Friday, August 30, 2013

Lessons Learned from Crossfit (A guest post from Redefining Kim)

My first encounter with the phenomenon known as Crossfit came at Fitbloggin 2012.  Bleary eyed and nervous, I stood in an open area with hundreds of other Fitbloggers as the Crossfit One coaches explained our workout. It seemed simple enough – 3 exercises, 1 minute each for a total workout time of just 12 minutes.

FitBloggin 2012 Crossfit from Carrie Dallhoff on Vimeo.

Simple – HA!

My entire body was sore for days afterwards. I remember commenting to my husband “I’d love to have a Crossfit box in our hometown.”

But given that we live in a rural area of Georgia, in a town with a mere 5,000 people, and where obesity is in epidemic proportions, I thought it was a pipe dream.

Fast forward to July 1, 2013.

A real live Crossfit box in MY hometown.

I signed up right away and went into the first workout feeling slightly cocky. I am an avid runner, I had been lifting regularly – and I have even done a few Crossfit workouts. I figured the WOD would be easy and I prepared to see my name at the top of the leaderboard. So imagine my surprise when my name and time were at the bottom.

But I left the box feeling on top of the world, that was the night that I learned it was okay to be last as long as I finished.  It would be the first of several powerful life lessons Crossfit would teach me.

In the nearly 2 months since I joined my box, Crossfit here is what else I’ve learned

1.       Comparing myself to others only causes me to suffer – In the early days at my box, I often worked out with athletes who were not as far along in their fitness journeys, so I’d blow by them in the workouts.  But as more people joined I found myself working out with seasoned athletes – and I felt frustrated that I couldn’t keep pace with them. I got into the BAD habit of finding their names on the leader board and doing all I could to beat them – which often lead to perform reps with bad form, which led to unnecessary soreness in the days post WOD.  Finally my coach called me on it, he told me to stop focusing on what others did and focus on what I could do.  Lo and behold, the WODs became a lot less pressure-filled and dare I say fun?

2.       It is okay to say you cannot do something - The word no is not in my vocabulary. If I am asked to take a project a work, volunteer in the community, help out a friend, etc…I always say yes. Even if I am overbooked and stressed out.  I carried that attitude over to CrossFit. On the first night we did push-presses, I watched my Crossfit coach load the barbell for me. I knew that there was NO WAY, I could lift that much. I had been struggling with the lighter weight in the practice sets. But I kept silent.  Then when it was time for our first work set, I couldn’t get the barbell past my shoulders – I looked at my coach “I want to do this. But I physically can’t.”   My coach broke out in a smile. “I was wondering when you were going to tell me your limit. Take the weight off. Now we know what your next goal is.”  I said no and the world didn’t come a screeching halt…  I realized it is okay to turn down the invitation to a night out with the girls when all I want to do is curl up with a good book and a cup a tea.

3.       We are all in this together -  A large majority of the WODs are to be completed individually. However, as the WODs unfold our box is filled with shouts of “Keep going.”, “Push it”, or “You can do it.”  As each person finishes they remain behind to support and encourage the others to finish.  I think the support is the most beautiful part of my Crossfit family. We lift up rather than tear down.  There is nothing better than see the rest of the athletes join the final runner in her last lap of the WOD. 

While I started Crossfit eager to see the physical changes it could bring with my body, today I am even more eager to see how I change mentally. 

DubyaWife's Take:  Kim finishes our week of guest posts with a powerful message.  When we push ourselves to trying new things we find that we can exceed our expectations.  Kim is a fellow Fitbloggin attendee and a great blogger.  You can check out her blog here and follow her on twitter or facebook.  Thanks Kim! 

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