Huge thanks to my partner, Momentum Fitness for helping me realize I’m stronger than I ever thought possible, in more ways than one.
As though walking in the door wasn’t difficult enough, you’ve got to keep going back, which is not always the easiest thing to do, especially when you feel like your legs are made of slime and your skeleton has somehow disintegrated. I’ve been there, as in I just finished my first month of CrossFit, and not only did I survive, but I . . . Yeah. I survived. And I got stronger, but mostly I survived, and if I can survive, you can too.
When I first walked in the doors of Momentum Fitness, I was really scared. My biggest fear was a box jump, so as Murphy’s Law would have it, my first workout, we did box jumps. I immediately knew there was no way in hell I’d be able to jump onto anything higher than the sole of my shoe, and my coaches knew that too because they looked at me and told me to grab a 15# weight to jump up on. I’m not sure of the exact dimensions, but the weight couldn’t have been more than 1.5 inches tall. I jumped on that bad boy for that workout, and dammit if we didn’t do box jumps again at my next workout. This time I was told to stack two weights to jump on. I didn’t die and I didn’t scrape my shin. I haven’t had a workout since then that required box jumps until this week. This was officially the start of my 6th week in CrossFit, and Tony told me to grab a 45# weight to jump on this time, about 2.5″ tall. I was like, “heck yes, I got this!”. And then he walked over with a 12″ box.
A BOX. A REAL BOX. TO JUMP ON.
And the thing is, he wasn’t freaking joking. So yesterday, after never having done a box jump in my life, I stared that box down, tried to jump on it, and totally failed. I didn’t fall or scrape a shin, but I kind of lept over it like a not-so-delicate ballerina. Tony had me step up onto and then off of the box, then step up onto the box and jump off backwards. And then he made me try again.
And I jumped up on the effing box. And stuck the landing. With both feet.
I tell you all this to assure you that not only can you face your biggest fear, if you work hard at it, you’ll conquer it REAL quick.
It wasn’t a fluke, there were lots of box jumps in the workout yesterday, and I did them. I kind of have to work up the courage every time, but I did them, and I’m damn proud of myself.
So what do you need to know in order to survive your first month at CrossFit? Easy.
1. Find the Right Box (AKA Gym)
If you haven’t yet found a gym, look at some gym websites and see if there are people like you in their pictures. My gym isn’t a meathead gym, it’s a supportive community of athletes that range from just starting out on their CrossFit journey to seasoned athletes just making the switch to CrossFit, to veteran CrossFitters. Some of them are completely solid, others aren’t. I haven’t yet witnessed anyone throw up after a workout (though I’ve come close), and there’s more camaraderie than judgment. I have complete faith in the fact that my coaches have my best interests at heart. Not once have they let me overdo it, and they are standing right there to correct my form so that I don’t injure myself. This is not CrossFit like I thought it would be, this is CrossFit like it SHOULD be. I also know that these people could help me get to the next level if I so chose to go there, but they wouldn’t push me beyond my own goals before I’m ready. And by “next level” I mean the one beyond my own ultimate fitness.
2. Get Some Good Shoes
They don’t have to be expensive shoes to be good shoes, but you do need shoes for CrossFit. Reebok has a shoe specific for CrossFit that is lightweight, flexible, and has a flat sole. I opted for the Reebok Nano Crossfit shoe because I knew that it would do exactly what I needed it to. Kyle got the Nike Metcon and loves it. We shopped at the outlet stores for our shoes and used extra coupons to get bigger discounts. I paid around $55 for my shoes and he paid $64 for his. Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive thing. Shop deals online or in outlet stores when you can.
This is probably the most important of the five tips in this list. One of the first questions my coach asked me when I started CrossFit was how much sleep I was getting. The answer? About 5 hours a night, give or take. She stressed the importance of getting enough good sleep so that my body could repair itself and that night I got to bed at 10pm, about 3 hours earlier than normal. I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel now that I’m sleeping 7-8 hours a night. Eventually I’d like to get 8-9 hours a night, but I’m doing the best I can right now. NOW, if I’m not in bed by 10, Kyle demands I get in bed. My mood is better, I have more energy, I’m not as hungry through the day, and I can’t help but wonder if my progress in CrossFit is due to the fact that I’m giving my body more time to repair itself at night. There has to be a correlation.
Unfortunately, sleep isn’t that great on our current mattress, but we’re getting a new mattress SUPER SOON and I can’t wait to announce which company we are partnering with.
4. Get Comfortable Workout Clothes – on the Cheap
You don’t have to spend a fortune on workout clothing, especially if you’re just starting out on a fitness journey. I had grown out of most of my workout clothes, so I did allow myself a couple pair of compression pants from Old Navy (my fave), and partnered with a couple LuLaRoe consultants for two pair of Jade workout pants. Be aware, the Jades run a bit small. I wear a L or XL in Old Navy compression pants, but a 2XL in the Jade pants by LuLaRoe. Tank tops or old t-shirts work fine for tops, and you can find inexpensive sports bras on Amazon and at Old Navy.
5. Show Up
As a busy mom who works and has to shuttle the kids to all their activities and doesn’t get them in bed until after 9pm sometimes, I get it. Exhaustion is real, pouring all of yourself into your children is real, leaving yourself out is so real. But if you want to be a healthy, happy mom, you need to start doing something kind for yourself, and if you want to live a healthier, happier, longer life, you have to force yourself to get into a healthier, happier mindset. Sometimes it takes work. Enlist the help of your partner and friends – and don’t get ticked at them when they try to hold you accountable to your healthier lifestyle. Get out of bed earlier and show up. Then when you get to the gym, SHOW UP. Challenge yourself. Make the decision to show up for your life – don’t let it happen to you, show up for it. Give it a month and see exactly how far you can go too.