Most of us have probably had conventional gym memberships and I’m no different. I’ve had several. Unfortunately I haven’t had any that made any real differences in my physique, stamina or overall health. Even more frustrating is that I haven’t owned any gym membership where anyone knew my name let alone know when I missed a class or two, or three. There are many things I like about CrossFit such as how I feel, how I look, etc. But what I love about CrossFit the most is all of you: the people, the community spirit, the camaraderie. When YOU cheer me on because I’m sweating like a Samoan I’m more likely to be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day. Someone once told me that the strongest bonds are built between people when they endure hardships together. If that’s the case then we must be blood brothers, or sweat brothers, or body odor brothers or something because we endure some great hardships Monday thru Saturday at either the 5:45, 8:00, 9:00, 4:30, 5:30, or 6:30 class – TOGETHER. Heck, I feel closer to all of you then I do some of the people I’ve worked with for years and I don’t even know some of your first names. Never the less my blood brothers and sisters is what I LOVE about CrossFit!!
Last year I sustained multiple small injuries that turned into some major issues and I ended up walking out of the box for about 4 months. Leaving the box was difficult, but coming back was even harder. It was harder to come back because I knew that if I wanted to be successful I was going to have to change the way I approached CrossFit and exercise in general or I’d be out for good. Before I go any further though let me get one thing straight: CrossFit wasn’t the cause of my injuries. I was the cause of my injuries. They were all, all my fault because I wasn’t paying any attention to my body and was it was trying to tell me every time I worked out at BCF, or ran the Banks Linear Trail, or rode my horse.
Prior to my hiatus from BCF my goal was to Rx every day, work harder than I did yesterday, and make gains daily. I would gauge my work out by how fast and hard everyone around me was working. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t necessarily bad motivational tools. You might watch the folks around you to gauge your own efforts, but for me it was contributing to my injuries and the potential for permanent damage, so my strategies absolutely needed to change if I wanted to take even one step back in the box. I was forced to create a few rules of workout just for me.
Here are my #5 work out rules:
· Rule #1: Don’t get hurt! If I’m sore from yesterday than I take care of myself so I can be back tomorrow.
· Rule #2: Warm ups are for warming up, not for establishing my 1RM. See Rule #1.
· Rule #3: Form First!!!! If you can’t do an overhead squat properly with ANY weight, then don’t add weight, even those measly push ups should have perfect form. Until my form is near perfect I should be scaling down. So again: See Rule #1.
· Rule #4: Don’t worry about the Rx, the Rx will find me when I’m ready for it. Work as hard as you can today without getting hurt. It’s like a bad drinking song isn’t it…See Rule #1
· Rule #5: Be present. I can’t make even small gains if I’m never there.
I said 5 rules, but here’s one more:
· Rule #6: Just enjoy yourself. I try really hard to not “hate” certain lifts, WODs, or movements. That doesn’t mean that there are some I like more or less, but if I “hate” something I’m probably not having fun and let’s face it, it’s expensive to be here, so I might as well enjoy it. Everything that is except those bikes – I hate those damn bikes.
By following a few very small “rules” and changing how I think I’ve made more gains in 5 or so months than I did the first year and half I was here. Who knew that taking care of oneself would pay off!!! Oh the madness!
CrossFit has given me confidence, muscles, and friendships. CrossFit has given me endurance, pride in achievements, and the right to call myself an athlete. It’s also given me a few bruises and blisters to which I lovingly refer to as my war wounds.
One last thing: I want our trainers to know how much I love you and respect you all, especially that cute little 19 yo Ally, she’s my favorite but I’m a little biased. Seriously, you’re all great to put up with crap from us every single day. You work your rear-ends off for our benefit and in turn we aren’t always the most respectful crowd back. Thank you for your commitment to us, your sacrifices for us, and your tremendous support… for us. Without you I couldn’t have gotten my first pull up this month, gained 15# on my OH squats, or have done a bar muscle up - assisted of course and darn proud of it, See Rule #1.