Yesterday I spent 3 hours at Academy of Lions participating in their OnRamp Bootcamp, a session that teaches new members the basic forms, functions, and terminologies of basic Crossfit training. Over the past week, after I’ve mentioned that I’m a new member at a Crossfit gym, people have asked me if I’m excited. I wasn’t really able to answer them, and I’m still not ready to answer them.
Crossfit is this huge tidal wave, at least in my life, where at one point I was wading in the bootcamp classes and running circles. It feels incomparable to where I find myself now which is up to my waist in paleo cookbooks, kettlebells, and questions about OLY lifting (OLY, as in olympic). I’ve always been a relatively healthy eater with awful self-control issues when it comes to snacking but I’m getting better. I’ve always been the average amount of active, dancing most of my life and then taking yoga and playing volleyball when I could. Getting into bootcamp and signing up, attending, and actually finishing a Spartan Race in 2013 was something completely next level for me. When I heard about Crossfit, it seemed like a more intense yet entirely loveable practice that people seemed to get addicted to. And not just athletes – the “average amount of active” people like me.
My favourite part of the bootcamps I participated in was seeing how quickly my body toned when I trained. How big a tool our bodies are to our success and well-being. I’d never looked at my calves and biceps with such glory before. I’d never flexed in the mirror so many times. So why am I timid about being excited to start Crossfit?
Despite my busy schedule and the constant feeling like there’s not enough time in the day, exercising and self-improvement activities that take us away from ours screen are crucial. Nothing beats complete concentration on whatever I’m making with my hands, or how tired my eyes get after reading a real, tangible book for hours. Starting Crossfit to me means that I will now be accountable to all the hopes and wishes I want for myself and this is likely why I’m shrugging off the excitement. It’s a big expectation to have for myself, because I am the only one responsible for my success.
Yesterday I did kettle-bell swings with an 8 kilo kettle-bell, wall balls with a 10 lb ball (and I got tired after only 5!), box jumps where I mostly stepped instead of jumping… front and back squats, split jerks, dead lifts, hang cleans, snatches… all with a 15 lb bar, no added weights. I’d never “lifted” before and I felt like a door was opening as I practiced the awkward movements that made me feel all the tightness in my forearms from a summer injury I’d pretty much ignored. The best feeling, though, was that I was there; that I had started, and that I’d done something I’d never done before. Whether I like it or not, it won’t matter, because I felt and will feel better about myself and my body and that’s a given. If I knew anything about Crossfit before it was that it was about self-improvement, and that’s probably my biggest fear that kept me from starting. Because once you start, you don’t want to go back to whatever came before.