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I worship at the house of Petranek Fitness

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I went to my introductory session with Andy Petranek one morning while taking a "sick day" at work. I had been searching for a gym that taught Crossfit, a special brand of fitness recommended to me by a friend. I e-mailed Andy to ask about the class schedule, and next thing I knew I was in my workout clothes and standing in the alley between 14th and 15th Streets in Santa Monica wondering what the hell I'd gotten myself into. It didn't take long to find out.

Andy told me about the philosophy of Crossfit, the program he runs, and the type of workouts he does. It all sounded fine and good, so he suggested I try a "baseline workout." Of course I wholeheartedly agreed; anything called "baseline" couldn't be too bad and there was no pressure to do well since it's, well, my baseline. Stupid stupid me.

After seven minutes and thirty-two seconds I found myself becoming intimate with the toilet at Petranek fitness as I vomited up the contents of my light breakfast after not completing the workout. Apparently my baseline was somewhere in the range of shit, as I found myself puking into the porcelain basin designated for just that. Andy cheerfully brought me a bottle of water and said I wasn't the first to toss my cookies after a workout and sat me down in a chair in his office.