Lisa's blog Stilettos to Snatches had a great post last week discussing things she wish she knew after she first started CrossFit. Here is the article in its entirety (thanks as always for sharing your perspective, Lisa):
3 THINGS I WISH I KNEW AFTER STARTING CROSSFIT
I’m very much a person who believes that I am where I am because of my past decisions. Because of that, I tend to have few regrets on how things evolved to today. That being said, there are always a few things I wish I had known earlier based on how things panned out. Especially when it comes to CrossFit.
As I watch my friends overcome obstacles and find success throughout the Open, I’m reminded of a few things I wish I had known earlier. They aren’t necessarily regrets, but more little pearls of wisdom I thought I’d share. CrossFit has absolutely made a huge impact on my life. It’s taught me so many life lessons and it has brought on lifetime friendships.
LESSON #1: FORM OVER EVERYTHING
This one really goes without saying, but form is everything. When I started CrossFit, you wanted to finish the fastest. The phrase “Do whatever it takes” meant breaking form to eek out a few seconds in front of the next person. On strength sessions, going up in weight was what you did, irrespective of it was with good technique or not. Ultimately, this led to my major injury. Is it worth dialing things back to make sure you’re doing it right? YES YES and YES. Should you scale down the weight if it doesn’t look good? Obviously. If you want to be able to do this later in life, starting off with good form is the best way to ensure that happens.
LESSON #2: SAY “NO” MORE
When I started working in the professional world, I said yes to everything. Part of it was that I wanted to get ahead of my peers, part of it was also that I wanted prove that I was a hard worker. I worked late nights, weekends, and holidays. I worked on red eye flights and brought my computer with me on vacations. While I did well at work, my physical self suffered. I ate a ton of crap because I was working late nights, and I functioned on about 5 to 6 hours of sleep. I was always a morning workout person, but I’d chase my morning workout with a not-so-healthy breakfast sandwich at my desk. Part of what I wish I could do was have better balance in my life.
I also needed to learn how to say no more at the gym. One thing I recall doing (to this day, my current coaches cringe at this whole event) was a 24 hour workout event. Every hour you did one of the CrossFit “girls” workout. It started at around 7pm and ended the next day at 7am. Somewhere around 3am, I mentally quit and decided that this wasn’t going to end well. I was better off getting a real night’s sleep where it didn’t involve doing 150 wall balls at 5am.
LESSON #3: THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING TO WORK ON
Ah yes, this one is always good. Once I get into something, I love trying to perfect it. It’s a characteristic of mine that’s gotten me where I am but also in trouble too. There was a brief period of time where I thought I had CrossFit pretty much figured out. At least I thought I did. I knew how to clean and snatch, and I knew how to do chest to bar pull-ups. My techniques weren’t perfect, but I thought I was killing it. And then CrossFit came up with the CrossFit Open in 2011. Each workout was eating a slice of humble pie. I had a long ways to go and had a lot to work on.
One thing that keeps me inspired to keep showing up to the gym is that there’s always something to work on. Once I have one thing figured out, it exposes a weakness in another area. The need to keep learning and keep evolving is one that is always in sports, but especially in a technical sport. Getting stronger, developing a better nutrition profile, and working on the small stuff is what keeps me motivated.
In all of this, I hope that some of these things resonate with you on your exercise journey. I probably have a few more to add to this list, so if you have any to share, please let me know too. I love hearing all of your comments and thoughts on my musings!
WOD for 03-15-17:
Barbell Step-Back (Reverse) Lunge:
4 Rounds, Start Every 4 Minutes:
25 Wall Balls @ 20/14 lbs to 10/9 ft
Record your time for every round, and score the workout by your slowest of the four rounds.
(Compare to 08-15-16)