You don’t know who you inspire

by ~jenniferlynn on June 29, 2015

in CrossFit, inspiration

“Wow, that was amazing!” the unfamiliar face said to me with wide eyes and a big smile while I was standing up after being exhausted from pushing the 360# sled across the turf. I smiled back at the very petite mother of two, who looked like she weighed no more than 100# herself, impressed at her drive pushing her last sled push at 245#.

It was her third Crossfit class and her first Saturday team workout, in which Coach Morgan always comes up with the most horrific and devious workouts; this one filling almost the full hour of teams rotating doing sled pushes of increasing weight.

Welcome to Crossfit.

Once in a while I like to do the Saturday team workouts as a change-up from my Outlaw Way programming that I have been following, but so often I just hide in the back of the gym and do not get much of an opportunity to mingle with the new kids or even to take a minute to step back and remember what it was like to be new.

We have had an increasing number of on-ramp members lately, taken under the wing of one of our newer coaches. Watching new people move is sometimes comical; seeing someone attempt a snatch for the first time or watching their wiry arms and wobbly legs attempt an overhead squat; seeing the look of pain and discomfort cross over their faces while the coaches push the newbies well outside their comfort zones.

Not much more than two years ago, that was me.

jennifer hudy front squatI was the awkward girl who could hardly front squat 35# and who could barely finish a heavily-scaled version of our baseline workout, “Welcome to the Jungle,” which is now often used as a warm-up. I front-squatted nearly 100# more than that for reps last week, and cut my scaled time for WTTJ just about in half, RX, last time I did it.

In both my first week of Crossfit and the week that just passed, I felt on top of the world. New experiences compared to new PRs – two very different experiences, one full of potential and one a payoff of the hard work I have put in.

But even after over two years of doing Crossfit, I still have those moments of self-doubt, moments of thinking I should be better, or that I should be lifting heavier; that after this much time, I should be doing a lot of things. As if all the excitement and newness of the sport has dwindled and I am left with just high expectations of myself and no longer is it about doing new things but about living up to some arbitrary numbers that I think I should be hitting or some movements that I magically should be able to do just because of my time in the sport. I see other girls squatting heavier, jerking more, getting their muscle-ups (though, at the same time, those girls want to squat even heavier, jerk even more, and link more muscle-ups). No one is ever truly satisfied.

Crossfit is supposed to be fun, and seeing these new people is helping me to reignite my own spark, to remember what it was like when I started and even moreso to acknowledge how far I have come!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Crossfit and I still drink the Kool-aid every day and still get to class 5x a week, often at least two hours a day in the gym. Though taking a step back to remember why I am there, remembering where I started, and enjoying every moment once again. Besides, there are these brand new people, newbie athletes who aspire to do just a fraction of what I am doing today, and for that I should be celebrating my progress and my success, not focusing on the struggles!

-I was the awkward girl who could hardly

Your turn..
Do you remember your first day of Crossfit?
Is there someone who you see struggling, but you wish you were able to do things he or she does?
How has your attitude on Crossfit changed over the time that you have done it?

Sky @ Blonde Freedom June 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Ugh yes my first few weeks of CrossFit were rough. My expectations of becoming the next Camille quickly and humbly fell to the side. I’ve been doing CrossFit for a year and of course want to be doing more and more. This Saturday my box did a team workout for my birthday and it sucked. Workouts like that remind me why I love CrossFit. Everyone goes through the suck together and somehow manages to make it and joke about it after! Great post!
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Angela @ Witty Aspirations July 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm

I can completely relate to your post! I’m coming up on my 1 year CrossFit -versary and I know I’ve made huge strides from when I first started. Looking back at where you started motivates me to keep on pushing.

~jenniferlynn July 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Thanks for the comment! Yes, is crazy to look back sometimes!!

