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CrossFit Lessons: What I’ve learned after 1 year

Posted Feb 21 2014 8:33am

It doesn’t seem like it’s been a whole year since I started training at CrossFit III, but it has. Well almost, I’m actually a week or so off, but who’s counting?

As I look back over my experience, I thought that I would share some nuggets that I’ve learned along the way. I hope that you take my thoughts and revelations and use them as a guide to enhancing your own training experience.

I actually read that phrase on another blog post about CrossFit and it immediately resonated with me. Here was another Crossfitter who had been training for a good while saying it was OK to fail. Really? At that point I knew I had to change my own thinking. If I fail at reaching Rx, Max Weight or PR or even just getting through a particular move, its OK. When I realized that I was soooo good, I can’t even explain the feeling that came over me. It was like an AHA! Moment or something. After that moment, I allowed myself to fail more, without the accompanying “let down” feeling. But I also learned from each failure. I asked myself why I was failing, what form or position was I now understanding or was it JUST an off day. Most times I could answer, sometimes I couldn’t, that was OK too. I would live to see another day, another lift.

Everyone and I mean everyone tells me that they are ONLY competing with themselves in CrossFit. Sometimes that is true, but a lot of times it’s Bull Hockey! I have seen too many competitive people at the gym come in and go straight to look at the times of others. If that’s what they want, fine, go for it. But, it isn’t for me—most of the time. I will admit that yes, sometimes I do allow myself to get suckered into the competitive spirit of the class, but only sometimes. Other times I am solely concentrating on me and how my body feels and what I can do. Don’t get me wrong, I push myself very hard, but in the end, the only time, place, RX or finish I really care about is my own.

I preach this to my clients all day, everyday and I recite it over and over in my head all the time. Who cares about how much weight you can lift if your form is off or plain out wrong. You’re limiting yourself. You’ll NEVER move up in weight with bad form. You’ll get to a ceiling and you won’t be able to break through it. Don’t believe me? Just try it. Proper form is what helps you achieve PRs (personal best) and it keeps you from getting hurt. I don’t like being injured so I check my form all the time. Remember that the next time you’re lifting and want to go to the next level. Get your form right in the lighter weights and the heavier ones are a piece of cake—as you progress.

CrossFit is all about being prepared for whatever. It mimics life in the movements you do in class: pulling, lifting, pushing, getting up from seated or lying positions, balance and flexibility. Becoming proficient at executing these simple moves helps you to get through all that life throws at you on a daily basis. But with everything comes those who “throw out the baby with the bath water.” …Yes, the classes and the moves test you, yes, you’ll see incredible gains. However, you still have to be conscious when your body (not the other person’s body) but YOUR body is about to give out, can’t go on or is just KAPUT! You may not have to bow out, but you might just have to take it slow for a bit. When you hit this realization, it’s time for you to heed the warning your body is giving you OR risk being another “statistic of the CrossFit craze.”

Seriously, once you complete one of those WODs (workout of the day) that made you tremble just reading it, that awesome feeling of accomplishment washes over you ever so sweetly. You realize that for the first time in your life, you are UNSTOPPABLE! It’s not just me, I’ve seen it happen OVER and Over and OVER again to fellow classmates/athletes, especially the women, but men aren’t immune. It’s the MOST wonderous feeling ever.

If what I’ve said resonates with you in any way, I am happy. If it makes you curious enough to try out a CrossFit class, kewl, but if it even just makes you “want it,” AWESOME! Now go get some!

Lift and be Happy!


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