When I started doing CrossFit, 7 years ago, I had one goal in mind. I wanted to lose weight, and in doing so, improve my overall health and wellness. That would not be hard, given the fact that at 30 years old I weighed about 260#. The workout, at my first foundations class, seemed easy enough. It was a 5-minute AMRAP of 3 burpees and 3 wall ball shots (pretty sure I used a 14# med ball). After 2 minutes and 30 seconds of work, I found myself in the back parking lot, puking up breakfast. You know, “ earning it.” I was hooked. Anything that could make me vom, in 150 seconds, had to help me on my health/fitness journey. Like most CF noobs, I charged it hard. I was doing 4-6 wods a week. That, combined with more ancestrally aligned eating habits, yielded crazy results, in a relatively short time.
Fast forward one year. I had obtained both CrossFit-Level 1 and CrossFit Kids certs. I had lost about 60#. I was coaching, several times a week, training 6-8 times a week, and working full time. I shifted my focus to refining movement patterns, and increasing weights. If I had free time, I was at the box. I was able to maintain that pace, for a few years, with nothing more than minor aches and pains. I would just power through them.
About 18 months ago, it all started to catch up to me. Aches and pains were feeling more like injuries, and trying to push through them only exacerbated things. I was feeling a little defeated. Then one Saturday morning I walked into a box, in Dallas, for my CrossFit-Level 2 seminar. It was during the open, so everyone was talking about doing 17.3, the night before. Some even talked about redoing it. That is when the head instructor chimed in. He said people, with absolutely no shot at regionals, redoing workouts was silly, and that they were missing the point. The Open is designed, for the vast majority of us, to test our fitness and see where we are in our wellness journeys. Now, Regional and Games level athletes have more invested, and more to lose. They also only represent about 3%, or less, of the total CrossFit population. He explained that the goal of CrossFit was lifelong health and wellness, not making Regionals or the games.
A light bulb went off, for me. I returned to the gym, that next Monday, rejuvenated. I had retired my ego, over the weekend. I had ditched some of my previous goals, like a 225# snatch, and replaced with the goal of swinging a decent sized kettlebell at age 90. I no longer needed to shoot for a 315# clean and jerk, but I want every rep of every movement to be done to standard. I never want to hear “No rep” on any of my movements. I have dialed back weights, refocused on refinement, and feel like my workouts are every bit as good, if not better, than when I only focused on going Rx’d. Honestly, its brought more of that fun factor, too.
The goal here is lifelong health and wellness. Refine your movements, listen to your body, and, most of all, have fun doing it.