Thursday, October 11, 2012

Words from a Crossfit Addict (April 2012)

This might be the only non-food related post that I'll ever post on this blog, but it does explain how I can eat as much as I do. In my last post, I introduced some healthy foods that I eat at home on a regular basis, but failed to mention the other main component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, mind, and body: EXCERSIZE! While looking through the list of blog posts that was published this year (not many), I came upon an old post (that never saw the light of day) about Crossfit that might interest some who want to start getting into shape and join the fitness world, but don't know where to start or lack the motivation. Crossfit isn't for everyone, but if you are interested, read my story and fitness experience below.

This could be me. Oh wait, this is me!

When I was a kid, I hated exercising. I did not enjoy running or doing sit ups or liked any type of sport that involved sweating profusely. I wasn't an athlete and didn't understand why people liked being so active. So what if I liked to eat a lot and just sit on the couch while watching 5 hours of television? So what if I was skinny or if I was fat? I was happy and fine with not exercising. I thought gym class was a complete waste of time and I dreaded it. I also hated having to change into big t-shirts and shorts. I already looked like a 12 year old boy with long hair, the t-shirt just made me look younger and more like a boy. So if I was too lazy to shave my legs, I would settle for my only pair of sweat pants, even in the summer time. Man, it was a very awkward time for me. Now let's fast forward to after college, shall we? All I have to say is I regret not doing any type of sport. I realize now that I had so much potential if I could have just found it in me to do something that I liked. Could I have played a sport like soccer or field hockey back in high school? Probably not. But there are so many things outside of school that I would have been a fan of.

The first time I lifted 65lbs, I fell in love with the feeling of a barbell in my hands
It's been 6 months since I started crossfit and every time I go into the box, it still feels like the first day. I should really go more than 3-4 times a week, it's now become an addiction. There is a new Workout of the Day (WOD) everyday and it's because of that that makes it so much fun! You feel unstoppable after each WOD, once you've grabbed it by the horns and own it! At the start of every WOD (most of them anyway), I get nervous and start to doubt whether I can finish it or not.
"How long will it take?"
"Is it going to be hard?"
"Am I going to hate this one?"
"What if I just can't finish it? This one might finally break me!"
All these thoughts make my stomach queasy and then I remember all the other times I felt this way. As soon as the clock starts, you give it your all, there's no turning back now. Usually, you're off to a great start, feeling good, no problems at all. Then after a couple minutes, you start to sweat and slow down a bit. It's only been a couple minutes, how can I be slowing down already? Well, in our minds when we're working on anything and trying to be as quick as possible, it feels we've been working for 20 minutes, when in reality, it's been two. Then you start to struggle and for me, I just want to stop, take a break, and hope that I don't have to keep going. My body screams for me to stop, but I can't. I will feel miserable if I just give up without trying to finish. Actually, it's not my body that's telling me to stop, it's that one lazy part of my brain. It tells me that I can't do it and always tries to take the easy way out. Always. It tricks me into thinking that my body is super duper tired and can't keep going anymore. It's just too easy to follow that way of thinking and take a break every second that I can. My body is tough, I know that, but just like everyone else, I treat it like it's so fragile. Now that I know how far I can push it, I don't listen to the lazy mind anymore.

Deadlift: The best lift for your entire body!
Yesterday was a long WOD: running 2.5 miles and deadlifting 55 reps of 95 pounds. It was a WOD that I liked because I don't mind running and deadlifts make me happy. Put them together and I'm set. I was off to a good start on my first lap of 400 meters. Came back and did one deadlift. Then ran again with Andy on my tail and did two deadlifts. The boys finished the deadlifts before me and ran off ahead. That was when I started to feel a bit slow. But there's no such thing as giving up at gym, you keep going and give it all you got. It didn't matter how slow I ran, I just took it one step at a time, one round at a time. It helped a lot that Andy and Tony became my support team after they completed the WOD... they pulled me through the last two rounds no matter how much I wanted to throw in the towel. That's what we do in Crossfit, we support one another like a team. We are always reminded to "check your ego at the front door" before we step into the box because the only person you should be competing with in the gym is yourself! Of course there's no better feeling than at the end of the WOD when you're drenched in sweat and so exhausted you fall to the ground gasping for air knowing it's over. It's just so satisfying to know that you completed something that seemed challenging on the board and then halfway through the WOD, you want to give up, but chipped away at it until it got done! It just goes to show that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, that's one of the things I love about Crossfit.

Deadlift Form: Angry gorilla back + Shoulders in my back pockets
Other things I like about it include:
~Getting stronger with every WOD (Strong is BEAUTIFUL)
~Seeing muscles that you never thought you could have (Beach body 24/7)
~Setting goals and achieving them in the gym
~Personal trainers that watch you so no one gets hurt & give you feedback on how to improve your skills
~Meeting different (& awesome) people & making new friends
~A lot of energy that keeps you going like an Energizer bunny
~Having a support team that pushes you to your max capabilities
~Doing things you never dreamed of or could do at a regular gym (Olympic lifts, muscle ups, handstand pushups)
~Challenging yourself
~Overcoming fear and learning to try before you saying "I can't"
~It's so much fun!!!

Things I personally could live without:
~Expensive but you get what you pay for (see above)
~Sweating like a motherf*cker after just the warm ups (Sweat angels anyone?)
~Waking up feeling like a truck ran you over after a hard workout (Obviously didn't eat enough protein)
~Breakouts on my neck and chest due to sweat (I hate my acne-prone skin)
~Getting attacked by mosquitos/gnats in the summertime (Always remember bug spray if you're outside)
~Butt crack blisters from 1000000000x sit ups

Shout outs to everyone at Torque Athletics for motivating and inspiring me! Big thanks to Julie, Andy, Tony & Greg for being amazing coaches and Mary Jane for introducing me to the Crossfit world! 

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Crossfit in any way and am not getting paid for this blog post. This is not an advertisement or promotion of any sort, just my own words and honest opinions! 


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