Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Crossfit Means to Me...........

My Crossfit Journey

I’ve decided to start this blog to capture some of my thoughts and adventures as I work my way through becoming a better Crossfit athlete and a better person.

I’ve been doing Crossfit now for about 5mths. Somewhat inconsistently at times and I haven’t made it to sessions as religiously as I want to.  I work 1:1 with a Crossfit coach once a week, to help me learn new movements and learn ways to overcome my weaknesses.  Bottom line is I love my Crossfit. I just want more.  I read everything I can to do with Crossfit, understanding what makes the top athletes tick. Understanding how they got there. Learning what I need to do to improve.

There are a lot of movements I just can’t do…….at the moment.  I am determined to master them.  I know it’s not going to be an overnight project.  I am now prepared that it will take some time, maybe even years to master these skills. And even then I am not sure master is the right word, because if I have learned one thing through Crossfit it is that there is always something to learn, some improvement to be made.

My goal is to become a Crossfit athlete.  At what level I don’t know but I want to be able to compete in this sport and hold my own.  Whether it be a local games day or more I just want to be able to compete as an equal.

Most things physical don’t come easily to me.  My muscles & motor skills did not develop properly through my childhood.  There are some movements that I find incredibly hard, and if I’m honest there may be some that I will never be able to do as prescribed.  But that’s not going to stop me continuing to work on them.  I’m not fast or agile, I can’t spring or jump very well.  My one asset however is physical strength.  I can lift & push & pull decent weights as much as I want. I love using weights and I love seeing the rapid improvements I have made in technique and the amount I can lift since I have started Crossfitting.  There are some lifts that I am not quite as strong in but I relish the challenge of mastering them.

Crossfit is more than just a workout.  It really is a way of life.  It is a philosophy through which you can achieve so much more in your daily life.  It teaches you some hard lessons about yourself, it exposes the inner you.  It shows you what you are made of, how much heart, soul & just outright fight you have. 

Crossfit has also shown me that I have far more inner strength & determination, even outright stubbornness that I ever thought existed within me.  I have been working out consistently for over 18mths now and I know at times I have not worked to my full capacity.  I would always find a way to shortcut the workout or have a break or back off when I thought no one was looking.  In my 1:1 sessions with my PT, AC, I would always work to my max, but not so much when left to my own devices.  I found opportunities in group classes to ease back and work sporadically.  Not a great reflection on my character or commitment.

In Crossfit there is nowhere to hide. You are exposed. No one accepts a short cut or counting a bad rep. The thing is that there isn’t always someone there to call you out.  99% of the time you call yourself out. You don’t count the bad reps, you don’t take a short cut, you push yourself to your limits in that particular moment, and then you keep going.  From my first ever workout I have given 100% in my Crossfit sessions.  I may have to break up sets, or stop for a breath between movements but I keep going.  Long after I would have usually packed up and quit in a normal workout I am still pushing myself.  When it hurts so much and my body just screams to stop I keep going.  I don’t know why Crossfit has triggered this change in me.  I’m not sure what about it flicks that switch. As that buzzer counts down 3, 2, 1………..Go! I feel my mental approach change, I go from being nervous about the workout to pumped to get into it. Game face on, ready to go.

The Crossfit community is like no other community I have ever been a part of. Rather than people at a gym working out in isolation, when you step into a Crossfit box you feel like part of a team, part of a family.  You respect each other for the work you put in. You encourage & support each other through the workout.  The coaches will give you all the help, support & advice they can, they give it openly & freely.  At the end of the WOD, everyone helps breakdown the bar & equipment.  High five’s & quiet nods of recognition about what we have all completed.  Whether you can Rx or you have to scale to the lowest common movement it doesn’t matter….as long as you are working to YOUR capacity.  I saw a picture the other day that says it all “Scaling Still Hurts’, which is true.  Doing ring rows instead of pull ups hurts just as much.  Sometimes the scaling means you have to do more of a movement. For example with skipping if you can’t do double unders then your have to do single skips on a scale of 3:1.  So if the workout calls for 50 double unders then you’re doing 150 single skips.  Bloody hard work and a motivator to master those double unders!!! 

It’s not about what you do, or how much you lift.  It’s about how you go about it.  How you conduct yourself when you step into that box for a WOD.  Everyone gets treated with respect for giving their all. If you’re not going to give it your all then just don’t turn up. If you’re more interested in competing against the rest of the group rather than pushing yourself to see what you can do for you, then maybe Crossfit isn’t for you.

There are a lot of people who claim to Crossfit or have PT’s who teach them Crossfit.  Anyone can download a WOD off the internet and give it a crack.  But there is more to Crossfit that just a hard arse workout.  As I’ve mentioned above it is a community with a heartbeat & spirit like no other.  There is no soft carpet or air conditioning to make your workout comfortable.  There are no hair dryers or solariums for you post workout. People take pride in their ‘Crossfit hands’, even the girls. If someone gets their first ripped hand people crowd around and think it’s cool. We use chalk and tape, not for protection but more so for grip.  We want to lift more, pull higher, climb faster.  We want more.

An affiliated Crossfit box, with accredited coaches is the only place to learn Crossfit safely & properly.  Technique & safety are their top priority.  If you can’t do a weight or movement safely they will scale you down, and then help you to train so you CAN get there one day.  I’ve never trained in a more positive supportive environment.

There is competition, everyone wants to do their best.  But there is also total respect for what someone achieves on their own.  Yes it might be a light weight compared to what you lift, but for them it’s massive & everyone recognises that.

There is a sense of pride at the completion of a hard WOD.  I know each time I finish one I am proud that once again I didn’t quit on it, and I didn’t quit on me.

I can’t wait to be tested again………….BOOM!

1 comment:

  1. What an exciting post! It is so great when you find something that you love doing AND helps creates and build upon new skills. I think you are doing incredibly well and can't wait till you compete in your first competition. Just make sure you give us plenty of notice to block out the calendar. I will start making cheersquad outfits :)

    So proud of you. Keep smashing those 'own' goals.

    M xx