0 to 90: You Need a Nemesis

0 to 90 chronicles the CrossFit adventures of a know-nothing noob. For more 0 to 90 posts, click here.

Assumption #6: When it comes to fitness, I should stick with what I’m good at.

So I’m coming up on Day 60. Day 60! Wow. Incredible, no? The people who know me just had their universe turned upside-down. You? 60 days of CrossFit? Where am I? What just happened? Who’s the president?

Say, that's a nice burpee. You have 15 minutes do it 1,000 times.

Say, that's a nice burpee. You have 15 minutes do it 1,000 times.

One lesson I’ve had pounded into me over and over is this: the things I’m not really good at are the things that are going to yield the highest benefit if I actually work on them

I’m not talking about actively avoiding fitness as a whole (the I-don’t-wannas). I’m talking about what happens when you actually get to your workout, and there’s a particular thing you hate to do waiting there for you. The make-you-shaky stuff. The anything-but-that stuff. The everyone-is-10-times-better-at-this-one-than-me stuff. 

Your fitness Nemesis. Or in my case, Nemeses. For me, this is just about anything involving endurance. 

"Hello? Hello? Anyone home? I said double-unders, not hit your toes with the rope and stand there panting. Butthead."

"Hello? Hello? Anyone home? I said double-unders, not hit your toes with the rope and stand there panting. Butthead."

  • Double-Unders: (Jump-rope where the rope goes under twice for each jump). A pestilence and a scourge. How I hate them. Double-Under? I’m just tying to get under.  As in once. 
  • Burpees: (Crouch, shoot your legs out, caterpillar to the ground, then suck your legs in, jump straight up and high-five yourself for self-torture). Someone told me Burpees are a military thing. I’m guessing they meant something shady Jack Bauer uses to squeeze information out of terrorists. 
  • Box Jumps: (Okay this is just what it sounds like). “Wait, I get to learn how to jump up onto a wooden box? Like a ninja, right?” Um, actually more like a 67-year-old in a gunnysack. Careful on the way down.

These are my nemeses. These are my Biff Tannen’s, my Evil T-1000’s, my Emperor Palpatine’s.

"And now, my young CrossFitter, you will die. Up on the box! Soft landing! Knees up! Give me 20 more!"

"And now, my young CrossFitter, you will die. Up on the box! Soft landing! Knees up! Give me 20 more!"

And here’s the thing: when I was taking the Last Samurai approach, I would lose to these baddies all the time. Every fight, first round. I would think about pounding out 10 minutes on a stair-stepper, but then sidewalk-stepping home just seemed easier. After all, no one was there, so know one would know the difference.

Well, guess what? It’s Day 60, and this geeky scientist has been downing gamma rays neat since midnight. The radio-active spider has bitten, and fighting crime never felt so good. 

I might never love Burpees. I’ll probably always be squeezing the jump-rope handles with a technically-not-so-efficient hate. 

But getting better? Clocking endurance where previously I had none? Adding zip and energy to my day, even to the low-down drowsy afternoons? Looking evil in the eye, and smashing it right into next week with no remorse?

Calling all heroes. Beating a nemesis is just plain old fashioned fun.