3 years and counting…
My friend, firecracker Aleen introduced me to CrossFit. She said, “just try it, you’ll love it!” She was right. And here we are three years later. Holy cannoli time flies!
Throughout these years, I competed in three Crossfit Opens and three Lion's Leagues – all of which I highly encourage and recommend. Both vastly different experiences but incredibly fun and challenging. I’ve made tremendous progress with certain movements and not so much with others **cough double unders cough**. But I’ve learned quite a lot. Here are three key takeaways:
1. Listen to your body: This past year I faced a few injuries that set me back in my training. My injuries were no surprise. Being stubborn, I shrugged the warning signs, convinced they would just go away. Ummm… FYI- they don’t. I had no choice to confront my injuries which meant stop lifting and modify, modify, modify. Nothing is more frustrating and demoralizing than telling someone who is extremely competitive and achievement driven they can’t do something. As a result, I focused more on foundational movements which helped build my strength and helped increase my body awareness. Now I know when my glutes are activated, wink, wink.
2. Don’t be so hard on yourself: In the spirit of listening to your body, also be kind and patient with yourself. Last year, I had a goal of achieving 5 chin-ups by the end of the year. I was shy of achieving it by one. I was mad, disappointed and frustrated. I was so close. But just because you want something doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Results will come. Just give it time. CrossFit is tedious, repetitive, and sometimes frustrating but along the way you come out a whole lot stronger. So show up, focus, work hard, move on and repeat. And repeat again. Set goals for yourself. If you didn’t achieve them, adjust, adapt and try again. But never give up.
3. Focus on your own sh*t: In running, it’s good to have a pacer - someone slightly faster than you to push your limits. Crossfit is similar. We all probably have someone we look up to at the gym where we compare our Wodify results with theirs. Sometimes chasing someone gives us a benchmark to work towards and provides ammunition to work harder or do better. But most of the time it kills our potential. Simply put, by comparing your performance to someone else undermines your hard work and accomplishments. By constantly chasing that individual your focus shifts away from your own goals and aspirations to theirs.
So remember, be patient, focus and have fun. If you’re ever feeling frustrated reach out to a fellow crossfitter or a coach. They’ll provide helpful advice and perspective because we’re in this together.
Thank you to all the inspiring coaches at the Academy. Muah! Love you guys – these 3 years have been amazing.