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Stamina, or what don’t I have much of

February 11, 2014

Oy, I appear to be the sloth-like CrossFit guy at the moment. My fellow newbies seem to be blazing through workouts, while I slowly grind through them.

Some of you may be waiting to hear me talk about what CrossFit is and what it entails. Those answers will come soon. At this point, I’m just learning techniques and getting used to their class regimen. However, I have a pretty good idea that my biggest challenge will be my lack of stamina.

You may have heard me mention that I’m a schlub. That’s both true and untrue. To be more accurate, I’m an ox – a big, slow, lumbering, beast of burden. My mother’s nickname for me was “Moose.” The phrase “bull in a china shop” has been thrown around, too.

As a kid, my family and I would take vacations to the mountains of the Appalachian Trail. More than once, I walked up those mountains with my mom holding onto the back of my belt as I played the role of tow truck (and yes, I warned my mom this little anecdote was making it into the blog. She said “you’re out of the will” she’s thrilled.)

When I played football in high school, I was a lineman. A very poor, little used lineman. When I played “flag” (aka “no-blood, no-foul”) football from college till just a few years ago, at my best I was a pocket quarterback or possession receiver. Eventually, I turned into little more than a speed-bump center, just trying to do what I could to cheat block a rushing defender.

Two years ago, like any good middle-ager pining for a crisis, I started playing softball. I’m the guy who turns inside-the-park home runs into triples. I’m also the guy who complains about having to run saunter past first base.

So, why do I tell you this?

Because stamina plays into a lot of CrossFit. And I got none of that. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

So far the weights haven’t been a problem. Most of the exercises themselves are perfectly doable (save for one that will be getting its own blog post in the very near future because it is the work of the Devil).

However, for a fat 41-year-old, the lack of stamina is the real challenge. I’ll do one or two reps of a particular routine and I’ll be fine. But reps three until the end have me breathing hard and wishing that I had the power to fast forward time.

Happily, I seem to be the only one having this issue, at least as severely. That means it’s probably me, which suggests it’s probably a hurdle I can jump. Thankfully, that is exactly what every formerly-out-of-shape CrossFitter I’ve met has told me. The stamina will come. Just keep chugging.

I did find one workout, a CrossFit staple, that appears to be tailor-made for me, the rowing machine. Finally my height and orangutan arms can be put to good use 🙂

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