My journey into Crossfit starts before I stepped foot into the gym. My weight had never been stable since I was about 11 years old. I accepted that I was just bigger than friends and this went on till I was in my late teens and then I started on the various diet plans and even went to the local gym on more than one occasion but only stuck at it for about 9 months.
Like a lot of people, I turned to food to resolve my self-worth issues which only made matters worse. This time it had to be different because I wanted to be around for my nephews. Also I had been so ill for about 3 years and knew that if I carried on I wouldn’t be around to do anything with my nephews.
MAKING A CHANGE!
In November 2013 I joined the local gym again but was ill again so had to wait to the New Year to start properly. From January through to March I tried but found the gym pointless but decided to try one more instructor and program and he changed what I was doing so that it had purpose. At this point I had never heard of Crossfit and still wouldn’t for several months. In the March (2014) I weighed 19+ stone, a size 24 (UK) in a lot of clothes and struggled to walk any distance. I set myself little goals, to reach, such as getting into a dress that I was too big for and then a pair of trousers. In the gym my program was set in such a way that you could increase the weight on the machine as I got better or I could row further than I did the last time. The big goal was to lose weight and get fitter. The smaller goals help me attain the bigger goals, and still do.
In the beginning I was limited in what I could do. Apart from using the rower or cross trainer, most of what I did was stationary which I found hard and at times never thought I would ever get any better. After about 12 weeks I received a free PT session and it was here that I did my first Crossfit movements. I couldn’t manage the burpees but did manage the wall balls although the squats didn’t even make parallel but this was more than I had done in years and it hurt but thoroughly enjoyed it. After about 6 months I realised that if I wanted to see bigger changes in my ability I needed to be in the gym more often so I increased it to 4 times a week and I was surprised at how much of a difference it made.
It was from this point on my program started to include more movement. As I started to have more PT session so they included more Crossfit. It was in these sessions that I was introduced to a barbell. To me this was always a man thing or for the skinny, so not something that I would be capable of. My instructor is very patient as my coordination isn’t the greatest. (I have a preliminary diagnosis of dyspraxia). As different lifts and moves were introduced during PT sessions so they appeared in my program, but it was the barbell that got me hooked. There was something about getting the piece of metal from the floor to my shoulders or overhead. Once I discovered that it was Crossfit that I was doing I watched and read more than I probably had about any other sport. It was the hero WODs which gripped more and movements like handstand press ups. There are many movements that I still cannot do but the scaled versions are my mini goals and the full version is my bigger goal. An example of this is handstands (which I haven’t done in 33 years) so I am doing wall walks with a pause to get me use to being upside down and being on my hands and not my feet. The fact that Crossfit can have the moves and or weight scaled to suit ability means that anyone can do it and that there is always something to work towards which suits my mentality.
CROSSFIT IS ALL IN THE MIND
I will have to admit that Crossfit is as much a mental thing as it is physical. This is something I struggle with greatly in the beginning because my own self-worth was in the pits. I would be given a work out during PT and my first reaction was ‘I’m never going to achieve that’ whatever that may be. This was more evident when the weight got added to the barbell. With the perseverance of my instructor and his teaching this area has improved greatly. My approach to a workout has changed and I see it as a challenge and not an impossibility like it did before.
Crossfit can also be very frustrating. Why is it that a skill that you can do i.e. power snatches are going well and then the following week they just fall to pieces? I am learning that this can be due to a lack of focus on my part, trying too hard and at times it is just one of those days. If it is one of the first 2 then I can sometimes bring it back but if it is the last one you just suck it up and accept it was just a bad day. I have been doing Crossfit for about 20 months and I enjoy it as much today if not more than the day I started. Why? Several reasons, the sport itself, my instructor and his programming and the fact that the first 2 have given me my life back and I am the fittest I’ve ever been. I now have a body shape that I have never had before and a confidence like nothing I’ve ever known. This has spread throughout all areas of my life and have gained friends on the way.
I have had the comment that every female Crossfitter gets ‘if you keep doing that you will get bulky’. Someone suggested that I do more cardio (treadmill) and leave the weights if I’m not losing weight and putting on muscle. This did throw me at the time and spoke to my instructor who was willing to change my program and explained the scientific differences (which I already knew and needed clarifying) and decided to stay with what is working, Crossfit. At the beginning I mentioned the size I was. I am now approximately 15 stone a size 16 (uk) and on occasion dropping to a size 14. The biggest difference is the fact that I like what I see, for the first time in my life. I have a way to go but loving the process that is getting me there.
If you are reading this and think that you cannot because of………. Then tell your head it is wrong. YOU CAN. All it takes is one step and once you have taken that step you can take another. What I have achieved didn’t happen overnight.
Since I started to write this I have entered my first competition at Crossfit Aldermaston which I heard about through Master United. I signed up not knowing what to expect. The day of the competition I was was very nervous as I had never been to a Crossfit box let alone compete. I was amazed how I was included. I was there on my own but yet had people supporting and chearing me on during the WOD. At the end of the day I hurt but loved every minute and have now booked for my next one in September at one of my local boxes in Bournemouth.
To finish with I thought I would list some of my favourite WODs Death by…….. Murph, Fight gone Bad, Bear Complex done as 21-15-9 Ghost There are many more I enjoy and the top 10 changes as my skills improve but these always remain in there