Meanwhile, it’s been almost three years since I first walked into CrossFit Moves. After a few sportless years I had started running again and that didn’t always go as smoothly as I had hoped. Busy days at work and a long relationship coming to an end had pushed me into a rut that seemed hard to get out of. I had lost track of myself during that difficult period, and was looking for a healthy balance again.
A form of therapy
Working out has always been a form of therapy for me, both physically and mentally, so I wanted to pick up that good habit again. Unfortunately, I soon noticed that my enthusiasm was not always directly proportional to reality. The first running training sessions went relatively smoothly, but after a few months the motor started to falter and I seemed to have reached a plateau. Longer distances didn’t seem to work and my pace also remained the same, which caused the necessary frustration. Through online research I often came across the same answer: “Create more variety and follow functional training for better running performance”.
I looked for some examples of sports that would be beneficial to your running performance and I soon ended up with swimming or CrossFit. cross fit? Sorry, never heard of it. Curious, I watched a few YouTube videos of muscular men and women hurriedly doing a rack of pull-ups at a pace that made my head spin, or simply lifting their own body weight above their heads. Then swim…
“There are so many exercises and movements that you can keep challenging yourself. It’s that variation that drew me more and more to CrossFit.”
Without much success I must confess. After emptying the Wezenberg swimming pool a few times, I decided to get out of my solitary comfort zone and book a CrossFit trial lesson. Although my first impression immediately reminded me of those YouTube videos, I was quickly reassured by the coaches that everyone of a different level could participate in the exercises. And that there are always alternatives or scaled options (I still had to learn the jargon) that you can do instead while trying to master the right technique.
It’s a learning curve
Of course there is a learning curve. I’ve had to relearn quite a few exercises myself (such as squatting deeper or maintaining form tension when deadlifting), but that constant learning process is also part of the attraction. There are so many exercises and movements that you can keep challenging yourself: from double-unders to kipping pull-ups and from overhead squats to mobility exercises, everyone is different and everyone has their own working points. Or in my case: the complete preceding enumeration (I already know the jargon by now).
It’s that variation that drew me more and more to CrossFit. I became noticeably stronger and also started to feel results in my running workouts. Not only my pace, but also the distances I ran shot up. The frequency and combination of both sports initially meant that I did not always recover sufficiently, and that I even started to lose some strength. I consulted Marlies Huysentruyt of Eat Good Feel Good and part of the CrossFit Moves team. She asked me to keep track of my eating, sports and sleeping habits for one week. Not that I ate unhealthy before, certainly not. I saw it more as a kind of awareness about which nutrition and quantities you need in combination with the many sports. After adjusting my diet to a more balanced pattern (and most difficult of all, less stress and more sleep), I started to gain strength and energy again and 4 to 5 alternating CrossFit workouts and running became a standard part of my routine. weekly routine. I felt that I had found the balance I was looking for.
“After the ‘Hesp Naar Hunk’ program from Marlies, I was so aware of my body and capabilities that I unconsciously started training more”
And then the thing that I’ve been trying to ignore throughout this text: this is the year I turned 40. I don’t know how much this plays into it mentally, but in the last year I seem to have found my second breath. After Marlies’ ‘Hesp Naar Hunk’ program, I was so aware of my body and capabilities (and that at my age!), that I subconsciously started training more. Thanks to the community challenges and encouragement through SugarWOD, I feel like I’ve come out of quarantine even stronger. Even though I have to keep working on my mobility, strength and technique, I don’t think I’ve ever been as fit as I am now at 40. And I’m quite proud of that. This is not only due to my active lifestyle, but also to the great community and familiar faces every day at Moves (yes… meanwhile we come almost daily).
So we keep practicing until we can do those pull-ups quickly and easily raise our own body weight above our heads. So fun. Fist bump for everyone!