One of the greatest things about Catalyst: everybody's an individual. Everyone's got a story. There isn't a fashion show keeping the really interesting folks out; there are no mirrors to distract from personality and inner strengths.
Until now, we've been keeping these stories to ourselves; savouring them in private, or sharing after a particularly nefarious workout. Most deserve to be heard by a wider audience, though. This is one.
Ok, I'm in the mood for storytelling, so here goes the epic tale of Mel and Crossfit…
1. Playing rugby in Kuwait seems a little odd, yes, however I find it is almost necesary. Kuwait you ask? Yes, Kuwait. I moved to Kuwait last August to start teaching grade 11 and 12 Physical Education at an all-girls American private school. In school is pretty busy and continuously on-the-go, however I found I needed something outside of school. See, when you live so far from home, it's very easy to sit in your comfy little apartment (especially when it's about a billion degrees outside) and watch arabic television or chat with people back home. I was already playing ultimate frisbee once a week with a group of mainly teachers and other expats, when one of my friends from the group suggested coming out to play rugby on the women's team. There are both men's and women's rugby teams made up of mainly expats in Kuwait and they travel to other Gulf countries to play in tournaments and games. I knew about the team and had been to a couple mens' games to watch, but I was a little apprehensive about actually playing. I've never touched a rugby ball in my life. No big deal apparently. So, I showed up to a couple practices and before I could realize what was happening I was on a plane to a tournament in Abu Dhabi. I got my @ss kicked in that tournament and felt like I got hit by a bus. But, like Crossfit, you just go crawling back for more. I guess I'm a sucker for punishment. So after getting annihilated my first tournament (don't worry, nothing was broken), I figured it would be a good idea to hit the weightroom seriously before some joint fell apart. I'd been doing weighttraining randomly throughout the year, so I stepped it up a bit around January. It was ok, but it wasn't really that intense so come June when I returned for summer holidays (life of a teacher… sigh..) I decided it was time to REALLY do this. Enter, crossfit (and Chris' Worst Sales Pitch in the World.)
I had heard of some people doing Crossfit and read about it a little bit, but I never really GOT it. So, in search of a gym membership for the summer, I went into Catalyst and talked to Chris. He didn't really know what to tell me so I guess the best way of selling it to me was the invitation to come in and do a workout. Hmm ok. None of the other gyms offered me that in my search. Plus I felt like a completely under-dressed fool walking into a few of the other gyms around town. So back I went the next day to do this Crossfit thing. I'll never forget what Chris said to me, "You're going to hurt for 48 hours, and then come crawling back for more." That couldn't have been more accurate.
What I like about Crossfit is that everyday is different. People might say I'm a little… ADHD. I can't sit still. I get bored very quickly. I slept in MOST of my university classes. So Crossfit keeps me busy and always guessing what will be next. It helped me realize that I won't die from working hard. If I can work and sweat like I do in some of those workouts and not die, I probably won't die while giving my all in any game or match anytime soon.
I have also developed a fondness for OLY lifting. I suck at it, but I like it and I think I will do wonders for my power in rugby (or lack thereof). And swinging on the rings. That never gets old. Ok I know the WOD usually doesn't say "swing on rings for 90seconds" but whatever, I do it anyways.
What do I dislike about Crossfit? That's a tough one. Squatting. I really don't like squatting. But I realize its kind of important so I do it anyways with a smile on my face. I'm just terrible at it.
It will be pretty difficult to continue CF in Kuwait, but I'll try. The gym I work out at is tiny and jam packed with machines, so floor space is at a minimum. I'm going to try to do some sort of resemblance of CF because I'll get super lazy if I don't. Running outside will have to wait until temperatures get a little bit more bearable… around the end of October I'll probably be able to head outside for a run.
Umm other interesting stuff…. I don't know? I like long walks on the beach… sipping wine and watching stars. Just kidding. Well, maybe. Oh, Chris's goal this summer has been to make me puke after a workout. In all my years as a competitive swimmer I never once puked after a workout. Apparently it is much more likely that I will cry after a workout. Case in point: pyramid Clean and Jerks. Cried. Like a baby. The challenge is still on to make me puke. I'm trying, really, I am.