Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A CrossFit Newbie's Guide to All Things CrossFit

Or... 'What I Wish People Would Have Told Me When I Started CrossFit'.

I have been doing CrossFit for 471 days (yes.  I know the EXACT date I did my first workout.).  During these 471 days, I have learned a ton about myself, about CrossFit, about people, about life in general.  Let me share some of the more poignant landmarks and things that I wish people would have told me to expect when I first started.  
  • Day -31.  A friend is going to tell you that you should do CrossFit.  You are going to laugh and say 'that stuff is nuts.'  But somehow, it sits in the back of your mind and after weeks of ruminating on it, you think, 'what the hell' and sign up for a free trial. 
  • Day 1.  You are hooked. It sucks, it hurt and when can you sign up for essentials? 
  • Day 2.  You reconsider when you are unable to get out of bed but you've already paid the essentials course fee.  Muscles hurt that you didn't realize you had.  Sitting down and standing up becomes a process. 
  • First real class post-essentials.  Terrified.  Absolutely terrified.  These people are strong.  These people are fast.  You go at the pace of snail holding 10 lbs but you do it.  Victory!
  • One month into classes.  Everything hurts all the time.  You try to learn everything and struggle at most things.  Why can't you see muscles yet? 
  • Three months into classes.  You've lost weight.  You can see muscles.  You give up happy hour, cocktails and cheese because why would you want to to cancel out all that work you just suffered through.  You buy new pants two sizes smaller.  It's glorious.
  • Immediately following the purchase of new pants?  First plateau - workout times are fast, like really, really fast.  Body is less sore.  Time to increase weights.  Jump on a higher box.  Attempt double unders.  Basically, time to step it up.  
  • First CrossFit Summer.  Friend asks you to go boating.  You have them pick you up at the dock so you can get your workout in first.  Everyone looks at you like you are crazy.  
  • Six months in.  Rx your first workout.  You are a rockstar.  You see the CrossFit Games in your future.  
  • Six months + one day.  Actually watch a CrossFit Games athlete do a workout.  Brutal realization that you are not as awesome as you think you are.  Also, does that person have a 12 pack???
  • Six months + two days.  Up your gym membership to unlimited classes.  12 classes per month is no longer cutting it.  You are determined to be excellent at CrossFit.  Expensive?  Yes.  Worth it?  Absolutely. 
  • Nine months.  Sign up for your first competition.  Get killed.  Another brutal realization it's time to step up. Get a gym best friend who pushes you every day. 
  • Ten months.  Time for your yearly physical.  Step on the scale and cry.  All the weight you've lost is back.  Wonder how that's possible.  Realize you've lost inches but gained muscle and a CrossFit booty.  Still, ego is bruised from the scale.  Make a promise to yourself to only use the scale when weighing luggage from here forward. The scale is officially the devil.  
  • Ten months +.  Realize that you really love this stuff.  Sign up for a Level 1 Certification course.  You are going to be a trainer and you are going to be awesome.  
  • First CrossFit Open.  Get schooled every Saturday for five weeks.  DQ on the last WOD because you can't pull your chest to the bar.  Die a little inside. Decide that you will do better next year. 
  • Happy One Year Anniversary CrossFit!!!  Take your certification course.  Again realize that you are not awesome and it seems everyone is better at everything than you.  Stand in the middle of the circle of humiliation while demonstrating how NOT to do medicine ball cleans.  Realize you have a million things to learn.  Regardless, pass certification test.  Congrats.  You are a CrossFit coach.  Now panic.
  • CrossFit Anniversary + 1 week.  Start CrossFit coaching internship. You may not know everything but you will be the most enthusiastic one there.  You are determined to learn and be awesome. 
  • After internship.  Teach your first solo class. Try to keep sounding confident even though you are freaking out.  Go home and cry because you think you'll never be good at this. 
  • Continue teaching.  Realize that you are getting better with every class you teach.  Ask questions.  Watch videos.  Learn as much as you can from the other coaches.  Take pieces of their coaching styles and incorporate it into your own.  Before you know it, coaching is coming naturally.  You are having fun and you love it. 
  • CrossFit Summer #2. Run a Tough Mudder with friends from the gym.  You won't regret it.  Your body will hurt.  You'll want to cry midway through - then you'll pass groups who started 90 minutes before you and you'll realize that you are doing way more awesome than you think. Three hours later, you'll finish it and have a memory that you'll never forget.  
  • 18 months into CrossFit.  You can finally Rx most workouts.  People ask you for help and you actually know how to help them.  You finally feel pretty confident with coaching even though you know there is still a lot to learn.  Expand your friend group at the gym.  Shazam every catchy song you hear and add it to the CrossFit playlist on Spotify. 
  • Day 471.  You'll still wake up sore every day.  You want to date someone who gets CrossFit so you don't have to explain to them what Fran is and why you want to do it.  You'll spend more money at Lululemon, Reebok and Rogue than you do at Nordstrom and Target combined.  You'll cry, sweat, and bleed at the gym and love every minute of it.  You will love coaching and seeing people hit their goals and set new PRs.  Set yourself new goals every month.  Set some 'you' time aside.  Find a workout partner who encourages you and will push you to the next level.  Keep working your ass off every day. 

1 comment:

  1. This. is. awesome. You're such an inspiration!!