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Tumble Bees for Grown Ups

I have a long history with gyms that goes back 44 years to when I was 3 and my parents signed me up for Tumble Bees at the local gymnastics club. Trampolines and balance beams were my life until I retired from collegiate gymnastics at age 20, only to be replaced a few years later, not as a competitor, but as a full-time coach.

I finished my first triathlon in 1997 and for over a decade my gym was mostly the great outdoors as I swam, cycled, and ran my way to becoming an elite level triathlete.

I lifted weights as part of my triathlon training program, which is why I stepped foot in my first Crossfit gym in the early 2000s. I looked around at the pull-up bars and climbing ropes and thought "this looks like tumble bees for grown ups!" So I stayed until Covid kicked me out in March 2020.

At the time of the shutdowns I was training and working as a personal trainer at a Crossfit gym in L.A. I quickly pivoted my clients to online fitness training and not-so-quickly pivoted myself to solo workouts in my 1-bedroom North Hollywood apartment. It took some adjusting, and a different kind of motivation, but I began to really enjoy life without a gym.

So when my husband recently suggested we join the local Crossfit gym, I had mixed emotions. I've been spoiled with the convenience of working out at home. And honestly, I was a little nervous at the thought of working out with a bunch of strangers!

Quick sidebar. Gyms can be intimidating EVEN to personal trainers. I worked out at LA Fitness in L.A. a few times and what a scene that was! I was deterred from venturing into the free weight area (which I usually prefer) by the swarms of big dudes wearing sunglasses and talking on their bluetooth headphones, oblivious to anyone except themself and their biceps. I'll just be over here on the treadmill. Anyway...

I had some reservations about being back in a gym environment, but I was also stoked on the idea of working out with my husband. So we joined December 1 and have a few classes in the books, and I feel like I've been reunited with an old friend.

Crossfit understands that I'm not in my 20s anymore, which is why it's been my main type of training for so many years. There's always a way to modify, making it accessible to all fitness levels and all ages.

At one of the workouts last week, I was pretty sure I'd have to modify one of the moves. I'd never done it before, and I wasn't very confident this 47-year-old could learn a new trick without peeing myself or ending up in the hospital.

But with some good coaching, I'm happy to report I did my first bar muscle up and lived to write about it.

I've made some new friends and don't remember any of their names. But I'll keep asking them as we fist bump "nice job" at the end of the workout.

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