The CrossFit journey continues for the girls at least

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First Posted: 1/5/2015

Girl power. The guys are no where to be seen.

We stick to our schedule as much as possible, always hitting three days a week. We can see and feel changes and we’re having a lot more fun now than during that first, really challenging one.

Sarah Haase: The workouts continue to challenge. I can feel myself getting stronger and better at some of the tasks I’d never thought I’d be able to do. I can leave a workout feeling great, not doubled over in pain, that’s an accomplishment in my book. But, for me, there’s more growth to CrossFit than just muscle definition and strength. I’m talking about the friendships beginning to grow.

Our small group, the “Cockpit Crew” (reasons for this name are still up in the air) get up at 5 a.m., some earlier. We share in each other’s pain and victories. We are solidifying as a team. A team whose goal is not winning, but at being the best athletes we can be. We’re all at different levels, but in that box, that gym, we’re all fighting for a similar outcome.

Samantha Stanich: I walked into the gym wishing I was still in pajamas but when I saw the workout, my body perked up. It’s name was “Thug Life” and it kicked my wanna-be gangster butt. I never found counting down from 75 difficult. The workout consisted of deadlifts, sit-ups, squats, push-ups, power cleans and jerks, and pull-ups. I did my deadlift at 60 pounds. I had to continue to work on my strength. I was able to lift more but to lift safely at a high number of reps was a different story. The hardest part were the 75 sit-ups. After every single one I pictured myself with abs like Katy Gonzalez’s, a CrossFit athlete. Her physique and work ethic let me know it’s worth it.

Sarah: When I look at the dry-erase board, I sum up the amount of pain I’ll be feeling within a few hours. I see the de-escalating scale of reps and think, the last two reps are going to be sooo easy. If I look at it any other way, I might cry. Double unders made the list again and I know once I get this, I’ll love it.

Robby Casey, the 6 a.m. coach at CrossFit Scranton, must have read my mind because he came over and said “Try one.”

One red whip mark on my leg.

“Try it again.”

Two red whip marks on my leg.

“One more time.”

I did it. I completed one double under. Baby steps, kids. With that motivation and encouragement, failure isn’t an option.

The other activities on the list are hard, but since that very first Friday, back in October, all the movements we do help build to harder ones. Mentally grasping a concept for a workout movement, sometimes, is 75 percent of the battle. My mind is what tells me to give up, that’s why hearing Jen Siciliano saying “You got this, Sarah” is so important.

Samantha: There was a 12-minute cap and when the buzzer went off, I was only halfway through the workout. I am not used to this. I finish. I never did well with defeat. There was a time (or two) where my mother dragged me off the tennis court because my actions toward losing were embarrassing. Borderline psychotic. I’ve matured, but the little voice who tells me losing is not OK is still there. I learned I’m not efficient at med ball cleans. A clean is an Olympic weightlifting movement which combines a deadlift and front squat. I am grateful for the humility. Not even close to the end of the workout after 12 minutes shows just how hard you have to work to get results. CrossFit is going to make me a better competitor.

Sarah: V-twists are getting easier for me. So are kettlebell swings. My modified ‘toes through rings’ are still pretty tough though. I lay on the floor white-knuckle gripping the small bar behind my head, hoping that somehow it will give me the power to swing my legs and lower back up off the floor to as high as I can reach them on that bar. Instead, my grip loosens, my necks gets contorted and the hard floor hurts my tail bone.

Here’s a fun cash-out, a cool down exercise, story if you will. In the back corner of the box are these grey spheres. Robby called us over to the Atlas stones. “I just want you to pick one up and set it down,” he said to all of us. Piece of cake. He pointed out the smallest stone for me and I couldn’t budge the thing. Have you ever watched those huge guys carry giant stones then hoist them up onto a pillar. Ya. Those are what Robby wanted us to lift.

This cash out was impossible for me, but we had a great time making attempts. Some of the athletes picked ‘em up like a playground kickball. Ahh. Maybe someday.

Samantha: I opted for the 4 p.m. class and though I missed my late night group, I wasn’t disappointed with the workout. I dread workouts where we work for a bit then rest. I dread them because the result falls on me and no one else. It is up to me how hard I work and how many reps I get in. There is no required amount of reps needed for the workout so the number reflects your work ethic. I never want a coach to think I am not working hard enough. I never want someone to think I slacked off or didn’t give it my all. So they’re good because they force me to get out of my comfort zone and push for one more rep. I push through pain and discomfort in order to be better then I was the last round.