When I finished the Muncie CrossFit project, I knew there was something special about it. I had only heard the crazy stories about CrossFit. After talking to the co-founders, BJ McKay and Johnathon Hill, I knew that perception definitely didn’t meet reality. Safety, conditioning, and mental toughness were their top priorities.
So I joined. Last week I learned my greatest lesson from CrossFit: humility.
I learned a lot about CrossFit and myself early. My relative inactivity for close to 10 years had definitely caught up to me. My strength and endurance was so behind. I questioned if I could do it.
Every single month I found new limits, but I also had new successes. My strength was rapidly improving. While I’m still not satisfied with my conditioning, I have made gains here.
Loving exercise is no longer a challenge for me.
Eight months into CrossFit, I learned even more when I completed a workout in 42 minutes, 4 seconds.
All of those gains became important when I decided to do the CrossFit Games Open 2014. There was no way in hell I was going to qualify for Regionals. I’ll leave Regionals and the Games to the professional athletes. I did it because I wanted to have something to look back to next year and see how much I’ve improved.
The Open is broken down into 5 workouts over the course of 5 weeks.
Workout 14.1: I learned so much about performing double unders (jump ropes) that I made great gains. I felt great.
Workout 14.2: I did my first chest-to-bar pull up, and then I somehow did 9 more.
Workout 14.3: My conditioning became a little factor, but I proceeded to have good form.
Workout 14.4: Toes to bar movements have a lot of room for improvement. I thought I’d do better, but then I didn’t.
Workout 14.5: This was the first workout, ever, in the Open that was task-oriented and not limited by the clock. You end the workout when you complete it. I met my match. The workout took me 42 minutes, 4 seconds to complete, and my proudest moment was completing the workout with zero no-rep calls by the judge.
A judge watching me struggle through the workout was the worst part. It almost made the number of reps completed seem like they took even longer, or it made it more abundantly apparent how slow I was making my way through it. Either way, I completed it, and I was happy I completed my first Open and knew where I had a lot of room for improvement.
Lesson in Humility
CrossFit is one thing I know I’m not good at, but I keep doing it because I know my fitness is important. When CrossFit Games approached me for a story, I was flattered and suffered a little bit of a bruised ego.
Then I realized I’ve been looking at the wrong “numbers.” I have been too concerned with the leaderboard at my local box (a CrossFit affiliate) and the Open. I’m not going to be the best in my first eight months, and I probably won’t be in the next eight years.
It’s about what you put into your workout, fitness, and life. If you put in the effort, the leaderboard will change and start reflecting it.
When I was about to sweep 42 minutes, 4 seconds under the rug, I found a reason to put it on the mantle. There’s nothing to hide. It’s progress.