A Beginner's Journey to Class at CFSL: The Final Session
Reaching our final session felt like a mixture of Christmas and a dreaded exam you haven’t studied for rolled into one. There wasn’t too much chat or faff – we knew what we were here to do. We warmed up, went over the moves, did plenty of stretching, all while wishing time would slow down so we might never reach the workout that was only minutes away.
Unable to contain my excitement, I had started to look into what Fight Gone Bad actually entailed. I had come to terms with a minute’s worth of my most failed move: wall balls. But the rest I thought I could handle – a minute each of kettlebell swings, box jumps and push press. I also had some concerns about the rowing at the end, but it was only one burst, so I could probably muddle through.
Then Ozzie explained that our assessment would consist of three rounds, with a minute’s rest between each. Something I had talked myself round to being able to handle suddenly became insurmountable in my head. I chuckled in despair as we lined ourselves up with our balls, with Ozzie allocating me the dreaded black number, back for another go at smashing in my face. All the reps throughout the rounds are added to a total and then combined with all the calories rowed. If you get over 220, you can join classes.
The first round of everything seemed ok. My box jumps got pretty ragged and my push press was impressing nobody, but we finally got to that minute of rest and I proceeded to administer overdoses on my inhalers to cope with the tail end of the man flu that had plagued me all week.
By round two my totals were dropping. The wall ball was everywhere. I wasn’t making it to the end of each minute with the moves. My sinuses were burning and I am pretty sure I had stopped breathing. By the time I hauled my carcass on to the rower, I was formulating excuses in my head for stopping everything there and then. Bicep curls in the gym had never had this effect on my resolve; what the hell was I doing?
Round three was marked by a decrease in my ability to count properly, or to give Ozzie my totals in a coherent manner when asked. Alongside this, I was stopping and starting the moves like nobody’s business, all while Emma diligently ploughed through without resting, or at least as far as I could tell out of the corner of my eye. Sweat was everywhere, my hands were shaking, my shoulders were screaming, my core was so tight I thought I would snap in two and then, the next thing I knew, I was strapped back into a rower and pulling away as fast as my little legs could extend, torturing myself by watching the calorie counter inch through each hard-won addition to my total.
And then it was over. I was left panting on the rower briefly, feeling as embarrassed as if I had just thrown some sort of massive toddler tantrum. I could barely get my feet out and it was some time before I braved standing up. I felt furious that I hadn’t done my best. There hadn’t seemed to be any reserve energy to carry me through. Why hadn’t I done more push press?
At the board, Ozzie had written up our scores. We had both passed and that was all that mattered. So that was it. Some paperwork later, there was nothing in my way to being let loose in classes, besides pausing for a quick pic in front of the CrossFit South London logo with our scores and trying to smile. I failed at this.
Hopefully these mad ramblings have served to shed light on what happens between wanting to find out more about CrossFit and joining the classes. It’s challenging and achievable. It will build you up and then knock you down. You’ll learn what you do and don’t like doing and get better at both. But you’ll mostly feel awesomer and awesomer.