CrossFit: My Road to Fitness and Realizations
When in Manila and looking for an exercise that is different yet functional, why not try CrossFit? That’s what I told myself when I tried CrossFit 8 months ago. Tired and bored of the usual workout routine that I had at a regular gym, I decided to give CrossFit a try and see what the fuss was all about.
Where my love affair with CrossFit started
I am not an athlete and I don’t do any sports. I only run if someone or something is chasing me. And I almost flunked my volleyball class because I spent too much time evading the ball rather than hitting it. So, imagine my fear and panic when I joined my first crossfit workout.
I can still remember it like it was just yesterday. The coach made me do as many reps of push ups, squats, and mountain climbers as possible for 10 minutes- the longest 10 minutes of my life and I almost gave up halfway. But when I saw other people doing workouts harder than mine, I became more determined to finish it, even though I felt like I was going to get a heart attack.
When you’re surrounded by positive and good-natured people, shouting your name and cheering you on to make that one last rep count, it’s amazing how much further you can push yourself and accomplish more.
Wearing my lucky shirt.
I woke up the next day with sore arms, sore legs and a sore butt. I couldn’t sit or walk properly without grunting in pain. Also, I was suddenly aware of muscles that I didn’t even know I had. I felt like an old car that was forced to run on 100 km/hr. But I still went back. Maybe because it made me feel more athletic. Or maybe because I finally wanted to be good at something sports-related. Now, it is like an addiction that I don’t want to get rid of.
Me and my teammates at my first CrossFit throwdown event. Photo by Kirk de Leon of WOD Nation.
I also realized during the everyday WOD (workout of the day) that I had so many things to work on. I couldn’t do a proper push up, burpee or even jump rope to save my life. I couldn’t lift anything heavier than a 20 pound dumbbell. My weaknesses made me fully aware that I had to do something for myself now. As such, I became a regular fixture at my box. (A CrossFit gym is referred to as a box, because it typically looks like one. No fancy equipments, no weight machines or treadmills.)
What a typical CrossFit box looks like.
Just like with any new experience, I had a few struggles to deal with, too. Aside from my physical incapabilities, what struck me the most was the misconception that women shouldn’t lift weights because they might end up looking like a man. Then there is that saying that women aren’t supposed to be stronger than men.
Well, it’s 2014 now (hello, modern times!) and research shows that weight training can actually help women get a leaner and more toned physique. I never heard anyone complaining that Ellen Adarna’s body is similar to that of a man and we all know how she trains and with all her nasty jump rope tricks. Who wouldn’t want to be as fit as her?
Me lifting a 55-pound bar overhead. Photo by Kirk de Leon of WOD Nation.
More than having a fitter body and a nicer butt, CrossFit has taught me how to get out of my comfort zone and to not settle for what I think I can only do. It also taught me how to be supportive of other people’s struggles and to be happy with their triumphs. That fateful day when I first stepped into a CrossFit box gained me both a healthier lifestyle and a family who will always reminds me that I am more than what I think I am capable of.
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