10 In bikram yoga/ bouldering/ crossfit/ daily life/ fitness/ who am I

Often I don’t “exercise”, often I just “play”

On Friday we had a guest day at Crossfit and I took a friend with me for an after-work session. We did handstand and handstand push-up progressions and then a partner workout involving running, kettlebells, squats and push ups.

She enjoyed it a lot and said she was impressed how Crossfit is so versatile and covering every part of the body. I’m so glad that she saw that from one session only. It is exactly why I love Crossfit – there’s strength and balance and stretching and cardio and the combination of exercises work all your muscles. It’s never the same and I therefore never stop having fun.

This is the well-known “Crossfit in 100 Words” description:

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
~Coach Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder

Before Crossfit I used to run. Just run. I tried to mix up the intensity and distance but I just ran.

Before running I cycled. Different distances and landscapes but I just cycled.

Since I started Crossfit two years ago I’ve not only learned the major lifts mentioned above or some of the gymnastics basics mentioned above, but I’ve also gotten into bouldering, Bikram yoga and swimming.

I’m big time into learning new things these days and approaching fitness as PLAY instead of approaching it as calories-out-so-I-can-keep-fiting-into-my-skinny-jeans.  (I don’t fit into most of my skinny jeans anymore by the way – I have two things skinny jeans are not made for – calves and quads).

Back in my cycling day I did do a bit of Hatha yoga on the side, but Bikram yoga has made me think about yoga in a totally different way. It’s made me look into poses that are challenging in a strength and balancing way. Some of these work very well with Crossfit – the Crow pose, for example (part of Ashtanga yoga), is a progression to get to handstand push-ups – it’s all about tricep and core strength. Since I cannot practice handstands at home due to space, I practice the Crow.

I just randomly do these things (it’s Crow this weekend but it was headstands last weekend) in between other things that need to get done during weekends, e.g. coffee needs to be drunk, newspapers need to be read, Facebook needs to be checked, etc. I don’t set aside a certain amount of time to exercise, I just play whenever I have a moment.

And just so you don’t think I just gracefully get into a pose and stay and meditate there for hours, here are some other shots that came out of the camera:

It’s fun though. I am not very flexible so I’m not into poses where the aim is to touch my forehead to my toes or something like that, but I love to work on my strength so poses that require strength and balance are a lot of fun for me.

And coming back to the concept of ‘play’, I see how my kids are – they draw or read for a bit and then randomly roll around the ground for 10 minutes ‘wrestling’. Then they get back to other stuff, Lego, Minecraft, etc. Then after a while they run a few rounds up and down the stairs chasing each other and playing It. And then they sit down again.

I figure kids know how this whole play thing goes so I’m doing the same – little bit here and there. A jog to the shops, a downward dog while the kettle is boiling, a few planks during commercial breaks in the evenings when watching TV.

Life is fun when you play. Just ask the kids 🙂

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  • Reply
    Stephanie @ A Magpie in the Sky
    February 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I love this post, great to see I’m not the only one who head butts the floor – nice to see a post with warts and all hehe!

    • Reply
      February 12, 2015 at 9:56 am

      That head butt to the floor hurt! (and my triceps kept twitching the rest of the evening after this ‘photo session’ was over :|)

  • Reply
    February 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I love this – playing instead of working out. I like the idea of challenging myself to one yoga pose at a time, I did do handstands for a while and really improved but need to get back into it!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Play is totally the best workout. I like the idea of the crow and headstands because I’ve been looking for something to train the upper body in that way at home so I will have to try it. Probably as a competition with my toddler.

    Yesterday I just took him in to the woods and explored with him. Carrying him across ditches and a little stick fighting. Today I feel the workout soreness, which I prefer to think of as growing pains, but it cost me nothing and helped me bond with my son.

    So the title made me read this post. Play is the best form of exercise and the most natural. great to read about you’re doing it.

    Colin – fit2thrive.co.uk

    • Reply
      February 12, 2015 at 9:57 am

      I like the idea of “growing pains” 🙂 Also – playgrounds are also great fun. I use the monkey bars when the kids run around doing their thing.

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