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My CrossFit Journey – Week 1

Hi, folks.

We probably haven’t met yet because I’m new around these Solcana CrossFit parts. My name is Jenn Schaal, and I’m goingJenn to be swinging through here weekly giving you an update on what it’s like to be brand new to CrossFit – from the workouts to the coaches to the deep digging I have a feeling I’m going to have to do. I’m excited, and hope you’ll stick around with me.

A little about me: I’m a 36 year old local stand up comedian who also has a day job and a cat. I’ve worked out on and off over the years, even having completed a few half marathons. Did I mention I hate running? I think I hate it mostly because my mind is always saying things like “Wow. You’ve just run for 10 minutes straight. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! You. Are. Tired. YOU SHOULD WALK. WALK. WALK. WALK RIGHT NOW!!!!!” And, then I look to my left and realize that I’m running at the exact same pace as the 82 year old elderly gentleman, in jeans, WHO IS JUGGLING WHILE WALKING on the same path. You see what I’m getting at. It’s a hate-hate relationship.

Anyway, I think that’s why I’m so excited to really get into CrossFit. I am a total n00b, so after doing some research about WHAT THE HELL CrossFit IS, I came to the conclusion that, overall, CrossFit is about high intensity interval training, weight lifting, and some other stuff that I still have to learn. Like I said, I’m new. Bear with me.

Last Friday, I went in and met with Coach Hannah who (amidst lots of laughs and hilarity) sat down 1:1 with me to go over qualitative and quantitative goals I have around fitness and my Solcana CrossFit experience. I really liked talking with her about these types of goals because for the first time, some of them feel attainable. It was less about dropping pounds and focusing on the scale numbers, and more about body change measured through things like smaller pants sizes. It was comfortable and I didn’t have to stand on a scale in front of some nice suburban housewife from Maplewood before sitting through a meeting with a bunch of suburban gals talkin’ about sugar free foods. You should know I’ve self diagnosed myself with PTWD (Post Traumatic Weight Watchers Disorder). Full disclosure.

My goals include:

  • Starting something and seeing it through
  • Losing pants sizes
  • Feeling stronger
  • Busting past my brain voice that tells me I need to quit

After goal setting, Coach Hannah and I did a little workout for time so we could get a baseline read as to where I was at. I’m sure this was called something but I’m still learning the CrossFit lingo so am going to ask that you forgive me for not knowing. I AM LEARNING, OKAY? Seriously, there is a lot to learn. Coach Hannah walked me through all of the torture device exercises and had me practice each a few times before she started the clock so she could check for form and make adjustments – which was cool and made me feel comfortable as the whole time my brain was yelling at me, “I HOPE YOU DON’T DIE, DUMMY!” I got situated on the row machine and we pumped up some Beyonce and the clock started. I ran the circuit and ended up finishing exactly in 10 minutes – which Hannah said was right where she wanted me to be. I think she was maybe just being nice. But, now, I know where I’ve been and can clearly track where I’m going.

The exercises I did included:

  • 500 m row
  • 40 squats
  • 30 sit ups
  • 20 push ups (on box)
  • 10 pull ups (ring rows)

I have to tell you, I kind of wanted to die a few times. Like, I said, it’s been a while. Somehow, I kept pushing through and I think it had a lot to do Hannah pumping me up through it. She was right there telling me “You got this!” and breaking up those pesky 20 pushups into “4 groups of 5”. I know its just semantics, but it really helped my brain not freak out. And, I’m not gonna lie, it felt pretty good to see on the whiteboard that I COMPLETED THIS. Of course, the next day I could barely lift my arms and discovered I actually have abdominal muscles….mostly because it hurt to move. I’m being honest when I say it was a GOOD hurt. A really good hurt.

I just reserved my spot in the 5:30 am class for Wednesday. There are already 5 other people registered whom I’ve yet to meet. I’m a little scared to do CrossFit with other people because omg of course they will only be looking at me while I do whatever it is we will have to do and for no reason would they even consider being in their own heads focusing on their own workouts, so you can see my dilemma. But I’ll be there. And then I’ll be back here to tell you all about my first full week with Solcana CrossFit. See you next Tuesday if I don’t die before then. DEAR GOD PLEASE DON’T LET ME DIE.


12 responses to “My CrossFit Journey – Week 1”

  1. You’ll love crossfitting at SolCana. Hannah was one of my coaches for a long time at TwinTown Crossfit. She is awesome. The whole experience can be frightening at the start. I’ll be interested to see what you have to say after your first class with a few other folks. I find that to be one of the many benefits of crossfit. You get inspired by others and you will inspire others. It’s a very unique thing in the fitness world. Your coach and WOD partners will cheer you on. And the “little workout for time” that you did is like two margaritas on a summer night. Seems harmless when you look at it, but it’s surprisingly hard to stand up when your done. Way to go!


  2. Sounds like you are off to a great start. I can’t wait to read your updates. I’ve been CrossFitting now for four and a half years. While I still have some major goats, as they say in the CrossFit world, I have made some very satisfying progress and accomplished many things I never thought I could do, and Hannah was a big part of that. She’s an awesome coach and I know you’ll love working with her and the other coaches at Solcana (I’ve been coached by most of them before, too). Hope to be working out with you sometime soon!


    • Thank you! Seriously it’s kind of scary and I’m so comforted to know there is such a cool group of people at Solcana! You might be my new best friend now, so let me know when I can french braid your hair and wear matching outfits with you.


  3. Exciting! I started in early 2013 with Hannah as my coach and you couldn’t ask for a better teammate. Hannah is great at assessing individual needs and helping track improvements at a pace that’s appropriate for each person. Excited to have you at the gym. I’ll make sure to say hi when I see you.


    • Hi Andrew! Thank you! I met a bunch of nice peeps at the 5:30 class this morning and am looking forward to meeting you, too!


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