Sandy July 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm

I think the hardest part for me is that I’m coming up to 2 years in Crossfit, and so SO SO many people have “passed” me. I get so frustrated. I’ve actually started working out at a totally different time, because I’m just too depressed at how I don’t think I will EVER be able to do an overhead squat with more than a PVC pipe; EVER be able to do a pushup; EVER be able to do a pull up; etc. Then I have also lost what I used to “have” which is LSD strength – e.g., I could do long slow distance all day – 13 mile runs I would feel I was just getting going. I keep going to Crossfit, because I believe in it. But it makes me sad that I’ve even changed when I work out, because I feel so inadequate next to folks who have only been at this for a few months. I don’t want the On-Ramp person to be looking down at me and shouting for me “Keep going, you’re doing great.” It makes me feel awful. I wish I didn’t feel this way, but there you go. Truth.

Stuart Young August 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

It’s important to step back sometimes and remember why you’re there, glad to see you’re still enjoying the workouts. I need to take your approach more often, I’m becoming obsessed with my workout logs in Excel!

~jenniferlynn September 17, 2015 at 8:48 am

I def find it useful to log.. and still do it.. just as I still weigh myself every week even though I don’t care about the number – I just like tracking lol. But it’s also nice to let go of the HAVING to. Ask yourself WHY you are logging. is it for you? or for someone else? Are you living and breathing by what you write down?

Rookie Avenger August 15, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Oh God. I’m going to have to try Crossfit now. I’m going to be the newbie. Wish me luck…and some strength. Hate being a newbie.

~jenniferlynn September 17, 2015 at 8:47 am

EVERYONE starts as a newbie 😀

You can do it!

Angie August 15, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Hi! I just randomly stumbled across your blog and I’m so excited I found it! I’ve been CrossFitting since 09 and my first workout had pull-ups (I think) and running. The running I know because right before my last run a huge storm blew up and I didn’t know the box standard was to switch to rowing if it rained, so I just ran right out in the storm for my 400. Lol, needless to say, I was wet and soggy, but I earned some respect. Thanks for posting!
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~jenniferlynn September 17, 2015 at 8:47 am

Happy to meet you and welcome!! I haven’t been writing much lately, but there are a ton of posts that you may enjoy if you search on any topic on the site!

Gabby Pereida August 19, 2015 at 4:11 pm

I just started Crossfit last week. I’m doing an Elements course to learn proper form for two weeks and then I will get into the good stuff! I can say this is probably the scariest thing I’ve done in my life – I’m terrified of Crossfit. That fear has always kept me from trying it only because I know how intense it can be BUT, now that I’ve started…I’m so EXCITED for all that I am about to encounter and experience through Crossfit. I was looking for a good blog I could read and help me through my journey. Thank you for you blog! Excited to continue to follow your journey! God bless.

~jenniferlynn September 17, 2015 at 8:46 am

Welcome Gabby!! I suggest you search my page for “things to know in your first 3 months of crossfit”! It will be really helpful!

vanessa August 29, 2015 at 10:04 pm

I have to go to 6am classes because I am busy all day and don’t have time to go to other classes. I don’t like the 6am people, the ripped mommy group who stick together in a circle and make me feel so out of place, even though I totally am. Thank God my fiance goes with me. But when I go to other classes everyone is so freckin’ nice. That’s the only problem I have. Other than that, a great majority of the gym are awesome. Even cheer me when I finish a WOD workout, even though I am the last one LOL

Nicole September 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Totally agree with this post! It really reminds me of this recent article i CAME across – http://galadarling.com/article/you-dont-have-to-be-perfect-to-inspire-others/.

and just so you know, YOU inspire me x
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~jenniferlynn September 17, 2015 at 8:44 am

Thanks so much!!! 😀

Chad October 26, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Very well articulated. It seems to be so much easier to see where you “aren’t” rather than where you “are.” There’s nothing wrong with being hungry and wanting to get to a higher level…but at the same time, it’s important to embrace your journey and be truly proud of yourself and the positive decisions you’ve made.
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