Crossfit: What I've Learned & Starting My Journey

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a nice start to the week. I still don't have internet - which is killing me - I mean, a girl can only watch SO much Law & Order SVU on her iPhone - that's a lie, I can watch that show anytime even if grad school (Masters in Criminal Justice) did completely ruin it and I've seen every.single.episode at least twice. Anyways, since I'm still internet-less, I thought today would be a good day to talk about some fitness stuff, and specifically, Crossfit. 20120731-090310.jpg

The box I go to - Crossfit Full Circle

I'm officially finished with my Fundamentals classes and completed my test. On Sunday, I did my test and scored 1 point away from qualifying for Level 2 classes (18 out of 20 is Level 2 - I got 17) - if I had been able to do the prescribed weight for the power clean and power snatch I would have gotten it. I actually surprised myself by doing so well on the test - I've never done cleans or snatches before so I'm proud that I attempted them and got a point for completing the movement with safe form. I did every other lift and movement as prescribed (minus pull ups) so I felt pretty good about the test.

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Yup, these were on the test.

This morning, I did my first "official" WOD and it was awesome. On paper, it looks pretty tame, but it was definitely challenging since running is a huge weakness for me. I'm a slow runner and I think I'm overly cautious from all of my injuries but I think Crossfit will change that. My favorite portion of the class was the strength portion (deadlifts) and the end of the WOD when I was just about ready to collapse - I was the last person to finish and everyone else rallied around me and cheered for me when I finished - the community feeling of it all is truly the best.

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Even though I'm just beginning my Crossfit journey, I've learned quite a bit already.

1. I've learned I'm much stronger than I think I am: Previously, my deadlift 3 rep max was 145 and I blew that out of the water today. Deadlifts are by far my weakest lift because I never do them, I've got a weak low back, and I'm about the most quad dominant/hamstring weak person you'll ever meet - but I made major progress today.  Similarly, I front squatted more than I ever have before in Crossfit and have been able to do every single lift as prescribed thus far (minus clean & snatches). I think this is totally due to the coaches there - on my own, I never would have thought I was capable of moving weight like that, but I am. And it feels pretty damn good.

2. I need a coach and a community: I've always been a lone wolf in the gym - I used to like to work out alone and felt like I could push myself relatively well. Apparently, I could have been pushing myself a lot harder (see #1). I love the community and camaraderie of Crossfit (where else do perfect strangers cheer for you and push you when you want to give up?) and I've come to realize that I need that extra push. I've also realized that I need a coach - I'm an information junkie so I love learning all about form and I like having someone correct and critique my form. Plus, the coaches know I'm strong and can handle a decent amount of weight so they push me outside of my comfort zone.

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3. I've got major weaknesses: I already knew this but Crossfit has helped make them more apparent. For example, I've got super weak lower abs, a weaker upper body (I'm looking at you pull ups and strict presses), and I'm not a great runner. Instead of being frustrated by these things, I'm actually looking forward to working on them and improving.

4. I need a "training" mindset: I've always known I do much better with a training plan but I've really never had anything to train for, expect the 10K last year. With Crossfit, I feel like I'm always training for something - whether it be to improve my deadlift or beat my time or go heavier. I think this mindset is critical for me because it keeps me focused and makes me work harder than I would if I were just "working out".

So those are my thoughts on Crossfit thus far. If you couldn't tell, I love it and I think it is exactly what I need right now. I can't wait to see how I progress in a month and what else I've learned.

What has your workout/training taught you about yourself? Fellow Crossfitters - what did Crossfit help you realize?

P.S.: Be sure to stop by tomorrow, I've got a fun giveaway in store!