Moving this summer to a completely new area gave me the opportunity to branch out of my fitness routine that I’ve been doing for the past year. (You guys know how happy I was with Kayla Itsine’s Beach Body Guide, but it was time for a change.) I couldn’t really find a gym that matched what I was looking for in Mobile (#gymproblems, lol) and I also believe in signs. I saw so many signs around me telling me that I as ready for a new challenge.
My sister-in-law has been doing Crossfit for the past couple of years or so, and she urged me to look into it. I started by finding one that would be close to me, and semi stalked their Instagram from March until I moved here in July. The one I found is about 10 minutes from my house, and I toured it with my kids in late July. I really enjoyed speaking with the owner and after some thought (and major butterflies!), I decided to sign up.
Here are my first impressions of Crossfit and what I have learned so far:
- I started with the (mandatory) Foundations classes. This is where you learn the lingo of Crossfit and the correct way to do the different Olympic style lifts. You practice in a group of other new people and use a PVC pipe to simulate a bar. You need 4 of these classes before you can join an actual class, and they are for your safety. I actually had trouble making it to a couple of mine and just jumped into classes after 1 formal one and 2 informal ones, and did just fine. The coaches are all hands on and help with all the technical things you need to not get hurt. I never felt out of place or “weird.”
- I would consider myself a fit and strong person in a lot of areas, and found that I could do a lot of things easily in Crossfit, but other areas were a real challenge. I can do box jumps, wall walk ups, rowing, jump roping, push ups, etc., pretty easily, but cannot do a pull-up without a modification, and the weight-lifting is really challenging (the form and terms can be tricky to get correct.) I am really sore in areas I didn’t use a lot of in the past year, like my forearms and the back of my shoulder/neck. I also have very little grip strength, and my hands are tore up from using the bar. And lets not get into the bruising…;)
- The Coaches and the people are where Crossfit excels. When you join Crossfit you get personal training in class, and you do it with other people. Once you go to class for a bit you start seeing the same people and it builds a sense of community (which I found in my last gym as well.) I love this part of working out and staying healthy! I enjoy knowing that I will see the same faces each morning and that we are all doing the same things. As for the coaching, I think that they are all interested in seeing you do things in a way that challenges you, but they want to keep you safe. I have never felt weird for using smaller weights than others, and everyone is happy at the end and makes you feel good for finishing. Crossfit is hard for everybody, because you challenge yourself, so we are all dying at ant given time. Ha.
- You can’t be afraid to fail or look ridiculous. I love that there are no mirrors in Crossfit and that everyone is there to do the best they can. I don’t feel like people are looking at me and judging (which I did feel in my old gym a lot), and I think trying something hard and failing is not frowned upon.
- The more you go, the better you will feel. I’m only about a month in, but I already feel more comfortable walking into class and doing the WOD, as well as knowing what all the different exercises are. I do get nervous before each class, but I think that just means I am challenging myself, and that is good! I also feel like once you go to the same classes week after week you feel more a part of the group. I’m recognizing names and faces and coaches, and it makes me feel like I belong.
- I’m letting go of preconceived notions I have held on to. From “I can’t do a pull up” to “I can’t lift heavy weights above my head” to “that weight is too heavy for me.” I can do all of these things. Sometimes I have to modify it make it easier, but I CAN do it. I am stronger than I think in more areas than I thought, and I can do more than I thought.
That’s it for now! Like I mentioned, I am about a month in and I am feeling really good. I see improvements in my strength, and I feel more confident each class I go to. I still don’t weigh myself or concern myself with that stuff, and I haven’t been doing progress photos (I keep meaning to!), but I feel good so that is all that matters. I will keep you updated as I continue on this new journey!