Dave has asked me to write a blog post about my experience at CrossFit SoHi, but I’m really struggling to know what to say. It’s kind of like being asked to write about your experience with oxygen, or gravity… or bacon. CrossFit is a fundamental touchstone that has become a core part of my life.
Which makes me sound like I’ve drunk way too much Kool-Aid. I know.
CrossFit has changed my life. I could write a very detailed, very long book on the subject but that would be boring, so I will try and condense my thoughts.
When I started at CrossFit SoHi, I couldn’t do ten sit ups in a row. I couldn’t do any push-ups. I’d had two kids and two hernia surgeries. I was working seven days a week to meet an endless stream of deadlines and I was sick all the time. I would catch a cold in April and be sick right through to November. (It turns out kids are really unhygienic).
So when I started CrossFit I had a long hard think about what I wanted to achieve and I decided that my goal would be – to turn up five days a week.
I recently read a quote from Tia-Clair Toomey (second fittest woman on Earth, and weightlifting Olympian)
“I believe all women need to find their own ‘fit’ and just have fun with it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, set small achievable goals as you go. Focus on your goals and your movement, what you can do with your body and how you move and improve that movement, not what it looks like. Focus on what you need and enjoy the journey.”
Tia is saying what I think, only way better than me, which is impressive because she’s only 22. Really, Dave should have asked her to write this blog.
Anyway, I’m digressing.
Now I’m at the end of two years of crossfitting and I’ve changed. I don’t get sick all the time. I can run, I can lift and I can do all sorts gymnasticy things. I can string together 20 unbroken wall balls, I can do strict pull-ups (really just strict pull-up singular, because I can only do one at a time) and once I actually managed to do 21 double unders in a row.
I’m proud of all these achievements. But for me the real secret of CrossFit is that the fitness is incidental. The greatest bit is the friendships. It’s like CrossFit is a hazing ritual – only the most awesome humans on the face of the earth stick with it.
When I moved back to the Highlands four years ago, I did not have a lot of friends. I worked all the time, so most of my friends were work colleagues. Which is awkward when your friend hires you, or worse fires you. That was what I was used to. I wasn’t looking to join a gym so I could meet new people. But I did.
There is something weirdly bonding about a totally brutal wod. All wods are pretty bad, but occasionally you hit one which is like Dr Spock putting the Vulcan death grip on you. It looks harmless but you end up collapsing, crippled in pain. And when you share this experience with someone, you form friendships.
You look at the members at our box and they are such a diverse group of people. We all come from different backgrounds, different places and different jobs. But we have bonded together in the pursuit of awesomeness.
Sometimes our epic struggles with a movement become a metaphor for our greater struggles with life. I’ve never burst into tears actually in the box. But I have driven home and burst into tears, sitting in the driveway because I can’t do rope climbs. And I’m pretty sure Sigmund Freud would say that I’m really crying because the rope is a metaphor for all the other things I’m struggling with. (Then he’d tell me it had to do with sex, because Sigmund Freud was a dirty old bastard.)
I’m not sure how some of these friendships have come about. But sometimes in the middle of a wod I look around and you’ll get a glimpse of someone struggling, whether they’re trying to get a pull-up or just taking longer than usual to get up from a burpee. And there is a moment of complete empathy because we have all been there.
So anyway, I’m just rambling now. In conclusion, I love CrossFit. The fitness is great. But the best bit is the friends. And since a picture tells a thousand words and I’m finding it very hard to gather my thoughts, I’m going to stick in a whole lot of pictures now.
I don’t know why Kaz and I decided to do this. I think it was in one rep max week and we were feeling unbeatable.
That’s Kaz, me and Beej. I’m facing the other way because I couldn’t kick up into a handstand back then, I had to walk up the wall.
Fittest on the Field, also known as – the best day ever!
I can’t remember what this wod was. I just remember it was horrible and it involved 40kg push-jerks. I’d only wodded with Kharja a couple of times before this. We bonded over this one. It was brutal.
Laura’s only been with us a little while, but already she’s totally awesome.
My swole sisters – Team Awesome.
Thanks Rachel for writing this for us! To join Team Awesome, contact us to find out how!