Five lessons I’ve learned from crossfit that I will take with me through all aspects of fitness as well as life in general.
1. Set sustainable goals—WITH DATES. Most crossfit boxes put an emphasis on creating goals for yourself and what you would like to achieve—both inside and outside of the gym. This gives you something to work towards–I know, this isn’t a new concept, but what was new to me was including the DATE in which you want to complete your goal by. This adds a deadline and holds you more accountable to putting in the work that is necessary to accomplish that goal. It has helped me make more realistic goals like: subtracting 10 seconds from my best mile time in 3 months— instead of the, “I’m going to deadlift 400lbs one day!”
2. Find patience and you will find success. When you first begin crossfit, there are a lot of movements that are unfamiliar and quite frankly–very advanced. You have to be patient and begin with the progressions before you should be even attempting the advanced movements. You had to first crawl before you could walk, and first walk before you could run, right? You can be headstrong and swing on the rings attempting to get a muscle up all you want, but I can almost guarantee the person next to you who is working on hollow rocks and ring dips will get one before you do. Be patient with the process, the results will follow.
3. Athleticism comes in many shapes and sizes. The best part about crossfit is that it is made up of multiple levels of fitness. The athlete that had the fastest time yesterday for the workout made up mainly of running may not have the fastest time with todays workout consisting primarily of heavy barbell work. I look around my crossfit box and I see no two bodies that are alike, but they are all working beautifully and athletically to complete the workout of the day.
4. Your mind tires before your body. When completing a tough workout your mind is going to continue to tell you to stop or slow down–you can push through this, and it’s actually incredibly rewarding if you do. You just surpassed what your mind thought your body was capable of! Continuously practice positive self talk–you can do it! The more you believe in your capabilities the more you can surpass them. This will shape you to be stronger both physically and mentally.
5. You are your biggest competition. Prior to crossfit, for whatever reason, I would go into fitness centers or globo gyms and easily get discouraged by looking around and comparing my body to everyone elses. It wasn’t until a couple months into crossfit that I began to look at myself as the competition. I looked at the girl that had walked into the crossfit box three months prior, shy and timid, unable to perform a single push up, and I knew I was better than her. I beat her. I was doing all sorts of things I never dreamed possible–including push ups, and lots of ’em! I continue to beat that girl everyday!