It’s March 31st and I’m nearing the end of a great opportunity given to me by Gino and Angela Salveo at CrossFit Salus. Over 3 months ago, I was out of shape and misinformed about CrossFit. I was the typical CrossFit hater, uneducated and probably a little bit fearful about this new fitness phenomenon taking over the world. I’ve come a long way since then and now I am eagerly getting preparing for a competition in May. What has changed? My original post “My Thoughts So Far” expressed my earliest feelings on CrossFit. Now I take another look at the past 90 days and share my lessons learned and advice to other CrossFit newbies and doubters out there.
1. The importance of realizing the only competition is yourself.
Stop worrying about what somebody else is doing. Your only competition is yourself. The sooner you realize that, the faster you improve and the more you can enjoy the process of becoming a fitter, better version of yourself.
2. The importance of having a goal in mind.
There’s nothing worse than going thru a WOD and feeling like you have an endless amount of reps to go. Believe me that’s how I’ve felt MANY TIMES during workouts, especially during 14.5’s combo of Thrusters and Burpees. One of the physical and mental tricks I’ve relied on is to keep a good pace and break every WOD into smaller chunks. For example, with 14.5 I could barely get thru 3 thrusters or 5 burpees at a time without stopping. So I focused on just a small number of reps before stopping for a second to rest. I’ve relied on this many times throughout WODs and find by breaking down the workout into smaller goals, the bigger goal will get accomplished.
3. The importance of sticking to what works.
I went on the Paleo diet for a month thanks to the Whole30 Challenge and I saw improved sleep, increased energy and even lost a few pounds. Yet when my 30 days were completed, I gradually tried to add non-Paleo foods into my diet and wondered why I wasn’t seeing the same results. Thanks to the Whole30, I now know what foods are best for me and my only challenge now is sticking to it as a lifestyle and not just as an occasional commitment.
4. The importance of seeking constant guidance from your coach.
If you want to get better, you can’t live in a bubble of your own knowledge. And while YouTube is great, nothing beats hands on guidance from your coaches. One thing I’m becoming more comfortable with is regularly asking Gino and Angela questions . “Why does this hurt? What can I do to get better at this movement? Am I doing this correctly?” I’ve learned in life to never get too comfortable where you feel like you can’t learn anything new. Always seeks the advice of your coach because they almost always end up being right (as in my case :)..).
5. The importance of finding fun in fitness.
If you don’t find this enjoyable, you shouldn’t do it. Period. I had a WOD last week that kicked my butt and yet at the end, I was so happy that I did it. That’s my idea of fitness fun. CrossFit has reaffirmed my belief that fitness is how we stay ready for life’s challenges. Fitness is how we come together and strive to be better people. Fitness is how we cheer each other on and become great supporters of one another. Fitness is the lifestyle we should be living AND enjoying together. I’ve been on many teams but I’ve never been a part of a fitness family until now. If you haven’t either, my best advice would be to find one. Your life WILL change as did mine!