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Merhaba!

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"Athletes in Amman: Staying in Shape in a Foreign Place" by Michaela Arguin

"Athletes in Amman: Staying in Shape in a Foreign Place" by Michaela Arguin

As a self-proclaimed gym lover, I was super concerned about being able to work out in Amman, and even more worried about finding a gym that would be open to my usual workout apparel of leggings and a tank top.

 Little did I know that I would find the love of my life in Amman: CrossFit.

We found Quicksand CrossFit by accident. In the first few weeks of school, we toured all the gyms we could find, looking for the perfect one. One day, we walked by a building that had a giant kettlebell on the roof, and we decided to check it out. As soon as I walked in, I knew I had found my gym. This was where I was going to go every day to workout. It was a brand new building, brand new facilities, and over ten classes a day. They had everything, from spin, to yoga, to boxing to kick fit to HIIT, etc. However, it was mainly a CrossFit gym. I had never done CrossFit before, and was always willing to try it, so me and four other friends signed up for this gym.

 Quicksand CrossFit is certainly a little pricey compared to other gyms I’ve been a member of in America. We ended up getting a promotion, three months plus one month free for a grand total of 385 JOD or 543 USD. My parents certainly were not happy about this purchase at first, but now that they see how much I go to the gym here, I have certainly got my money’s worth.

 First things first, at Quicksand to even be eligible for the Main CrossFit classes, you have to complete a one-month session called Elements. Elements is a basic introductory course that meets three nights a week. The very first day was honestly super challenging for me.

 Here was what we did:

AMRAP (As many rounds/reps as possible) - 10 minutes

  • 8 Burpees

  • 8 Goblet Squats

  • 8 Ring Rows

  • 8 Push Ups

I finished with a score of 3+30 which meant I completed three whole rounds, plus 30 extra reps.

For someone who had been eating only carbs and sweets for the first month abroad, I was not sure I’d be able to finish the workout at points. However, the coaches are extremely amazing and motivating. They are always running around helping you, encouraging you, talking you through it, and blasting the loudest and best playlists I’ve ever heard.

The twelve sessions of Elements flew by, and before I knew it, I was at the very last one. On this day we repeated the same workout as the first session.

AMRAP (As many rounds/reps as possible) - 10 minutes

  • 8 Burpees

  • 8 Goblet Squats

  • 8 Ring Rows

  • 8 Push Ups

I’m really happy to say that on that day, I finished with a score of 5+1. Which meant that I had improved EXPONENTIALLY since the start of the program.

If this improvement didn’t seal the deal of my love for CrossFit, the coaches and the gym already had. As I mentioned earlier, each coach here at Quicksand is incredible. Not only are they super inspiring since they are so insanely fit, but they are also extremely nice, approachable and helpful. Every time I walk into the gym, the coaches know my name, say hi to me, and ask me what workout I’m doing today. It makes me so happy every time I walk into that gym. It feels like a home away from home. Even when I’m not taking a CrossFit class, either working out on my own or doing spin or Pilates, the instructors still manage to find me in the corridor and say hello!

One great example of my time here was when I was rowing on my own in the gym. My favorite coach, Coach Rima, saw me, stopped her workout with a client and ran over to me to help fix my form. She also kept checking in on me and encouraging me during her own private session with another client! After I had finished my workout, she came up to me and told me that she wanted to see me take a Main class, something I was initially very scared of doing after finishing Elements. The day after, I signed up for my first Main CrossFit class, almost a month after I had “graduated.”

Another amazing example with Coach Rima was when I attended her Spin and Tone class. She was genuinely so excited to see me in her class and welcomed me and my friends with so much energy, especially given that it was 8:30 am. Throughout the class, Coach Rima would get off her bike, walk around, give corrections and encourage us to keep pushing through. She also kept giving me heavier weights during the toning section of the class since she knew I could push myself harder. 

My first Main CrossFit class was also quite the experience. Not only are the Main classes a lot more challenging, they are also so much more rewarding. During this Main class, one of my other favorite coaches, Coach Haya was competing in the CrossFit Open. It was extremely motivating to watch her kill it in the competition while I was also doing my workout, and it was also so cool to see our amazing coaches in action.

Here’s just a little taste of what that Main class workout entailed:

(I was in group one, which is the Beginners group)

  • 20 Minutes

  • 100 Russian Kettle Bell Swings

  • Burn 80/60 calories on the Rowing Machine (80 for men, 60 for women)

  • 60 Push-Ups

  • 60 Hanging Knee to Chests

I finished the workout in 15:00. Although I modified the push-ups to be easier and used lighter weight, I was completely dead and extremely sore after the fact. Each class just keeps pushing you more and more and its satisfying to start to feel stronger, go faster, and use heavier weights.

 Overall, I have a little over a month left at Quicksand and its one of the things I’m going to miss the most about Amman. I cannot wait to continue going to all of the classes, working out, and forming stronger relationships with the coaches. It has become one of my favorite parts of each day here and I can confirm that everyone should try CrossFit, and that it is totally possible to stay fit while abroad!

"My Favorite Things about Amman" by Ciara Tenney

"My Favorite Things about Amman" by Ciara Tenney

"How to Make a Moroccan Tagine" by Jaycee Miller

"How to Make a Moroccan Tagine" by Jaycee Miller