You either win, or you learn.
Or at least, that’s what I tell myself when I don’t win something! I’ve already spoken of the many benefits CrossFit has brought me, but another is that it’s made me humble and more open to learning. Generally I enjoy doing things that come naturally to me that I’m good at (doesn’t everyone?) but I find CrossFit really challenging, yet I can’t get enough.
The extent of my challenge was brought home on Saturday, when I competed in my first CrossFit competition. Yes, it was just the QDos Fitness in-house comp, and yes, my partner Pablo and I came second to last in the scaled category, but I absolutely loved it – the whole day definitely exposed some of my weaknesses and also showed me where I am strong.
When you have to do things in a certain order with no alternatives – like in a competition – then you certainly find out your weaknesses. I now know that overhead stuff is a weakness of mine, and whilst I sort of had an idea of that anyway, it’s something I worked around normally.
One of the comp WODs was a barbell complex – 5 deadlifts, 5 cleans, 5 front squats, and 5 overheads. I gave it a go with 40kg but found by the overheads everything had just fatigued too much and I dropped the bar after two reps. I did the full complex at 35kg but even then getting the overheads up nearly made me cry!
I also know my rowing needs a bit of work. I put so much energy into rowing and feel like I get nothing back, so thought I just mustn’t be pulling enough, but a few wise pairs of eyes have now advised me that it’s all in the technique. Time to swot up on the rowing tekkers.
On a more positive note, my cleans are coming along well and getting heavier, my fitness has improved massively and I don’t hesitate about flinging heavy weights around any more. It was incredible to watch everyone else, too: from the RX athletes, doing double-unders and snatches with no worries, to the guys who were attempting new PRs and putting absolutely everything into their WODs.
I love being a part of this positive, supportive community, and I find myself improving all the time. My aim for next time is to do the comp RX – just need to work on those gymnastic movements and I’ll be there.