If you wanna look better, be healthier and turn some years on the clock - you got to learn to grind and to 'suck it up' and just get going.

When we start off, most of us suck. Fact. Or at least, I did. But you flounder and suck it up and keep going. Let me tell you one of my stories and you'll get a better idea.

I was grossly unfit about 11 years ago. End of 2008, I got a job in San Francisco and was excited to move to the city. And once I did, one of the first things I did was to look for a fun place to get fit, and not the boring gyms that are around. And that's when I learned the term 'CrossFit'. There were 2 CrossFit facilities back then in SF, and one was literally 2 blocks from my workplace.

Crossfit Gym Workout Setup
Photo by Ryan De Hamer / Unsplash

Obviously, I had it all figured out. I'd go in to this CrossFit thing before work, shower, and then head in to work and within a month, I'd be on the path to superhuman fitness levels. So, I called and booked a trial class for 8am the next day. And I went in promptly, all eager to get started.

I walked in to a cozy CrossFit box, which had a few barbells and a lot of (what I'd come to know later as) lifting platforms and pull-up rigs and such. It did not look like anything I'd ever seen, obviously. There was one trainer there and she was amazing - she walked me through the facility and explained it beautifully and I was sold. And then we started our trial class.

I had 0 (that's zero) pull-ups, 2 pushups that resembled pushups and thankfully could squat i.e. as long as we are not talking about more technique than going down and up. She obviously was unaccustomed to folks like me, and so she put me through what the scheduled trial class normally was. It involved, and my memory is rather fuzzy, a few sprints on the rowing machine and about 10 rounds of 1-2-3 i.e. 1 pull-up, 2 pushups, and 3 squats. The pull-up was enabled by the thickest band they had, and some gentle shoving by the trainer.

I put in a shift, for all of 10 minutes. And took a breather. And my world came crashing down. I literally slumped to a corner, as this trainer looked at me a bit weirdly. I floppily signaled to her that I wanted a Gatorade from the mini-fridge that was 3 yards too many to my left. And I slowly drank it, while trying to get my brain to function and my body to respond, and more importantly, to try and make words to this strong lady in front of me who is, by now, starting to look a bit alarmed. I somehow conveyed that I was not gonna die on her but that I needed to be left alone and could I get another Gatorade while we are at it.

Another 15 minutes elapsed and by now I was able to get up. I thanked her for her troubles and called a cab and went home. I somehow managed to e-mail my boss (bless her, she put up with a lot of my shenanigans) that I had to take a sick day. And went to bed (by now, around 9am. Roughly 2 hours since I woke up) and slept until 5pm.

And that's the rather embarrassing story of my first experience with CrossFit.

But here's the thing. I am here today. Despite starting at a place where a lot of you might be, or most probably, a lot more worse off.

If I can do this, so can you! You just need to

  • find something you reasonably enjoy
  • shut up and do
  • one step at a time
  • and leave that darn ego at the door

And see where it takes you. Because it has the potential to take you to some really good places!