“I can’t do Crossfit. There’s, like, NO way.” At least that’s what I had always told myself, based on my limited knowledge of the sport, which came almost entirely from friends’ social media posts and one rather critical article, warning about the dire consequences of doing too many pull-ups with bad form (I don’t remember exactly what it said, but I think something like your arms fell off). I assumed it was an activity, like running a marathon or bungee jumping, that I would be content at the end of my life knowing I had never tried. I was working out consistently – a few years ago, I had started the sport of competitive swimming, which I promptly fell completely in love with and kept me active. However, I was looking to increase my results in the pool with a comprehensive what we swimmers call “dryland” program but what I suppose to the rest of the world is known as regular working out. For a while, I tried a circuit workout my swim coach had given me, which was great for a time until boredom set in with a vengeance. I followed that up with some group fitness classes, but I spent the classes completely confused and certain I was doing all the movements wrong. Finally, one day I was fed up, and the same impulsive part of me that pushed me to get my first apartment, motivated me to get a puppy the summer I graduated from college, and makes me jump in the car at 10:30 pm in search of ice cream (shhh, don’t tell my coaches), inspired me to look up Crossfit boxes (that’s what Crossfitters call gyms; turns out there’s a whole lingo) and sign up for a trial class at Crossfit Tallahassee. I also pelted the head coach, Patrick Deasy, with questions (something that hasn’t really changed), which for the record, he answered with patience and knowledge. My two biggest fears were:
I couldn’t do the workouts as prescribed.
Coach Pat assured me that while Crossfit is meant to be challenging, it is meant to be challenging to each individual person at his or her current level. The workouts are written for the “average” Crossfit client, but some people will need “easier” versions and some more advanced athletes may need more difficult workouts. The coaches work with you to adjust the workout for your specific needs and level.
I wouldn’t know how to do the movements so I would do them with bad technique.
Again, he promised that the coaches would teach me how to perform each skill and work with me to get my form right. Technique comes first; then you can add intensity and quantity.
So, nearly a year ago, I joined the Crossfit community, and I have to say, it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Here are the top five reasons why I love Crossfit and especially Crossfit Tallahassee:
1. The coaches are great.
Because I have a crazy schedule that varies a lot from day to day, I get to work with nearly all the coaches on a regular basis, and I have to say, they are all amazing! Like I mentioned before, they help you adjust each workout to what you need for that day. They push me to do more than I think I can, but they also help me know when it’s time to rest or when I’m not quite ready for something yet. They hold me accountable to do my best, but encourage me when I’ve had a bad workout and remind me not to compare myself with others. They are my biggest cheerleaders when I accomplish a goal, they listen and advise when I’m stressed about something in the gym or otherwise, and they answer my questions with patience ( well, most of the time.).
2. We are family.
CF Tally isn’t just a gym where you come and work out, it’s a whole community. We encourage each other on good days and bad, we commiserate over the painful workouts, we cheer each other on during those difficult moments, we share memes about leg day in our facebook group, - we even have parties! We may compete against each other in the workout but we also are going to be the first to congratulate each other on our accomplishments. The coaches even do fun things like decorate for Halloween and Christmas and plan festive, holiday-themed workouts (although these tend to be less fun and more like a lot of work – 12 days of Christmas, anyone?). Crossfit Tallahassee is a family, and I am thankful to be a member.
3. You get a lot of bang for your buck.
I promise – the coaches did NOT tell me to say this. But it’s true. With your membership, you get unlimited access to the classes (there are 45 of them per week plus open gym on Saturday). There are also 3-4 yoga classes per week. Additionally, you can use the gym and equipment to work on whatever you want practically any time the doors are open – which is most of the day. You can also go to Pathways Wellness which provides rehabilitative and chiropractic services to CF tally members free of charge! Plus the coaches are available 24-7 (okay, maybe not quite that much). But, seriously, you can email them or catch them between classes and ask questions and get workout and nutrition advice and guidance.
4. The workouts are never boring.
As someone with the attention span of a five year old, this is very important to me. I get bored easily and learn best when there is a lot of variety. I love new challenges, which is why Crossfit is perfect. Every day, we do something a little bit different so I am constantly challenged and motivated. We work on the same movements over and over, but they are combined in different ways, keeping me engaged and on my toes.
5. You learn you can do more than you think you can.
This is perhaps the best part of all. I came in with a great deal of fear and trepidation about what I could do athletically. Over the past year, I have learned I can do way more than I think I can. I have learned I can push myself really hard and not actually die (although I may feel like I’m going to). I have learned that I can lift way more weight than I thought. I have learned am learning that sometimes you have to fail on your way to success. I have learned how to keep on going when my body and mind are screaming to stop. I have learned that if I just try to do things I think I cannot do, often I will surprise myself. I have learned that hard, consistent work pays off. Most of all, I have learned I CAN do Crossfit.