I’ve been wavering on how I feel about CrossFit for a while now, and I stayed away from the gym all last week to try and . . . I don’t know, get some perspective, I guess. I jumped around the living room to DVDs, I ran more miles than I’ve run in months. If there is a form of exercise that is 100% enjoyable I’ve yet to find it, but I noticed that even during the mostly-ridiculous moments of throwing punches in front of the TV and the exceedingly-heinous part of my neighborhood loop with that lung-shitting hill, there were these little bursts of feeling—if only for the briefest of intervals—as though I was fully plugged into life. Lit up like a Christmas tree.

That’s the best way I can think of to describe the fleeting endorphin rush, that elusive exercise high that never lasts as long as I’d like it to. Most of the time for me the payoff of working out is afterwards, when I can feel awesome for having it be over and done with—but sometimes the exertion itself has its own reward.

I’ve never felt that way with CrossFit. For a long time I thought that was probably okay, that a workout designed to push you to your max isn’t supposed to be fun and that’s all there is to it. But I miss it. I miss feeling good while I’m sweating. I miss the sense of accomplishment. I’ve rarely regretted a CrossFit workout, but I’ve also traded feeling amazing and strong for a sensation of being virtuously wrecked.

For that and a number of other reasons, I cancelled my membership this week. I told myself that I’ve given it six months, that there’s no reason to keep trying to make the most of something that just isn’t right for me, that there’s no shame in moving on. Still, I cried myself into hiccups, tangled up in a pile of mental crap I can’t even fully unravel.

I know I’m disappointed because I really wanted to love CrossFit. I know how immensely rewarding it’s been for other people and I wanted to be one of those success stories, all sinew and muscle and a newfound sense of badassery. After years of trying all sorts of different things—gyms, personal trainers, DVDs, classes, swimming, running, biking—I was hoping I’d found my thing. The thing I embrace wholeheartedly, the thing I get really good at instead of being enthusiastic but barely competent.

I also know I’m more than a little humiliated that there’s a social aspect that I never got right with. It seems like the fact that I never really made gym friends or even got to the point where I could comfortably walk in the door without feeling like I was looking for a table in a middle school cafeteria verifies what I’ve always suspected about myself: that I am a pathetic unlikable dork.

And, of course, I feel like a wimp. Like whatever I tell myself—oh, the weather’s getting nicer, maybe I’ll get back into kickboxing, start doing some more races—is just an excuse. As if it’s anything other than admitting defeat.

I’m not really sure why this decision has stirred up so much murk in my brain. If I were listening to someone else say all this, I’d be like, are you fucking kidding me? You’ve got zero reasons to beat yourself up over making a choice to stop doing something that isn’t making you happy. Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio, good on you for recognizing you need something different. Good on you for not continuing to dump boatloads of cash into something you don’t love.

Still. Still.


(Thanks for bearing with me as I write this out. It helps.)


129 Responses to “Throwing in the towel”

  1. Ulli on March 22nd, 2011 8:14 am

    You ran a marathon.


    Don’t ever call yourself a whimp. And hey, it’s just not for everybody. I look at it and get a cold sweat,so I think you are amazing for doing it 6 months. Move on and do something that gives you the feeling you crave, not dread.

  2. Erin on March 22nd, 2011 8:14 am

    That last paragraph says it all. Go with that and leave the rest behind.

  3. Dawn on March 22nd, 2011 8:15 am

    “It seems like the fact that I never really made gym friends or even got to the point where I could comfortably walk in the door without feeling like I was looking for a table in a middle school cafeteria verifies what I’ve always suspected about myself: that I am a pathetic unlikable dork.”

    Linda, I just think this wasn’t the right place for you. You would probably have had the same experience if you joined a knitting group then realized you didn’t enjoy knitting. People bond over shared enthusiasms.

  4. amanda on March 22nd, 2011 8:16 am

    Everything you would say to someone else – say to yourself. I think you rule.

  5. Sande on March 22nd, 2011 8:17 am

    If it helps…you inspire me to do exercise-ory things.

  6. Sarah Lena on March 22nd, 2011 8:18 am

    I am high-fiving you over here. Not because you quit Crossfit, but because you did what you knew was the right thing even though it sucked.

    I’m in the same boat. Crossfit, as much as I wanted to like it, had made me SCARED to exercise. I filled with dread. I spent entire days fearing a fifteen minute workout. And some people are REALLY good at not only overcoming that but learning to enjoy it. I am not one of those people.

    I recently started a class to train for a 10K, and I felt the same all-day-dread before the first class. I felt like I would fail, like an entire room full of people would be there, falsely cheering me on when they’re really wondering why this was an Equal Opportunity place. But I went anyway, and as I was sweating and exhausted, I remembered why I started running:

    .. because I kind of liked it.

    You’ll find your stride again soon. It’s never fun and it’s never easy, but it’s always always worth trying.

    Sorry I took your comments section for ransom here.

  7. Justa on March 22nd, 2011 8:18 am

    Perhaps you shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. When I first started doing CF, I’d follow CF workouts on Monday, Tuesday (sometimes), and Wednesday, rested Thursday, did a non CF strength only workout on Friday, and did some kind of running on Saturday, often sprints. Sunday was a rest day too. I walked a fair amount too. Point is, you can develop a program that you can do on your own which takes advantage of some of the benefits of Crossfit, and still do things that will give you that rush you’re looking for. It’s the best of both worlds.

    You don’t need a box to get the benefit of doing some of the CF workouts.

    Good luck!

  8. Amy on March 22nd, 2011 8:19 am

    But you ARE a badass, and so, so likeable!

  9. Lyn on March 22nd, 2011 8:21 am

    I agree with the above statements…..you ROCK! and besides I’d trade the high for feeling ‘wrecked’ any day! Exercise is not only for toning the body but its for your psyche too and if you’ve found what works for you better in that area than you WIN AGAIN! Love how you write so that we can all feel this….with you! Thank you!

  10. Michelle on March 22nd, 2011 8:25 am

    The only thing here I disagree with is that you are unlikeable. I can understand the swamp of emotional muck that came with this decision. Still proud of you for continuing to look for those occassional endorphin highs and for recognizing when they ain’t coming. Also? YOU RAN A MARATHON. BAD. ASS.

  11. Mel on March 22nd, 2011 8:26 am

    You are way too hard on yourself. I love your blog. In fact not long after you started doing CrossFit last fall I found a great deal to try out a class where I am in Pittsburgh and I love it. I love it so much I talked my hubby into trying it who could take it or leave it – it’s just not his thing. I go early in the mornings and I love the trainer but I also love the people I work out with. My hubby goes in the evening and it’s not that he doesn’t like the people he works out with but they are all young with no families and just really have nothing in common with each other so I think that takes away from his liking the class as well. I’m quite sure I’d love to chat with you in a CrossFit class or anything for that matter! It’s all about the gym, the people, the trainer that make something enjoyable and you either love it or you don’t but not loving it surely doesn’t make you a failure!!! I can’t imagine running a marathon :) You are such a beautiful person and obviously a great writter so don’t be so hard on yourself!

