WOD Life Balance – Ivan Flugelman
My first trial Body Fitness class at Escapist I didn’t like — at all!
It was winter, it was dark outside, there were 4 unmotivated members training with me, and the WOD was something with Box Jumps and Push-ups. Most important thing for me was the shower. The box is conveniently located on my way to work, but the shower was kind of a deal breaker. I was already doing functional training at a non-affiliate. Some circuit training, some powerlifting and some “Crosstraining” classes but that was the advanced stuff, I was constantly struggling to get to the classes on time because the commute was just too long. What I was doing was more of a functional training thing with extra powerlifting sessions. All the CrossFit stuff felt super advanced and at the box the concept of scaling was not really part of the culture.
6 months later, I went deep in the CrossFit Media rabbit hole. I started to learn the names of the athletes and started to binge watch the ‘Road to The Games’ series and videos on how to do box jumps more efficiently. Around that same time — Spring 2018 — I open my ‘Promotions’ tab on Gmail and click open an ESCPST Newsletter and there was a very interesting intro course offer, where I got to test the box for about 3 weeks while learning all the basics. And of course, I wanted to do the Snatch and the Butterfly pullups. But this time, there was a shower in the changing rooms! I was so hyped about the upcoming games, regionals in Berlin, summer, and the fact that I could gain 90minutes of commute time back into my life and therefore optimize my lifestyle, so I signed my contract right away. 3 times per week. I drank the cool aid and it tasted sweet but without any added calories or sugar. I was also super happy to be a part of the global CrossFit community. As someone that works with brands for a living, CrossFit still carried some of that ‘coolness’ factor, and I valued a company that was operating so well in the internet age. * Soon enough, it was the Escapist summer fest. I remember eating a surprisingly tasty meat cut from Lidl and staying almost last talking to Dirk about the Dottirs and Craig Richey— I was not alone anymore, finally meeting people and be able to talk about CrossFit. Soon enough I started making new friends every session and I decided to change my contract to unlimited.
The first 2019 Open.
My first son was born on the 18th of February just before the Open. I was not even going to participate but someone added me to a WhatsApp group and told me I was on a team that basically peer pressured me to compete. I was on parental leave, so I decided... Why not? Let’s do it. It was incredible. Every Saturday in the box carried an electrifying atmosphere, people I just met via WhatsApp were cheering me all the way, I managed to do my first BMU in front of a crowd, and we even got first place! I was still getting a lot of sleep regardless of the new member of the family, so recovery was good, but soon things were going to change.
I spent the whole summer in the hospital taking care of my family. In this process I almost stopped working out and lost about 8 Kilos and I’m already on the skinny-fat side of the spectrum. It was still important for me to get my workout to get my mental sanity on track. I was managing maybe once per week, or sometimes even less. But I found support and strength in both the members of the box and the coaches. I was able to open about my situation and share some of the load. ESCAPIST then, felt a place where I could go, leave my problems behind for 60 minutes, improve some aspect of my life get the community support to be able to be strong —physically and mentally— and come back to my family in order to keep going. Gerardo and Rickard and the whole staff were very warm and welcoming and caring about my wellbeing and I am extremely grateful.
Once we got back home it was time to reclaim some fitness action, but I was burned out. Physically and mentally drained. Add to the equation unexpected pressures at work and you get a perfect recipe for implosion. CrossFit training and pushing yourself to your physical limits gets a toll on the body, especially if you have a demanding personality that wants to always do more and better and little time to recover. I just — couldn’t keep up.