Confessions of a Reformed Marathoner

At 5:30am you used to find me running the streets of Boston, Charlestown and Cambridge. My focus was logging lots of early morning miles training for the next marathon on my race calendar. Running had its benefits; I was thin, could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight. But after five years of this schedule I was stuck in a rut deeper than the sneaker worn grooves in the dirt along the Charles River.

pushupWhile on a business trip, a client mentioned he’d abandoned marathoning for a new workout, CrossFit. He showed me the main site and explained how his idea of fitness has evolved through his CrossFit experience. After reading more it became clear that while I may have stamina, I was lacking in other areas: power, flexibility and strength. To become a better athlete I needed to focus on improving these areas but was unsure how to begin.

CrossFit is an “open source” program (workouts are posted on the main site every day for people to follow regardless of location. People work out in their garages, soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan follow the programming and there are even affiliate gyms. Theoretically I could just complete the workout of the day at my gym, but the lifts and many of the exercises were new (and more than a little intimidating)! For me, a trainer’s assistance would be critical to developing these skills. CrossFit Fenway recently opened so I decided to check it out.

laughWhat I found at CFF is a supportive, welcoming environment in which people are encouraged to try new things.

Eric, Stacey and JT work with members in small groups ensuring not only proper technique but also that we give our best during every workout. Each trainer has the background, training and passion to connect with members and provide constant motivation.

Working in groups of eight has the added benefit of developing relationships among members. CrossFit unites people from different ages, races and backgrounds. Even though we have different goals, members rally around each other, cheering people toward new personal records. News of accomplishments spreads from class to class and we celebrate each other’s victories. Every class another member is inspiring me by setting a new PR in their lifts or completing their first unassisted pull-up (congrats Tiffany and Haley!!).

press_backCrossFit Fenway is a true judgment free environment – a place where we celebrate trying to do difficult things, where dropping weights just means you found your new limit, and where limits will continue to be tested and exceeded!

After four months of CrossFit, I am a stronger and more flexible. My workouts are no longer relegated to wearing out the sidewalk. Every time I step in the gym I’m learning, facing new challenges and exceeding my own expectations.

And, despite logging fewer miles, CrossFit made me a faster runner.