One Year of CrossFit
|August 6, 2013||Posted by Sarah under CrossFit, Fitness|
One year ago today I walked into my first On Ramp class at CFM. I was excited to start this journey, but terrified at the same time. It seemed like complete chaos in there. The music was blasting, barbells were dropping and people were moving all over the place in some sort of strange dance I didn’t know the steps to. It was thrilling to watch and I couldn’t wait to join in.
During that first class we went over proper form and movement set up: shoulders back and down, squat stance, etc… It was like a whole new way of holding my posture and moving my body, something that has now become second nature to me. Our first WOD was a few key movements for time:
- 200m run
- 15/12/9 of:
- Air squats
- AbMat sit-ups
- 200m run
I finished this in 10:45. Not great, but not too shabby for my first day. I’m sure I could shave at least 3 minutes off that time today….going to have to give it a try soon.
Since then I have made some pretty impressive (in my opinion) improvements to my strength and fitness. Here are some of my weight improvements from the first time I did the movement:
- Dead Lift: 63# >> 220#
- Back Squat: 53# >> 145#
- Front Squat: 58# >> 128#
- Overhead Squat: 43# >> 73#
- Squat Clean: 45# >> 73#
- Power Clean: 63# >> 103#
- Thruster: 33# >> 75#
- Close Grip Bench: 48# >> 90#
- Shoulder to Overhead: 33# >> 85# (split jerk)
I remember during that first week when I picked up my first 33# barbell, I thought it was SO HEAVY! It never even occurred to me that I could lift over 200#. Crazy!
Not only am I stronger, but my running has improved a great deal! With minimal running training, I was able to PR my 5K time by 4 minutes, my half marathon time by 8 minutes and somehow complete a full marathon! I don’t think it would’ve been possible without CrossFit.
CrossFit has changed my life in more ways than I could have imagine. It has not only made me physically stronger, but the emotional strength that has come out of it was unforeseen and just as rewarding…if not more. I read a great article yesterday about how those who do CrossFit are “a society of those who simply want to be better” and this is 100% the truth. It has given me the confidence to just be better. To be better to myself and to others. To strive to reach what I see as the unreachable. To look my fears straight in the face and tell them to fuck off…I got this.
CFM has become a second home for me. I look forward to going there and that is something I have NEVER said about any other gym. The only other place I look forward going to and torturing myself is Walt Disney World for a race, but that has a ton of other positive things surrounding it. But CFM is different, I can go there and not be judged. I have amazing coaches who not only look out for my well-being, but also push me out of my comfort zone. Just yesterday, 2 different coaches told me to go up in weight and I’m so glad I did. It’s pretty awesome to know that people have faith in your abilities even when you don’t.
And then there are the friends I have made. I am lucky to have found a positive, supportive group of people through CrossFit who not only push me to be better, but make me laugh everyday. They make working out fun because let’s be honest, if we didn’t laugh our way through a lot of the WODs we would be miserable…they are HARD! Plus it’s really cool to see everyone’s progress over time and how each of us have our own strengths. Having this support system to talk about tough workouts with or to make me go on days where I’m just not feeling it has probably been the best thing to come out of CrossFit. Totally unexpected and totally awesome.
While I have made tremendous strides in my fitness this past year, I’m still nowhere near where I want to be. Body weight movements are still very difficult for me. Pull-up, push-ups, burpees, box jumps…REALLY HARD. In fact, I can’t do any of them without scaling down or having some sort of modification. I know if I lost weight these things would be easier for me, but I sadly have a love affair with food and booze that is difficult to break up with. I am eating MUCH better these days and try to eat clean 80% of the time, but I’m not perfect and still love my bread and martinis. I know I’m getting stronger and leaner so this will come with time and practice.
Clearly, I love CrossFit. It has made exercise fun and coming from me that’s saying something! I used to HATE weight training and dreaded doing it with a passion. I would do these repetitive exercises alone in my basement and just be bored to tears. To actually look forward to power clean practice is mind-boggling to me. I don’t foresee stopping anytime soon and all I want to do is GET BETTER. With every PR I hit, the more exciting this sport becomes and the more I want to keep going. Yes it’s hard, yes it hurts and yes I must be crazy, but I love it 🙂
Have you tried CrossFit?
If so, what have you learned from it?
If not, are you interested in trying it?