Can You Handle Uncomfortable?

Today, someone asked the CrossFit coach if they were getting many new people at CrossFit Acernus. He said that  they had been doing a lot of intro classes for people, but it’s hard to tell who will continue and who ditches after day 1.


If people never come back it’s hard to know why. I made a mental list of reasons that certain people may not like CrossFit while I was trying to do hollow rocks later in the WOD. To just hold that position is somewhat tortuous, and it’s easier if you block it out by thinking of other things.


Anyway, here are some reasons I think people try an intro class of CrossFit and choose not to continue.

1. CrossFit makes you uncomfortable. During the workout, even an intro class, you will be presented with things that you either cannot do, or can barely do. Also, things you’ve never tried, and things you haven’t done since you were young. It’s quite possible you will embarrass yourself in some way.

2. CrossFit makes you uncomfortable – LATER. After my first CrossFit workout, my abs hurt terribly for three days. I had to constantly roll over on my side in order to sit up. I weighed every decision on whether or not I would have to climb stairs. My body was so sore. I think there are two ways people will handle that excessive soreness.

            a. Like I did. I was excited. I thought “These workouts are going to kick my ass every single day. I’m going to be fit in no time.”

            b. The other possibility. “I don’t want to deal with this type of pain ever again. I’m going back to my safe hamster wheel.”

3. Admittedly, CrossFit is expensive. The pain, embarrassment, and money may be enough for people to not return to classes.

I suppose I get why some people don’t come back. It depends on your goals and your actual desire to get fit. What kind of fit do you want to be? All around, mobile, strong, quick, springy? Aesthetics only? Body building? Endurance?

CrossFit does not mess around. CrossFit begs you to make it a lifestyle. CrossFit begs you to push yourself. And once you get into it, you beg YOURSELF to get better. It becomes a mentality that other forms of fitness do not. It honestly feels like being part of an organized sports team. I try to understand the people who don’t have the competitive drives that I do. It would probably be more comfortable to workout alone, at home, with no one correcting me, no one pushing me, and no one making me do things that I don’t think I can. But I choose to make myself uncomfortable so that I can improve. CrossFit is the sport of improvement. If you can handle uncomfortable.


Moving to a New CrossFit Box

Since I recently defended my doctoral dissertation, I decided that my boyfriend had waited long enough and moved out of Pittsburgh to live with him. He has been attending a CrossFit box of his own, so I decided to join that one, CrossFit Acernus.  All CrossFit boxes are quite independent, so I was curious to try out a different style. There were major differences between the two.


1. CrossFit Pittsburgh is an old school box. It’s dirty, and old, and the roof leaks, and there’s rust, etc. Probably because it’s one of the first 50 CrossFit boxes in the US. CrossFit Acernus is much newer and cleaner. I found that strange at first. I appreciated the dirty goodness that was CrossFit Pittsburgh. But believe me, I’m getting used to the new equipment and not going home covered in filth.

2. CrossFit Pittsburgh was MUCH bigger. Not in space, but in the class sizes and the amount of members. Makes sense since Pittsburgh is a much bigger place than Lebanon, PA. Yesterday, for the first time, I was the only member in a class. It was awkward since the coach only watched me, and no one was around to keep me motivated. I never had a class smaller than 10 in Pittsburgh. However, I like the class sizes at Acernus most of the time. The class size is usually around 6. This size is nice because it almost forces people to get to know each other.

3. CrossFit Acernus has cardio classes. I LOVE THEM. They are usually 1 hour long, and contain no lifting. It’s just straight sweat and heavy breathing for 60 minutes. They offer cardio classes once per weekday. They are more for people who don’t want to bulk at all, just lose weight. Don’t get me wrong – I love to lift. But I want to maintain my weight, as well. I want to have somewhat of a feminine figure. So I go to cardio class 3x per week, and regular CrossFit classes 2-3x per week. CrossFit Pittsburgh didn’t have a cardio class per se, but Saturdays there were similar to an Acernus cardio class.

Those are the major differences. One very nice thing is that both boxes have great, knowledgeable, and friendly coaches.  Also, people who CrossFit are consistently friendly people. I’ve never met anyone at either box that I didn’t like.

Something very intriguing about CrossFit that I have noticed is I can’t tell how old people are. There is a couple who attend CrossFit Acernus cardio classes who I thought were in their late thirties, early forties. They are 55! 55! I can’t believe when these people friend me on facebook. I think they are younger than me, and they turn out to be almost 40! I guess that goes to show that exercise leads to slower aging. I hope it works that well for me.

My apologies!

I haven’t posted since Thanksgiving! It’s been a while. I do have a fantastic excuse though! I received my doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh! I successfully defended my dissertation on April 8, and I am now Dr. Zacherl!



My presentation went very well, but the committee questioning was rough! I guess grilling the grad student is sort of a hazing to allow new people to become colleagues. I’m glad they sent my family and friends out of the room for that.


They worked me over so badly that all I ate was (paleo) cookie for the rest of the day! And a few celebratory beers! Anyway, I’m back to blogging! Thanks for waiting up!