  12. Sherri Strader on March 22nd, 2011 8:26 am

    I’m glad you wrote this post. My empathy is with you more than you’ll ever know. I want to enjoy exercise too, I just don’t. I love how it makes me feel afterwards, but during the dreadful hour of torture I hate it. Doesn’t matter what it is….

    I’m with ya girl.

  13. Amblus on March 22nd, 2011 8:29 am

    You’re fine, girl! You are FINE. And you’ll find your thing, I promise. The funny thing is, I’ve found a few things I like that work (weight training, mountain biking) and people still keep trying to talk me into *their* thing (usually running, Bikram, Crossfit) and I’m just not interested because I know what I like and I know what feels good and what doesn’t. Running clearly makes you feel good, so do that. And also maybe sit down and figure out what your goals are. Do you just want to be stronger? Thinner? Faster? These are pretty definable goals with easy solutions. You’ll get there.

  14. Crystal on March 22nd, 2011 8:30 am

    I have the same feeling when it comes to exercise. I know I need to do it so I am in some shape but I’m just too lazy to do it. I did go so far as to join an all lady’s gym thinking it would be different than regular gyms. Nope I felt the same exact way walking into a regular gym and its the way your described. You feel like all eyes are on you and you will be judged if you don’t do it right. Good for you for quitting. It sucks but its better than feeling like a bigger dork and wasting money. I now walk our dog whenever I can find the opportunity to get out of the house (which is not often with two kids as you know). I still find excuses even for that when I can. Its got to be laziness on my part, but then I think Hey I do exercise, I have two kids to chase all over…so I guess I do get a workout occasionally and there is nothing wrong with that.

  15. Josh on March 22nd, 2011 8:35 am

    The sentence that says it all: “Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio.” So extremely true. Good decision.

  16. dorrie on March 22nd, 2011 8:39 am

    We are so hard on ourselves, needlessly. Try saying that statement in the last paragraph of your post to your middle school geek inside you. Then move on with joy. All is well, you do enough, you are enough!

  17. jennifer on March 22nd, 2011 8:40 am

    Good. I’ve been wanting to tell you it was okay to quit and that you sounded miserable there…but that is weird since I don’t know you. Your fitness journey has been amazing, you should be so proud of yourself!

  18. Janssen on March 22nd, 2011 8:44 am

    I’m pretty sure I’ll spend my entire life feeling like the awkward person in a middle school cafeteria.

  19. feliciab on March 22nd, 2011 8:50 am

    You’re awesome and an inspiration for all of us. You do what works best for you. Besides, CF is littered with a buncha smug, self-righteous jerks. I’ve got a small handful of them in my family.

  20. Anne on March 22nd, 2011 8:59 am

    All those things that you wrote at the end of your post, about how this is a good choice to make and good-on-you? Yes. That.

    I know it was hard, and I’m sorry your brain is stired up about it, but I’m happy you’re making a choice that is good for you and feels like the right decision.

    (And my dear, there is nothing unlikeable about you. I know! We hung out! I can speak with authority on this. You are charming and loveable and if I could be you when I grow up (…if I ever bother to grow up…) then I totally would. And I mean that in a totally not-at-all “Single White Female” kind of way. Yeah.)

  21. KKF on March 22nd, 2011 8:59 am

    I might be overstepping here, but here are my two cents. (you know, again.)

    You are a wimp. NO really. You are a big old wimp and you are socially awkward and that screaming little voice inside your head telling you that you can’t can’t can’t is your voice and it’s only your voice. You are an unflappable nerd and you are utterly unlike-able.

    Except… for how that’s exactly how we all feel too. You are a wimp, my lady. And you are our wimp.

    We all feel like this. Maybe to be not so bold, I feel like this. Constantly. Incessantly. Irresistably. The “can’t cut it” song plays itself relentlessly in my head for years at a time. And it hurts. And every time I feel myself backing down from something the hot shame of it just fills me up and breaks me down.

    WE all feel like this.

    That is what makes you so impossibly un-wimpy. Because you are just like us. You’re a mom. And a wife. And an athelete. And a human. You make mistakes. You make decisions. You feel feelings and you live your life.

    And we love you for it.

    Thanks for being here for us.

  22. Caroline on March 22nd, 2011 9:00 am

    Ok so I’ll say it to you “are you fucking kidding me? You’ve got zero reasons to beat yourself up over making a choice to stop doing something that isn’t making you happy. Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio, good on you for recognizing you need something different. Good on you for not continuing to dump boatloads of cash into something you don’t love.” Now quit beating yourself up about it.

  23. Victoria on March 22nd, 2011 9:01 am

    I’m sorry this is hard for you. It looks like it’s pushing a lot of buttons :(

  24. Amy on March 22nd, 2011 9:03 am

    I spent a lot of years pedaling through intense spin classes, pushing myself to the max at the gym…I loved it then, but over time, it just stopped feeling good. I eventually realized that my insane workouts were my way of punishing a body that I irrationally hated, which is a story for another time, but my point is that these days, my exercise consists solely of walking and light strength training in front of my TV (Jillian, Pilates). And I feel GOOD. I’m eating a diet that fuels my mind and body, and I’m HAPPY. It took me a while to re-identify with myself, but I got there. I expect that at some point, my needs might change again, and when that happens, I’ll roll with it.

    Don’t beat yourself up. You’re listening to your body, and there’s beauty in that.

  25. Katherine on March 22nd, 2011 9:03 am

    This is such a well-timed post. I’ve also been toying with the idea of cancelling my crossfit membership. I started a few months ago after finding that my home videos no longer motivated me. And initially I really liked it, it was a new workout and something to get excited about. But lately the excitement has worn off and now I REALLY have to talk myself into going, I feel achingly self-conscious the entire time and I never get that whooo hoooo feeling either! You have been incredibly motivational to me with regards to fitness–I started with Turbo Jam after you did and it was so fun. Then when you moved to some Jillian videos, I did too, and I still love her No More Trouble Zones and Banish Fat videos. I did P90X while you trained for a marathon and then I finally started doing crossfit. There are parts I really like but overall it’s not easy to make myself go. I like the strength aspect of the workouts which can be really satisfying but I can’t seem to really get past my awkwardness.

    So I’ve started to realize the most important thing to me is that I actually workout consistently–for me that’s every morning. And lately I’ve started to enjoy my home videos again. Bob Harper has these new Inside Out Method vidoes that are GREAT. They’re new and I really like them, they’re really freaking hard and they feel like a total cheat in comparison to going to crossfit at 6:30am.

