CrossFit: Just Give it a Try

By Katie Gregory | February 17, 2015
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This is part two of a three part series on “Getting Started with CrossFit”. Here is the first article: “My First Week with CrossFit”.

What if I get hurt?

One thing that I was worried about before starting CrossFit was getting hurt. I live with a doctor and the night before I started, one of his friends came over from his hospital. “Watch out for your shoulders”, he told me, in a beware-the-ides-of-March kind of tone. Lightning flashed behind him when he said that. Just kidding. But really, several people have told me something along those lines since I’ve started. “I had a buddy that…” “You know, I knew a girl that did CrossFit once and she ended up…”

You’ve heard it too, I’m sure. But the thing I noticed is that the people who said something to me about it have never actually tried CrossFit.

My right knee gives in when I do a squat, making it really hard to keep that heel down. I don’t push my shoulders up enough when I do Snatches so I struggle to not fall forward. I’m a big baby about the bar hitting my collarbone when I do Power Cleans so my elbows are never as quick or as high as they should be.

Learning and Getting Better

You know how I know what any of those things mean? The coach pointed them out. I thought my heels were down. I don’t know how the heck I’m supposed to push my shoulders up any more than I already am. Every box is different, but I have been really impressed with how much they’ve paid attention, correcting this and that along the way. They’ve scaled the workouts each time, and made sure I had the technique down before adding weight or moving on.

Listen, CrossFit is not for everyone. I do believe if I can do it, in all my weakness and lack of athleticism, you can too. But you have to want to. I have absolutely loved it- but I secretly have a competitive side. Which is unfortunate, since I’m not particularly coordinated and I don’t know a lot of trivia. I didn’t think I was competitive. I seriously hate board games. But then I’m with all these people that are trying to finish a workout as fast as they can and I literally would pass out before I let that pregnant lady beat my time. And I find myself thinking “I did 50 pounds last week, I can do 60 this week.” When normally I’d think “I did 50 pounds last week, I think that deserves a 3 month break.” I don’t think it’s a perfect fit for anyone. I will say, if you’re interested, find a box that fits you.

CrossFit Stereotypes

Honestly, I didn’t really expect to like CrossFit very much. You know those scary girls from high school that absentmindedly practiced their cheer routines in public? That’s how I imagined all CrossFitters. Like they’d be doing air squats while waiting in line at Whole Foods. Or jog down the grocery aisle with a swinging ponytail, grabbing organic whatever, and yelling “time!” once they’ve finished at checkout.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. There’s a lot of testosterone walking around and several times I’ve heard someone refer to themselves in the third person. Yikes. But for the most part, they’re just normal people. Normal people who like abbreviations and tight clothes.

And honestly, who cares? What does it matter if there’s a couple guys that use too much- or any- hair gel and just keep saying “Dude that WOD was ridiculous!” You do you. (Yes, I said it.)

Sometime last week I overheard a guy say that over the weekend he had eaten an entire bag of those mini Reese cups. Two thoughts crossed my mind- “These are my people” and “It took the entire weekend? Rookie.”

Sticking With It

I just finished day 11. One thing I’ve come to realize is that if I want to stick with CrossFit, I’m just going to have to get used to being sore. Yesterday we did 6 rounds of pull-ups, hang Power Cleans, and toes to bar. This morning I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to dress myself.

It’s not that I can tell a difference in my body yet. Of course not, it’s been eleven days. But I will say that yesterday I was in a little bit of a hurry and I jogged up the steps to the changing room after the WOD. So no, I’m not more toned or noticeably stronger yet. But in eleven days I went from having to take the steps one leg at a time to being able to jog them.

Day 22 I better be able to dead lift the biggest guy there or I’m quitting. Just kidding about the quitting part.

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