The Pinga & B Show — Laughter at CrossFit

Picture, a 55 year old, significantly obese woman.  That’s me.

Now picture my new buddy, B who is nowhere near as out of shape as me, and close to my age.  Like me, she is doing her best to make her body  be healthier, stronger and have some fun while at it.

We’re newbies.  No question about it.

We’re kinda like Abbott & Costello at times.  (For those who are young, think of the “who’s on first” comedy sketch, for those who don’t know that one, think of slapstick comedy). We each take turns being Costello!

On Saturday, we were working together to figure out our 1RM for the back squat.   As we tried to move the bars on the stands, figure out the weights to add, struggle with the spring collar, and line up the bars, well, Coach George couldn’t contain it any more, and cracked up.  “You should be in a reality tv show:  Pinga & B do CrossFit”

We took it the way it was intended, with a laugh and a chuckle.  After all, he’s right,  we are humourous as we try to figure out and coach each other on  how to do some of the basic of the things, such as moving a bar on the stands.

You know, the one take away you can get from us…. if we can do it, then anyone can.


I am the first to admit that I don’t intuitively know how to do these moves.  Sometimes, I have to be taught something multiple times, I need to see it demonstrated, then go home and read about it.  Having never been a physical person, learning how to do most of the CrossFit moves and lingo re muscles is all a stretch (hah, sorry, couldn’t resist). Combine it with the amount of weight I carry, and well, the mass is just not that easy to move.

Remember how my first intro’s goal was to learn how to breathe and trust in myself?  I was thrilled to be able to finish the Intro, even if it was significantly scaled.  It was great to meet a workout buddy, B.    My 2nd intro’s goal was to be able to do the intro without scaling…and build enough to do a scaled WOD.

Three months later, I am down 25 pounds, 3 sizes and more confident in my abilities.  I can breathe better, life is shifting.  I can attend a session and scale it to leave myself dragging, and sometimes I miss the mark.

What I have found is what a difference having those who become your buddies along the way, who celebrate your achievements,  who give you a hand up when you are down and override the negative voice in your head.  If there was a reality show, it would have to capture the importance of the comraderie.

So, why am I writing this one today?    A tweet went out:  “lol, fat people doing CrossFit”. It was retweeted.   It stung though not directed at me.  It stung for the fat person at that person’s box who is not being supported. It stung for the fear that that is how people are looking at me.  I named that sting, and I also name that I am thankful that both boxes that I attend celebrate everyone’s successes and kick everyone’s butt.  I am thankful that my son picked a good CrossFit affiliate and taught me what to look for.

I laugh with my friend, B as we learn how to move.

Oh, and by the way,  B and I both went in to practice at open gym and to determine our 1RM for backsquat.  I am thrilled to say that I was able to do 175 pounds in the backsquat Now, I need to check it for form to ensure it was a RM; however, it moved and I look forward to the proper eval.

We also learned some of the terms and the process at CrossFit.

  • Olympic Spring Collar:  the curly thing we use to hold the weights in place
  • Press/Squat Stand:  the structure the bars are placed on for squats/presses
  • Upper & lower uprights: upper for squats, lower for bench
  • bar holders/drop hooks:  the actual items on those stands that the bar rests on.
  • tension knob  — the release thing that you tighten/untighten and pull out to move the bars
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