One Saturday morning, I went over to Hopfarm Brewing Company to fill a growler. I was disappointed to find that they were not open early on Saturday morning. Ridiculous. Since I was in sweatpants anyway and Arsenal Strength, Pittsburgh’s newest CrossFit affiliate, was next door, I decided to go in to check out the free intro session.
I went in prepared for the usual sales pitch. This will change your life. Blah blah blah. It didn’t happen. Instead I was greeted by the friendly owner/head coach who was so genuine that I became suspicious. What was he up to? Alas, I survived the intro and signed up on the spot. I’m a bit of an impulsive shopper.
At first I thought there was no way this place could stay in business with so few members. Even to this day I remain almost wholly unaware of the 5AM people. That is a whole other level of dedication right there. Anyway, as the weeks went by and more people stated to trickle in, I thought “wait, who are all these people?”
Class sizes grew from 2, to 5 to even 12 members per session. I like that the crowd varies. There are people who are just starting out and working hard on correct and safe technique, the class clowns and good timers (follow me.. you know who you are), and of course the serious folks who are all business (commence eye roll sequence). Somehow we all manage to coexist on the same path to our different destinations.
Overall health, competition results, strength and stamina, getting yuuuge, or maybe just camaraderie…everyone is working toward a goal. For me, a trip to Arsenal is an hour of the day that is focused on the immediate task at hand and not on new TPS report coversheets (Yeah, I got the memo). How am I feeling at this very minute? Sure, the answer is usually a slow motion, dramatic “noooooooo!” or “why?” or an expletive ridden “ouch.” At the end of a WOD I somehow feel better than when I arrived. Of course physical punishment isn’t the only thing to look forward to. See paragraph one’s reference to Hopfarm Brewing.
If someone is thinking about starting this for the first time I would tell them to have an open mind and give it a try. It isn’t necessarily what it looks like on TV or in social media and it is a great excuse to buy some sweet new sneakers.