After months of working out, whether it be TRX, barre, pilates, HIIT, or strength and conditioning training at studios throughout London, I can’t lie, as I got stronger and more into my fitness, I got a little bored with the same routines. It was time for serious changes and new challenges.
Back stateside, there seems to be a box on every street corner, especially in my hometown of Orlando, Florida. London however remains not as spoilt for choice. Nonetheless, I was determined to find a Crossfit box in the SW, and, after some research, I stumbled across Crossfit Perpetua. I called the studio and spoke with one of their coaches, Rusty Clark and, before I knew it, I was booked in for a complimentary one-to-one session. Our session started with Rusty discussing the gym’s background and ethos as well as my current fitness routine, health background and goals.
At Perpetua, you are required to complete a certain amount of private sessions to ensure you have all the main movements and benchmarks down including front/back squats, deadlifts, burpees, dips, wall balls, squats, power cleans, push-ups etc. Those transferring from another box, won’t have to do many or even any private classes, while others may end up doing 5-10. Since I was fairly familiar with most of the CrossFit benchmarks, I completed four sessions before I graduated to the regular group classes. While the one-to-one sessions do cost as much as a private personal training session would, what’s great about these PT sessions is that you immediately have a ‘coach for life,’ who will be your main ‘go-to’ should you ever need a tune-up session or have any questions or concerns. Who knows, they may even become one of your closest friends. Rest assure though, every single coach at Perpetua is just as friendly and helpful, whether it’s Pricey, Alexis, Mike, Ozzie, Baz or Mario, they are ready to help you out no matter how simple of a question you might have, before, during or after any workout.
But still, joining a box can be very intimidating. After a few private sessions you are thrown into a class with people you have never met before and your ego may get the best of you, and suddenly you are convinced everyone is judging your technique and scaled options for various movements. But with each class you attend you slowly become more at ease with your surroundings and it may quickly become your home away from home.
Since joining Crossfit, I have received a lot of questions about how confusing everything sounds and feels, especially with all the Crossfit ‘terminology’ out there. I had no idea when I started what half of the following meant; Metcon, AMRAP, EMOM, dow, barbell, Rx, FRAN? Hell no. All the tools you need will be provided, weird terminology included. And if you forget what a particular movement is, fear not, every workout is demonstrated, right from the warm-up to the WOD.
If you are dedicated to making Crossfit a part of your life, Perpetua will cater to your strengths and weaknesses and only make you a stronger individual. And for every Rx (prescribed weight or movement) there is a scaled option, which may involve using bands, lighter weights and other variations that will help you progress. And believe me, this makes you no less of a CrossFitter. Remember to focus on yourself, and try not to stare too enviously at the person next to you doing 30+ kipping pull-ups while you hold on for dear life desperately attempting to get your chin over the bar while jumping from a box- or two. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t be the only person starting from the beginning. At the start of my journey with Perpetua, I couldn’t manage one strict pull-up. Now I can do two, and I am damn proud of it.
So be warned, CrossFit is addicting. I go as many days a week I can and love seeing my weaknesses slowly turn into strengths.
Last, a sense of community is also big in the world of CrossFit, and making friends is easy. Yes, you will be thrown into a class with a group of people from all kinds of backgrounds and sometimes it may feel like summer camp, but you will love going back to see the same faces.
I asked fellow Crossfitter and friend Adam Goff, aka Goffy, why he joined Perpetua just over a year ago. His immediate response was “to pick up chicks.” And while it has been a year and Goffy remains single, this good looking lad also said; ‘I was looking for something challenging that pushed my edges every time I turned up as well as a great community vibe, and I got both in spades!’
Half-way through a Freaks on Friday workout the smiles you were met with when you entered the box might quickly turn to grimaces, but the energy and sense of commitment in overcoming a WOD such as two, 800 meter runs while holding barbell weights before tackling 200 pushups and 200 wall balls will leave you feeling ready to take on the world.
So, my friends, fellow crossfitters, or those who may just think I’m crazy, check out my recent shoot at Perpetua with my coach for life and good friend Rusty. One of the crazy-awesome people you will meet if you come in and try a free class.
All pictures taken by the talented Courtney Nelson.