    This is the real part of my debate right now. I seem to get a lot of results when I allow myself to think I’m taking a cheat. Woooo I’m so bad skipping crossfit for Bob! Throw in that I can do the videos in the comfort of my own home with just a sports bra and no worries of self-consciousness, and it feels like a vacation compared to the horror of finishing last with every scaling option EVERY DAY. It’s demoralizing after awhile.

    So do I keep my pricey Crossfit membership just to feel like I’m allowing myself a cheat by working out at home? That’s probably stupid. So I think I just talked myself into cancelling my membership too.

    Thanks Linda! I think you’re great and I think you’ll find something to get you motivated again. As much as everyone says you never get bored of Crossfit because it’s constantly varied, blah blah–it’s still always Crossfit. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting into one exercise for awhile and then wanting to move on to something else.

    And someday when I don’t live in a tiny condo I’d LOVE to buy the Crossfit package of equipment from Rogue Fitness and build my own gym in the garage. It would be the good things about Crossfit without the constant struggle to workout in front of a bunch of people I’m convinced are just staring at my red face and flailing limbs.

  26. kristylynne on March 22nd, 2011 9:05 am

    A: You are neither pathetic nor unlikable.

    B: You kick ass just for trying all these different ways to keep your body in shape. You stuck with it longer than most people would have.

    C: You look awesome.

  27. parodie on March 22nd, 2011 9:12 am

    It is a bit of a relief to see you quit CF, actually (not to make this all about me, but…). I really admire you and all you’ve done in trying on and kicking ass at new forms of exercise. Your running I’d what inspired me to finally lace on some shoes and just GO, and for that I’m grateful; but it’s also really reassuring to see you quit something that’s making you miserable and really not working for you. It sounds like the right step for you.

    And – more importantly – you’re modeling good decisions and boundaries not just for random strangers on the Internet, but for your kids. Lucky kids!

  28. tonya on March 22nd, 2011 9:12 am

    I feel the same way about running. I continue to try and be a runner, and yet, in my gut I don’t feel I’m truly one at heart. Even though I work out 5-6 days a week, my intervals have decreased, not increased. But, I keep trying, cause it feels like I should. I don’t know…I give you kudos for recognizing this wasn’t for you and for having the guts to quit it.

    Sometimes we feel so guilty for quitting, but isn’t it just as wrong to keep doing something that isn’t working for us mentally?

  29. telegirl on March 22nd, 2011 9:13 am

    Unlikeable dork? Hardly. We <3 you!!

  30. AndreAnna on March 22nd, 2011 9:17 am

    As much as I wish you could have had the same experience I had, it’s okay not to.

    Some people love hot yoga. I’d rather die.

    It’s okay. Really. You’re still pretty badass.

  31. KT on March 22nd, 2011 9:24 am

    There is no reason to continue doing CrossFit and spending tons of money if you are not enjoying yourself. Maybe join a tennis team, a volleyball team, softball, kickball, etc? Maybe you will enjoy being surrounded by others in a joint effort while working out?

  32. Ginny on March 22nd, 2011 9:26 am

    I’m going to chime in here with a suggestion of trying Pilates (on the reformer machine). Maybe if you can find a studio and try an intro? It can be pricey – but I think it’s worth a try. Changed my life!

  33. MRW on March 22nd, 2011 9:27 am

    Sometimes I have experiences that out of the blue make me feel like “God damn it, am I EVER going to stop feeling like I’m in Jr. High for good?” It’s been nearly 30 years since I was in Jr. High, but I take it as a good indicator that anything that rockets me back to those feelings of insecurity, uncertainty, and lack of comfort with myself is not something I want to do again. Exercising sure as hell shouldn’t be one of them. It sounds like you made a good choice and won’t regret it once you get some more emotional distance from it.

  34. Lindy on March 22nd, 2011 9:29 am

    I almost took up crossfit because you were doing it. It just looked so badass and I wanted to be one of “those” people. The price of it turned me off- holy crap it’s expensive! I live in the UK and did British Military Fitness for 18 months and loved every single last second of it. I did it in the rain, sleet, snow, mud and sunshine. If you can find something like that in your area I highly recommend it. All those feelings of looking for a table in the middle of the cafeteria will vanish. It’s such an awesome social thing that even the most awkwardly social (me) person gets sucked into it’s awesomeness. I am now back at a regular gym because I screwed up my knee and miss it every single time.

  35. Justa on March 22nd, 2011 9:31 am

    Oh…as far as the social aspect…so be it. The sports world is littered with “chokers” that don’t thrive under the spotlight. There’s certainly no need to put yourself in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. Not everyone is into the whole group workout thing.

    Figure out what your fitness goals are and in what environment your feel comfortable, and develop your plan accordingly.

  36. Melody on March 22nd, 2011 9:32 am

    It’s amazing how the many things that I CAN do well don’t even come close to making up for the one or two things that I CAN’T do well.

    In other words–I sympathize with the way you feel, tremendously.

    I’ve been lucky to find a form of exercise that makes me feel great. A few years ago, I re-joined the dance class I was in during high school and college. At this point, there are 8 women in their 20s, and 10 girls in high school in the class. But I know I’ll have to give it up one day, probably sooner than I would like. I think I’m pushing the bounds of ridiculousness as it is.

  37. Justa on March 22nd, 2011 9:33 am

    Didn’t mean to imply you were a choker. Just saying that the public eye isn’t for everyone.

  38. Kate on March 22nd, 2011 9:33 am

    What about a runners group through one of your local running stores? You’d get the social aspect without spending a ton of money.

  39. Sunny on March 22nd, 2011 9:35 am

    It takes balls to try something so far out of your comfort range and stick with it for 6 mos. You gave it an honest try. That’s all you’d ever ask of your boys, JB or your friends- even us dorks on the interwebz. I hope writing it out helped flush away the murk. Be at peace, now go kick ass.

  40. Christina on March 22nd, 2011 9:43 am

    I swam competitively for 14 years. I loved it when I was a kid. Then I hated it. I hated going, putting on that swim suit and killing myself in the water two times a day. I know now that at the time I wondered for what? I never got much from it I thought at the time. I never felt great about it at the time. I dreaded the long distance workouts and feeling gnarly afterwards. Now I hardly swim any more. I want to like it but it just brings up those old feelings about how much I hated it at the end so I never swim.

    I feel like if I turned my thinking on its ear about swimming I could probably come to love it again. Maybe it is just a matter of changing your “old thinking” (where ever that comes from) about exercise and your body and fitness on its ear? Play games with running or Cross Fit or biking or whatever you decide to do. Make it as fun as possible however that works for you. Make it about how you feel with each breath you take while running up that hill. Set little goals – run a 5k 1 minute faster or bike 10 miles more. Conquer the hill laughing. Find a smaller woman’s running group or a different type of Cross Fit gym where you do feel good about being there. I think we define our journey and not the other way around especially when it comes to fitness and our bodies.

