Four Things I Learned from Being Bad at CrossFit

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by HILARY WIEBE

You know those people with natural athletic ability? The people who can walk into just about any sport, and — even if not excelling — look at least competent with little to no effort? I am not one of those people. And so when I started CrossFit almost a year ago, I had a lot to learn. I often still feel like I’m working my way up from the bottom of the whiteboard.

But starting from the bottom is not always a bad thing. In fact, it has provided me with constant opportunities for growth, and helped me learn some of the following lessons along the way.

1. There’s no such thing as being bad at CrossFit.

There's no such thing as being bad at CrossFit

I was instantly welcomed, supported and encouraged, not because of any perceived ability (or lack thereof), but because I showed up and did the work, right alongside everyone else.
I could just see my coaches (and coaches at boxes everywhere) cringing as I typed the title of this article. No good coach, CrossFit athlete, or really anyone other than yourself would ever tell you that you were bad at CrossFit. Sure, we all have different backgrounds, abilities and skill levels, but that only makes us different, not any better or worse.

Anyone can (and should) start CrossFit from any fitness level. The workouts are easily scalable. The important thing is getting the intensity that YOU need to get a good workout. One of my biggest fears when I started CrossFit was that, due to my lack of athleticism and physical prowess, I would feel like a total loser. But, thanks to great coaching and community, the opposite was true. I was instantly welcomed, supported and encouraged, not because of any perceived ability (or lack thereof), but because I showed up and did the work, right alongside everyone else.

2. Celebrate achievements & savour the victories, big or small.

Celebrate achievements & savour the victories, big or small.
If you started CrossFit, and could already do pull-ups, push-ups from your toes, rope climbs, handstands, and double unders — or could do them in relatively short order, at least — congratulations, I hate you (just kidding!). On the other hand, if you’re like me, you have to fight hard, put in your time, and work on these skills day in and day out.

Case in point? Handstands. I practiced kicking up to the wall almost daily for over 3 months before I got it, and it’s still an inconsistent skill for me. But you better believe I celebrated once I got there. I didn’t RX a WOD with push-ups until I had been CrossFitting for 9 months. The smile on my face after that workout? Priceless.

My point is, if things come easily to you, the accomplishments don’t mean quite as much. But if you fight hard for every success, working long and hard on a skill day in and day out, the victory is that much sweeter.

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