A little milestone passed almost un-noticed this week. I’ve now racked up 500 hours of class time as an athlete at CrossFit Northern Soul.
Trust me, I’m pretty astonished by this. No other sport, exercise regime, fitness system or “thing that involves moving & shit” has ever held my attention like this at any point in my life. I’m nearly three years into my CrossFit journey and I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface of the possible.
With this amount of time invested though there does come some associated “baggage” I’ve collected along the way. I’ll try and break this down into meaningful chunks.
Daily PB’s are looooong gone.
Chuckling at this one as I actually hit a cheeky Cindy PB today (entirely accidental as I was busy failing to complete Chelsea) but the days of you simply having to walk in and pick something up to be doing a PB dance are over. Every single kilo, second or repetition has to be ground out over weeks of solid graft. The downside of this is that you can sometimes feel like your progression has stalled. That sinking feeling of grafting and getting nowhere. The upside though is that when that tiny 1% improvement finally does arrive, the feeling of accomplishment is sweet indeed.
You have a profound understanding of what you’re shit at (and you start avoiding it).
I suck at bodyweight gymnastics. I don’t bend (much). I am the least natural upside-down human I’ve ever seen and I live in constant terror of irreparably smashing myself to bits whilst swinging about like a stunned fish on a gym rig. Where this understanding can lead you is being selective in your focus / what you gravitate towards. I’d likely be better at bodyweight gymnastics if I spent more time actually doing it. What’s my next learning event? Rowing seminar this weekend...
“I know what I’m doing”
No I don’t. Most of the time I’ve not a bloody clue. I am vastly, vastly more experienced than I was but I don't “know”. At best, I understand and can replicate with some success. What I’m talking about here is the mindset of “I’ve always pulled early on a heavy Snatch attempt so you ain’t changing me now”. The challenge of overcoming bad habits and simply being coachable is huge and I take this moment to apologise to any coaches that I may have inadvertently given “the eyes” to at any point.
“Why am I doing this?”
The struggle is real. I know that a good percentage of my time I've got a smile on and I’m somewhat genial but to drag my arse out of bed to get to CFNS for 6am is bloody hard and there’s plenty of times I’ve had to have a long conversation with myself. Keeping the reasons why CrossFit is important to me and what I want to achieve (move well for a long time, don’t be shit etc) close to me are key to me making that walk each day.
Ditch the bags
So, what have I learned over these 500 hours? Quite a lot really. The key that underpins this though and keeps me coming back for more is that even though the game has changed, it’s no less fun than it was before. The goal now is to spend the next 500 hours wisely trying to ditch the bags I’ve picked up. Stay humble, stay coachable, go upside down once in a while (bugger) and celebrate PB’s like no-one is watching.
Here’s to enjoying the grind!
Ed. Member since 2014.