I just did my first CrossFit workout in years—at CrossFit Bellator in Tulsa Oklahoma. And just like Cindy kicked my butt years ago, the workout today left me gasping for air on my backside (while a 50-ish woman kept on going like a champ—and actually encouraging me, which was sweet and painful all at once).

The WOD—Workout of the Day—was five rounds of 50 double-unders (jump rope) paired with 400 meter runs. This is of course after warming up and working on some lifting technique. I was spent after the warm up, as most of my “working out” has been toting my daughter’s extra 30 pounds around a local urban “wilderness.” Those squats especially will be hell to pay in the morning, I’m sure.

Joey, one of the trainers, was awesome, with frequent encouragements and the right personal touch to make my poor level of fitness not seem so glaringly awful. With the temperature in Tulsa in the middle to upper 80s today and the humidity rising, it was a warm day and a lot of cardio. At least I didn’t pass out!

This was my first chance to check out New Balance’s MT20SBs Minimus shoes. They’re apparently popular with the CrossFit set because of their durability, and I was surprised my feet didn’t sweat more—they’re the Winter Run versions, which are tougher. I’ll have more thoughts on these soon after a few more workouts.

I’m not typically comfortable in gyms—I’d much rather be out in nature. But Joey and the people at Bellator made me feel right at home, out of shape or not. If I want to be in better shape for my wife and daughter and for the hiking and camping I love, I can’t imagine a better tool than CrossFit to get me there.