  41. Deanna on March 22nd, 2011 9:54 am

    I know *you* cannot see it but you are not at all the social outcast you think you are. Without sounding like a total creep, I would love to have coffee or a playdate or scrapbook with you! (if you lived in my city) And I bet there are folks all over who would love to have dinner with you when you are in their city. (again, not sounding creepy I hope!)

    You are funny and insightful and much hipper and thinner than I could ever be.

    Stepping outside of your comfort zone is one thing. Torturing yourself with it is not.

    Maybe this just means you have other aspects to work on in a different way. When at a park etc the thing I do to break the ice with other moms is compliment something and ask a question. Works with checkout folks, too, to get them to smile. (”i love that necklace. Where did you get it?”, “those shoes your daughter are wearing are soo cute – my niece would love them, do you mind me asking where you got them?”) If you have some strategies in your pocket it might help you feel less deer-in-headlights frozen.

    <> Allow yourself to walk away from unhappiness.

  42. NancyJ on March 22nd, 2011 9:56 am

    You’re always an inspiration to me and I agree, go with your last paragraph and be done with it! Not everything is going to appeal to you.
    I confess I’m the same way — for me it’s running. I WANT to like it, I really do but my knees go wonky and I have lousy breathing techniques. I WANT to be totally buff – not just my arms which are kind of nice but my short squatty legs too. But I lose my enthusiasm and realize it will never come to be, that I’m just killing myself with it.
    You have so much to be proud of – embrace that!

  43. Lawyerish on March 22nd, 2011 10:08 am

    Girl, please. You and I have hung out, and you are adorable and easy to talk to and hilarious.

    And you’re not a quitter for not loving CrossFit. Jesus. I’m sure it works for a lot of people, but it’s certainly not for everyone — just like ANY other form of exercise; some people can’t stand running or yoga or Jillian Michaels or WHATEVER.

    As great as it would be to have your chosen form of exercise be your Thing — like, your great love, the thing that makes you feel afire — sometimes it’s just…what it is.

    I mean, I enjoy running, but I am not one of those people who tries to do negative splits or PR every race; I don’t sprint hills or do fartleks (nor can I say “fartlek” with a straight face). I just get out a few times a week and try to run for a while, just me and my iPod, and sometimes I sign up for a distance race to get motivated. It is enough to keep me sane, healthy and reasonably fit, but it’s not my Life’s Purpose or anything. And that’s ok.

    Please tell your inner voices to STFU. You’re awesome.

  44. Penne on March 22nd, 2011 10:10 am

    I would totally sit next to you at lunch. Except for as I was walking over you’d go “Crap, here she comes, gotta go!” Because of your earlier posts about CF, I avoided it…and found the coolest little gym ever with small classes (less than 5 people per) and I have the same trainer for every class. Guess what? We’re all cool kids there. Even me. So thanks for thinking out loud and saying what you really felt, bc otherwise, I’d be miserable in a CF class right now hating myself and feeling like everyone was looking at me like I didn’t belong.

  45. Melanie on March 22nd, 2011 10:13 am

    Maybe you’re putting too much emphasis on excercise. You already are fit. Maybe the neighborhood jaunt is all you need. Try tennis, volleyball, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and do something truly fun that brings in social aspects too. Don’t beat yourself up, just look at it differently. I think you might need something more than excercise right now. A hobby, something just for you.

  46. Nicole on March 22nd, 2011 10:15 am

    You inspired me to do a triathlon. You have the arms I’ve always wanted. I think you rock. No one wants to go back to that middle school feeling and 6 months is more than enough time to figure out if something works for you. There’s no shame in moving on.

  47. jen on March 22nd, 2011 10:21 am

    In college I tried training for a marathon. On a Monday after a 12 mile run, I couldn’t even run 2 miles. I stopped and walked home, sobbed big ugly tears, and promptly quit training and never ran. I’ve now run one full marathon and two halves and am training for another half or full. Looking back, I know I could have finished training and would have completed that marathon BUT at the time? It was making me miserable and sometimes I think there is more to be learned in quitting than in sticking with something making you miserable. I think you’ve done some amazing things and you shouldn’t feel the least bit ashamed. Something better is just around the corner for you.

  48. Erica on March 22nd, 2011 10:28 am

    The crossfit thing always sounded so intense to me. Working out until you puke or almost puke? Who needs that kind of shit three times a week? If you exercise at all, you are WINNING. Tiger Blood.

  49. Meagan on March 22nd, 2011 10:51 am

    Yup. Can’t think of too many things wussier than thinking about maybe running another marathon. Pussy.

    Killing yourself at something you get zero enjoyment from is a good way to burn yourself out on exercise entirely. You made re right call.

  50. Emily on March 22nd, 2011 10:58 am

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! Life is too short to inflict pain on yourself without enjoying it.

  51. Jennifer on March 22nd, 2011 11:05 am

    yikes, if you’re an unlikeable dork, what does that make me?? I think you’re hilarious as fuck and oh, so smart. So…. I like you, is what I’m saying. That’s probably kind of creepy. Oops :)

    I am a workout FANATIC. Always have been. Love it. It’s like my drug. I do lots of yoga, pilates, walking, and a bit of running. Every time you mention CF, I think it sounds horrendous. I can’t even imagine doing that. And again….I love to work out. So to each their own!

  52. Sheila on March 22nd, 2011 11:06 am

    I hear you sister…But everything isn’t for everyone…I’ve tried it all too – except Crossfit because it sounds like punishment. :-) But you did it for six months which makes you a stud.

    Here’s my latest — Barre3 in Bellevue. Great work out and I actually enjoy it during it.

  53. melanie on March 22nd, 2011 11:16 am

    I just wanted to post to say that you really have been an inspiration to me about fitness and exercise, I was someone who DID NOTHING (and it showed) but reading your blog and a couple of others I started working out in earnest December 26th… what I do is probably laughable to you and all the fit people of the world, but I have lost 10lbs and 4 inches and I am starting to see this as a way of life.

    Don’t beat yourself up girl…. you do so much and inspire so many!

  54. adequatemom on March 22nd, 2011 11:57 am

    You are NOT a pathetic unlikable dork. Or, at least, no more of one than I am. Pretty sure we’d be besties if we ever met. We could be dorks together and make fun of all the popular kids.

  55. Liz on March 22nd, 2011 11:57 am

    Sometimes when I run, I feel more like myself than I do at any other point during the day. And that’s a feeling I love, and it’s why I keep running. And I keep going to crossfit because I can tell I’m getting stronger, and I’ve never felt that way before, and I think it’s cool. But those are very specific feelings for *me*, and the only thing I wish for you, or anyone, when I say “try signing up for a race! try crossfit!” is that hopefully you’ll feel the same way, too. And you did you those things, and you didn’t feel that way, and any disappointment I feel in you saying “You know, I hate crossfit” is more related to the feeling that I wanted to share something good with you, but I misjudged what you wanted, and I feel bad about that. But that’s a reflection of MY issues, and not, you know, you.

