Two years ago (almost to the day), my neighbor posted a Facebook update about going to the new CrossFit gym down the street. CrossFit had always intrigued me and I was looking for a new workout so I messaged her to ask if she would mind me tagging along. I went with her at 6 am the next day and I did my first burpee. Ninety of them. Although I looked like Bambi going down my stairs the next day, I was hooked and haven’t looked back. Last year, I posted about 10 Lessons Learned from One Year of CrossFit so I wanted to update with my thoughts two years into CrossFit:
- Diet is everything. Ok, so this one took me two years to figure out. I felt great when I got fitter with CrossFit and starting eating clean(er), but lately started feeling like I needed to try something else. Especially when my bigger muscles started getting covered with a thicker layer of fat and I felt a little too “bulky” for my body type. Guess what, it wasn’t CrossFit’s fault I was getting bulky, it was the ice cream and wine! So last month, I made an appointment with Nate from GrassFed Farmacy to get some nutrition coaching. With his help, I tweaked my nutrition a little (drastically reduced my wine intake) and can honestly say I feel the best I’ve ever felt. I know people have always said you can’t out train a bad diet, but I guess I thought I was different. I’m not. His coaching was the extra boost I needed and was worth every penny.
- You have to do the work. Being a member of a gym is awesome, but nothing is going to change if you’re not in there and pushing yourself harder than before. If you’re at a good box, your coaches and other athletes will check in with you if you don’t show up. Holding yourself accountable is important, but it’s even better if you have others to help. I found the magic number for me to maintain my strength is three WODs per week.
- You’re going to improve in other areas of life. The biggest thing I noticed in the past year was how much easier other sports were for me. My legs weren’t smoked after skiing one run anymore (thanks squats!) and I picked up hockey much quicker than I would have if I wasn’t CrossFitting. I’m not training for a particular Spartan Race anymore, I am training for life.
- Every day isn’t going to be a PR day. When you first start, every time you work out is a PR (personal record) day. Never done a snatch before? Guess what, whatever you snatch that day is a record, even if it’s only 20 pounds. There was about 6 months I totally plateaued and was coming back from an injury and never got a PR. I just trusted the programming and guess what? I got my first push press PR in a year today, by 10 pounds too! Trust the process.
- You put down the KoolAid. When I first started CrossFit, it’s all I could talk about. I was an evangelical CrossFitter, trying to convert everyone I met. Two years later, I’ve toned it down and am not trying to minister the Church of CrossFit like a Jehovah’s Witness anymore. I’ve learned it’s ok to love something and not have to feel like everyone else needs to love it too.
- The only thing constant is change. Things change and that’s ok. Your favorite coach may leave and start her own gym 30 minutes up the road. People start and quit CrossFit all the time. As long as you stay true to what you love, it will all be alright.
- It still feels great to be a strong woman. I’m proud of my muscles and the fact that I don’t need the Home Depot man’s help to carry out two propane tanks at once. Not only am I stronger and healthier, I am setting a good example for my kids. I remember going to aerobics class with my mom as a kid and now my kids sit at my CrossFit class without a complaint. For all the hours I sit at karate/t-ball/gymnastics/etc, it’s ok for them to realize mom needs some time to improve herself too.
What are some lessons you’ve learned from CrossFit or whatever workout you like to do?