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One Year of CrossFit

Sarah_Chalkmonster

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.  

CFM

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
    • Push-ups
    • 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!

220# Dead Lift!

220# Dead Lift!

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.  

Christopher-Martin-5K

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.  

Barbell

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.   

CFM-Girls

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 🙂  

I must be crazy if I'm smiling on an Air Dyne!

I must be crazy if I’m smiling on an Air Dyne!

Have you tried CrossFit?  
If so, what have you learned from it?
If not, are you interested in trying it?

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19 Responses to One Year of CrossFit

  1. Awesome, it’s great when you find something you love doing that also empowers you! My husband started at CFM about 2 months ago and loves it!
    Sarah @mamasarahjane recently posted…The Boy’s First ConcertMy Profile

  2. Yes, yes, and yes! 🙂 Congrats on one year! And I couldn’t have said it better. CrossFit has changed my life in more ways than just getting fitter. It’s completely changed my outlook, my mental health, etc. Looking forward to continuing our little CF journey ‘together’.
    Jenn recently posted…Weekly Recap, 7/29 – 8/4My Profile

    • Thank you SO much! It’s been pretty fun to see each others progress and how we’ve gong from runDisney addicts to CrossFit badasses 🙂
      Thanks for all your support! xoxo

  3. YOU GO GIRL!! Its all a journey! And you are totally rocking yours!
    Krysten (@darwinianfail) recently posted…MEC 5km Recap and the Comparison GameMy Profile

  4. Honestly? CrossFit kinda terrifies me! I see you and a lot of other runners doing it and you all are my Heros! I feel like I would break an elbow or a knee if I were to attempt CrossFit moves… I hyperextend my joints and I ( maybe irrationaly) have a fear that my knee or elbow would end up bending totally the wrong way…

    • It does seem scary before you start…I was terrified! But the great thing about CF are that the coaches are there to help you and modify your workouts for any restrictions you may have. You just need to be open with them about your concerns and prior injuries and then they will help you. Just have faith in yourself that you can do it and you will!

  5. Great job and keep it up!

  6. Hey! Im in Milford! I always wondered how intense CF is… It is scary to look at if you have never tried it! Someday I am going to get the nerve up!! 🙂
    Jenny recently posted…The Corner Restaurant in Milford!My Profile

  7. […] had been considering getting one not only to track my heart rate, but to track my calorie burn at CrossFit, so this was a great […]

  8. Kudos to sticking with it! I’m really impressed that you can deadlift that giant weight!
    Jessie recently posted…Bair Grills NightbitchMy Profile

  9. I, too am coming up on my one year crossfit anniversary, and I can’t believe it! I get really frustrated sometimes that I haven’t lost more weight. I wish that I had your attitude and was able to look at all of the things that I CAN do, Like a kipping hand stand push up! (Ack!!)

    • Happy Anniversary to you!!
      Wow…totally impressed that you can do a handstand push-up!! I can barely do a regular push-up!! Just keep doing what you’re doing and things WILL improve over time.

  10. Hey, Sarah…
    I started going to crossfit akron. I feel like it’s so tough for me that, I wouldn’t even last for 2 months. 🙁
    But, when I saw you are in it for almost over a year, I just got inspired.

    Thanks for inspiring me & Congratulation. 🙂

  11. […] While I’m not exactly where I would’ve hoped to be two years into this journey, the improvements to my fitness, strength and confidence are unparalleled.  Here are some of those improvements compared to the first time I attempted a certain movement and then from a year ago. […]

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