Last week I announced my plans to open a CrossFit gym and Onward Torrington Physical Therapy. I had a TON of positive vibes but some misconceptions too. I think a lot of people believe that CrossFit is an injury-prone cult but if you actually try a class you may find a very supportive community of a diverse group of individuals all sweating together and encouraging one another.
This week I am bringing you a guest blog post from my dear friend Jen. Jen also thought that CrossFit was this meat head filled groupie. What she didn’t know was how CrossFit was going to change her. Take a read…
It was about 15 years ago when I first heard about Crossfit. If you had told me at that time that I’d be doing Crossfit one day, I would have very firmly told you “there’s no way I’m joining that reckless, injury-prone cult!!” No thank you.
Fast forward 15 years and I’m not only doing Crossfit and loving it, but I’m also a Crossfit Trainer (CF-L1) and am so passionate about what I do that there’s a high chance I will talk your ear off for hours if you ask me about my journey with fitness.
When people tell me they really want to start working out, I always ask them, “Why?” It probably comes across as a weird question, coming from someone who gets ridiculously excited anytime someone chooses to pursue fitness. But it’s a crucial question that will determine whether you stick with the journey or give it up when life gets too busy or you don’t see the results you want.
Since I was a little girl I’ve loved being active. I used to do workouts with my mom at home (Tae Bo/Billy Blanks anyone? Tony Little? Yep. That was us!). My personal workout routines started in college and ebbed and flowed over the years. I used to think working out was just to be physically healthy. It’s just what you’re supposed to do. And I did it and enjoyed it but I had no real direction that I was going with it all.
It wasn’t until later in life that I learned about the power of your “why”. Whether it’s with working out or your career or your relationships – you need to know your “why” behind why you do what you do. When you believe your “why” at a soul-level, you are a bajillion times more likely to stick with it (I think “bajillion” is a scientific measurement, isn’t it…?). So, I determined my “why”.
My “why” was simple: I wanted to be strong enough to take care of myself, I wanted to be strong so I could help others, and I wanted a hobby outside of work that I could invest my energy into and also get stress out doing. My “why” had developed out of intrinsic motivation, instead of extrinsic (which it had been up until that point). And suddenly, my fitness journey took off. Fitness has not only made me physically healthier, it’s made me mentally, emotionally, and (yep!) spiritually healthier as well.
I want to share a few thoughts with you specifically about Crossfit’s impact on my fitness journey, because it is when I started Crossfit that fitness was suddenly impacting other areas of my life then just physical health.
I used to be a solo worker-outer (I made that term up, feel free to quote me 😉 ). I would work out with people if they wanted to hit the gym together, but then I would go back to the gym and get my own workout in later. Never in my life did I think I would love group fitness classes. Now, after doing Crossfit for almost a year, I can’t imagine ever going back to working out by myself all the time.
There is something special about having community. We were made for relationship, and when you can come together over a common interest (a common passion even), there is a bond that naturally grows. My Crossfit community has become a safe place for me to be myself – I can be honest that I’m having a rough day and just need to throw the barbell around, we celebrate the highs/lows of life together, we encourage each other to push ourselves beyond what we think we are capable of. We celebrate new PR’s like it’s the best thing ever, and we pick each other up off the floor when a workout doesn’t go as planned and the feeling of failure threatens to overtake our joy.
Crossfit has taught me to persevere. Crossfit has taught me to embrace the process (ok I’m still learning to embrace the process – I kind of want results NOW!). It’s taught me to be more disciplined in other areas of my life, and how to focus. Crossfit has taught me to do the hard things (the other day, I literally told myself “Ok, 3…2…1…go!” when I needed to get a project done that I didn’t want to do – ha!!). It’s taught me that I can do more than I think I can. It’s taught me that being physically pushed to my limits might occasionally lead to breaking emotionally – but in that breaking, there are deeper things going on in my soul that need tended to. And then healing comes to those places of my soul.
This is why I say that fitness has not only made me physically healthier, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthier as well. I’m a work in process. But I’m embracing the process.
So, what’s your “why”?