  56. Run4Donuts on March 22nd, 2011 12:24 pm

    First of all, Yay for you! For trying and sticking with something difficult and giving yourself adequate time to know it is not for you. You didn’t give up, you made a decision. BIG difference.

    Just a suggestion… Have you tried a formal martial arts school? It’s more of a workout than you might think, and there are specific goals and milestones. It might give you the sense of accomplishment that you were looking for with CrossFit. Taekwondo, kenpo, etc. — look into a few disciplines and see if anything interests you.

    BTW, I’m a recommended black belt and I effing HATED CrossFit. But I can now break boards with my bare hands and spar with people half my age. It was a good switch for me. Plus I found a class that works with all ages, so my two daughters and I have come up through the belt ranks together – can’t beat that for a family activity!

    You rock!

  57. Kristina on March 22nd, 2011 12:47 pm

    I think that you’re being way too hard on yourself. You stuck with something FOR SIX MONTHS that was puke-inducing hard. That is HUGE. I understand your feelings of failure–none of us like to give up on something we wanted to see through, but sometimes, when something isn’t working it actually takes more strength to quit or say no than it does to stick it out. Be proud you made it as far as you did and if it helps you, find the next thing you want to try.

    You may have already tried this, but I’m starting my third month of P90x and I am crazy about it. And I’m not an exercise-loving person. In fact, I hate exercising. But there is something about P90x that just works for me. The workouts are long (at least an hour 6 days a week) but they push you to your limits while leaving space for you to grow and challenge yourself. Afterwards, you feel like you might puke, but you also feel like you did exactly the right amount of work for you and for your fitness level. The workouts move fast, so the hour doesn’t drag on.

    Anyway, that’s what has worked for me. I think that if you figure out what your next goal is, you may feel a little better about the CrossFit thing. You’re awesome and you are not a wimp.

  58. Brian on March 22nd, 2011 1:01 pm

    “Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio”

    I wanna get this as a tattoo. Or at least a t-shirt.

  59. Paine on March 22nd, 2011 1:20 pm

    Like everyone else already said, you didn’t quit. You gave it a good try and it’s just not your thing.
    I love a lot of physical activities. I hike, bike, backpack, mountaineer, rock climb, snowboard, yoga and dance; all love on first try. I wanted so badly to love karate because it was my best friend’s thing, but I always felt awkward in class and had to stop after paying hundreds for 3 months and a gi. I also thought mountain biking would be my next big thing, but after spending 2k on a nice bike, and a year and many nasty bruises later, I realized it’s just not my thing. It’s fun to try new things, but it’s not all going to take, don’t be hard on yourself for not loving everything you try.

  60. Angella on March 22nd, 2011 1:23 pm

    You are hardly a “pathetic unlikeable dork”, my friend.

    You constantly inspire me with how hard you TRY and you DO.

    Good for you for giving it a solid try, and good for you for cutting out something that brings you no joy. :)

  61. Katherine on March 22nd, 2011 1:27 pm

    Okay, this is going to sound a little stalkerish because I don’t actually know you, but I’m glad you quit because every time you wrote about it I worried that you were going to permanently hurt your back and end up with the kind of pain and misery (or worse) that I live with. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Just keep doing that “what would you have said to your seventeen-y/o self” exercise and talk to the kid inside who feels like a loser. She’s not a loser. You’re not a loser. (Oh and BTW, the supermoon seems to have whalloped EVERYONE’S self-confidence. That has to be at play here too.)

  62. sal on March 22nd, 2011 1:30 pm

    Ditto to what all these other folks have said… It’s awesome that you stuck with it for so long, and even more fantastic to have the balls to make the tough decision to walk away and share all of that here.

  63. Christie on March 22nd, 2011 1:33 pm

    As soon as I saw your previous comment about the “group workout” I was all “Dude, I would be so SO out of there.” As much as I love (well, tolerate) my own running/walking/shredding/whatevering workouts, I’m so not a go the gym, join a team, do anything in a group of people type person. And I’m okay with that. Because working out on my own is so much better than that 9th grade terror and day long dread that I would feel before attempting anything else.

    You are total badass for doing it for six months. That’s six months longer than 99% of the population. That really is all manner of kickassery!

    Do what you love. Do what brings you joy.

  64. kathleen on March 22nd, 2011 1:42 pm

    joining the chorus to say congrats to you. exercise should feel GOOD. i’m not a yoga woowoohead, but seriously, it should not be torture. if it is, it’s not the right exercise for you.

    clearly this isn’t about the exercise but about bigger, more important things. i say screw cf, but keep thinking about what this feeling is, these bigger questions. there’s something there, and i’m excited to watch you find it, pin it down and put it into words.

  65. Tammy on March 22nd, 2011 1:46 pm

    I can’t comment on the exercise part because I’m a lardass and walking into the kitchen to get an extra piece of cheesecake is sometimes the most exercise I get in a day (god I wish I was joking).
    However, I will comment on the being unlikeable stuff. Pish Posh. I’m like 10 years older than you and the one thing I’ve learned is that we are our own worst enemy. We create these scenarios in our heads and the majority of the time they aren’t true.
    You HAVE to be likeable. You’re too funny not to be.
    But ya know, it’s hard to make friends. I swear it’s because of the internet and social networks. It used to be when you were cooped up in the house you would go out and chat to ANYONE because well you hadn’t spoken to a grown up all day. Now most of our socializing is done via the internet and half the time I think people go out for some alone time..they don’t want to chat with the nice stranger they just met because they just spent two hours talking to someone online…ya know?
    Just so ya know though, I’d a saved ya a seat in the cafeteria….

  66. shygirl on March 22nd, 2011 1:50 pm


    You gave it a fair try, and you didn’t like it. Nothing wrong with that. A woman who went from an intention to change some of her habits all the way to running a marathon is clearly a woman who is motivated!… but XF just doesn’t seem like a good fit for you.

    All the times you’ve talked about it, the joy that’s been present in the rest of your writing about health and fitness– even during challenging times– has been curiously absent. For whatever reason– is it that they take themselves too seriously? no sense of humor? martyrdom and punishment dressed up as badassery, rather than triumph?– no idea but whatever it is, it’s clearly not floating your boat at this particular point in time.

    So good for you. Good for you for following your intuition, and for jettisoning what isn’t working– makes more room in your life for something that will!

