How to approach CrossFit and why it matters
I have been working out religiously since I was 13 years old. My motivation wasn’t the greatest, but it worked. I got into a fight I didn’t want to be in and got hit quite a few times. I could barely open my jaw and I had a black eye. I never wanted to feel that way again. In gym class a guy that lived down the street took his shirt off in the locker room before gym class and I took notice. I asked him how he got like he did. He was built. He told me he did push ups, pull ups, and sit ups every night. He told me to come over and he would show me. Shortly after that I was doing it on my own daily. My goal was to not get beat up again. Long story short I never did and I got in over a dozen fights as a teen. Not cause I was particularly good at fighting, but because I was in better shape than everyone I got in a fight with. I never picked a fight in my life. If someone messed with my friends or wanted to fight I was up for it.
This isn’t about me being a good fighter, because I am not. It’s about finding motivation as to what you want to accomplish. My push ups, pull ups, and sit ups turned into joining a gym and using exercise to help me be a better baseball player. I witnessed guys in weight training that performed leaps and bound better than guys that didn’t. Sure some guys are naturally talented, but teens that can squat 400lb and power clean 250-275 can make up for natural ability by being strong, quick, and powerful.
Approaching CrossFit with the mentality as an athlete vs. just coming in for exercise will keep you in it for the long haul. Athletes have ups and downs. I remember going 0-18 one summer in baseball and I remember striking out 3 times looking in one game. Those were down times. The good times outweigh the bad. In between slumps as a baseball player there were countless hours of batting practice with an instructor and workouts with a trainer. The same has gone for me in CrossFit. CrossFit is a sport, it is not just an exercise program as it started out to be. Training for competitions and winning some and losing some. Last year I tried as hard as I could to make it to the games in the 35-39 year old bracket and fell short by 69 spots. I was extremely pleased with the results. I was honestly glad it was over with. I had 2 goals. One was to beat my old business partner by large margins (not too proud of this one, but it worked) and to qualify for regionals in my age bracket. I accomplished both. If I didn’t have those 2 goals and a support system around me I would have quit. CrossFit workouts are hard! Having a goal gave my workouts purpose. When I wanted to quit my goal was right there to remind me not to. Sounds corny, but it’s really the only reason I worked as hard as I did.
Consider yourself an athlete even if you don’t feel like one. Approach your time in the gym with a goal and purpose. In the fitness industry it is called the big WHY. You have a goal, but WHY specifically? I want to lose weight. That’s general. Why do you want to lose weight? Answer your WHY. Well because I want to have more energy, I want my husband to think I am attractive, and I want others to notice. You can live off of reasons like that. Just coming in to lose weight is boring. Athletes train for something. Exercisers exercise. Train for something.