What’s a First Take?
What’s a First Take?
We’re taking the guess work and fear out of trying something new by trying it first (new to us too!). In First Take we’ll report the who, what, when, where, why and how do we not make a fool of ourself. If it sounds like a good fitness fit, you may be able to join us for a Second Take. Do you have something you’ve always wanted to try but can’t find the courage or crew? Let’s connect!
First Take: Crossfit KBC
A Crossfitter, a vegan and a cyclist walk into a Whole Foods…how do you know? They tell you.
I kid, I kid. Kinda.
You’d have to have been living under a proverbial rock the last few years if you hadn’t heard about the rage of CrossFit. With 13,000 gyms nationwide they outnumber the amount of Starbucks. Yes, you read that correctly. With avid followers, seemingly rapid results and really cool outfits (or lack thereof, more on that later) it is easy to see from afar why its popularity continues to grow.
In fact, one of my very own Facebook memories from 6 years ago recently popped showing that I asked my “friends” what their thoughts were on the gyms. The responses were varied from “the best thing I’ve ever done” to “yes it’s great but it’s hard”. Clearly I didn’t take anyone’s advice and stayed on my couch with the bag of cookies but still, I had at least once been previously curious about the CrossFit craze.
Fast forward to the morning that my trusty workout sidekick Heather and I ventured to CrossFit KBC.
Ok, let’s be real, I’m the sidekick in this situation but I digress.
KBC CrossFit gym is in an easily accessible area of NW Fresno and is in an industrial style building as most CrossFit gyms are. I’ve spent the early part of the morning throwing things out of my closet trying to find actual gym shoes which seem to have gathered dust the last year as I only needed my spin shoes. Luckily they are located along with my super cheesy Pick Up Artist tank top (get it, wink wink) and my black work out pants because they are comfy and honestly, the most slimming in pictures. Obviously.
When Heather and I walk into the gym it’s like going into a house party where you know no one but once they see you carrying a six pack and chips, you’re welcomed wholeheartedly. They were instantly excited to have new victims, er classmates, join the group and Owner Jordan Sims gave us the run down on how the classes were structured before we began. Looking around I saw every shape, age, fitness level and gender which always makes me feel more at ease. Combine that with a few amazing ladies who were eager to show Heather and I the literal ropes and I was ready to kill it! Or whatever it is really good CrossFit people do.
The workouts are structured for both bursts of cardio and weight training. Each class is different so for our day we had short runs and burpees mixed in with rope climbs before lifting began.
A brief note about the rope climbs…
Heather is an absolute beast. She showed no fear at all, grabbed that rope and climbed ¾ of the way up with ease. I however found myself feeling a bit of high school gym class PTSD watching that so I opted for the modification which was still challenging and felt great. And there was no gym teacher calling me cream puff as I hung perilously on the rope unable to go higher or get down. True story.
All through this class the two amazing gals we paired up with showed us each step along the way and encouraged us as well. On my brief jogs to get my heart rate up I’d pass all the classmates, ok not pass as in I was faster more as in they were lapping me so I passed them along the way. (But thanks for believing in me there for a second) and they all had high fives and words of encouragement to keep me going. These CrossFit people were my kind of people!
Then came the lifting. I am going to embarrass myself now to tell you that they told me to grab a bar and weights, think like bench press type bar, and when I grabbed the bar…I could barely lift it. It’s only 35lbs but my scrawny arms said, nope! Truly the best part of this gym was that they offered no judgement modifications for all of the moves therefore I used only the bar at first until I got comfortable with my movements. Then we did add weights. I kind of love the giant 10lbs weights because they look like they could be 50lbs and hey, image is half the mental battle am I right?
We did a move called Clean and Jerks which apparently is not a reference to me cleaning the kitchen only to have my husband mess it all up that same day. Who knew.
If there were a lifting move CrossFit was known for, this would be it. I’m having trouble describing it with words but all I know is that after close help from the gym owner on how to do it safely and correctly, about 20 tries where I did it wrong, I finally did one right and WOW! I felt so strong, so accomplished and ready to throw down the weight with a grunt. Ok, not that last part.
Over and over again the team of people at CrossFit KBC helped me hone my technique and kept my body safe while doing so. There were a lot of laughs along the way and I never once felt out of place or like I was the “new kid” despite my cheesy T shirt and lack of the word bro in my vocabulary. At one point I even said to Heather “How am I going to describe the…view in this place in my article?” And we laughed. Essentially, there were a lot of shirtless men in very good shape so if you’re into that, consider it an added bonus.
We left feeling strong and empowered which aren’t the same thing if you know what I mean. Actually we left running to the car because we were both late for something. Time flies when you’re lifting big weights!
I am truly grateful for this experience and it has even inspired me to begin lifting weights as a part of my exercise routine because this cream puff wants to buff up! Mmmm cream puffs…
Interested in trying out Crossfit KBC. Here’s information on getting started.
Ashley McBride is a College Career Counselor by day, wife to her best friend Sean, and Mom to a tiny poodle named Margot. A Central Valley Native, she’s an avid indoor cyclist who loves to cook, laugh, gather friends and has a secret dream of being a stand up comedian. She hopes that anyone who’s ever struggled with depression and anxiety can find hope in her writing, or at least a good laugh.