Registration for the Crossfit Open starts soon, and I’m reminded of where I was at this point last year. I started Crossfit in January 2013, and, barely out of Fundamentals, I nervously considered registering for the Open. I knew I’d probably be the weakest competitor at my gym, and I was worried there would be movements I couldn’t do (at that point, I still couldn’t do a pull up). I was talking to one of my favourite coaches, Bailey, bemoaning the fact that I could barely lift anything and there were so many movements I can’t do. Seeing some nearbly athletes practising flawless double unders, I pointed out that I couldn’t even string them together! Everybody is so much better than me!
Bailey said, “Yeah, but they didn’t start that good. Good people used to be bad, and then they just practised a lot.” Completely inspired (she’s a great coach), I registered for the Open that night and decided to start doing 10 minutes of double unders on all my non-Crossfit days. At first, I could only get about 40 or 50 within 10 minutes. Eventually I could get 100 in ten minutes, and I decided to try to get my 100 DU time down. I asked around the gym for what a “good” 100 DU time would be, and got the answer of about 2:00. I set my goal at 1:30.
In the past year I have had a lot of exciting firsts, such as my first chest-to-bar pull-up in March during the Open! And later, I got my first handstand pushup in August, my first bodyweight clean in October, and my induction to the 100lb snatch club in November. The incredible feeling of doing something you’ve never done before (and perhaps previously thought impossible!) happens with EVERY first and EVERY new lifting record. Crossfit is fun because I’ve had measurable success and growth in every way.
All the while I’ve been working on my 100 DU time. I kept a sheet on my fridge where I wrote every new record. Progress came not without an body full of whip marks (that cable rope really does a number!), and yet, eventually, after almost a year:
Oftentimes when I evangelize Crossfit, I hear that attitude that Crossfit is only for people who are already monsters. People think they’ll be the worst, or that it will be too hard for them. One person said she’s going to join a regular gym first, lose some weight, and then join Crossfit. No! You guys! You don’t have to be good, you just have to get out there and try!
Whether you can’t figure out how to skip or your first time doing DUs you can string them together, whether your first back squat is the empty bar or 200lbs, whether a slow jog makes you lose your breath or you win your local 5ks… once you start, you’ll improve!
My next goal is to get a sub-8:00 2000m row time on the erg. My current record is 8:44. Let’s see how long it takes!