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Working Out with NEPA CrossFit

As part of our Healthy Living Blog Series, we’re partnering with local experts to bring health and fitness advice, tips and articles directly to you. Keep an eye on this space for everything from motivational musings on nutrition to the latest trends in fitness. Discover a happier, healthier you with DiscoverNEPA.

A Beginner’s Journey into the World of CrossFit


Test your limits and shatter your expectations on the road to a healthier you with the team at NEPA CrossFit.

Like many newbies to CrossFit, I was quite intimidated by the idea of taking on this intense form of exercise. I’d always thought of it as a bunch of muscle-bound people deadlifting massive amounts of weight — seemingly with ease. At just the thought of giving it a try, I felt a general anxiety kicking in. I quietly asked myself a few questions. “Oh god, am I going to have to do that?” “What if I can’t do that?” And, of course, “Do you think there’s a discount for being laughed out of the gym?”

After meeting owner Brennan Morton and his incredible team at NEPA CrossFit in Plains, I felt many of those initial fears subside. We discussed all of the silly, preconceived notions people have about CrossFit. And then we set up a trial run (not gonna’ lie – actually still a little scared).



So it begins…

At least I wasn’t alone. Ten of us – all CrossFit newbies – nervously gathered around Coach Brennan. He began the class with a brief overview of each exercise we’d be doing and thoroughly demonstrated the proper form. At NEPA CrossFit, performing each exercise correctly and safely is the key to a successful workout. Thankfully, he made everything very easy to understand.

Then, it was time for the real workout to begin. We started with a 250-meter row followed by a variation of squats, pushups, and sit ups. Each of us had 15 minutes to get through as many rounds as we could. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Trust me, it was no walk in the park. It also helped that if you started slacking, you always had someone there to push you.

Coach Brennan was there the whole time to motivate us and make sure we were using proper form. We were often instructed to scale our workout pace up or down based on our own abilities. And that was precisely where most of my misguided CrossFit preconceptions faded away. It wasn’t all fueled by some “Do or Die” mentality. The environment is supportive. Everyone around us was positive and encouraging. No one wanted to see me give up. And soon, neither did I.



Definitely not your cookie-cutter gym.

If I’m being honest, the whole atmosphere at NEPA CrossFit blew away all of my expectations. In my experience with most gyms, I’ve sometimes felt intimidated by others working out around me. Or, just as often, I’d find all my carefully crafted motivation battling the monotonous hum of a hundred treadmills, and a thousand other colorful distractions. It would all dissolve merely moments after walking through the door.

This was different. At NEPA CrossFit, I felt like I was there for me. Strangely, though, I also felt like I was there for everyone working out alongside me. We were all a part of something bigger. And if you looked around and saw all the supportive, knowledgeable coaches behind us, I’d guess you’d say we were a team.



And now… your moment of post-workout euphoria.

Overall, I feel like I learned a lot about myself. Full disclosure — I wasn’t expecting to get through the whole workout. As I drove home after, I kept repeating, “Ok. That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” I had to admit that I was wrong about CrossFit. It wasn’t about getting “ripped,” or flexin’ on smaller, weaker people at the gym. In fact, everything I experienced was the exact opposite. CrossFit is about more than maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There’s a strong sense of friendship and family behind every workout. It’s about not only pushing yourself to your limits, but also those around you who share that same goal. I had never felt better about being so wrong.

As I pulled into my parking deck – my mind and breath finally relaxed — I noticed a stirring in muscles I hadn’t felt in a while. It was like something had woken up inside of me. And that phrase I kept repeating had changed from “That wasn’t so bad” to “I can’t believe I did it.”

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