CrossFit: a change in perspective

CrossFit has been under some scrutiny these days for creating hand ripped, Paleo obsessed, injury prone athletes. This may be true for some, but it’s definitely NOT the focus of all CrossFit gyms. CrossFit can build people up in so many different ways- specifically mentally. I attended Reebok CrossFit 306 here in Saskatoon for over a year and it was such a rewarding experience. Check out their success stories here to read up on some of the member’s amazing testimonies!

I want to provide you with some insight into what CrossFit has done for me but first let me provide you with a bit of my background. When I was young, I was not into sports, or really being that active. I tried a bunch of different sports but never stuck it out with one sport. Seriously, my resume extends from softball, volleyball, basketball, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, to even fencing and musical theatre (not much of a sport but hey). In the end, I never became really good at one thing. I had developed the mindset that if I wasn’t really good within a certain time frame (which was usually about 3 months or however long the season for that sport was), I would never be good at it and so it was not worth my time. This attitude developed into how much effort I put into a lot of things. If it didn’t come easy, I wasn’t interested. If I didn’t connect with someone fairly quickly, we weren’t meant to be friends. I didn’t want to put the time in to get past that awkward “how’s the weather” phase. I didn’t want to put much effort into writing that 20 page essay, because what would it really matter in the grand scheme of things? If I didn’t see results quickly after putting in a little bit of time and minimal effort, it wasn’t for me.

February of 2012 I decided to join crossfit after one of my good friends had joined and I was tired of hearing her brag about all the hardcore things she was doing there. I wanted in. My first day although intimidating, was awesome. I couldn’t do a wall ball (YouTube it if you don’t know what it is) but my coach was right there, scaling it down for me as I needed, and eventually he was right in there doing the wall balls with me. I was hooked. It’s not easy to say “this is too hard” when you have your coach right beside you encouraging you, and the rest of the gym behind you and cheering you on. And that’s how it was for the next year and a half. It definitely was not easy to get my butt there. I usually had a personal pep talk before each work out. “One step at a time Breanne, you’ll be able to do this workout. It’s not going to be easy, but trust me, you will NOT regret it afterwards.” I would complete each workout no matter what. Even if I had to lay there for 5 minutes to catch my breath in the middle of it, I still DID feel great after it was all over! Over time, I started to notice my mindset change from “I don’t think I can do this” to “I know I can do this- it’s not going to be easy but I can do it”. I started doing things that I never thought my body could do because I had never pushed myself that hard before. I started believing things that I didn’t think possible in the past. I remember one time at home I was making supper for my then fiancĂ© (now husband) and I had purchased meat that I was supposed to ask the butcher to slice very thinly but I had forgot. I got home with a big slab of meat and I thought “there is no way I can cut this myself- it’ll take way too long” but then I thought about the workout I had done that day… probably something like a kajillion kettle bell swings, pull ups, and rope climbs… and realized if I could do that, I can cut this puny roast into thin slices to make the meal I had planned on making in the first place. So off I went- one 5mm slice of meat at a time (yes- I measured!). This might not seem like an accomplishment to some, but trust me it was not easy!

I mentioned before that I do not do crossfit anymore. For my own health reasons I decided that it was not a good fit for me at this time. BUT I am now doing other things that I am passionate about but never thought I would be any good at. I’ve started doing yoga and I love it! I attend a bootcamp once a week through Sweat Performance and let me tell you- I did NOT think I would be one that could keep up with this group. The coach and the others that attend are always encouraging and pushing each other beyond their limits. I’ve also started running and am working towards doing a half marathon which I have always wanted to do but never put any effort into making that goal a reality. Blogging is another to add to my list- it’s something I’ve always been interested in but never thought I could actually do.

I’m not saying you have to do CrossFit to know that you are capable of doing things you never thought possible. Know that any accomplishment takes work, commitment, peer support and the belief in yourself that you are capable of anything! It just so happens that CrossFit and it’s amazingly supportive community has taught me just that and I am forever grateful. I encourage you all to find a community where you feel supported to be the best YOU, a community where you feel encouraged to push yourself beyond your limits and achieve things you never thought you could.

What do you do to push your limits? What challenges you in a positive way and lets you accomplish things you never thought possible? What are those accomplishments? Let’s hear some stories better than slicing meat!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!