bike and treadmill

I had to make a choice

This is one of the most difficult posts I’ve had to write, and you can tell I’ve had trouble writing if you look at the date of this post versus the last one.

But it’s almost the end of November and it’s about time I admitted publicly that–

I quit Crossfit and Olympic Lifting.

It happened in September. (Yes, it’s been that long.) I really don’t want to explain why, Just accept that my life sort of exploded, and I was forced to make some tough decisions. One of the choices I made was to stop going to a gym to workout.

It wasn’t easy. It was really hard to let go. Afterall, I had been going to Crossfit Central two times a week for 4 1/2 years and Olympic Lifting for 2 years. I remember worrying about it a lot. And at the time, the Lean Turkey Challenge was about to begin and I had signed up. Zach even met with me and encouraged me to continue going — just at a different time during the day.

I considered my options.

And then, I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. I decided to follow through on the challenge, but I was done with the gym. I called Crossfit Central and continued my membership through the end of the year so Luke could keep going at a discount. But after December, we planned to look at different activities for him.

I felt really sad. I remember showing up for my first Lean Turkey body comp with Coach Taylor and explaining that I would not be able to do any of the workouts in class, and probably not any of the extra workouts planned for the weekends. She seemed cool with it, if not a little puzzled. I tried not to panic. Sometimes I get ancy when big things change. I remember feeling really worried at dinner one night with my parents.

“I don’t want to get fat again. I’m not going back to that,” I announced. They assured me that was not going to happen. And looking back I feel so silly for thinking that by not going to a gym and having a formal class that I would fall into the trap of fat and lazy. I guess I had come to believe that the only way to stay fit was through a formal program — I had done one for so long.

I found another way to work out.

It turns out that there IS life after the gym. Despite my coach’s lingering words — “Are you ever going to work out again?” — it is possible to stay fit and active without going to a gym and having a coach.

My parents gave me their treadmill. Their neighbors were so nice to drive it all the way across town so I could put it in my office. I use it just about every day. I walk, I run short bursts, and sometimes I do longer runs.

I pulled together all of my dumbbells, kettlebells and other workout equipment. I cleaned up my barbell and rack. And I found a wealth of knowledge and workouts online. One of the best resources I have found is Breaking Muscle. They post workouts in all kinds of disciplines, but my favorites are the Women’s Workouts and the Kettlebell Workouts. Right now I’m following two different cycles. I also follow Crossfit Central in my Feedly, and I look at the WOD every day. Sometimes I work it in, sometimes I don’t.

Life after the gym

I still feel pretty raw — the explosion in my life hasn’t quite been settled, but I can reflect on the changes a little now. With quitting Crossfit, as sad as it made me at the time, I think I’m happier now.

  1. I don’t feel as beat up.
    I was ALWAYS sore. ALWAYS. I just could not see that I was doing too much. I was paying a hefty membership and I could not admit that I needed to stop and rest.
  2. I can be flexible about when I work out.
    While my time is still really limited, I can workout at 5am and then be ready to move on mith my day. Feeling tired one morning? That’s OK! The workout can change — maybe I just walk today… or maybe sleep in! It’s up to me!
  3. I can focus on what’s important.The gym may have been a short distance away, but I spent A LOT of time getting ready to go, going, and then cleaning up afterward. Working out at home means I don’t spend as much time doing all of that. And there are two things I’ve been able to recommit my time and energy to — my kids and my business (Standard Beagle).

Luke-madsI’ve realized that as much as I need time to myself, I need to focus my energy on Luke and Madeline as well as my business — epscially since i want a close relationship with my kids and a successful business. They are so important to me.

I dream of my business really taking off, and thanks to the extra time I’ve been able to commit lately, it’s starting to. I think 2014 will be huge for the Beagle.

And as for my kids — well, they’re just awesome. I have more time with them in the morning before school. We eat breakfast together, and I’m not ALWAYS in a rush to get out the door.

Will I ever go back?

Maybe. If life changes and it’s possible to join again, I may just do that. But based on past history, once I quit an activity, I tend not to return to it. Skating and Kung Fu are good examples.

I still love the folks over at Crossfit Central and all of the specialty programs. And I always tell people to check them out if they’re looking for a Crossfit program. But I’m entering a new era.

I’m going to try to write about this new adventure, And I hope you’ll bear with me. This should be an interesting journey.

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Hi! I'm Cindy Brummer. By day, I'm a web & wordpress designer/developer/content strategist. And for fun, I'm a cook, Crossfitter, novice Olympic weightlifter, and mom to two cuties. Find me on Google+.