I remember my first CrossFit Open, it was in 2013 at CrossFit 781. I had just woken up from a drunken slumber on a friend’s couch with a Domino’s Pizza box. It was probably about 8:30 AM and a reminder on my phone popped up, “Open Workout 13.1 at CrossFit781”.

For those who don’t remember 13.1, here it is:

AMRAP17:

40 Burpees

45 pound Snatch, 30 reps

30 Burpees

75 pound Snatch, 30 reps

20 Burpees

100 pound Snatch, 30 reps

10 burpees

120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

I sat there on the couch, pizza slice in one hand, cigarette in the other. Should I go and do this workout or should I just eat the rest of this pizza? 40 burpees, I’ll probably die. Pizza won’t kill me. I pick pizza!

I’m not sure what came over me but I got up, got in my car and drove myself to the gym literally in my pajamas. Along the way I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for a medium iced caramel swirl coffee with skim milk (because I was healthy) and a glazed donut. I pulled up to the gym, tossed my cigarette out the window, finished my donut and headed inside after showering myself with Febreze. I remember opening the door: loud music, people cheering, barbells slamming, bodies flopping on the ground, it was madness! I quickly turned around to walk back to my car, but luckily another CF781 member was walking in right behind me, so to avoid the awkwardness, I proceeded into the chaos.

Walking in, reeking of booze, butts, and poor decisions, I was about to do this. I was really, really nervous! My stomach was turning (definitely not because of the alcohol), my palms were sweaty, and my heart was racing. Was I really about to do this?

I must have blacked out because the next thing I remember, I was standing under the pull up rig staring up at my 6” target for my burpees with the gym owner yelling out “10 seconds!” and my judge (a close friend of mine), saying, “You got this girl, just 40 burpees”.

Is it too late to turn back? Do I really have to do 40 burpees? What happens if it takes me 17 minutes to do 40 burpees? Ah! “3,2,1..Go!” I flopped myself onto the ground and jumped back up to hit my 6’ target and missed, “NO REP!” Okay my “good” friend, F-you! Now I have to do 41 burpees. Back down, back up, back down, back up, back down, over and over again. The taste of Jack Daniels and left over pizza filled my mouth, along with the feeling that my lungs were going to explode. “40!” she yelled out. Okay, on to the snatches!

I had never done a snatch before. All I knew was that I had to take that barbell and throw it over my head….30 times…

I was beyond panic breathing at that point, I was basically hyperventilating, I was gasping for air, but I kept going. I walked over to the barbell, and “snatched” or more so just threw it in the air as hard as I could 30 times. “30!” my judge yelled out. Time must be up, I cannot possibly do another burpee. I looked at the clock and sure enough there was still a good chunk of time left. DAMMIT! Up and down, up and down, over and over again I went. At this point, I saw the light, yes that light. I was going to pass out and die right there on the floor at CrossFit781. “30!” my judge yelled.

What?! No! There was no way there was time left, but lucky for me there was. Has anyone ever told you how long 17 minutes is in the CrossFit world, because it’s an eternity!!! I stumbled to the barbell, strapped on the weight to attempt a snatch at 75 pounds. Nope. That baby was not going anywhere. My previous method of wish it over head wasn’t working this time, but my judge yelled, “Take a breath and try again.” Take A breath, how about I grab a quick smoke, then we’ll try it again after. So, I took a breath and tried like hell to get the bar over my head, unfortunately gravity had different plans. The barbell smashed back into the gym mats and I had failed my second attempt at 75 pounds. “3,2,1..Time!”

It was over. 17 minutes of burpees and throwing a barbell over my head, and I was alive! I signed my name to my scorecard, gave and received countless high fives and then crawled myself into the corner of the gym to debrief myself on WTF had just happened. I fell in love with CrossFit that day, that’s what happened.

I sat there, drank some cool blue Gatorade, and thought, “Wow, that was f-ing awesome!”

I left CrossFit781 that day and never picked up another cigarette. I slowly started to cut back on my drinking and started educating myself on how to eat healthy. I started attending class regularly and started to develop incredible relationships with my fellow members that I will always cherish.

I am a very different person now than I was back in 2013, but I am still and forever will be in the process of getting better every day. The quest for better health and wellness never ends.

In closing, I’d like to tell you, sign up for the open because you never know, it may change your life.

And for your enjoyment: