CrossFit Baby Steps: RivFit at CrossFit Riverfront



As part of my decision to LEAP this year, I’ve been trying new things. Things that scare me.

It started with overcoming a fear of the water and learning to swim. And then almost immediately deciding on doing a sprint triathlon in 2014, to make sure I don’t stop or give up— giving myself the out of “good enough.”

The next seemingly obvious step was to commit to the idea of a half marathon. Unfortunately, the one I wanted to run (Delaware Half) sold out before I had my $ together, so that’s on hold for the fall.

Then I roped Kelly into signing up for kickboxing classes with me. Those were tough for the first couple of classes, but by the end we had figured out the choreography and were actually looking forward to it.

Our next fitness adventure was 10 RivFit classes at CrossFit Riverfront, bought through Groupon. These are described as “perfect for the non-athlete or beginner athlete looking shed weight and body fat,” and although I was nervous about going, I figured I was beyond beginner athlete. I run. I swim. I hit the gym. I do pushups and pullups at home. I’d been kicking box.

Holy hell.

I want to get my thoughts on these first classes down before I get in too deep, so we can all see the progress. Or lack thereof. 🙂

SO, to start, I was late to the first class. I checked in and was pointed to where the RivFit class happens. The area was empty— everyone had already just started on the first bit of the warmup, which was a 200 meter run. I put my water bottle down and tried to follow what everyone else was doing.


CrossFit Riverfront


First class.

Warmup. 3 rounds:

200meter run
10 pushups
10 air squats
10 situps

Not too bad. Not sure how many pushups I’d be doing within the hour, I wussed and did girly pushups.

Guess what? No girly pushups in RivFit. F*ck.

The workout, as best as I can remember with Kelly’s help, was:

400 meter run
30 pushups
40 turkish twists
50 squats w/ medicine ball
60 burpees
50 lunges w/ medicine ball
40 kettle bell swings
30 situps
200 meter run
30min limit.

When it was revealed Kelly looked over at me and said, “What did you get us into?” and all I could do was shake my head. As I was still winded from the warmup.

I pretty much felt like dying, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to keep up with the 20-somethings in the class (I came in 6th or 7th, I think). Afterwards I sat outside with Kelly, in theory to wait out rush hour traffic, but actually having a sort of out-of-body experience where I talked her ear off about who knows what. I don’t remember anything about that conversation.

I also had a ridic allergy attack from sucking wind, I guess, and was sneezing every 15 seconds or so. It was a fun ride home.

The next day I was walking all bowlegged. I was fine if sitting or standing, but getting up was an ordeal. At one point Cass knocked something off the bathroom counter, and I told her in all seriousness that there was no possible way I was getting down there to pick it up.

Ohmigod I did not want to go to my second class. I didn’t dread giving birth to Cass anywhere near as much (and that’s after two natural births, the first involving tearing and the second involving a 9.5lb baby with notably broad shoulders. TMI? Perhaps, but now you have perspective.)

Luckily I had Kelly meeting me and the implied guilt if failing to do so; I really don’t know if I would have gone without her.


Second class.

Warmup involved some running, squats and kettlebell swings, I don’t recall exactly. Thankfully no running in the workout as it was hot as hades.

Workout, give or take (I really suck at remembering these, I blame short term memory loss due to oxygen deprivation):

10 jumping jacks
20 mountain climbers
30 burpees
40 box jumps
50 air squats
40 pushups
30 kettlebell swings
20 tricep dips
10 lunges
200x single unders (or 100 double unders)
Time limit 25minutes.

The sad thing is, I looked at that board and thought, that’s doable. Only 30 burpees. 40 pushups = 2 sets of 20, I can do that.

I hadn’t really considered how much it sucks to do pushups after burpees. I got into a groove jumping the rope along to the beat of the Katy Perry song playing, even managing the occasional double under, but once the song was over I lost focus and coordination and could only do maybe 5 jumps at a time for the 35 or so I had left.