  67. Jessi on March 22nd, 2011 2:01 pm

    Just echoing what everyone else has said: You rock (totally inspiring to many of us), it’s ok to quit something you don’t love, and you can come sit at my table :)

  68. Kaylin on March 22nd, 2011 2:03 pm

    Like you, I haven’t found that exercise routine that makes me say “I can’t wait to workout today!” I’ve tried so many different classes, dvds and gym memberships but am still on the search for the activity I don’t dread doing each day. I applaud you for recognizing that crossfit wasn’t working for you and moving on to the next. You are an inspiration!

  69. souphead on March 22nd, 2011 2:11 pm

    You so kick ass! I’ll just use your words and if you pretend they’re coming from someone else, maybe you’ll hear it:

    You’ve got zero reasons to beat yourself up over making a choice to stop doing something that isn’t making you happy. Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio, good on you for recognizing you need something different. Good on you for not continuing to dump boatloads of cash into something you don’t love.

    Seriously! :)

  70. sooboo on March 22nd, 2011 2:17 pm

    A wise person in my life often tells me never to look back except to learn. Easier said than done, I know. You are pretty amazing in my book and in the books of many of your fans.

  71. sarah on March 22nd, 2011 4:29 pm

    “crappy suck-to-yay ratio” = awesome way of putting it!
    Did you read maggie’s recent mightygirl post on goal writing? It fits with this because it encourages you to make your goals based on how you want to feel. If you want to feel badass, do what actually makes you feel badass, not what someone else thinks is badass.

  72. Sarah on March 22nd, 2011 4:54 pm

    As much as it sucks to feel like a failure, kudos to you for doing something kind for yourself. Spending a lot of money on something that makes you feel like crap (emotionally and physically) just does not sound good.

  73. Laura on March 22nd, 2011 5:14 pm

    I dropped out of a cycling group this week! Turns out, cycling in a group is torture, for me. Why try to do stuff that you’re supposed to enjoy or get a sense of accomplishment from, if it doesn’t do that? Your last paragraph says it all. Not everything is for everybody. That’s why there’s different things.

  74. mixette on March 22nd, 2011 5:51 pm

    You’re smart and brave for just *trying* different things.

    So glad you shared your experience too!

  75. Sass Pizzazz on March 22nd, 2011 6:04 pm

    I’m a huge lurker on your site who has probably never commented (although I think I did email you once), but I had to break my silence to comment on this.

    I ran my first half marathon last September and I’ve been running and enjoying it consistently ever since. YOU (Hey, Stranger!) were a big part of my inspiration to do that. I don’t think you’d be an inspiration to so many people if you were just a failure at exercise.

    But I think I understand how you feel. I registered for a 10-mile race in April and joined a running group to train for it. I had high hopes of being amazing and making friends, but then I sprained my toe (of all things) and took several weeks off. Finally this week I’ve decided I won’t be ready to run the race in the time. I cried, too, and the most painful part was feeling like I’d failed and I was just making excuses for my laziness and now everyone was going to know what a waste of space I was.

    Anyway, this isn’t about me, but I wanted you to know that you’d inspired me and that you’re not alone in feeling this kind of shame and turmoil over a decision that should be yours and yours alone. Seriously: you have to decide what’s best for you, and if something is making you feel bad about exercise, it’s not doing you any favors.

  76. Stacy H-W on March 22nd, 2011 6:22 pm

    are you fucking kidding me? You’ve got zero reasons to beat yourself up over making a choice to stop doing something that isn’t making you happy. Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio, good on you for recognizing you need something different. Good on you for not continuing to dump boatloads of cash into something you don’t love. (you said it yourself….read it and realize it is true)

  77. Martha on March 22nd, 2011 6:23 pm

    Thank you for this! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who isn’t loving it. I’m only a month in so will slug it out a bit more but to be honest, the only part of it I really enjoy is when it’s over.

  78. Susie on March 22nd, 2011 6:27 pm

    Holy hell, woman! You ran a marathon! I am so impressed by you, you have no idea. Exercise is supposed to make you feel good (at least afterward, if not during). Why should you have to prove something to someone?

    For the record, I hate the during part of exercise, but the after is pure win. :)

  79. Becky on March 22nd, 2011 6:38 pm

    You’re a total badass, this just isn’t your thing.

  80. Kelsey on March 22nd, 2011 6:57 pm

    The middle school cafeteria part made me sad – from my point of view you seem pretty much made of awesome so I hate to think you feel that way, ever.

    Do what makes you happy – life is short.

  81. Andrea on March 22nd, 2011 6:58 pm

    Dude, I can totally, TOTALLY relate. I could have written this post myself a couple months ago when I quit.

    But I don’t miss it.

    I do miss lifting really heaving things and being able to grunt and scream, but that’s about it. I’m sad that my local rec center doesn’t have good oly lifting equipment or space.

    I’m actually loving running again.

    I, too, felt like the odd kid out at my box. And I’m very shameless and an extrovert and I make friends with EVERYBODY, so to have the social awkwardness made things uncomfortable for me. I would get so jealous reading about other women (AndreAnna and Kristin at Aquifit for example) that found their second families at their local CrossFit, about the close sense of community and “we can be badass together!”. Well, I never got that. I felt self-conscious almost every class. I’m not about to pay $125/month for that shit. I can run with my dog who loves me to pieces and licks my face for free.

  82. Jenn Perryman on March 22nd, 2011 7:00 pm

    I have to say, I kinda love you for admitting crossfit wasn’t your thing. To me, it’s always sounded on par with a trip to the dentist.

    I hope you find your “thing” though, even if it’s simply rotating through a bunch of activities you enjoy throughout the year.

  83. Andrea on March 22nd, 2011 7:01 pm

    Oh, and I want to say that I think you’re even MORE of a badass to go online and publicly admit to this! Everyone is all CrossFit all the time lately in my internet circle and so to admit it’s not your bag takes cajones in my book. You rock.

  84. Linda on March 22nd, 2011 7:08 pm

    Andrea: it’s true that at the end of the day, for all its similar themes and philosophies, CrossFit from gym to gym isn’t a universal experience. I feel like I should have made that more clear so it’s not that I’m saying CrossFit in GENERAL sucks, I’m just saying the exact thing *I’ve* been doing hasn’t been enjoyable. Each box is going to be different — hell, each CLASS is going to be a little different. I suspect if I’d been able to attend the 10 AM class at my gym that’s small and made up of women, I probably would have liked it a lot more than the jam-packed full-of-elite-athletes 6:30 PM timeslot. (The evening class also involves dreading it All Day Long, and rushing through family dinners, etc.)

  85. Ali on March 22nd, 2011 7:32 pm

    1) We go out into the world 2) We try new things. This is how we grow. Some things work, some don’t. Whatever you’re attaching to CF must be very important to you, though, to bring up such big feelings.

    Good luck untangling your knots, and be nice to yourself. If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself. =)

  86. Sarah on March 22nd, 2011 8:29 pm

    There’s not much I can say here that hasn’t already been said– but I will comment anyway and ditto basically every comment. I think it would have been very different if you’d done only ONE class and thought “I didn’t like that much, I think that’s it for me” but 6 months is a freaking good try and I would whole-heartedly agree that if you still aren’t loving it and still dreading going, then it really isn’t right for you. But you know all of this :)

    I think I get all the murky thoughts part though. I got a gym membership with my sisters so we could go to Zumba classes together. The teacher was awesome, the music was great, and it’s DANCING for goodness sake, it’s a FUN workout. However, about 2 months in I really didn’t enjoy it. I can’t even pinpoint why. But I would sort of get all “oh GOD it’s a Zumba night tonight grrr” when I knew I had to go, whereas my sisters have bought the authentic Zumba outfits and are “OMGYAYZUMBATONIGHT!!!” before every class. I think that’s what bummed me out, that it made me feel like a crusty old grump for not enjoying something so fun that everyone else seemed to love….but it just wasn’t for me, plus I’m a mom to a one year old so my days are PLENTY busy without adding extra activities!! So I stopped going, but I get the “Still” part of it. I don’t regret it, exactly, I just think I regret that this awesomely cool thing didn’t seem a fit for me, for some reason.

  87. thejunebug on March 22nd, 2011 9:39 pm

    I know internet hugs don’t mean much, but… *HUGS* I think you deserve them. You have my support and my empathy – I have the same social awkwardness. I mean, I went to a potluck the other day and was terrified. Who does that??

    Just wanted to say, you aren’t alone. It’s perfectly okay that CrossFit didn’t work for you, and it’s understandable that you feel like crap about it anyway. You’re just being human!

    (I know – still. Still. But it’s okay!)

  88. Liz on March 22nd, 2011 9:51 pm

    Thank you for this post! I keep hearing about how great CrossFit is, but it doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. Glad to know I’m not alone!

    Kudos for you for making the decision that is right for you!

  89. Stacy on March 22nd, 2011 10:37 pm

    Like many others have mentioned before, your fitness journey is part of what inspired me to get into an exercise program last year, and I did 6 months of circuit training style workouts three times a week. It wasn’t CrossFit, and not as intense, but after my contract was up, I stopped for some of the same reasons (wasn’t loving it, and it was a crap load of money). I got part way to my goal, but not as close as I was hoping. My problem is that I sort of hate it all, so it’s not a matter of finding something I like, it’s just accepting that I’m not going to ever love working out the way that some people do. I wish I did; it would make it so much easier to get and stay in shape.

    I think you’re really amazing to not only have tried so many different things and to have gotten into great shape, but in this case to also know when something is just not for you. I think that takes more strength than being committed to something for the sake of wanting it to be different. So, as many others have said, here’s to making the right decision for you!

  90. Kristin on March 22nd, 2011 10:44 pm

    I keep re-typing here.

    A) I think your box sucks. By all accounts, your gym is known to be extremely elite one.
    B) You are not remotely awkward or unlikeable.
    C) You will find your thing and when you start loving all over it and writing about it ad nauseum, I will try it too, and probably be awful at it, and I will quit forever but still adore you.

  91. Mico on March 23rd, 2011 12:10 am

    No time to read through all the comments, and I’m sure someone has said it before, but here’s my take:

    We all think we’re wimps, and we all beat ourselves up over stupid things that we would never judge our friends about. Realizing this, as I think you did in your last paragraph, is just the beginning. Keep saying that to yourself, and maybe someday you’ll give yourself some much-deserved slack and keep that middle-school voice at bay.

    I say this because I’ve only recently begun realizing that I am way too hard on myself, and I recognized a lot of myself in your post. I’m hoping that I’m right, and that I will start giving myself a break more often.

    Life is too short to always think you suck, when clearly the presence of supportive friends and family is evidence to the contrary!

  92. Laura on March 23rd, 2011 4:26 am

    Man, you gave it 6 months! Frankly, Crossfit (and P90X) scare the every living shit out of me so for you to have done it for 6 months is HUGE! I think that was more than enough time. I know I don’t know you at all but I have read you for a long enough time that you wouldn’t call your kids or friends failures if they tried their hardest and found out that something doesn’t work for them.

    One day you will find your something, even if it isn’t the something that everyone else does. I’ve tried Spinning, Zumba, Body Sculpt and they all were kind of meh, despite the fact that everyone else around me loved it. Then I found Pilates and fell in love! My teacher really pushes us and it gets hard sometimes but I love the feeling of relaxation I have afterwards and most of the exercises are done lying down. WIN! I am carrying an extra 35 pounds around and I am sure I should do something more intense but Pilates gets me to the gym. I am starting the C25K program for literally the 4th time for cardio and this time feels different. I am not training for a race or awards or anything, I just want to learn how to run. Sure, I’d love to be one of the chicks in the P90X success story infomercials but I know I would dread it every single day. So I stick with my Pilates and C25K and dread exercise a little less.

    I wonder when/if that middle school feeling ever goes away. I am 36 and I still get cold sweats if you throw me into a room with people I don’t know.

  93. tanya on March 23rd, 2011 6:55 am

    what works for you is what works for you. You alone know the right formula. Congratulations for ONCE AGAIN pushing yourself to the limit. Life, it seems to me, is an endless process of perfecting the recipe, which is elusive because it keeps changing. Brava for not giving up the effort.

  94. Christine on March 23rd, 2011 7:21 am

    Dude, you’re still a super hero. I can’t even get up the motivation to use the elliptical machine hangin’ in the basement. And you said it best yourself, “You’ve got zero reasons to beat yourself up over making a choice to stop doing something that isn’t making you happy. Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio, good on you for recognizing you need something different. Good on you for not continuing to dump boatloads of cash into something you don’t love.”

  95. Erika on March 23rd, 2011 8:21 am

    I am so glad that I am not the only one who still feels like no one wants me at their table. I used to think I was such a loser for still feeling that way even though I am 37 years old! This is why I love the internet. I constantly find that I am so not alone. :)

    You stopped going to Crossfit because that was the best thing for you. You have not suddenly become a slovenly couch potato! Give yourself a break and use a little of that extra dough for a mani/pedi.

  96. Tee on March 23rd, 2011 9:03 am

    Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio.

    I love this. You are not required to do painful things to prove something. You are required to enjoy your life.

  97. Sarah on March 23rd, 2011 10:48 am

    HOW?!? HOW DO YOU ALWAYS say exactly what I feel?? How do you, on the other side of the country know what’s going on inside my head?
    I started running at the beginning of the year as have several other people I know. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY I’m thinking “What’s wrong with ME? Why don’t I love it like they do? Why aren’t I as good at it as them?”
    And the junior high cafeteria thing….EXACTLY. I don’t want to run with people because I just always end up feeling like the weak, dorky one who slows everyone else down.
    Sigh. No words of wisdom here. Just thanks for always being able to put it into words.

