Just ask my pal Kurtis Blow. He knows all about it.

With a vow to not let it destroy my body this time, I started crossfit again. After damaging metatarsals in both feet and seriously injuring my posterior cruciate ligament from the sport, my body has never quite been the same again. The metatarsals healed easily enough, but that damage to my knee has given me constant shit since it happened. Even after resting and rehabilitating, it has a habit of creeping back up on me. It’s effectively stripped away my ability to dance, or whatever assortment of limb jostling I use to encompass the word. If you’d seen me dance you’d understand; I’m all rotations and movement, which has a habit of wrenching my knee every time I go out. No matter how much I tell myself I’ll keep things restrained, whenever I hear a beat that just hits me, I’m lost on a path of no return. I pay for it the next day in foam rolling.

So with this obvious admission of poor self control do I trust myself to do crossfit again? I feel like I need to. From every other type of fitness I’ve done since, nothing has gripped me quite the same. Bodyweight work, gymnastics, swimming and weightlifting had their charms, but they just don’t leave me a heaping pile of hyperventilation quite like the high intensity training that crossfit affords me. I was pretty good at not drinking the Kool Aid last time, so I think I can handle that aspect at least. I loved my last gym, I really did. It was a great, supportive community atmosphere, the douchebag quotient was super low and I found myself growing a lot from what I did. The price was great and, as it was joined with a boxing gym, allowed for many different training styles. It got me to love fitness in ways that most other training hadn’t. Admittedly though, a problem I always had was a lack of good mobility. We did scant few stretches before embarking on absurd blowouts, meaning injuries were far more likely to occur. It seemed to run on a frenzied “hit it till you drop” mentality that led to tears in more ways than one. Most of the time this was fine. Occasionally it went beyond the bounds of sanity, bounds of madness I often fell into step with.

This new place seems a lot more mellow. The lead coach requested that we book a private session so he could tighten up my movements to prevent future injury. Fine, I thought. It also came with a $65 price tag. Less good, but still necessary. We started going through the different basic lifts and he gave me tips to correct form here and there. After about 10 minutes he said my form was good enough to start doing the classes and refused to take payment for 10 minutes work. Getting off to a good start. This place is 10 people max per class. There’s a prescribed full body mobility/warm up routine each time, allowing your body to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. There’s strength training pre-workout, getting you used to olympic lifting and other heavy lifting movements. The workout itself is short but intense, then after a breather there’s an optional part b that you’re encouraged to do only if interested. It’s a format I quite like the feel of, from the two times I’ve gone. The difference between something like this and self-directed work is the constant encouragement to get back up. It’s easy to be kind to yourself and just stop, much harder to do so if someone’s voicing support. Yes, sometimes this entices you to push more than your body can, but surely by now I should be wise enough to know my limits. The older and more fragile I get, the more readily they make themselves known.

It was a rush to get back into it. I haven’t breathed that deeply in yonks. On the floor, waiting for a return to normalcy, something felt right. It felt like I’d found something I’d been missing, something I wasn’t capable of creating myself. I’m walking funny today though. If I remember from my past experience, it’s not about the day after, but the day after the day after (like some shitty disaster movie). Tomorrow’s gonna have me stumbling like a drunkard, aiming to assist customers while in reality just trying my best not to trip over my own feet. Starting off slow with three times per week, I’m sure I’ll get back to 4-5 days a week soon enough. For now though, easy going. Slow and conservative. The goal is not to shatter myself, so no glass cannon shenanigans (thanks as always Yakety Sax).

Check back in a month when I’ve successfully broken every bone in my body.

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