Also? The counting is in some ways the hardest part, when all you want to do is stop.

This one took me 18:45 and knocked me flat on my back for a couple of minutes once I was done.




Third class.

Warm up was as a seemingly random series of moves: front and back lunges, crab walk, squat walk, sit ups, and so forth, not horribly taxing.


25 burpees
10 wall balls
10 kettle bell swings

You had 4 minutes to do the burpees and as many sets of the wall balls and kettlebell swings as possible; each completed set counted as 1 point. 1 min rest in between and then you started again with the burpees. 5 rounds.

I basically looked at that and said shiiiiiiittttt. That’s 125 burpees before you even get into scoring.

My score was pretty pathetic (4 + 4, or four completed rounds and 4 half completed) but I did every one of those 125 burpees, dammit. There is no way on god’s green earth that would have been possible two weeks ago.

Not only that, but I didn’t feel too bad the next day, either. Which, as I told Kelly, made me feel like I should have pushed harder. Which in turn made me want to punch myself in the face.


So, verdict so far as a relative newbie:

People will tell you that you don’t have to have a solid athletic base to do CrossFit, as it is scalable to your fitness level. Either these people are liars, or it will vary from box to box. Keep in mind that I am reasonably fit and this isn’t even proper CrossFit, but more a bootcamp-type class. See if you can sneak in for a preview.

There is a definite sense of camaraderie among the class attendees. We’re all in this hell together.

I really like our teacher, Szabi, who is a peculiar blend of inappropriate humor, soft-spokenness, and ass kicking.

I have pushed harder than I ever have, in these classes. Partially because I am competitive, partially because it’s only 30 minutes or less and I’m acutely aware of that. Would I ever do 125 burpees at home? NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

I’ve also voluntarily pushed harder at home. Rather than doing smaller sets of pushups, I’ve been trying to keep it up until absolute failure. (I know what that feels like now. There have been times when I’ve had 2 pushups left and thought I wasn’t capable of doing them.)

I have wanted to vomit at least a dozen times, but not badly enough that Szabi has kindly stood nearby with the bucket.

I am way stronger already, 3 classes in. The DOMS have seriously lessened. This works, and that’s why I’m going to keep going.

We’ll see how I feel about it once I’ve finished the 10 classes, but right now I’m inclined to think I’m going to want to try and talk Jeff into a family membership to CrossFit. I think he and Jake (my 15yo) would LOVE the non-traditional gym feel and competitiveness of it.

CrossFit Riverfront also offers rowing, yoga and CrossFit Kids classes; Maverick would enjoy the badassery and individual sport, Cass loves everything athletic. And compared to other boxes CrossFit Riverfront is a good deal for the money.

And that’s my foray into CrossFit thus far. Hope my abject humiliation was enjoyable 🙂





1 Comment

  1. I loved your recaps! Have you finished your 10 sessions?? Did you rope Jeff into a family membership?? My gang does CrossFit kids and they love it. I can’t talk my husband in to trying it as he prefers solitary bike rides, but man…I LOVE CrossFit!


  1. Weekly Reader: Kind Inspiration - [...] Badger Mom, Crossfit Baby Steps: RivFit at Crossfit Riverfront. I loved reading about Robin’s first (and second and third)…
  2. How Not to Run Your First 5K of the Year | Honey Badger Mom - […] days before— Friday— I went to my Rivfit class at CrossFit Riverfront. I don’t have a photo of that…
  3. You Can't Compare What You Don't Measure: Week in Workouts | Honey Badger Mom - […] coming up on a year since I started going to RivFit classes at CrossFit Riverfront (these are bootcamp style…
  4. 30 Day Paleo Challenge: Two Weeks In | Honey Badger Mom - […] signed up for a 30 day paleo challenge at our CrossFit box. My normal diet is, overall, pretty good,…
  5. Race Recap: Spartan Race Citizens Bank Philadelphia 2014 - […] like childbirth. Just like every CrossFit Riverfront class I walk […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *