As you know, I joined a CrossFit box about a week ago (CrossFit Hays) and I have to tell you it has been kicking my butt.


The first four sessions are called Elements. In Elements, we focused on the correct way to perform calisthenic, kettlebell, dumbbell and barbell movements. None of this was strange to me because I have an athletic background. Beside playing sports in high school, I really got athletic in college with long-distance cycling. In fact, my degree is Exercise Physiology and I have worked in cardiac rehab and athletic training. The what to do nor the how to do looked to be much of a challenge.

Well, having long ago walked away from possession of one of the bigger egos I have encountered, I was ready though to take a back seat and let someone else be the teacher. It has been a good move in life – as well as in CrossFit.

I was humbled by my lack of form and overall lack of fitness.  Elements proved to be exercise disguised as instruction. By the time I reached the end of each session for the workout, I was wrecked.

Then, to cap off all this learning, it was time for what is known as the CrossFit Baseline for time.

CF Baseline

The CrossFit Baseline is a series of exercises done for time that consists of the following:

  • 500 meter row
  • 40 air squats
  • 30 situps
  • 20 pushups
  • 10 ring rows

The real key to CF in general is high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises done in an explosive manner with little or no rest in between.  What this means is that you are going close to failure as you can on each exercise and always gasping for breath.

I am not sure how my time ranks with other 50+ year old fat men who haven’t hit the weights in decade or so, but it really doesn’t matter. This baseline is recorded simply so that in 3 weeks, 6 months, 5 years later… I can do the same baseline exercises and see my improvement.

For the record, I clocked in at a snail-like 16:46.

The good news is that I survived and even did a WOD (workout of the day) the next day. The bad news is that I am going to be out of town for several days so won’t be able to show up there until late next week.  I will however try to stay active using hotel fitness centers etc.

Yes, they are kicking my butt… actually, they are facilitators that are helping to provide me with motivation, inspiration, camaraderie and accountability… I am kicking my own butt. And you know what? I love it!

by Chris Doelle

Also published on Medium.