Well. It's official. I've done CrossFit for one year, 3-5 days a week, every week (except vacay, obvi). (Okay my actual year anniversary is on the 22nd, but I have time on my hands tonight to write this.) I never in a million years thought, when I walked into CrossFit South Boise, that I would be walking into one of the most life-changing things I've ever participated in. It's molded me, lifted me up, and healed me. I never thought I would ever stick with trying something new for a whole year. But here I am. And because I'm a huge fan of bold words and lists, I would like to share (mainly for myself) a few things I've learned about myself & others after doing CrossFit for one year.
Gaining Weight is Okay.
I was always so scared of gaining weight. My whole life goal was to stay under 100lbs (serious). It was pretty bad (like almost eating disorder bad)-- to the point where I would restrict my eating so that I would lose/wouldn't gain weight. I was unhealthy, unhappy, and what I like to call "skinny fat." There is a HUGE difference in being skinny and being in shape. And it's amazing to me that one year of doing CrossFit can change my thinking about weight gain quite a bit (I still have some work to do; I have my bad days.). I was SO obsessed with having a flat stomach, a thigh gap, stick-thin arms, and my collar bones showing (I know, stupid). But here I am, wanting a toned stomach (problem area), wishing for stronger thighs, and wishing for biger arms and shoulders and not giving a damn about my collar bones showing. I have put on 24 lbs in one year AND I'VE NEVER BEEN MORE CONFIDENT IN THE WAY I LOOK. Don't get me wrong, I sill have my days. And I don't know that that will ever go away. But if this is what one year will do, imagine what the next years will bring.
People Will Mock You.
And that's okay. I have learned that people will mock anything that makes you happy that they don't understand. Guess what I do? I shake it off. I don't care if people think I'm annoying or "one of those people." I am happy. And I owe A LOT of it to CrossFit, so why WOULDN'T I talk about it? And those who really love me won't mock me, but be happy for me. Okay, you can mock me, but don't be an asshole. (There's a fine line and I will tell you when you've crossed it.) If they mock you, they don't deserve to be apart of your happiness. Cut. Them. Off. (From CrossFit talk)
You Will Feel SO Stupid at First.
I don't know how I made it through the first few months. Actually, I do. Shout-out to Alyssa Townsend for being my friend!! But seriously, you will feel like the biggest idiot EVER in the beginning. It takes a couple months and a lot of YouTube to get the hang of everything, but once you do, you'll love it and won't care what everyone around you is doing. Eventually (just like with anything), you will make friends. And that's what will keep you there. If you don't make friends, it will be really hard to stick to it because you will feel dumb every time you go. I have made some amazing friends at my box and I wouldn't ever want to trade that. I am SO glad I got over myself and reminded myself that NO ONE cares what I'm doing. Once I realized that, it was much easier to not feel stupid. Also, a Xanax before every class (at first) helped.
Before & After Pictures Were Great.
But after awhile, I just got discouraged. I saw lots of progress in the beginning, but after awhile, I didn't see as much physical progress as I did progress in my performance. Before & Afters may be for you, but they just discouraged me. Although it was amazing to see how sickly I looked before and how I actually look like a normal human now.
All I Want to do is Eat.
Holy shit. I never thought I could put away three eggs for breakfast, a big lunch, and a Cafe Rio burrito at night and STILL be hungry. And guess what? I NEVER FEEL BAD ABOUT WHAT I EAT. And it is so liberating. Granted, I SHOULD be eating better if I want to perform better, but let's be real. I'm an Evans and Mormon. I don't have that self-control and I love me a good casserole. I am more aware of what I am eating though, and I try to eat more meats and protein so I think that's an improvement from eating just one meal a day and counting my calories. Now I just want all of the food ever. Except seafood cause, ew.
Progress in the Gym > Everything.
Nothing feels better than going from deadlifting the bar to maxing out at 145lbs just 11 months later. Or back squatting 55lbs to maxing out at 140lbs. Or getting double-unders (still have lots of room for improvement there). I never feel more accomplished or more confident than when I get a new PR. And if you think you won't get there, you will. You truly will. If I can do it, you can do it. Lifting heavier weight seemed so daunting. I never in a million years thought I would ever grab the 45lb plates. But I do now! And I'm not gonna lie, it makes me feel pretty cool.
Working Out Makes me Happy.
I just recently skipped three days in a row and I could tell. I was ornery, didn't want to go back, tired, and felt like shit. Going to CrossFit balances my moods, keeps me happy, and keeps me motivated. I didn't think I would EVER be able to go off my medication, but honestly CrossFit has made it bearable. So if I ever stop my meds and CrossFit at the same time, everyone RUN. (For realz)
CrossFit is Virtually the Same Everywhere.
I feel like CrossFit is literally one big huge mixed family. I get to a box in Utah when I'm down there and make fast friends with everyone because everyone has the same thing on their mind. I love that I can go anywhere and drop in at a box and get an AWESOME workout and meet new friends. It's incredible. You don't get that with your local chain gym. At CrossFit, we are all family. And I love my CrossFit family so much. In BOI and UT.
It is Worth the Money.
It's expensive, that's for damn sure. But you cannot put a price on the happiness, self-respect, and self-confidence I've gained from CrossFit. There is absolutely no other way I would have ever become comfortable in my own skin had it not been for CrossFit. Plus you are basically getting a personal trainer at your fingertips at every class.
Being Held Accountable is Everything.
I HATE explaining myself to people if I miss a class or a week. So you know what I do to avoid that? I don't miss. My coaches and my fellow athletes will notice when you're gone and they will ask. And nothing is worse than spitting out lame excuses. I sign in when I get there and I record my results to keep me motivated to keep coming back and trying to do better. You aren't held accountable at your local gym. No one will ask you where you've been or if you're okay. You'd better believe they will at CrossFit.
Always, ALWAYS do the Squat Test When Buying Pants.
I don't really need to say more.... but I learned this lesson the hard way. ALWAYS do a squat test. Squat, jump, hold the pants up to the light. stick your butt in the air, whatever it takes. Also, LuLu Lemon pants can and will be see through, but they are also very cute.
Shoes Will Make A Difference.
Once I got real lifting shoes, I noticed a difference immediately. If you want to improve i your lifting, you must have the proper attire and equipment. Shoes are probably the single most important thing you can buy for working out. Make sure they are good ones. (Reebok makes a great CrossFit line of shoes.)
CrossFit Will Change Your Life...
If you let it. If you go into it with the attitude of "oh these people are douches" or "oh I will never and never want to be one of them.", you will not enjoy it. Go into it with an open mind. Understand that it is different. It's a different atmosphere and a different workout than any other place you will go. But it WILL make you happy. Be careful with your lifts and make sure you've got a good coach to correct your form. If you feel like you're not good at a certain lift, don't put a lot of weight on. That simple. Embrace the CrossFit lifestyle. Go to competitions. Go at least three days a week. Try to go to the same class time each day. Get to know people and make friends and I PROMISE you it will change your outlook on life. Find the right box, the right people, the right coaches, and the right attitude and you will become a happier you. I promise. (And that means a lot coming from me because I am a pretty negative person.)
And Lastly, Haters Gonna Hate.
And those haters are just jealous assholes. Enough said.
**Please note that I am no professional athlete, I am just writing the things that have been helpful to me throughout my CrossFit journey. Don't take me too seriously.**