“I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WORK OUT!! ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!” That was my internal dialogue, fought between my rational self and my other rational self. It makes sense for a medical student, living up to insane time demands and learning volumes of material day to day to forgo the pleasantries of life such as EXERCISE.
But what I was starting to discover is that that sort of a juggling act is actually much easier if you make the small but frequent effort to get the blood pumping (mostly to prevent the clots I was shaking out at the end of every day). Lo and behold, just as I was debating how to best go about this exercise thing last fall, there were these two kooks opening up a Crossfit gym just across the street from my apartment building. Was it the Fates calling? Was a higher power smiling down upon me, bestowing this new gift of super-convenient workout facility? Yes, probably. Shaun and Jenna had nothing to do with it.
My scholastic life-partner Margaret Kincaid decided to drop in one day while the mysterious new neighborhood trainers were readying the gym, and BAM, we had opened communication and were set to come in for one of the earliest OnRamp cohorts at Hoosier Crossfit. On the first night, I thought I was literally going to die. I was just a stone’s throw away from a little pulmonary crisis we like to call status asthmaticus by the end of the intro WOD. That’s right. The intro. That was embarrassing. To ensure that I was both alive and participatory by the next session, I immediately phoned my doctor and demanded better asthma inhalers, stat. Little by little, I could tolerate Crossfit more and more, just like a real breathing human. It became less something to be afraid of and more something to be challenged by. My weights, times, reps, etc. gradually improved over several months, and my reliance upon albuterol inversely proportionately decreased.
This spring brought double-unders, bandless kipping pullups, handstand pushups–more and more new skills every week! The possibilities have been endless, under the watchful and skillful guide of our very own Shaun and Jenna. I was hooked by this point, and as anybody around me could tell you, if you got me going about Crossfit….I wouldn’t stop. I can’t ever say enough about how utterly life-changing Crossfit has been as a resource for maintaining my sanity, if nothing else. I’ve never been stronger, more skilled, or more confident in myself. As clichéd as it is, while taking an exam or dealing with a difficult patient, my mind can’t help but swing down the street to Crossfit, where I picture how hard this or that workout was, and how I conquered it anyway. Then the everyday academic stuff doesn’t seem so bad. At least an exam or a bipolar manic can’t make you collapse to the floor in pools of your own sweat (usually).
Now, getting ready to start my third year of med school in Indy this summer, I never thought I’d say this, but the thing I’ll miss most about my city for the last five years is the small gym on College Ave. that has become more like a second home than almost anything else. And I’m not gonna lie: I’m totally applying to residencies based who has a Crossfit. But even still, no other could possibly compare. I’ll really miss you guys.