Guest Post: CrossFit's Impact On My Life
While I have always been of average build, I was never considered athletic. I am by nature, not a coordinated person, so when I decided to embark on a six-month journey into CrossFit, I was not optimistic. I had previously tried kickboxing and I couldn’t become dedicated to it, so I thought CrossFit would be the same. Despite my initial feelings towards CrossFit, I was able to make trackable progress. Over the past 6 months I did periodic weigh-ins and body fat % measurements. When I started I weighed 148.8 lbs and had 28.7% body fat, which for my gender, height and age range is considered average. At my last recording I weighed 141.8 pounds and had 24.7% body fat. So in 6 months I lost 7 lbs and 4% body fat.
I also decided to repeat one of my first CrossFit workouts 6 months after starting this regimen to see what I accomplished. I improved my rep count by 25%, was able to do the workout without it being scaled, and increased the weight I used by 10lbs!
While these may not seem like super impressive results, I did it for me and am happy with what I have accomplished. The journey was difficult at first, but I am optimistic about moving forward with my fitter lifestyle!
This journey of mine started just as anyone else’s does, with two-weeks of CrossFit 101. These classes were not easy for me and I became easily discouraged, but I stuck with it. After CrossFit 101 I started working out 3 days a week, as I feared, regular classes were more difficult than the 101 classes. The movements were not easy for me at first, but slowly I started noticing improvements in my form and gradually I started actually looking forward to my workouts.
Now, by nature I am not a patient person and I get frustrated easily, so the fact that I didn’t see improvements after successfully completing one-week of CrossFit was annoying to me. Several times I wanted to physically harm the trainers (Patrick) because of how challenging the workouts were. Looking back, I realize that this frustration that I felt (and continue to feel) encouraged me to work harder and become more dedicated.
Another thing that helped me stay dedicated was talking to people about what I was doing, what I wanted to accomplish and my frustrations. These conversations held me accountable, so if I started slipping up it wasn’t just myself I was disappointing, it was my support system as well. This also helped me in regards to improving my form and acquiring tips on what other areas of my life I could improve upon.
Creating a Healthier Lifestyle
Eventually, I started changing not only my schedule to accommodate workouts, but also my eating habits. I had never been unhealthy in my eating habits, but I definitely ate junk occasionally and drank quite often. I didn’t change these habits because I had to, I changed them because my new fitness lifestyle made me more aware of what I was putting into my body and if I wanted to see major body composition changes diet and exercise had to work together. I do want to note that I did not start a strict diet or drastically change my caloric intake, I simply made an honest effort to eat better.
I am now at a point in my fitness journey that I almost feel bad when I “skip” a day of working out. Even though it is painful and difficult at times, I feel better and more accomplished afterwards and when I struggle to walk two days after leg day, I know that it is because I am getting stronger.
Recapping My CrossFit Experience
My physical improvements may not be drastic, but they did give me an excuse to buy new clothes and I am happier with how I look and what I can do! I can also tell my movements and stamina have improved. Leading this healthier lifestyle has positively impacted other aspects of my life. I feel more motivated in my career and have a more positive outlook on life in general.
While I haven’t gotten to the point of being able to do handstand pushups or pullups, I am proud of what I have accomplished in these six months and I look forward to continuing my journey. If you are thinking about starting a strict fitness regimen, I have some advice for you: It is not going to be easy and you will definitely get frustrated, but when you start to notice the changes in your body and mindset, small at first and then more noticeable, I promise you it will be worth it!