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You don’t know who you encourage

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Andrew Raynor

“Wow, that was amazing!” the unfamiliar face said to me with wide eyes and a big smile while I was standing up after being exhausted from pushing the 360# sled across the turf. I smiled back at the very petite mother of two, who looked like she weighed no more than 100# herself, impressed at her drive pushing her last sled push at 245#.

It was her third Crossfit class and her first Saturday team workout, in which Coach Morgan always comes up with the most horrific and devious workouts; this one filling almost the full hour of teams rotating doing sled pushes of increasing weight.

Welcome to Crossfit.

Once in a while I like to do the Saturday team workouts as a change-up from my Outlaw Way programming that I have been following, but so often I just hide in the back of the gym and do not get much of an opportunity to mingle with the new kids or even to take a minute to step back and remember what it was like to be new.

We have had an increasing number of on-ramp members lately, taken under the wing of one of our newer coaches. Watching new people move is sometimes comical; seeing someone attempt a snatch for the first time or watching their wiry arms and wobbly legs attempt an overhead squat; seeing the look of pain and discomfort cross over their faces while the coaches push the newbies well outside their comfort zones.

Not much more than two years ago, that was me.

jennifer hudy front squatI was the awkward girl who could hardly front squat 35# and who could barely finish a heavily-scaled version of our baseline workout, “Welcome to the Jungle,” which is now often used as a warm-up. I front-squatted nearly 100# more than that for reps last week, and cut my scaled time for WTTJ just about in half, RX, last time I did it.

In both my first week of Crossfit and the week that just passed, I felt on top of the world. New experiences compared to new PRs – two very different experiences, one full of potential and one a payoff of the hard work I have put in.

But even after over two years of doing Crossfit, I still have those moments of self-doubt, moments of thinking I should be better, or that I should be lifting heavier; that after this much time, I should be doing a lot of things. As if all the excitement and newness of the sport has dwindled and I am left with just high expectations of myself and no longer is it about doing new things but about living up to some arbitrary numbers that I think I should be hitting or some movements that I magically should be able to do just because of my time in the sport. I see other girls squatting heavier, jerking more, getting their muscle-ups (though, at the same time, those girls want to squat even heavier, jerk even more, and link more muscle-ups). No one is ever truly satisfied.

Crossfit is supposed to be fun, and seeing these new people is helping me to reignite my own spark, to remember what it was like when I started and even moreso to acknowledge how far I have come!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Crossfit and I still drink the Kool-aid every day and still get to class 5x a week, often at least two hours a day in the gym. Though taking a step back to remember why I am there, remembering where I started, and enjoying every moment once again. Besides, there are these brand new people, newbie athletes who aspire to do just a fraction of what I am doing today, and for that I should be celebrating my progress and my success, not focusing on the struggles!

-I was the awkward girl who could hardly

Your turn..
Do you remember your first day of Crossfit?
Is there someone who you see struggling, but you wish you were able to do things he or she does?
How has your attitude on Crossfit changed over the time that you have done it?

Andrew Raynor

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