I went to my very first Crossfit class last night. I've been thinking about it for a long time, but haven't had the courage to go. It's always hard to push yourself into new experiences because the unknown is scary. I faced a lot of resistance while heading out the door - rapid fire excuses were coming up inside of my mind. I knew that this was just my sabotuer trying to play games with me and so I pushed back. I sent a note to my friend who owns Crossfit Ramsay in Calgary and committed to the 730pm class. No backing out. I cornered myself!
What led me to make this move was an experience I had in the afternoon while at the fitness gym in my building. I was standing there, all alone staring at myself in the mirror. I didn't want to be there, but I was there because it felt like what I should be doing. I have learned over the past 2 years since retiring from sport that a good afternoon work out is the best way to re-enegize and focus. I couldn't do it though. I couldn't push myself. I kept asking, "Why am I here?". I was bored. I was alone. I was in my head.
Exercise and working out should be fun. It should be something you look forward to. It should be a challenge and an escape. It should be social and you should continually feel like you are rewarding yourself - even thought it burns. In fact, you should crave the burn. It shouldn't make you feel trapped or punished. It shouldn't make you feel isolated. It shouldn't be a chore.
Yesterday, as I stared at myself in the mirror and felt numb, I realized that running on the treadmill and lifting weights in my home gym has become something I loathe. It's not fun anymore. It bores the hell out of me and that is why I stare at myself in the mirror asking "Why". That is not the way I want to live my life. That is not who I want to become.
Then and there, I made a decision to do something about it.
And that's the way life goes. You always have 2 options. You can sit in self pity, continually question "why?" and never make the change or you can buckle down and push yourself to try something new. New is always scary, but new is sometimes exactly what you need.
I had a kick ass workout at Crossfit. The WOD (workout of the day) was 10 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 squats in the fastest time possible. It sounded so easy, but it sure wasn't. I breezed through the first 5 rounds, but then found my arms and legs quickly becoming jello after that. I had to dig deep. I had to be focused. I had to push out that little voice inside of my head that was telling me to stop. It was super intense. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like an athlete. My potential was staring at me in the face and it was up to me to reach it.
The thing I liked the most was being around other people who were pushing themselves. You don't get that at the home gym. It was really motivating to look around and know that every person there was experiencing discomfort and pain, but they were asking more of themselves. To me, this is the best way to grow. I really like the variety and challenge that Crossfit offers as well. Every day is different. I enjoy that the workouts are short and full out. I trained 6 hours a day for too many years. I like getting in, getting the work done and leaving knowing that I gave it my all. And finally, I like the fact that Crossfit has some gymnastic conditioning elements to it. A little bit of comfort is always nice;)
I think I've found my new way of elevating to the next level and I'm excited about the possibilities!
ps- I can hardly lift my arms above my head today. That's when you know you've reached your max!