Let me immediately write a post about what a whiny wimp I am, after I wrote about how strong my brother is. He had CANCER and didn’t complain ONCE. But me, I complain a lot. (Stay tuned for the release of this post on April’s brother!)
Let’s talk about this whole CrossFit journey I have taken. My first WOD was hell. Not being cocky–just honest–I can pretty much lift more than anyone at my CF gym but….I can’t possibly do anything else. At least yet.
This girl is out of breath and fatigues in about ONE minute. Everyone else is like a bunch of kids on a candy high….I guess you could say I missed out on my conditioning for the past, FOREVER. How did I ever play soccer? I couldn’t run sprints more than twice without being so winded that my lungs collapse now.
Every WOD I’ve done, which hasn’t been many because I’m still getting used to my varying schedule with work, not to mention I’ve pussed out of going a couple of times….so pansy. But, every WOD I’ve done, leaves me feel like I’m underachieving. I powerlift after wodding and try to get close to my maxes, except on squat ’cause I usually don’t have the energy for that. But, at least I feel good about PART of my training for the evening. Don’t get me wrong, I feel good about finishing a WOD, but I feel bad that I’m so poorly conditioned. I know I’m that way because other than a few times here or there, I haven’t run or done sprints or ANYTHING besides lift in over a year.
I keep failing at double unders….I just ordered a rope to practice with because mine is too stupid to work. (Or is it me…..) I did successfully learn kipping handstand push-ups!!! Probably only because I can do strict ones pretty well. But kipping pull-ups…..go to hell. Muscle ups….eat dirt. All the Olympic lifts…I’m LOVIN!!!
I do love getting to do something new each time, and I love that it’s all a challenge….it’s the patience part I struggle with. It’s going from a lifter everyone wanted to succeed and everyone thought was pretty good…to a crossfitter, who isn’t fit enough to cross. YET. So what’s my plan? I gotta have a plan. Plans are good when you’re starting something new and you know its tough. My plan is a lot of practice. But I also plan to make it to train AT LEAST three times a week, which has been a struggle lately….so, guess who may have to start going in the am…. grrrr. But here are my goals for this new CrossFit deal.
First, to find out my maxes on all the CrossFit lifts, which I’m not even sure what all of them are yet. Then:
- Master double unders …..
- Get under a 7 minute mile time.
- Master kipping pull-ups.
- Improve my squat by 20 lbs.
- Hit 200 on bench…(I’m at 185 now…)
- Get my deadlift back up…it has declined about 30 lbs recently….sad face.
- Work on my conditioning.
- Pass the CrossFit Level one cert this month….yep, I signed up! I figure, why not learn all I can and then help others!
So, there you have it, and when I learn more about my weaknesses…I’m gonna bet this list will be so long……
Change is not easy.
But its something I’m used to because I get bored a lot and end up trying new things. Going to a new gym is not easy, but I’m glad to be somewhere new for a while. Training with new people and being a newbie at a sport is not easy, but I love the challenge. I gotta say, the only thing that I don’t like is that I pay six times the amount for any other gym, yet I can’t go whenever I want. I have to wait until a certain time. And that really chaps my ass. That may be the only thing that makes or breaks this sport for me.
For my power lifting meet coming up (Oh yeah, I’m also still training powerlifting after WODs becuase of this meet I’m competing in), I used to put SO MUCH pressure on myself. But I’m not doing that this time, because it sucked the fun out so much that I actually started to hate powerlifting. And I never felt good enough. But…when I began, I could only deadlift 205…in my training, I got up to 325! I could only bench 95 and I got up to 185! I could squat 215 and then I got up to 275! But it was never enough for me. And I’m sure that feeling will always linger, but my goal is to keep training fun and to stop beating myself up when I’m not breaking records or not hitting numbers I want immediately. I’m excited for CrossFit because plan to ENJOY training again.
Editor’s note: April has successfully passed her CrossFit Level 1 Test and is now working on becoming a trainer so that she can continue to help people love, learn, and excel in fitness!
Erik Walker says
April thanks for sharing! There is so much to comment on here I am not even sure where to start.
Before I do, I want to take a second and say for all the cardio folks out there – clearly there are some health benefits to doing cardio and it is important BUT for those of you who think cardio is the key to “looking great”. April is a firsthand account that lifting supersedes cardio HANDS DOWN when it comes to body composition.
Ok now to your article. I am not exactly CrossFit’s strongest endorser. That said, CrossFit was made for someone like April. I think the number one missing element in most CrossFit athletes is strength. People who can do 10 consecutive kipping pull-ups but cannot do 5 strict form pull-ups for example.
The beauty of CrossFit is the atmosphere, the bonding, the competition, and the fact it forces you to be well rounded. Even though I criticize so much about CrossFit, I do think the positives outweigh the negatives. And starting with a strong base, like April, will eliminate so many of the problems. I just hope your box has smart programmers and great coaches who can prevent other problems/injuries.
As far as advice, I think three days is perfect for someone with your schedule. Honestly, 3 days of strength type WODs, 1-2 metcons, and maybe mix in some rowing/sprinting here and there and you will be a conditioned crossfit athlete in no time. The human body can get conditioned surprisingly fast. It is so much easier to get conditioned in a fast amount of time than it is to gain strength. You do not need to do daily conditioning-type WODs. That is the crap that will get you hurt and hinder your progress.
Concerning the skills, practice them fresh and build the muscle memory. There are loads of resources (strongfigure.com) to learn double-unders, etc…and you will get there eventually. Trust me, your 300+lb deadlift puts you way ahead of the double-under queen next to you who can’t do one strict form pull up.
CrossFit, like Powerlifting, is what you make of it. Just put the “having fun” part before the other stuff and you will be successful. Good luck, can’t wait to hear how it goes for you.