Before going to Crossfit, my weekly routine at the gym would be the all too familiar of a chest day, maybe a shoulder and legs day, and then arms… or something? I didn’t really have a set routine and I pretty much lifted the same weight week after week. I was keeping the fat at bay, but I wasn’t improving. This isn’t to say that just going to the gym on your own isn’t a great way to get in shape. When I first got into fitness 4 years ago, it wasn’t because I wanted to be like the guys you see on the front of Men’s Health; hell, I didn’t even think that kind of transformation would be possible, it was because I was weighing in at 256lbs and could only see one myself going one direction if I didn’t do anything.
After a year of cardio and some weight lifting, I was down to a good weight and took to running. Running kept me occupied for a couple of years and I accomplished things that I never thought I’d be able to do. But once I had achieved what I wanted with distance running, my focus went back towards weight training. Going to the gym now felt like a chore, a ritual out of necessity, rather than out of wanting. I spent months without progression and passion. It wasn’t until a friend idly mentioned they started this thing called Crossfit, and that I should come along, did I regain my urge to get down and train.
My first wod (or “Workout Of the Day”) was brutal. I went into it thinking I was fairly fit and that I’d atleast keep up. The movements were basic movements; squats, situps, pressups, running and skipping. In it’s full glory:
400m run with medball
50 air squats
300m run with medball
200m run with medball
100m run with medball
200 single skips
My coach went through all of the movements with me to make sure I could do them correctly. My squats were poor but I was ready to smash it; coming from a running background, this looked like my sort of workout. My ego was deflated by the time I got to the pressups. Just 3 pressups in and I was down to doing knee pressups. Then the medball run really started to kick my ass. By the time I was finished (24:23), I was in a heap on the floor.
Not only was I impressed by the level of coaching and support I was given throughout the entire session, the level of community blew me away. From being so used to training alone in the gym without anyone to push you through the “Dark Side” (as our coaches call it), to now having the entire box and community running with me for my last 100m, and then cheering me on through my skipping, willing me to finish reignited that passion for fitness. I was hooked after just one session.
It’s nearly been 5 months since that first wod and I’ve improved and learnt so much since then. We’ve all seen videos that give Crossfit a bad name because of poor coaching, but I’m so thankful for having good coaches that have been able to work with me and my weaknesses. I’ve been able to achieve far more than I thought I ever could, finally getting kipping pullups and now working on handstands. Every time is different, but it always puts me on my ass wanting to improve for next time.