Some of my friends joking call CrossFit a cult, others call it an obsession. I consider it a way of life. To me, CrossFit is more than just a workout routine that I do on a daily basis. It encompasses so much more than an hour long workout. During the past fourteen months of doing CrossFit, I have learned so much, about myself and about others. Here are five of, what I consider, to be the most important things CrossFit has taught me.
- Your mind gives up much faster than your body. CrossFitters put ourselves through some interesting workouts. Whether it be one of the Ladies, a Hero WOD, or a long chipper, there are workouts that we voluntarily participate in that leave us lying on our backs, gasping for air, or vomitting. There are also those workouts where, for whatever reason, we can’t finish or we give up on because our muscles burn too much or we are too tired. Over the last year, I have learned that I can push through the desire to give up because my legs are burning or because I feel nauseous. Sure, I may need to slow down or take a breather, but I know I can finish, my body can handle it.
- Food is fuel. Paleo isn’t the only reason I think this, like I have talked about previously. I have learned that if I want to perform to my full potential, I need to eat 30-45 minutes prior to working out. I also know that if I eat something too spicy, or too “liquidy” (weird, I know), I am more apt to getting to taste my meal for a second time as it rapidly leaves my body during the workout. CrossFit has taught me the need to eat properly and think of food as a fuel source rather than just yummy food.
- Lacrosse balls hurt unbelievable good. If you have ever used a lacrosse ball to roll out during a mobility/stretching session, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you have no idea what I am talking about, please, do yourself a favor and get yourself a lacrosse ball and watch some instructional YouTube videos on how to use lacrosse balls.
- The atmosphere in the gym is so important. I think we have experienced this in one place or another. If the attitudes of the employees and other people in the room is negative, too competitive, or in any way poor, you aren’t going to want to be there. I have experienced both ends of this spectrum. It is amazing how everything from motivation to workouts improve as the attitudes of those around you improve as well. Thankfully, I moved from a location that, for me (I say this because I know others who enjoy that space), felt negative and as if it was lacking any positive vibes, to a location that is fun, positive, encouraging, and motivating.
- The effort you put in is equal to the results you receive. I think this one is a bit obvious but at the same time, not always. There are some people who think that they should be able to come into the gym, do the workout of the day, and see results, even when they don’t ever push themselves. It would be easy for anyone to go into the gym five days a week, do the workouts at a slow pace, or really light weight, and get frustrated because they don’t see the results. If you want to get results you have to push yourself hard, you have to want to work hard to see those results.
So there you have it. Five of the things I have learned from CrossFit, besides the fact that I don’t like Fran, and that oddly enough I like evil wheels (I call them “easy wheels”). What lessons have you learned from CrossFit? We can learn so much from each other, so please share your thoughts!