Well, I found one that reminded me a lot of life back in Texas. It's a bare bones, no-frills facility, but I was drawn to this great sense of connectedness and community. It's a smaller space, with a close-knit client base in a laid-back (and kind of neighborhood-y feeling) corner of Atlanta. The owners are married and both retired Army, and I was drawn to them instantly. For a moment, I felt like I was right back at Fort Hood!
Not only have I been training at this affiliate, I'm coaching there as well *cue cheesy grin!*
The last two weeks have just been awesome. It feels so great to wake up with a purpose every morning, to be given the opportunity to help people in an area of life that I am so incredibly passionate about. It feels so good to work for people who appreciate what I have to offer and make me feel like I am a real asset to their team.
The community within the box is also so supportive and coaching these athletes is a blast! They're all like little sponges, soaking up every nugget of information, ready to test their limits, try new things and hone their skills. Their excitement is addicting. And wow, seeing them succeed gives me so much joy. It's a feeling that just sticks with you all day.
I was reflecting on my personal CrossFit journey earlier today, and how my vision of what it means to be a CrossFitter has changed so much from a year ago, when I really delved into the sport.
Back then, it was faster, faster, faster!
Screw form, I need to PR!
I hate heavy lifting days, I only want to do met-cons!
I need to be the best!
Compete, compete, compete!
Of course competition is the backbone of CrossFit, but it's not everything. You don't need to compete to be a CrossFit athlete. You don't need to have a goal of going to the Games to be a CrossFit athlete. The Games do not equal CrossFit. Competitions do not equal CrossFit.
Once I wrapped my mind around the reality that 1% of CrossFit athletes will ever be competitors at the Games, it took a lot of pressure off. I was able to take a step back to really analyze myself as an athlete as a whole. And wow, I have a lot of holes. And the competitive aspect was actually hindering my growth. I will say these last few months of working out alone have been lonely, yes, but they've been immensely beneficial. I've been able to work on my goats, my flaws, without the beep of a timer rushing me. I've been able to focus on form without worrying about someone "beating" me. I've been able to program workouts and take the time to work on specific movements that have challenged me and helped me grow as an athlete. I've been able to scale weight without my ego getting in the way.
I realized that there isn't a time table that I'm rushing to meet performance goals by (aka the Open), as I plan on being a CrossFitter for the rest of my life. When you think about all that there is to learn within the realm of functional fitness and CrossFit, it's easy to get overwhelmed. But, when I think about how I have the rest of my life to master these skills, I am excited! I am so excited to know that if I train smartly (and optimally) and don't beat my body into a pulp, I'll be able to continue to grow and hone my skills for years to come. Maybe one day I will be competing in the Games, in the Master's division!
I used to have this very arrogant view of CrossFit. That you had to be an athlete or already in good shape to do it, that it for just for the "elite" ... Ugh, why didn't anyone slap me! As an athlete and as a coach, my favorite memories are when I was first starting, and my favorite clients now are those people who are just getting into it as well, people who maybe have zero athletic background at all (my grandma!) I love coaching people who couldn't hold an air squat when they first started, or clean an empty barbell.
Because that was me when I started. I couldn't do a push up without leading with my ass (you know those wormy push ups), I was the queen of the jumping pull up, and I couldn't thrust an empty 45 pound barbell. THAT'S RIGHT. I was a total pansy. But I'm proud to say that because I have definitely come a long way. And I'm damn proud.
I love working with people who want to put in the effort and believe they are capable of anything with a little perseverance. I love working with people who want to be better for themselves, their families, their husbands, their jobs. Not because they want to make it to the CrossFit Games, but because they just want to suck a little less at life. They want to bring all the groceries in from the car in one swoop. They want to be able to pick up a laundry basket and not throw out their back. They want to look good (or at least a little less jiggly) in their bathing suit.
Because at the end of the day, it's just you against you.
I'm so excited to have been given this coaching opportunity, and I'm so excited to be able to share it with all of my readers! You can bet your butt I'll still be trying to make it to Spin a few times a week though, at least until I can convince the instructors to come try CrossFit. ;)
P.S. I'm getting a tune up on my road bike next week! I'm hoping as the weather warms up to park my car and ride my bike to the box.
1. How do you commute to work/gym?
Carpool? Bus? Bike? Walk?
2. Are you more competitive against yourself or others?
3. Would you rather do burpees or wall walks?