CrossFit is just picking things up and putting them down
As a gym owner, there’s nothing I love more than hearing your stories, your whys and why-nots, your ups and your downs. I also love to hear what our gym feels like from an “inside” perspective, because, let’s face it, I’m a little biased. ;)
If you are considering CrossFit, or you just freaking love CrossFit, I think you’ll enjoy this read. :)
By Brittany b, in response to some questions from someone considering moving from the World’s Best Boot Camp South Seattle to a membership at SODO CFE.
K, soul-bearing wall of text, in hopes that you can glean something from it:
1. What got you started?
Background: I’ve done LA Fitness, Snap Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness, YMCA classes, running groups, walking groups, accountabilibuddies for working out, support from friends and family. This may or may not sound familiar to you. ;P I didn’t stick with anything or work hard enough at anything to see any changes. And then one day in 2010? 2011? I decided to try CrossFit. I had never done weight lifting before, but my philosophy was “i’ll try it out and see what happens.”
I knew I wasn’t going to be the best person in the group. I hoped that I wasn’t going to be the “worst” person in the group, but when the guy next to you is deadlifting 450lbs, you learn adjust your focus off of the people around you, and focus on how YOU feel and how hard YOU’RE working. I found this great group of people who didn’t care what I was doing, as long as I was working as hard as possible. I had knowledgeable coaches who cared more about how you lift (form and safety) than how heavy you lift (which I also love about SODO). I did the 4 week “starter pack”, and loved it, and continued on two times a week for the next …. 3-4 months. I was eating great, seeing increases in how much I could lift and how much I could do and body composition.
Then I fell into the same pattern that I’ve done with every other workout.
2. Motivation/falling off the wagon/not good enough/what keeps you going:
I started telling myself that 2 times a week was ok. Then I “got busy”, which really meant that I wasn’t making fitness a priority, so I went once a week, then once every other week. I stopped eating cleanly, because it was “too hard” to keep planning meals. Not hard to figure out what happened – I stopped going, stopped doing fitness, got out of the slightly improved shape I had been in. Maybe this also sounds familiar. :p
After moving to Washington, my motivation to start boot camp was that I love hiking and being outside, and I get sad and frustrated when my friends have to wait for my slow and out of breath butt while we hike. I am prone to some depression and anxiety, and feeling bad about myself and how I look and what I can do. So, I decided that if I want to feel better and hike better, I have to work out. Along with that, I have to eat better, or nothing will change quickly enough for me to feel rewarded. Yes, I still have to constantly tell myself that I’m doing ok, and focus on how I feel and how I feel strong and healthy when I work out. I try to focus on that, and not if my thighs touch, if my stomach is “jiggly”. My jiggly level isn’t going to make me climb a mountain better. My motivation to keep going is that I have spent enough of my life being out of shape, I want to see what life is like when I’m in shape.
I don’t rule out that I’m going to be tempted to stop working out. However, I don’t intend to blame it on anything but myself – if I’m not working out, it’s because I’m choosing other priorities. And I’m trying to make myself a priority.
Yes, CrossFit is hard, but it’s exactly what you’ve been doing. Squats? How about a squat while you hold some weight? OH WAIT that’s a wall ball, and you can do those. Pullups? Guess what, your jumping box pullups still count as a pullup, and you get to do those right next to the person who can do a kipping pullup, and next to them is the person who’s doing a strict pullup, but you all count it together. CrossFit is just picking things up and putting them down, sometimes quickly, and sometimes the things are heavy. The main difference between that and boot camp is that you’ve mostly just been picking yourself up in boot camp, and in CrossFit, they let you pick up yourself + extra weight that increases as you get better at it.
If you can focus on you and what you’re doing, don’t worry about the other people. Good teammates are not judging you, they just want you to work hard. And if there are judgy people, that’s their problem anyway.
When I stopped going to CrossFit in 2012, I remember being able to deadlift 185 lbs, and I was excited, because that meant I could deadlift my partner ;P When I did a deadlift on Wednesday, I did 65 lbs. In that Wednesday workout, I finished first in my group. I was mostly irritated at myself, and a little bit excited. Because you know what finishing first means? I should have been lifting heavier :D