Here is a little guest blog by April :)
Coming from a former skeptic herself, I get it when people give me the “…oh…you…crossfit?” Before starting crossfit, all I knew about it was a lot of repetition, heavy weight, and a recipe for injury. This was coming from someone I know who was following the “main site” and had no proper instruction. I have also heard of other boxes having brand new people in an intro class do 100 reps of a variety of exercises, and other things that would easily turn people off from coming back.
When my fiancé Tiago started doing crossfit at Elm City Crossfit in Hamden, my attitude changed a lot. Tiago was a former athlete himself, and had always worked out. When he started WODing at Elm City, his previous shoulder injury disappeared, he started eating healthier, started losing weight, and getting much stronger. He would come home telling me how awful a workout was, but how awesome it was at the same time. I saw new friendships forming, and his love of this new sport growing. I needed in.
I have been going to Elm City Crossfit for almost 3 years and I love it. I too was a former athlete, and this was just what I needed to stay fit while keeping a level of competition going. Here are the main reasons why I Crossfit:
The People – If you go to a lot of different workout times, you will have several different coaches and athletes in your class. The coaches each bring a different element to the class, whether it is their humor, skill set, experience, or passion. The athletes might be brand new, 5 years veterans, or a transfer from another state. Everyone has something to bring to the table, whether it is inspiration, a high five, or a potential new friend. Because of my work schedule, my attendance varies often, but each time I come back, at least 2 people are there to welcome me back and share their concern in my absence. What more could you ask for in a group of like-minded people like this to keep you going?
The Well Programmed Workouts – The head coaches program the WODs very well each week, using scientifically and historically based programming. You don’t just get a random workout out of a hat. We get a variety of strength work, metabolic conditioning, skill work, mobility, and a combo of everything. It helps to prevent boredom, but it also helps to increase strength and performance gains. It is not by chance that each time we do max days or benchmark WODs, that we see our maxes creeping or often times jumping up.
The Inspiration to Live and Eat Healthier – I have always been a healthy eater, but I LOVE my junk food just the same. Since starting crossfit, I have been able to make healthier food decisions, and noticed the difference in how I feel. I have been fortunate my whole life (so I thought) and can usually eat whatever I want without noticing a difference on the scale. Now I realize the benefit of eating right goes so much further than on the scale. My performance in my workouts, but more importantly, life, is so much better when I eat whole foods, and limit my sugar intake. I am more alert, sleep better, and am just generally in a better mood.
Feeling Strong and Confident – I have always been strong for a girl, but in the past, I could really only show this during cheerleading practice, but to most of the world, cheerleading was a joke, so I was rarely taken seriously. I was able to take the strength I built through cheerleading and have brought it into crossfit. Some workouts I can really showcase my strength, and feel proud about being a strong woman, where other workouts are humbling, because I am the last to finish.
The Friendly Competitiveness – Each workout, whether it be for time, or AMRAP, or max weight lifted, there is a sense of competition among your fellow athletes, and more importantly, yourself. The Hero and Benchmark workouts are fun to do more than once, because you can compare scores and weights used previously. When you look at your fellow athletes around you, you might point out someone that you want to be like, or someone similar to you that you want to beat, or be an inspiration to a newer athlete who is afraid to lift heavier.
Next time someone skeptically asks me why I crossfit, my follow up question will be, “Why DON’T you Crossfit??”