When Tom asked me if I wanted to write down what my experience with the entire CrossFit Moves membership had taught me over the past first year, I thought: “How am I going to be able to bundle all those incentives into a lot of words? That’s a tough question you ask me there, Tom”. But I thought it was a fun challenge and I’m glad I can share it.
The personal motivation for my CrossFit adventure was to tackle my mental battle over the past few years. To this day I struggle with the eternal reversion to “my safe cocoon” that often left me frustrated and depressed in development and new stimuli. Holding on to the known, the certainty I had always sought, was a lifeline that I wanted to break through with baby steps. My psychologist and my time in hospital had made me realize millimeter by millimeter that I should try to throw off my shackles:
“Niels, try to break through your control urge of that limiting familiarity by exploring something new in the sporting field, where your greatest passion has been all your life.”
So I was pretty terrified during my first weeks at CrossFit Moves and I was always looking for possible escape routes — My body and I are not made for this… I don’t like my wooden body… we’re done with it — But since it was part of my program at the day therapy center, which I was running at the time, I dutifully wanted to continue working on my mental mind as well.
Yep, I knew I would show escape behavior for the new one, but now I had the time and space to try again the next day at a skip moment. What helped me with that was the safety I felt in the environment of and within the CrossFit Moves walls.
At one of the first WODs, I struggled with my kicking heels in the squat position and my perfection-trained brain made me groan and doom myself. Especially in a team, I drifted off to the dressing room during class. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn’t and the beast of wanting to do more than good made me give up. I was followed by Tom. He listened to my failing thoughts. He gave me time to take it home and, with inspiring words of a cycle of learning, not only in the moment, but also in an email in the evening, asked me to find the courage and face the day then showing up with my gym bag. After that day I could suddenly let go of the eternal comparison with the participants present. I decided that day, with varying degrees of success, to map out my own CrossFit course.
I already mentioned that there is a portion of perfectionism in me. And when it comes to CrossFit, that matches the slogan I’ve heard and accepted from all the trainers at CrossFit Moves. The weights and kilos could, and still, be stolen from me. I view them as a natural consequence once I have mastered the moves. For me, CrossFit is, apart from the physical part, mainly a very technical sport. The execution of the exercises is a thousand times more important to me than the speed or the weight value dangling from the bar ends.
Learning to use your body correctly, the coordination and hobbyhorse of the right technique, injury prevention and long-term profit are the basis for me. Programming your body and brain in such a way that the whole design of an exercise is purified in all its facets. Rather slower and less punishment in bulk but RIGHT.
The perception that everything is a primal force of beech and heavy biceps and bull necks is so beautifully disproved within the shed walls of CrossFit Moves
This approach is, of course, sometimes debilitating. You often have more “no-reps” in your head than successful variants and it can make you go home very hesitant after a lesson. But I firmly believe that it will pay off in the long run. In that respect, the approach that I was able to taste from day one with the coaches of CrossFit Moves is completely mustache. So be kind to yourself, give it time and enjoy every drop of sweat and technique gained. Forget the boastfulness of gyms full of mirrors and outdoing each other with numbers and false power explosions. At CrossFit, the intrinsic motivation of each participant counts so much more, where the smoke of Instagram performance and ditto display are completely absent. And that environment and air makes me gladly step into the door of CrossFit Moves under the pink roofs every moment.
I have already fired thousands of questions at the trainers. With always the pleasant approach on their part to think along with the story and to deal with the essence: How do I master this technically demanding sport and how do I adjust the bar with regard to the needs of myself and each member . Because the needs of my stiff, immobile body are high to keep the sport somewhat under control. After a year of struggling now, with the victory of not fleeing, having the heart pumping again at high intensity and the beautiful community feeling that CrossFit Moves gives me, I am succeeding in exposing myself more and more to the people there and I found a nice energy boost to tackle my busted hips and ankles in their rock solid state of being.
You may have seen me doing some mobility exercises in a corner and that is where my entire focus is for the time being. Interspersed with a workout or two or three a week, I have committed myself to test how far I can bend my wooden body this year. Hundreds of YouTube tutorials and writings further, are my leitmotif to be able to lay the foundation for — for me personally — to make progress in this beautiful sport in the long term. Because that feeling still dominates today. Before I can do the squat properly, the sport is not yet graspable for me in its essence. And so now I have to learn to stretch, bend, tuck and rotate my hips and ankles. But I must and will succeed! Before the end of this year I want to reach my squat goal. And from there we move up the skill ladder again. Dare I even dream of Russian baby makers…?!
The perception that everything is a primal force of beech and heavy biceps and bull necks is so beautifully disproved within the shed walls of CrossFit Moves. It’s like a whole technical sport that teaches us to use the body we’ve been given in the ways it was created for. That passionate touch of the CrossFit mentality has stung me deeply. I want to read and record all about it. I want to conclude by repeating the core to myself and maybe I can encourage others with it:
With CrossFit Moves you don’t have to be the strongest or best. Let your path and the environment guide and support you. Keep patting each other on the back and always ask the coaches for advice and guidance.
It’s wonderful to allow that. Explore your body and work on your mobility. Your body will thank you for that. And physical complaints as a result of our current social flows (how many hours a day are we not rusting on that wheelchair) can now be nipped in the bud for later. Try to listen to your body, squeeze and tug at your body zones in a supported way with a more red cross above and it will give you a lot of pleasure, also in your cup.
A few more CrossFit and mobility “Valhallas” that could charm me on YouTube:
- The Ready State from Kelly Slater. I also have his bible of mobility and CrossFit at home “Becoming a Supple Leopard”. I am happy to lend it to those who want to learn and read about their weak zones.
- Upright Health For people with difficult hips
- SmashweRX from Trevor Bachmeyer
- kinstretch: Pails & Rails from Ian Markow
- Athlean X A whole lot of tips about mobility and execution of CrossFit exercises.
But watch it in moderation. Or it will dominate your dreams! ? I can speak to it. Above all, it should remain fun!
Finally, I want to thank everyone at CrossFit Moves for the beautiful, safe atmosphere we create together. The community feeling that the driving forces (the coaching team and so on) evoke is heartwarming. Let’s continue that spirit and steadily learn and grow in the exercises. Forget the weight, think about the right execution and don’t forget to pat each other on the back.
P.S. for those who also experience struggles with their mobility. “Fascia release” has already given me great results personally. It is excruciatingly painful in the beginning and you hate the lacrosse ball, but it works!