You know you want to get better, and you know CrossFit produces the fittest people on earth, and you CrossFit, so logically, you will be at the caliber of Rich Froning in a few short weeks, right? Yeah, right. Kinda like those AMAZING diet pills that claim you can eat whatever you want, not exercise and still be bikini ready in 4 short weeks. Seriously, people? Don't make the mistake of thinking that a membership to a box and a pair of Reeboks is all it takes. It takes a whole lot more than that, but you should have those too. ;)
You have to know two things- how bad you want it and what "it" is. If you have no goal to work toward, how do you know when you reach it? Set REAL goals. One of the great things about CrossFit is that your fitness can be measured. I am always harping at everyone to LOG YOUR WODS. This is why! How will you know if you have improved if you don't know where you started? Track it all- the Benchmark WODs, your lifts, your max effort pushups, everything!! Looking to build muscle or slim down? Let's take your measurements and log those too. Pictures!!! I WISH I would've taken a pre-CrossFit photo so it would be easier for me to see my physical change. Make goals. Lots of them. Big ones, small ones, ridiculous ones and attainable ones. Write them down and stick it somewhere you will see it regularly. Have a big black marker ready to cross through each one as you reach them and write new ones. Everyone is at a difference place with their fitness and with their CrossFit experience. A person brand new to CrossFit is going to have goals a lot different from someone who writes "RX" next to their time after every WOD.
For the fitness newbie, CrossFit can be lot to take in. Not just the weird lingo and movements not typically seen in a globo-gym, but the level of intensity. "This is hard. Really freaking hard. Maybe too hard. I can't do this. I need to get in shape first, THEN I can come back and do CrossFit." How bad did this person want it? Not much at all. In my experience, these are typically the same people who complain all day on Facebook about how fat they are, then post pictures of the deep fried twinkies they ate for dessert. Sigh. For those fitness newbies that came, saw and conquered- my hat's off to you! You are sticking with something that most people won't even try. But you aren't off the hook. Keep reading.
For the CrossFit newbie (which is different from a newbie, because these are people who have been exercising and are now kicking it up a notch. Or a lot of notches), CrossFit is a lot to take in too! Same reasons- this is HARD!!! It may cause a light-bulb moment- "Holy crap, I am NOT in shape." That may in turn generate the drive this person needs. Or it can be extremely frustrating. "WHY can't I do air squats? I run 5 miles every day- Im in shape!!" These people typically don't walk out though. These are the people who can set their ego aside, keep at it, and start seeing results, quickly. The fitness newbies see results quickly too, but if they dont have the determination to stick with it, they aren't going to see them. So when a CrossFit newbie comes in, can't do an air squat and two weeks later is breaking parallel, THAT is a goal that has been acheived and it is no less worthy of celebrating than a seasoned athlete getting sub-5 on Fran. Yes, it is frustrating when you want to be able to do a pull up and you can barely do a ring row, but WANTING that pull-up is the key. Don't let being new keep you from pushing yourself to reach those goals. Don't be ashamed of the ring rows, but when they aren't a challenge anymore, get on that bar and start trying!
Those that have been doing CrossFit for a while can get comfortable too. It's ironic, because as varied as the programming is, as much as we change things up and keep your body guessing, some athletes resist improving their weaknesses. You find a few things you can do pretty well, and ways to scale the others and you are just fine with staying in your little comfort zone. It makes me think of when my mom home schooled me as a high schooler. Algebra? Yeah, I'm , not good at that, mom. Let's do some composition or history or you can pull my eyelashes out. I hated math. But she made me do it anyway. Amazingly, I got better at it. Had she let me only focus on writing or history, I probably would have gotten extremely proficient at those, but Id've been lost even more than I already was when it was time to get my core math requirements for college. Still can't do double unders? Do you REALLY want to triple your singles for every WOD? Pick up a rope EVERY time you come in, whether it is on the whiteboard or not, and practice. Buy a rope and practice at home. Do you hate to run? Trust me, you can't hate it more than I do. But I know that hating it isn't going to make me better at it. Im gonna have to suck it up and do it outside of the WOD. Do I hate the fact that my husband can run a 4 minute mile and am praying for Jesus to take me home after 1/2 mile? Yes. Yes I do. And I hate what I have to do about it, but I'm going to anyway.
Outside of the box, you should have goals too. Don't think that your choices outside of the gym dont carry over. You will NOT reach your ultimate fitness goals if your nutrition is not in order. I know that can be terribly overwhelming. If you didn't read my last blog on nutrtion, please do! I gave some tips for making small changes that will have a big impact. ()I am always happy to help you come up with ideas, substitutions and plans to get you on a better track.) As with the goals inside the box, these need to be attainable too. Drinking 80 ounces of water a day is my current goal. Not really that much water, but I am like a camel and don't drink anything, ever, so it is a big step for me. Go to bed an hour early. Only eat out once a week. Snack on veggies, not chips. There are a million goals you can make, and achieve. Sometimes you will feel tired and weak. You will want to give up. You have to find the strength and motivation inside you. This is the time to test yourself – to test your limits! Not just doing more, not just being better, but finding your best. So do you really want it or just kinda sorta want it?
If there is an opportunity to miss the WOD or cheat on your "diet" and you give in more than you resist, you kinda want it.
If you are not willing to break through your boundaries and find new ones, you kinda want it.
If you look for excuses and shortcuts and you stop at "good enough", you kinda want it.
That is what most people do. Look around at most people. If you want to be like them, then do what they do. If not, then seperate yourself, keep going, strive for excellence in and out of the gym and distance yourself from situations where anything might interfere with your goals. You say you want it but you only kinda sorta want it.
You say you want to get in shape, but not as bad as you want to
-make sure you catch the latest episode of your favorite show tonight.
-eat whatever it is your co-workers brought in for a snack.
-drag your butt out of bed and make it to the 5:30 class when you KNOW you can't make the evening classes.
-just show up a couple times a week, give it about 50-60% of what you've got in you, then grab Happy Meals for everyone on the way home. (By the way, if this is you, read the nutrition blog again. Then read it again. And one more time.)
"No it doesn't ever get any easier. You wouldn't want it to either." - Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit. Overall, no, it doesn't get easier. But you get better, faster, and stronger IF you want it bad enough. Stop making bad choices, excuses and waiting for the perfect moment and just freaking do it already! Stop waiting around. Do you want it? Do you REALLY want it? If you really want it, you decide to do something- whether it is push-ups or muscle-ups or a competition and don’t let anything stop you. Period. Start now, today, because tomorrow you will be that much closer. Know it will be hard, and do it anyway.