During a city trip, you can’t resist picking up a WOD in a local CrossFit box, or on holiday with a tent, a car that weighs rather heavily because of the kettlebells in the trunk. That’s CrossFit. A microbe that you can’t let go of.
A 5 minute WOD that has an effect?
Meanwhile, almost five years ago, a very enthusiastic sister-in-law warmed me up to participate in a CrossFit session. I was used to long cardio workouts (walking, spinning…) and in the beginning I was mainly surprised and sometimes disappointed by the short workouts. A 5 minute WOD that has an effect? That was difficult to do. In addition, I had never done strength training before (and I am certainly not a muscle bundle by nature) and it was a strange feeling to run off with barbells and dumbbells. I wasn’t a gymnast either, so pull-ups, toes to bar and handstand push-ups weren’t exactly in my comfort zone either. And then all those different types of squats: it’s not normal how mobile you had to be for that.
Initially I saw CrossFit as a nice addition to my cardio workouts. It was definitely not my ambition to lift heavy weights and actually do all those difficult exercises.
With wide eyes I looked at ladies who could deadlift more than 100 kg and did pull-ups on the bar without blinking. I did the scaled version and was okay with that. In addition, I indulged in the longer workouts with a lot of walking, box jumps and all kinds of cardio exercises.
Gradually I became stronger and I also noticed the effect on my cardio training. I started walking faster. I actually ran my first Ten Miles after a year of CrossFit in 1 hour 20 minutes. What a milestone. My body also started to change. In a positive sense (finally a tight stomach!), but also pants that no longer fit me and shoulders that became just a bit wider (but hey: strong is the new skinny). And then the tons of energy I got! Unbelievable how you can let go of all stress during a CrossFit session and go home reborn.
Raising the bar for myself
As I felt the positive effects more and more, I started to raise the bar for myself. No longer being the fastest with a scaled weight, but using the RX weights. No more using elastic for the pull-ups, but keep biting and then be the very last to finish the WOD. And so I got better and got even more satisfaction out of it. I was suddenly able to do the exercises that had seemed impossible to me before.
How cool would I be if I was still standing on my hands in thirty years and hanging from the bar doing toes to bar?
Meanwhile, Pieter (love of my life) also started with CrossFit and we stimulated each other in our passion. Especially the memorable Sunday teamwods where we encourage each other (or shout at each other because the other isn’t fast enough) took our relationship to the next level :-). A few weeks ago we participated in the club championship in the RX male/female category and we actually came second!
Is it all roses and moonshine? Certainly not. Sometimes you have to go really deep to the point of nausea, sometimes the calluses on your hands burst open during a WOD and you stand there with a bloody kettlebell, sometimes you can no longer walk from stiffness (especially in the beginning), sometimes standing your arms full of bruises, sometimes you jump next to the box (and that hurts!), sometimes an injury forces you to take it easy, sometimes….
But even in these moments I still think it’s fantastic. And I defy a busy schedule to go to my almost daily CrossFit appointment, even though this means that I have to catch up on my work until the late hours and that the children have to miss their mom. Because in the meantime I can no longer do without it and I really have to force myself to take a rest day every now and then.
The team spirit and the new social life you build up in the box also contribute a lot to this. Everyone supports each other through thick and thin and that is very nice. The coaches do their very best to motivate you and make you better. The lessons are very varied, it never gets boring. During a group lesson at the gym I used to constantly look at the clock until the hour had passed, I’ve never had that feeling at CrossFit. Thanks Tom, Marlies, Eva, Sofie, Tom, Kelly, Pieter-Jan, Philippe!
What else? I’m a believer, that much is clear. How cool would I be if I was still standing on my hands in thirty years and hanging from the bar doing toes to bar?