  98. Redbecca on March 23rd, 2011 11:35 am

    “Life is too short for forcing yourself to do things with a crappy suck-to-yay ratio” slightly modified is my mantra for people, too: Life is too short to spend it with people who suck.

    I’m not an exerciser – I really have to force myself to do it and once I get into the routine it then gets hard to stop (but then also I have to start over again if I do), but I’ve found that music is key for me. Whatever I do has to involve music, whether through the headphones or as part of the class routine. Without it I can’t connect. So on a certain level it doesn’t matter so much what I’m doing provided it has a soundtrack, I guess.
    You didn’t mention it specifically, but have you tried some of the various martial arts classes?
    Also, maybe find like-minded (read: nerdy) fun women that could take a class with you? Having the right mix of people could make all the difference. You want it to challenge you and give you a good workout, but you also want it to be fun/lighthearted.

  99. Stacy on March 23rd, 2011 12:21 pm

    If there are aspects of CrossFit that you like, you can DO them on your own – at home or in a gym, just gather stuff into your own little corner and act like a maniac. I do.
    I DO Crossfit but I’ve never belonged to a CrossFit gym and probably never will. I do ball-wall throws, box jumps, Treadmill Sprints, dead lifts, clean and presses, etc … make it your own. It’s about doing what you like to make yourself healthy.

    For what its worth, after years of belonging to gyms, I finally, and just as of the past two months, finally, have a friend who I work out with once a week. You DO belong! Have you SEEN your arms? You are more badass than half the men in any gym — but I am totally giving you this moment of self defeat, sometime you need that to bounce back up.

    Thanks for sharing it all, make me feel less alone. :-)

  100. Stacy on March 23rd, 2011 12:21 pm

    If there are aspects of CrossFit that you like, you can DO them on your own – at home or in a gym, just gather stuff into your own little corner and act like a maniac. I do.
    I DO Crossfit but I’ve never belonged to a CrossFit gym and probably never will. I do ball-wall throws, box jumps, Treadmill Sprints, dead lifts, clean and presses, etc … make it your own. It’s about doing what you like to make yourself healthy.

    For what its worth, after years of belonging to gyms, I finally, and just as of the past two months, finally, have a friend who I work out with once a week. You DO belong! Have you SEEN your arms? You are more badass than half the men in any gym — but I am totally giving you this moment of self defeat, sometime you need that to bounce back up.

    Thanks for sharing it all, makes me feel less alone. :-)

  101. Tracy on March 23rd, 2011 3:24 pm

    I so understand where you are coming from with this post (although I have no experience with CrossFit). I totally get the agonizing over whether your reason for not doing something is a “good” one or a “bad” one, especially when you are trying to stretch out of your comfort zone. But probably the most critical thing I’ve been trying to learn how to do is to give myself permission NOT to do things that I really don’t want to do. Saying no CAN mean we aren’t trying, but it doesn’t always mean that. Six months sounds like a good trial to me. I think I’m actually making this comment more for my benefit than for yours…

  102. Melissa on March 23rd, 2011 5:41 pm

    It’s not for you – that’s completely okay but you gave it a hell of a try. The search goes on for the right challenge. I think it’s better to move on then to get down on yourself about. Onward and upward.

  103. kate on March 23rd, 2011 5:44 pm

    no time to read all comments, so pardon any redundancy, but i LOVE the “suck-to-yay ratio” comment. sometimes we push ourselves to do stuff we don’t want to do, because we think we should. good for you, for not giving in to pressure. enjoy yourself and just lift your kids for exercise, hike with them and dance with them like you do. keep up the great work!!

  104. Brooke on March 23rd, 2011 7:11 pm

    I was just reading Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project and one of her “secrets of adulthood” is that the things that make other people happy might not be the things that make you happy. So there comes a time when we have to admit that even though I want to like that cool new band, I actually like to listen to country music. Or even though I want be informed about foreign policy, I would rather read novels. So part of being happy is recognizing what makes you happy (and what doesn’t) and letting it be what it is. You can make yourself do something you don’t like, but you can’t ever make yourself like it. So you’ll like something else. You’re a grown up now. It’s cool.

  105. Nhalia on March 23rd, 2011 7:53 pm

    I never got the whole cross fit thing, so I’m sort of glad to see you move on from it ;)

    Find something you feel empowered by, or several things. Have fun working out again. No one loves going to workout (I think they lie if they say they do) but everyone loves the results!

    Btw, have you ever checked out cathysavagefitness.com? Rocking weight training programs. I do the lifestyle program for non-competitors. Incredibly motivating coaches, new workouts every month…it’s the closest thing to fun while exercising I have found :)

  106. Sarah on March 24th, 2011 10:44 am

    I love your blog. Love it. This post was great and I totally admire you for admitting your feelings so candidly. I have always felt the same way about running (I’m right there with your commenter, Tonya) — my friends all love it, I feel like wanting to run a marathon is some sort of expected life goal and yet, it just doesn’t… do it for me, I guess. I dread it, don’t enjoy it & yet always feel like I should keep it up. Your post was amazing and was a perfect mix of inspiring and comforting. Thanks. Again.

  107. Sarah on March 24th, 2011 11:19 am

    Dude! It just occurred to me that you might like rowing, as in crew. You live in one of the most wonderful places in the world for rowing (recreational on up to competitive), and it is a hard-core, awesome workout that you can do into your eighties (and beyond) because it’s low impact on your joints. It works your legs, core, and arms equally, as well as providing cardio. Yay!

    I’m your age, and started with my first learn to row class at age 30, thinking “this is going to be so relaxing; it looks so graceful.” Little did I know it is one of the most ass-kicking sports, with the mental trickery component of beautiful scenery. It is the only sport that has worked for me (for that reason), and you don’t have to have gone to a New England prep school to take it up. You can get as intense with rowing as you want, and there are plenty of great masters events if you want to compete one day.

    Check it out! Knowing you from afar for a little while, I have a sneaking suspicion it might be a great fit for you. :)

  108. Sonia on March 25th, 2011 3:16 pm

    You are a TOTAL BADASS for even trying it, let alone sticking with it for 6 months!! I think you should be proud of the fact that you gave it such an honest effort.

  109. dug on March 25th, 2011 8:54 pm

    Have you tried just walking?? Walking is what we are built to do. All the studies are quite positive. Solo, or with a bud, it does everything you need. Good luck

  110. Lori O on March 26th, 2011 1:59 pm

    I just did an Insanity workout video today for the first time in awhile. I’ve been doing CrossFit-esque workouts but wanted something different today since it’s too crappy out to go for a run, which is my usual Saturday workout. It has the hardcore, high-intensity, no-dorky-dance-moves that you might have enjoyed about CrossFit, but it’s another Beachbody video you can do with zero equipment in your own living room. You might check it out if you haven’t yet, for a new challenge. It puts P90X to shame, I think.

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