It's a new year, which means, we have many new faces coming into the gym hoping that this year is the year for them to improve their health and fitness, to stick to something and to finally get healthy.
Last week, we set goals in the box, specific to our performance, and wrote them down on the goal boards for everyone to see. Those goals will not be met overnight, it's going to take a lot of hard work and being consistent each week, even when the goal seems so far away.
For both the newbie and the current athlete, we want to remind you: Change takes time.
As coaches, we often get asked and hear, "what do you eat?" "how do you train?" "I wish I could lift as heavy as you." "It looks so easy for you."
Here's the answers: We train like you. We started with a band for pull ups or doing half rep strict pull ups (not knowing these weren't actually pull ups), we started with an empty bar. We struggled along with progressions for HSPU and Muscle Ups (and still may be working on these, years later), Each of us eats a bit differently but we've found, by trial and error, what works for us and what doesn't. We didn't get this way over the course of a few months or even a year. It's been years in the making. And we're still working just as hard. We are not done. You're never done.
In the 2007 photo above, I was in, what I thought, was the best shape of my life. Every bride's goal is to look good for their wedding because 'the photos last forever'. I weighed 119# in that photo, I ran hours a day and I used 8# dumbbells and couldn't do a single chest to ground push up.
I started CrossFit in 2011, still running marathons and weighing between 119-121#. I wanted to lose 10# to be a faster runner. Why? That's what all the marathon books told me to do, so I began watching my portions. I lost .2# in 4 months and I also began feeling pain in my hip when I ran. So much that I had to drop out of the 2010 Chicago marathon 16 miles into the race. I had never, in all my years of running, dropped out of a race. I began searching for a solution. The answer was simple: lift weights, get muscles and eat food.
In the 2017 photo, I see nearly 6 years worth of hard work. Every single one of those muscles I worked for. I am strong. I am healthy. You can't fake muscles, you can't fake strength. I don't see what others see, until I look back at photos from before CrossFit. In 2007, my forearm is bigger than my bicep, I wore extra small tops. Today, my biceps (are big) and are proportioned to my forearm, I have traps, and I have wings in the form of lats. I often can't fit into shirts with buttons, I've cut elastic out in dresses because my obliques are bigger and now need a larger size in lulu tops because my shoulders and arms continue to grow. I can deadlift 265#, back squat 210# and do 25 pull ups unbroken. I weigh 138#. Today, I know I'm in the best shape of my life- for today. It's exciting because if I keep this up, I can continue to say that I am in the best shape of my life each year I get older.
It's an exciting time here in the box, we have so many athletes hitting their 1 year CrossFit mark, they may be a bit discouraged because they "can't do x yet" (fill this in with pull ups, clean 125#, a handstand push up, or double unders).
Keep working! Keep showing up. Your progress and efforts are not meaningless. It's a journey. A long, beautiful journey. You work for each milestone, you don't get any of them given to you.
To the new athletes just coming into group classes: Every sore muscle, every hard workout, every full effort put into your hour here, it's building a foundation. For some, the foundation takes a long time to build, but it's worth it. Promise.