A Month of CrossFit

It’s been one whole month since I started CrossFit at The Garage in Woodstock. It has really gone by quickly, and I’m happy to say that I’ve officially joined and am a paying member. So, obviously my 1-month trial went well.

The coaches and my fellow members are amazingly encouraging and kind. The coach listens to my endless questions and watches my form to make small corrections. People who have been coming to class for much longer encourage me to use heavier weights and to push myself beyond what I normally would attempt. It’s nice to feel like I have a safe environment to try things out where it’s ok if I fail or mess up.

That being said, I have a hard time knowing when to go up in weight. I don’t want to be one of those people who does everything at as easy a weight as possible, because then I finish the workouts faster than those who are doing it as prescribed and so I know I oftentimes could have worked harder. But I also don’t want to assume I’m much more awesome than I am, try to do something I may not be able to do, and look like a fool doing it.

But sometimes you’ve just got to get over yourself and try things you may not be able to do. That’s how you get stronger, right?

In terms of results, I am starting to feel a lot stronger. Vague enough for you? Since I play soccer and have been running for a few years, I know that my lower body is much stronger than my upper body. That continues to be true, but I’m really surprising myself every day by doing things I’ve never done before and lifting numbers I never imagined I’d lift.

I started keeping track of my personal records (PRs), and I’m pretty impressed with what I’ve accomplished in just 1 month:

  • Dead lift: 120# (that’s more than I weigh!!!)
  • Clean & jerk: 55#
  • Overhead squat: 50#
  • Shoulder press: 35#
  • Back squat: 78#
  • Squat clean & jerk: 65#
  • 1-mile: 7:41

Not bad for a newbie, right? In terms of how I look and feel, I can definitely tell I’m gaining muscle mass (though I haven’t measured anything or even stepped on the scale since the first week; note: my scale measures weight and body fat percentage–the latter would be what I’m looking for). Though I am still not super strong in terms of upper body strength, I feel like I AM making progress.

I feel a lot more confident about myself, too. Even if the little “problem areas” that bothered me before still exist, I know I’m moving in the right direction and don’t feel as self-conscious about them as before. It’s ok that I have some meat on my legs because I know there’s a lot of muscle there, too. It’s alright that you can see my love handles because you can see some toned abs in my midsection as well. You have to learn to take the good with the “bad,” because, let’s face it, our bodies aren’t half as bad as we think they are. In fact, they’re pretty awesome.

I don’t want to focus on “before” and “after” pictures here, partly because I didn’t take any, and partly because I don’t think that’s solely what defines my experience with CrossFit so far.

I enjoy spending my early mornings with the new friends I’ve made, and I appreciate their willingness to push me or encourage me to where I know I can go, but am afraid to try. I enjoy feeling like I’m stronger than I thought I was, and I love feeling sore because it means I’m doing my body a favor. I like it, too, because I feel like I’m making progress only a month in, which gets me excited for what’s to come. Granted, I didn’t come to CrossFit with no experience in fitness, but I do feel like I’ve made measurable changes in just 30 days at the box (attending class 3 times a week and then 4 times a week in the last week).

If you’re a CrossFitter, what was your first month like? Any advice? If you’re not, what’s your favorite way to stay in shape?

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