Trying CrossFit for the First Time: Breaking Sweat at Shieldwall

CrossFit at Shieldwall
CrossFit at Shieldwall

CrossFit hype – we experience CrossFit for the first time, all for the readers. The goal? To break a sweat and see what it’s all about.

CrossFit challenge

After hearing that CrossFit changed many people’s lives positively, I finally had a chance to try it out. 

I’m no fitness freak, so when my boss pitched the idea that I should try out CrossFit, I felt pretty lazy to do so. However with all the hype around CrossFit I decided to push aside any doubts and see what it’s all about. 

Having been suggested to try out a gym called Shieldwall, I decided to meet the owners, Marlon and Denise. Both with positive attitudes and ready to smash a workout, they introduce me to what CrossFit is all about. 

Inside the gym
Inside the gym

From disillusionment to realization

‘’Lots of people think that you need to be super fit and aggressive to train. Also some may think it involves lots of grunting and dropping heavy weights and they get intimidated by all this,” says Marlon.

I am definitely one of those people that thought CrossFit was made for the fitness gods only. Ready to grunt my way through an intense weight filled session, it was actually quite the opposite. 

What went down

Thinking the box (gym) would be filled with a bunch of ripped men and women, it was actually just me and two other people. Still feeling slightly intimidated by what the session would be, I immediately feel welcome as I begin to speak to the other members and what their CrossFit experience has been like. 

Looking around the gym – decked out with all their latest equipment – I feel a high sense of energy to it. Strong enough to give you that kick you need to feel pumped and ready to go.

‘’Most of the time it’s loud music full of people training giving their best and everyone just having a good time. Nothing intimidating as people might think,” says Marlon. 

‘’The main equipment you’ll find in a CrossFit box are barbells and weight plates, dumbbells and kettle-bells, a rig for squats, pull ups and other gymnastic movements. As well as some empty space for workouts to be carried out and some rowers, bikes and ski ergs.’’ 

To avoid any injuries I hop onto the rowing machine as a warm up and move onto the three different workouts that make up the session. Toes to bar movements and EMOM (every minute on the minute) exercises. Finally, finishing off with a nice one hundred sit ups, I could really feel the burn.

With just four different exercises – during EMOM – you’d think twenty minutes would pass briskly, but I was proven wrong.

An example of EMOMs
An example of EMOMs

Mind over matter

Trying out CrossFit is definitely challenging but rewarding.

Facing new challenges I’ve been pushed to my limits. I realize CrossFit isn’t just about the physical strength, but also the mental strength involved. From pulling myself up on the bars to just doing sit-ups I keep telling myself that quitting isn’t an option. 

‘’It’s the time where I dedicate myself. I try to shut down my mind from the rest of what’s going on, personal problems, work and just focus on the task at hand.’’

‘’The feeling after a workout is so rewarding. It makes you feel like you have accomplished your goal of the day.’’ 

I’m nearly at the end of the session and to finish off I’m facing the task of handstand holds. Nervous but excited, I realize that in this moment I could accomplish new things by putting my mind to it. 

I’m no athlete so by the second set I’m starting to find it challenging to do another handstand hold. Thanks to my lack of upper body strength, I struggle to stay up, however Denise steps in to give a helping hand. She shows me a new exercise (thankfully) and I keep doing that for the rest of the sets. 

CrossFit as a lifestyle
CrossFit as a lifestyle

CrossFit as a lifestyle

‘’CrossFit did change my life for the better mainly within physical and mental aspects. I’m a big believer in discipline and I think it’s one of the most important things to have.’’ 

‘’It does change people’s lives. I’ve seen people lose weight and gain back their confidence. People also use CrossFit to de-stress from their daily life. All in all there are so many benefits both on the health side and even on the mental side.’’

Slowly waking up the next day I could really feel the burn. Guess you could say being sore is definitely an understatement. Despite a few aching muscles CrossFit has shown me that it’s more than just a work out. With a great supportive community behind it CrossFit could be seen as a lifestyle. 



If you’re looking for extra motivation to train, Nala will be there rooting for you. Head over to Shield Wall for a rewarding CrossFit experience, as well as getting a chance to meet their adorable doggo.

Written by Nina Borg Nicolas

Jacob Peter Gowy (c 1615-1661), The Fall of Icarus (1635-7), oil on canvas, 195 x 180 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

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