I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about exercise and fitness and all of the magical wonderful things that it can do for you but CrossFit has done so much for me in such a short time period that I have to give it the credit it deserves.
For the 30 years that I have been alive, I never worked out for longer than 2 consecutive weeks. I’d tried a couple of times to implement my own workout routine and follow YouTube videos but it was just so boring to me and the amount of motivation I needed to do 10 push-ups was just more than my brain could manufacture. So after a few days, I’d procrastinate a workout session and then eventually realizing that I hadn’t worked out for two months.
I know there are plenty of people on this planet that are perfectly capable of creating their own exercise regiment, committing to it, and pushing themselves week after week to finally see a benefit, but I am not one of those people. It wasn’t until I was introduced to CrossFit, that my views on exercising finally started to change.
A couple of months ago, I moved in with my boyfriend and he convinced me to try CrossFit out. He told me that CrossFit would make me stronger, happier, and would even improve my dancing. And he said that if I didn’t like it, I could quit, but that I should at least give it a try.
I rolled my eyes at most of these promises.
It wasn’t that I didn’t believe him. I was just skeptical. I’d heard these magical promises of exercising countless times, and when I’d tried it myself, I’d felt nothing. Perhaps, I was simply broken and that’s why I couldn’t get the benefits of exercising that so many others seemed to enjoy. But I love him and trust him, and I’m a big believer in trying something again even if I hated it the first time because tastes and preferences can change as we mature.
So, I agreed to join him in the 5:30pm class every Monday, Tuesday and Friday (with a bonus yoga class at 6:30pm on Thursday).
For the first month, I drove home, entertained myself for about 45 minutes and then we’d go to class together. Surprisingly, I really liked going to CrossFit. Specifically, our gym is CrossFit Ammo in Allen, TX.
I think that my fascination with CrossFit, opposed to solo working out or going to a regular gym, has to with a couple of factors including the structure, the coaches and social pressure.
CrossFit is organized into an hour of structured workout. There is usually a warm-up, a strength workout of the day and a workout of the day (but not always). And these workouts are different every single day. Sure, some of the movements are similar and we jump on a couple of the same machines, but the order, number and time is changed in really creative ways. So it feels like every day is unique. It feels like I’m being swept along on this little workout adventure, without having to think much about what I’m doing and if I’m doing enough or working out long enough to see a physical effect on my body. I just show up and do what the coaches tell me to do. It’s so incredibly easy and structured that it takes nearly no motivation to get me into the door and workout. And as I age and continue to manage my ADHD, I realize that if something is structured but continues to feel like it’s new, then I will love doing it and KEEP doing it. (I’m talking about you too, West Coast Swing.) And it’s the same way with CrossFit workouts. So if you find yourself struggling with non-structured workouts, I definitely think you should give CrossFit a try.
And speaking of doing what the coaches tell me to do, a major reason that going to CrossFit Ammo is so much fun is due to the coaches. They spend the entire workout walking around the group, chatting, encouraging you and giving little constructive criticisms to make sure that you do each exercise correctly. While I know a lot of these exercises and movements are complex and that I’m not doing them 100% correctly yet, their help and encouragement gives me motivation to do each exercise as correctly as possible, which means that, ultimately, I get the most out of each workout session. And im not spending half of the work out in solitary wondering if I’m doing it right.
Overall, their energy and support is ultimately a major driving force behind why the classes are such a success for the group.
And the last thing that I really appreciate about CrossFit Ammo is the group. Each one hour workout session is done together, so you get an added motivator of social pressure. Normally, social pressure is considered a negative thing, but in this scenario, I think that it is positive. If I’m doing the workout by myself, I might get lazy and do less than what was asked, or less than what is challenging me, but with the group, if I do way less than what I’m capable of, then I get ahead of everyone else. And a social fear enters my thoughts that they are judging me for being lazy. So, I end up doing as many as I can so that I don’t get ahead.
But instead of doing the same amount and doing it slowly, I often find myself speeding up so that I can keep up with the group. Without the group, I’d likely do less and take longer doing it, but with the group, I get a great workout in. Clearly, this is millions of years of evolution at work here. But whatever, if it’s the motivation I need to get a good solid workout in, then I’ll take it.
But while I was falling in love with CrossFit, the first few weeks were difficult. Getting home from work. Lying around for a minute. And then attempting to arouse the motivation to go workout, and then returning home with a bunch of energy right before I needed to calm down and get ready for bed, just wasn’t ideal.
However, with my work schedule, the only other option was to go to the 6am class. Which, if you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that the thought that I could get up at 5:30am in the morning to go workout for an hour before work, is beyond laughable. A major thing that I’ve dealt with my entire life was my inability to get up in the morning. I have been late countless times to class, school, work and pretty much everything that was first in the morning. I knew this about myself. I knew that I’d never been able to get up early before work before. But for some reason, I had the feeling that I could do it with CrossFit. And I knew that getting the workout done in the morning would be the best thing for me.
Now, after almost a month of getting up at 5:30 in the morning, I’ve noticed even more benefits from CrossFit. I’ve turned into more of a morning person, and for the first part of the day, I’m sharper and more focused. And for someone with ADHD, this is a very important benefit. And even though the physical benefits are slower to show themselves, I have noticed a slight increase in my ability to dance. I feel as though my muscles have a slightly better ability to articulate how I want to move my body. At the very least, I feel more confident when moving myself around during a dance.
And yes, I feel a little sleepy in the latter part of the day and I get really sore from the workouts, but it’s a sleepiness and soreness that leaves me feeling accomplished and confident so it’s worth it.
But this is only the first couple of months, so all of these benefits will continue to grow and improve my life.
Thank you to my boyfriend for his continued encouragement and to my coaches for taking the time to teach me everything that there is to learn about CrossFit.
As always, thank you for reading.