Three years ago July 18 I signed my first contract with Crossfit Lake Mary. It was for 3 months. I wasn’t really sold that this whole “fitness thing” was for me. I didn’t have an athletic bone in my body and I got winded from tying my shoes (I’m only half kidding here). I had run 3 half marathons (I use “run” loosely) and every article I read on running said to add cross training and weight lifting to improve speed. My running buddy, Nancy, convinced me to purchase a groupon and give Crossfit a try. I will never forget walking into that non-AC gym and thinking “HELL NO”. But I humored her, and signed the waiver. The rest is history. When the 3 months were up I was addicted and went ahead and signed 6 months. When asked why only 6 months, I had to explain that I have commitment issues so we were going to take this months at a time. And today Crossfit has officially been the longest “relationship” I’ve been in.
I have learned so much in 3 years. I was originally going to list the top 30 things I’ve learned, but who would ever want to read all that? So I’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 things I’ve learned in 3 years:
1. You have to trust the process. I hear this all the time and it is so true. If you eat clean and train dirty, your body will do what it is supposed to. This is the hardest for me because I hate vegetables and I love sugar….the exact opposite of the way you should feel about these two things. However, the best results I have ever had are when I am following a paleo diet and training at least 5 days a week. Sometimes you have to look past the failures, the let downs , the times you don’t reach your goals, and just know that if you keep working, you will get the results you want. Never give up and trust the process. And eat vegetables.
2. The term “Man Muscles” is just stupid. Probably the 2nd thing I said to Greg after “My name is Hillary” is “I don’t want man muscles”. I laugh now, but it was a real concern. He looked at me like I had two heads and then informed me that the girls who have “man muscles” wanted large muscles and worked very hard to get them…I was not going to “accidentally” get bulky. You know what? He was right. After all the hard work, sweat, blood, tears, bruises, crushed egos and huge PRs, I have yet to develop a muscle I didn’t want. So any girl who shares that fear can rest assured, you will not just wake up looking like the incredible Hulk one day, so put some weight on that bar!
3. You have to journal. I have 4 journals and 2 websites that chart my progress over the years. When I get discouraged, I pull out my first journal and look at how far I’ve come. It’s hard to see the improvement day to day, but when you look back over months it is inspiration to keep going. Also, take before pictures. Pictures don’t lie and they are a great measurement tool.
4. Find a coach you trust. I cannot imagine where I would be if I didn’t trust my coaches. Sometimes the confidence my coaches have in me is so much more than the confidence I have in myself, but because I trust them, I add the weight, or get the taller box, use the smaller band, or grab the heavier wall ball. I trust them, they push me, I get better. You have to trust your coaches.
5. Find a workout partner that pisses you off. Yep, you read that right. No one wants a partner who says “Oh, you’re tired and don’t want to finish the burpees, go ahead and lay on the ground for a few minutes and rest”. My favorite workout partners are the ones who have seen my evil workout death glare, or have been cussed out mid-workout (in my head of course), or who I have yelled at mid workout, or who I’ve had to raise a hand to because I am too tired to speak. They push me to my limits and make me better every single time I workout. I would be nowhere without my girls! And race them. The best way to get better is to find someone better than you and try to beat them. It might be ego crushing, but that is good for you…you will just work harder next time. And I feel like I should mention here, I LOVE THESE PEOPLE. The bonding that happens over mutual misery from a wod is a bond like no other!
Crossfit has changed my life and taken my self-image from a depressed fat girl to a happy badass. I am doing things I never dreamed possible. It doesn’t get easier, you just get better. So go ahead and go all in. Sign the 6 month contract instead of 3. Put the extra 10lbs on the bar. Attempt the pull up without the assistance band. Run the full mile without the walk break. You might fail the first time, but brush yourself off and try again. And keep trying. And when you do get it, write it down! You will want to remember when you got that first pull up (11/6/2012) or you got that mile under 9 minutes (2/3/2013) or you RX’d Cindy for the first time (11/13/13) or you got a 335# deadlift (5/21/2014). It will be hard, it will be tough, but you are so worth it!
Fitness is a work in progress and after 3 years, I still have so much more I want to achieve. But I am excited to see what this 4th year is going to bring (especially now that I’ve been eating my vegetables)