I decided to give CrossFit a try because the cool kids were doing it and all I’ve ever wanted out of life was to be cool!! 🤓 I started CrossFit with a trial 10 class punch card. And it was HORRIBLE. 😫 I was a competitive swimmer in high school, but during college and the few years after college my exercising consisted of going to the gym once in a while to run on the treadmill at a turtle pace. 🐢🐢 So let’s just say I was pretty out of shape when I started… To this day I still have no idea what CrossFit movements and workouts I actually did during that first month. Most people can remember their first CrossFit workout and their first few experiences… not me. I don’t remember a single movement I ever did in that first month. I’m pretty sure my brain blocked it all out due to the pain and pure horribleness. All I remember from that first month was that I paid for a 10 class punch card and I wanted to get my money’s worth so even though it was horrible I kept going. I realized really quickly that CrossFit did not make me cool at all. It actually made me even more uncool because I could no longer function in life. I couldn’t sit down, go upstairs, pee, wash my hair, get out of my car or turn my steering wheel without looking extremely awkward due to how sore my body was. And the worst part was, I couldn’t laugh without my abs feeling like they were on fire – and of course every time I would stand up or sit down in an awkward way I would laugh at myself which only caused more pain. I couldn’t wait to be done with that punch card.
A few weeks after my punch card ended and all the initial soreness wore off, I missed CrossFit. What I missed about it, I wasn’t sure, but I knew I had to go back. I joined in the spring of 2013. My first favorite moment of CrossFit was when Coach Ken invited me to his birthday WOD – I finally became a cool kid! 👍😀 It worked!
During my first few months of CrossFit my grandpa passed away unexpectedly and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I was really struggling and heartbroken and CrossFit was one of the few things that helped me take my mind off of how sad I was. And the friends I had made were all so supportive, it made me realize that CrossFit was so much more than just a gym. I loved having friends to laugh with and be silly with while I was working out. It made everything in the world better.
My favorite thing about CrossFit (besides the community) 👯 is that there is ALWAYS something to be better at and to work towards. I love how there are so many components to CrossFit, it entertains me! Repetition really bores me (Karen is the world’s most awful workout ever created and I don’t trust anyone who likes it). 😵 The constant drive to be better and to achieve more is addicting. Although PRs are extremely exciting about 10 minutes after I hit a PR I’m already thinking of a new PR I want to hit next time. My favorite movements are all squats (not wall balls though – those are stupid) and rope climbs!! I was originally terrified to climb a rope, but once I got the hang of it, I loved them!!
My biggest struggle in CrossFit is my own head. My mental toughness is a constant battle. In my first months of CrossFit I only lifted the barbell. Armando had to force me to put weights on the barbell to get me to realize I could lift more than 45lbs. I still to this day don’t like to know the weight on my barbell because I psyche myself out and start to think I can’t lift it. But I have learned tips that help. The words “light weight” are my favorite to say to myself. It takes away all the crazy thoughts about how heavy the weight is in my head. I also really thrive off of others believing in me. When someone says you’ve got this in the middle of a lift, I’m like yeah, you’re right, I’ve got this! My least favorite movements are power cleans and have I mentioned I hate wall balls? I always hit myself in the face or end up licking the ball #sogross 😭.
Last year was by far my most exciting CrossFit year. I hit PRs I never thought possible. My 2015 goal was to RX all gymnastic movements. It was a pretty insane goal but I was tired of not being able to RX metcons because of it. At the end of 2014 I could do a few toes to bar. By the end of 2015 I could do HSPUs, kipping pull-ups, rope climbs, right legged pistols (I’m working on my left leg – it has some stability issues 😫), double-unders and kipping ring dips. I also hit a 200lb back squat this year which was a goal I had from beginning CrossFit!! 😀😀
My advice to any new CrossFitter is to just keep going. CrossFit is hard. I hate CrossFit regularly because it’s so hard. I threw the barbell coming off of a failed OHS squat because I was frustrated beyond believe (don’t tell Ken or Wes) I’ve cried when I’ve failed a lift or when I didn’t live up to my expectations. I’ve smashed myself in my chin on a jerk and still have a scar, I’ve torn my hands up from pull-ups, and I’ve smashed my face into the ground failing a HSPU, but I keep going. And I keep going because all of that is part of the journey that has led me to accomplish all of those above goals. It has brought me to so many moments of pure joy. Moments I will never forget. Moments that no one can ever take away from me because I earned them and I worked hard for them.
I have always considered myself to be a fairly healthy and active person whether it was playing on sports teams during my youth or exercising regularly throughout my adult life. But as the years went by I found myself in a rut and not seeing much improvement in strength or conditioning. It then became easier to skip working out for a day and put it off until tomorrow. I would go to the fitness center and get distracted by watching TV, or convince myself that going to the gym and doing a half-hearted workout was better than nothing at all.
But New Year’s Day 2012, while watching college football bowl games, I was channel surfing and came across a re-broadcast of the CrossFit Games. I had never seen a competition like that before. It was so interesting to see the variety of movements and skills these athletes had to accomplish. I went back to watching football and did not think much about it afterwards. Then, a few weeks later, I received a special offer via email for 10 crossfit sessions. The price was very reasonable and I decided to give it a try. I was hooked after the first session!
CrossFit Tempe is the place where you are immediately welcomed. No matter what your level of experience (from beginner to veteran) the workouts can be tailored to your ability. It is so much fun learning new skills and doing things you thought were not possible. Everyone understands we are working out together and there is so much support and encouragement toward each other and from the coaching staff. CrossFit Tempe is a great place to work out where you will see definite improvements in your strength, conditioning, and overall fitness.
I took up sailing when I was 65. About five years later I became acutely aware that my strength was significantly diminished as I tried harder to raise sails or work with docking lines. I knew that if I wanted to keep an active role on the sailboat, I needed to do something.
Some of my younger friends were enthusiastic about Crossfit, and I could see the results they were getting. So at 71 I decided to see if I could even begin the program. Mind you, I couldn’t even do a squat! My goals were to increase my strength, flexibility, and endurance. And now, one year later, there’s no question that Crossfit is right for me. No other exercise regime has been as much fun or given me the measurable results of the Crossfit program. It keeps me moving. It challenges me. And no, I don’t do the same exercises at the same intensity as the 25, 40, or even 50 year old training next to me. Inherent in Crossfit philosophy is the ability to have a shared experience, yet scaled on a personal level. As a result each member at Crossfit Tempe can feel the glow of his or her personal accomplishments within the context of a positive and supportive group experience guided by a knowledgeable coach. That sail goes up easier today, and I am more in control of how I want to age!