Join CrossFit he said. It will be fun he said. You will be so good at it since you were a college athlete he said. Excited and anxious to whip this mom body back into shape my brother picked me up and we headed to my first CrossFit class.
Sure it had been almost 15 years since I had laced up my cleats for my last soccer game, but this Mom of 2 is one tough cookie. I was born a natural athlete, sports come easy to me. If it was athletic, I was guaranteed to win at it. I have always been extremely competitive, I am not afraid of hard work and sacrifices so this CrossFit thing was sure to be a repeat of my past athletic successes. Boy was I in for a surprise.
The first couple weeks were difficult because we were doing a lot of technical lifts and CrossFit movements and I needed to learn the form, but after a few weeks I was still struggling with just the 33 pound bar. CrossFit does not discriminate so was in class with 19 year old girls, 65 year old women, 40 year old men, you name it. When I would look over at these 65 year old women who were lifting double my weight I began to get discouraged. I was only a couple months in, but really, a 65 year old woman stronger than me? And the worst part was she didn’t even look like she was in shape.
I will never forget when a much older woman who is a smoker beat me in both deadlifts and the WOD in one day. There was another day when a girl who was fresh off knee surgery could squat more than I could.
Needless to say, I began to get discouraged. It had been years since I had consistently trained, my body had changed and my mind was confused about it. Why was this so hard? Unfortunately my body was not the only thing that had become weak, my mind had weakened as well. I began to focus on comparing my current ability to my past ability. The more I compared my current self to my past self the more I allowed negativity to take over my mind. This negativity discouraged me from trying my best and paved the way for indifference which gave me permission to stay the same. I then started making excuses and decreasing my effort level. The excuses kept me from setting goals, tracking my progress and giving my best each workout. Without tracking my progress and setting goals I had no idea if I was improving and it all just began to feel like a big waste of time.
Needless to say, I began to get discouraged. It had been years since I had consistently trained, my body had changed and my mind was confused about it. Why was this so hard?
The truth was I was used to being one of the best athletes in the room and the fact that I was no longer even in the top 50% made me feel insecure. I let this insecurity lead me to comparison to my old self which would only lead to negativity and then excuses.
One thing about CrossFit is- it doesn’t lie. It tells the truth completely. You will only ever get out of it what you put in to it. There are no free rides, you can’t buy your way to being stronger or make excuses and still see results. CrossFit also tells us the truth about ourselves. It takes time, dedication, courage, sacrifice, hard work, mental focus, follow through, goal setting and consistency to improve. If you lack in any of these traits CrossFit will reveal it to you. CrossFit isn’t your friend you can go complain and whine to that will sympathize and make you feel better. CrossFit will test your limits, push you and challenge you. You can respond to the truth CrossFit reveals to you about yourself with excuses, indifference and lack of effort like I did and see little results. But if you are willing to be honest in return and face the truth about yourself that CrossFit reveals to you, then you will become the best version of you that you could ever be.
One thing about CrossFit is- it doesn’t lie. It tells the truth completely. You will only ever get out of it what you put in to it. There are no free rides, you can’t buy your way to being stronger or make excuses and still see results.
The truth that CrossFit revealed to me was that I was insecure because I was no longer the athlete that I used to be.
I was wanting to look to my past when I needed to be looking ahead. Good, strong and athletic years are still ahead of me and I have much to look forward to if I am willing to put forth the effort. I had also become more inconsistent over the years and was struggling to stick with my goals. At first I responded to that truth with excuses and poor effort. It has taken me quite a while to finally build up the courage within to face my own insecurity head on. I hate feeling insecure and weak. But my excuses weren’t serving me well.
The 10 truths
I sat down and wrote in my journal the “truth”. The truth about how I am feeling, what my mind is thinking and why I am failing at CrossFit. My journal entry basically came down to 10 Truths that CrossFit has taught me that I need to live by. Not everyone of these truths are necessarily new to me, but the reason that I say CrossFit has taught them to me is because it has only been through not giving up and consistently attending CrossFit that I am finally truly “learning” these truths and applying them to my life.
So here they go:
- I am not as young or in that same shape as I used to be, but I don’t need to go back and try to be that athlete I used to be. I only need to become the best version on myself that I can be today.
- It is going to take a long hard and committed road to get back into shape. There are no shortcuts. It won’t come as easy this time around so stay dedicated.
- Now is the time to do it, every day that you let pass by will just take you that much longer to get to where you want to be.
- You need to stop letting your insecurities dictate your choices and attitude. Suck it up. You choose your attitude, choose wisely.
- Failure is ok, it can even be a good thing. When I lift till failure that means I have pushed myself beyond my limits and tomorrow I will be stronger for it.
- Realize that it is ok if it is hard because it will be hard.
- No excuses. They feel good in the moment, but they rob you from your dreams.
- If you are unhappy with your progress look within before you consider looking outward.
- Consistency. Do not expect to see any results unless you show up consistently with the right mindset and effort.
- Track your progress, write everything down.
It is amazing how facing the truths CrossFit has revealed to me about myself and applying them to my workouts has helped me to face those same truths in other areas of my life. If we are weak in an area it tends to crossover into multiple areas of our lives. For example, finally making the commitment to show up consistently to CrossFit has changed my mindset in such a way that I have been able to be more committed to other areas in my life that were struggling due to a lack of consistency as well.
Looking back now I am so thankful that he pushed me to go. While I am still nowhere near the shape I used to be in, I no longer care about who I used to be. I am fully focused on who this mom can now be.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into the day my brother drove me to my first CrossFit class, but looking back now I am so thankful that he pushed me to go. While I am still nowhere near the shape I used to be in, I no longer care about who I used to be. I am fully focused on who this mom can now be. Being the best version of me right now. Mentally and physically I am getting stronger each day and I am so grateful to CrossFit and my coach Victor for pushing me to grow beyond the small “mom” box I had put myself in and for revealing the truth to me that I still can be and do anything I put my mind to. I am unstoppable.
As a stay at home mom I have given up almost all of myself to raise these beautiful girls and most of what I feel I still have left of “me” not the “mom me” but the “me me” is memories of the “me before kids”. True, “me before kids” would have been a good CrossFit athlete almost overnight, but the new me the “mom me” is going to take time to get there.