On the fear of starting CrossFit
An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that being coached in fitness is dangerous, likely to cause lifestyle change, or possible embarrassment around others.“Erica is interested in the gym I go to, but she’s a little fitimidated at the moment.”
If you’re like many of us, you’re more cautious when starting something that is new to you. On a survival-level, caution is good when attempting the unknown. But when does that caution become a handicap, and prevent us from experiencing something that is good for us?
The scenario goes like this:
Erica played sports in college and loved the team atmosphere, the need for her to push herself in training and practice, the friendships she gained, and the way it made her body look and feel.
Now Erica is 3 years out of college and into her marketing career. The days of walking to class, practicing 3 days per week and weekend games look more a commute to the office, prairie dog-peeking over her cubicle 3 times per hour, and enough caffeine to kill an elephant in order to make it through the day.
Frustrated with a few extra lbs, she got a gym membership, but friends and wine at home don’t plan around her gym schedule. When she gets to the gym, her hour there is usually 30 minutes on an elliptical while listening to the same Taylor Swift / Drake playlist on her phone. Then, she does a circuit on some machines that happen to be available, or a few sets of crunches and roman twists on the floor.
She knows there’s more out there. She heard about CrossFit from a few friends she played sports with in college, and they LOVE it.
“But can I even do that stuff? I mean, they are like Roman gods on ESPN. Not to mention this bum knee from college. Besides, I don’t even know anyone here who does it”
All worthy questions. So let me explain what will happen after Erica calls her local CrossFit Affiliate.
She calls the closest two CF Facilities and finds out the following:
- You CAN do this. It wont look like what you saw on ESPN. It will be much lighter. You will learn from a coach how to do it right. You’re going to get lots of practice until you are ready to start putting weight on the bar or attempting a pull up.
- Yes, the CrossFit Games on ESPN is made up of Roman gods (actually Greek if you know your theology), but they are 1% of 1% of people who do CrossFit. Most of us just want to learn to move better, lose weight, run a better 5k time, enjoy our workout time, and even build independence for some of our silver members.
- Everybody has a “bum” something. A bad back, repaired MCL, or a stiff shin. Avoiding those things will do nothing to allow you to live better with them, but if you learn how to move, from a professional who has your best interest at heart, you will experience better range of motion, less pain associated with old injuries, and learn tools to help you maintain your body for the long haul. (Rather than neglect it, due to having an injury-like everyone else).
- Very few of us start with a friend, but all of us will have them after starting. It’s really just math. If you start attending a CF box with 150 people in it, you are going to run into people like yourself. From there, the natural process of human relationships takes over and you will be in plenty of annoying group-texts and Facebook threads, trust me.
But I’m still “iffy” about this.
Fear is like an infinitely-layered onion. As soon as you have removed a layer by talking yourself out of something, your going to run into the next layer, with no end. You have this interest in something new for a reason. What you’re currently doing, isn’t working. It’s human to have that caution in the beginning, so use it. Be cautious as you start, but don’t let caution turn into fear that prevents you from pursuing what originally interested you.