I’ll never forget that time when Agneta joined my former box in the Netherlands. Agneta (of course that isn’t her real name but at least she is also from Sweden) was going to globo gyms before and wanted to try this CrossFit-thing now. She is a really huge girl – one of those persons who grow muscles from carrying grocery bags. So I thought: ‘Yeah, she might have a high Deadlift and just do well when it’s all about raw strength. But the real deal lies in the technical stuff and she’ll struggle with that.’ But then she snatched more than my 1RM for reps in her very first session.
So I assumed, at least, as big as she is, she would suck in gymnastics. But then she performed all the movements in strict and perfect looking kipping versions and got amazing Double unders within 2 weeks. Agneta also runs long distances way below a 5min/km pace and is as flexible as a ballet dancer. Needless to say, she also comes with a mindset that makes her go unbroken even through the creepiest workouts with an incredible pace.
I’m sure there is an Agneta in your box as well. Those blessed One in a Million-persons who show us our own borders even clearer. And yes, it is neither negativity nor an excuse to say that talent is an important parameter for the way to outstanding performance. But still, I know that I could (and should) be on a much higher level after almost 3 years of CrossFit. If only I had discovered a lot of things earlier … so if I had to send a letter to my Past-Me, I can think about a few points I’d like to tell that Twenty-Something from those days.
1. DO MORE THAN JUST THE CLASSES
For saying this, I apologize to Greg Glasman. His idea of turning every training session into a little competition and let people push each other in a small group-setting has and always will be the heart of CrossFit. It is what creates awesomeness in a physical and mental way. I also apologize to all the coaches out there who put so much effort into programming and teaching classes.
But: By only leaving it to a 1-hour-training a few times a week, you will build up to an above-average fitness level, that’s for sure. But you won’t become a competitive athlete, unless you are outstandingly gifted. Butterflies or Muscle-ups don’t come from practicing it every other month in the 20-minute skill-part. Impressive numbers in the lifts require weightlifting specific plans and so on.
So when I started CrossFit, I did classes only and still this is my biggest joy of all! However, after months and months of showing up in the box, I still couldn’t do any workout RX. The jumps in my performance only came with putting in the extra work – staying a while after the class practicing my HSPUs, showing up early and making use of every Open Gym-hour that’s available.