CrossFit Update – One Month In
Last week marked the end of my first month as a ‘crossfitter’. If you recall (or even care), I decided to dive in for 3 months to see if CF could revive my waning exercise regimen. But even more significant for me, I wanted to see if this style of workout could provide a base of fitness that I could carry much later into my life. I want to be healthy and active as my kids get older, and would like to remain so as they begin to have kids of their own.
One of the things I realized going in was that CrossFit is a very polarizing topic. People seem to be fiercely devoted to it, or fiercely opposed to it. I’ve read several articles and posts over the past few weeks and have talked with friends who have joined boxes. I understand (most of) the arguments on either side, and certainly value the variety of viewpoints involved. But I still feel that my own experience will be the best judge for me.
So…How’s It Going?
It has been a challenge (understatement!). For the first couple of weeks I experienced some pretty significant soreness post-workout. I can honestly say that I am working muscles I’ve never engaged before, and challenging the more obvious muscle groups in totally new ways. In addition, I have often felt a bit perplexed by techniques I’ve never heard of, let alone performed. And some of the weights I’ve been able to manage properly through the moves were, quite frankly, embarrassing. However, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve moved into more of a ‘good soreness’, the kind of subtle ‘hurt’ that serves as a reminder that I’m doing something worthwhile, something that is changing my body and my health in positive ways. And my confidence is growing, despite still having a great deal to learn and ‘master’.
CrossFit has also exposed a lot of my imbalances and inefficiencies. I count that as a good thing. I believe there are a lot of areas in life that we allow ourselves to go untested, to settle for what is comfortable, to live in the ‘status quo’. As a 40-year-old husband, father, employee, etc, it would be super easy to allow my health and fitness to become one of those areas. I’m committed to not letting that happen. By its nature, CrossFit will not let you rest on your laurels and stay comfy. Whether or not it will be the long-term ‘thing’ for me remains to be seen. But that probably has more to do with me than with CF.
One last thing I’ll comment on: safety. One of the chief criticisms of CF is that it is inherently unsafe. Not sure I buy that. Is there an element of risk involved? Sure. But there are very few things we do day in and day out that don’t involve some level of risk. I won’t get into the debate here, but I will mention one thing that I do believe makes all the difference in the world and will either serve to mitigate or amplify the risk.
Your relationship with the coaches.
As the owner of the box I joined (#CrossFitBoom) told me early on, your greatest ally in CF is your communication with your coach. The better the relationship and the more open the communication about what you are thinking, feeling, and doing, the less likely you’ll be to get hurt. I buy into that 100%. And I am thankful to have found a box with two coaches that know what they’re doing, take the time to understand my level of fitness and my limits, remain hands on and engaged throughout the workouts, and are willing to make time to help me develop my technique.
For an injury prone, old guy…that means a lot.