Arenal Fitness (Crossfit) – Baltimore, MD

Posted: March 9, 2013 in Ex-er...size?
Tags: , , , ,

Arenal Fitness is where I started my “crossfit career”. Donna and Lauren were extremely supportive, great at explaining everything for my OCD (or CDO… which is OCD in alphabetical order) brain, full of energy and ready to have me achieve my goal of “looking better naked”.

I went here because my dad had been doing crossfit for over a year. On April Fools Day in 2011, he had a diving accident and, long story short, because of crossfit, he ended up ok. However, this was enough for my fat ass (of 200lbs at that point) to say “OK… I need to lose weight and get in shape!”

I was dating this (douchebag–long story) guy who probably did one of the best things for me at that time: Challenge me to quit eating sugar. All processed sugar could no longer be eaten. This was probably one of the hardest things, but the best things for me. I instantly dropped 15lbs (going from 220-205lbs) and felt GREAT!

The next step was Crossfit. I signed up for the fundamentals class (where they show you how to do all the lifts using just pvc pipe). This is where me and Donna got to know each other really well (and I feel bad for her– because I OVER THINK EVERYTHING AND ASKED A MILLION QUESTIONS! But she was so patient and kind and just wanted me to feel comfortable with everything.)

The first day of fundamentals, I hurt. I hurt REALLY BAD. But I stretched and went back and did the 2nd class. I hurt again, but in new ways! (There is a shirt that says “I’m a masochistic… I do Crossfit”. It was really fitting for my mood during this first week). I finished up fundementals by doing “Helen”… A “benchmark wod” in crossfit involving running, kettlebell swings and pullups. I did it in 19:48.

A year later- I did it again (the exact same way) and finished it in 9:38.)

The thing I really loved about Arenal was that you were encouraged to register for your classes online (reserving your spot) and if you didn’t come, you were charged 10$. This, on top of the pretty hefty crossfit fee in general, was enough of an incentive to get me motivated to start working out regularly– and not just blow it off.

Another thing that they did was scale the wods on the board. They had “Buttercup, puppy, wolf and RX” usually on the board. Sometimes it was scaled by weight or by reps or by time. Either which way, I always felt like I could finish a WOD easily, focusing on whatever I wanted to focus on during that day. (Technique, lifting, time, whatever.)

One of my favorite wods that I did there was Annie– which is a bunch of double-unders and situps. I did this during a lunch-class (which are shorter because it caters to the people that have to leave the office to go and workout) and that day I requested disco to be played… For whatever reason, the steady beat of “Stayin’ Alive” allowed me to get my first, second and 15th double-under in my life. 🙂 I still have problems with them- but I’m getting there.

Thanks to their nutritionist on staff, I managed to drop 30lbs during my time at Arenal (your results may vary) by doing a modified paleo diet. (Basically, paleoBBB. Blue cheese, Bacon and the occasional Beer) for 6 months. I felt better than I had my entire life and I was looking great, had tons of energy and it jump started my life of happiness.

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