Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Crossfit Experience

I apologise in advance if you're allergic to phone photos (specifically Samsung because let's be real this S3 camera sucks).

I'm going to start from the very beginning. I lifted my first barbell in February this year with guidance from a friend who has been lifting a little longer than I have. I started with just the bar- deadlifts were a breeze, squats were a breeze, I almost died doing overhead presses and bench presses. From that, I think we can easily deduce that my arms were not (still are not tbh) strong. That day, I decided to challenge myself and try to deadlift my bodyweight (60kg), and I somehow (?!?!?!) succeeded. I understood then and there why people enjoy it.

It's a personal accomplishment. You are always striving to reach a higher goal, and sure there is a limit, but really how long will it take you to reach that limit (is there even a limit?)? Probably a long time. The great thing about having no specific goals is that I don't feel disappointed when I don't reach a specific amount. To me, any amount, as long as I am increasing/improving is some way or another, is enough.

My one month/two weeks at Crossfit 0260 has been nothing short of amazing (amazing being tiring, feeling like death and inspiring). I've been intrigued by Crossfit since the start of this year. Someone I know, Steph (otherwise known as Muscle Up Munchkin) (you can read her anorexia article here), although have never met, has been the biggest inspiration and the main reason why I was so intrigued by Crossfit and why I decided to pick my ass off my chair and into the world of Crossfit. Special thank you to the coaches for teaching me.. everything. (Crossfit 0260 has moved to Epic MMA now!)

I recorded one session- 14 April.

2min Row

Deadlift (shin, under knee, above knee)
35kg with bar

Bench Press
25kg with bar


30 Kettlebell Swings

20 Box Steps

10 Shoulder Press

This was one of my first proper sessions and I was so proud of myself! Obviously for some people this may not seem like a lot, but for a noob like me, this was great. In fact, every session felt like such an accomplishment. There were some workouts that were harder than others, but every single one never failed to make me sweat, burn in some place or another, and almost die. I respected myself more. I saw myself in a new light, and my aesthetics became more secondary (not entirely secondary) to my strength and technique. This was a step up on how I viewed myself and my insecurities (more on this another time).

I tried doing a tiny similar workout at my home gym, but I got tired very quickly and was not as motivated. I used to think that I enjoyed working out on my own, and I do, but in a group environment, somehow you push yourself more. Be it the competitive nature inside trying to outdo others or the coaches words of encouragement. For me, I think it was a bit of both. Try as I may to not be self-conscious, being the youngest, weakest, sometimes the only female, does make me shake a little. My self-consciousness only added to my determination to have better form and simply get it done. There are many aspects that contributed to me performing better at crossfit, and these are just a few.

An example of me 'performing better' and pushing myself more than usual to not seem like a pussy (for lack of a better word)- I had to share a bar to squat with someone else, a man, because we were the same height. We used a guy bar (yes there are guy and girl bars) and started out light, 10 pounds on each side, that was fine. Then he asked if we could add more, and I said sure! He said he had a problem with his tailbone so he couldn't go that heavy and asked if this (~80 pounds!!!) was okay. I said sure!!! Low and behold, my "sure!!!" became not so sure after about 4 reps. I came, I didn't conquer, but hey, four reps is not no reps!

It's funny how your lifestyle change can also influence those of your family. Joining Crossfit was just the start of my 'health journey'. As time has passed, I've become even more interested in health in regards to what we put into our bodies, exercise, and mental health. I always read labels, I try to moderate, I try to do exercises I enjoy, I reflect on how blessed I am. This too, has translated to my family. They also try to eat better and exercise more, and I think that's great. (although don't exercise TOO much- this article about exercise bulimia is so accurate and I think many people have experienced it or are experiencing it but may not know that it is a problem, so please do give it a read)

I sadly (very sadly) no longer do Crossfit because I'm trying to save money for my family and for myself. I genuinely miss it very much and if I find cheaper alternatives, you can be sure to see me there every week. Twice a week. Thrice maybe. Things you love come at such a cost.. It's a shame and pity that I can't do the two things I love- Crossfit and aerial hoop.

I will be back. And I will be stronger. I am months late with this post (oops) but better late than never, right?