a half hours) with that, as well as life in general.

But CrossFit never kept my mind, I kept getting an urge to lift something, to hear the cheer of people in the class urging me on, to proudly write my time on the board.

The problem was that James wasn’t fussed and I had even less time after changing jobs. I kept an eye out for new CrossFit boxes nearer me and did online no-equipment workouts.

A few months ago, James casually mentioned – in the same way that he mentioned he would be up for a half marathon with me – that he’d be prepared to give it a go.

I think I jumped for joy! We’d be doing pull ups on those elastic bands, perfecting clean and jerks and squatting like demons in no time, I thought.

It was in this uber excited state that we headed for a free taster session at CrossFit 605, Bristol’s newest box and less than two miles from our home.


We nervously made our way into the box and met with our fellow tasters, who clearly liked lifting heavy things by the look of their muscles!

The instructor, Paul, talked us through the principles of CrossFit, what to expect and how his sessions worked before handing us a skipping rope and getting us to warm up.

It was so hot and sticky and skipping isn’t easy, especially as the ropes were quite long (I’m 5ft3ins tall) so I was quickly a sweaty mess.

Paul then had us do lengths of the box, walking to one end and back while performing duck walks, burpees and walking lunges. I managed to forget what a burpee was in the excitement and had to ask for a demo, so embarrassing…

After the ‘warm up’, it was time for kettlebells. I picked up an 8kg (the prescription was 16kg for women and 32kg for men!), which I was glad for later.

We learned how to use the kettlebells, swinging them up over our heads and using our hips to push them through. Then we had a lesson in air squats, my favourite!

The WOD, or workout of the day, was an AMRAP, as many rounds as possible, in 12 minutes.

– Run 100m

– 20 air squats

– 15 kettlebell swings

The music blasted and the clock began to count down – I felt my body remember that surge of adrenaline from when I did it last.

I was so pleased when I saw James sprint off without me, without worrying about my asthma. It was great to see him liberatedĀ and doing a workout focused on him.

The WOD was hard! It was hot, my legs were sore from all that leg and form work. I was so glad I’d used a light kettlebell as I don’t think I’d have been able to cope with heavier.

Paul was brilliant, he was constantly monitoring our form and making sure it was bang on.

By the end of the time, I’d finished six rounds and 100m, just the same as James (okay, seeing him blasting ahead of me definitely gave me a burst of determination!).

Everyone in the class was spent, it was a great lesson in how a workout doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated to be effective.

Paul then took us through stretches and some killer ab work, my body pretty much gave up at this point though.

We left feeling exhilarated, motivated and chuffed to bits.

IMG_5643And that’s when I realised I had #CrossFitProblems. I want in, big time.

But after discussing it at length with Paul, then James as we walked home, I realise I simply can’t be. Not at the moment anyway.

I have so much on my plate with work, fitting in two-three runs a week is already proving extremely tough – I can’t commit to another after-hours activity.

This isn’t my last encounter with CrossFit, I am determined to make it work in the future – I just have to put it on hold until I (and hopefully we!) can do it justice.

* Do you CrossFit?Ā 

* Are there activities you’d like to do if you had time?

About Flake And Cake

I'm a reporter based in Bristol who loves to wear stripes, write in shorthand and attempt to make great strides in running.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to #CrossFitProblems

  1. dgobs says:

    That CrossFit experience sounds intense! I’ve heard lots of bad things about CrossFit and how they don’t care about your form as long as you do a million reps as fast as possible, but it sounds like Paul was making sure it was done right and it sounds pretty cool, actually! Hopefully you can make CrossFit work with your schedule sometime in the near future!

    Oh gosh, there are so many things I’d do if I had the time! I’d love to do yoga and pilates, and I would have gone to the gym SO much more during the winter if I had had the time… my commute to and from work is much longer than I’d like it to be, and at the end of the day I just want to get home, so that makes it difficult to fit in fun activities, most of which happen closer to work than home for me. Maybe someday!

    • Both CrossFit boxes I’ve been to have been obsessed about form, which is great. I think with the weights people lifts etc it could be dangerous otherwise!
      Ah I’m with you on the yoga and pilates from!

  2. Mary says:

    This is really interesting to read. I really wanted to start CrossFit last year but our nearest one is 30 minutes away, it costs a lot of money and my time is pretty limited right now. I’ve been doing more CrossFit style workouts at home lately although have avoided anything where I had the potential to perform the move wrongly so as to ensure I remain uninjured.

    • Thanks Mary! Good shout on watching out for the potentially dangerous moves, I wouldn’t attempt many of the ones I did when I first did CrossFit without an instructor critiquing my form.

  3. YES CrossFit! I’m one of those addicts already… So glad you found a good box, it all depends on the place and people I think – like any sport there will be bad coaches who will let you have bad form (I saw plenty of that in my time rowing for example) so you’ve got to shop around!
    Good on you for not putting a tonne of pressure on yourself to do everything:)
    I’d LOVE to learn to surf but sadly the sea is rather a long way away…

  4. I really want to try cross fit, but our local one is so expensive.
    My husband and I pretty much always workout together and we love it. It is a great way to spend some quality time together, but get fit too, Win-win!

  5. I really want to try cross fit, but not sure there’s one nearby me. You already seem to do so much I’m not surprised you can’t fit it in. Sounds fun though!

  6. I can totally relate to this, I really want to try it, but I’m waiting until after my next marathon, I’m taking a month off running which seems like the perfect opportunity to try something new!

  7. AnnaTheApple says:

    I kind of want to try Crossfit but with all my running and cycling I just can’t fit it in and I’m scared I’ll injure myself and then won’t run (being so injury-prone…). Sounds like a tough session but like you had fun. I like the appeal of it because it’s that team environment:)
    I’ve just started yoga actually and I love it already!

    • You do so much already Anna, especially with your commute too – there would have to be a CrossFit box open at midnight for you to fit it inšŸ˜‰
      Ah yoga.. I’ve not found my inner yogi yet!

  8. I really want to try Cross fit but my local box is the other side of the city and sessions are on an evening which would be tough for us to manage especially when the little one comes. James isn’t into working out, but we have talked about how we’d like to go out and run together with the baby in the pushchair so we will see if that happens!

  9. I’d love to try it but it’s not something I think I could fit in around long distance running plus the price puts me off too.

  10. There are so many cross fit places that I discovered a few months back and thought about trying. Sounds like you were put through your paces during your session though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s