When I began at CCW about two years ago, I have to admit I was pretty unfit. Since then I have worked hard to improve, although my approach has been to build up my fitness slowly and steadily. Overall I think my reasons for doing CrossFit and my approach are a little outside the norm. So I was a bit surprised to be asked to write this blog about my journey especially since my reason for joining was mainly because I wanted to do something that’s very different from my work.
A few months ago I was lucky enough to be involved with Shield – a free five week CrossFit programme run by CCW in association with The New Zealand Society on Alcohol & Drug Dependence (NSAD) for people in the community recovering from addictions. Now Brian and the team are at it again, this time raising money through The Winter Throwdown for Mana House, a recovery accommodation service I started with the NSAD last year.
I can still remember my one-on-one fundamentals course at CCW. Every new movement seemed to require superhuman flexibility and strength that I did not possess. But although very humbling, this first exposure to CrossFit also made me feel the rush of taking on a new challenge, to start fresh and learn something new.
To be honest I was pretty apprehensive, there were nerves all week, an upset stomach, and some mad wide-awake periods in the night… this was all in leading up to my first CrossFit Open experience.
I was coming up to my first year anniversary at CCW, and I was vaguely aware of the hype that the CrossFit Open pertained. I didn’t initially sign up but I had a continuous stream of experienced CrossFitters and coaches encouraging me to participate, stressing that I would have the best time, that I will achieve new goals (that may have seemed unattainable), and that I would push past my comfort zone. So finally a week out from the Open I did it. Scaled workouts were an option, so I really had no excuse.
About two months ago one of CCW’s members came to me with an idea. His belief in this idea was fuelled by his own journey through life and his passion for helping others who were struggling much the same as he had. His enthusiasm was infectious and this idea quickly turned from a casual conversation into a reality.
The Open 2016 has come and gone. And like many Open seasons before, it brought much struggle, sweat, angst, triumph, and of course some mad DOMs. I’ve participated in 6 Opens now and every year I face different challenges and learn something new.
I like to use the Open as a time to look back across the last year for a bit of insight into my progress and reaffirm my direction moving forward. In my first few years my reflections centred around performance – what movements, weights, and workouts did I struggle with? Where did I place high and where did I place lower? Using this I would focus on different things in my training.
There is value in this, especially when addressing basic strength and technique. But the longer I’ve been around CrossFit the more I dive deeper into what I’ve learnt about myself and how I can improve by changing the way I think, not what I do or how I train.
Kia ora whānau,
It’s been over 10 months now with the CrossFit Central Wellington community, and what journey it’s been so far. My first initiation into CCW was memorable. I was confident, fit, strong, and I was wrong.
My first class was crazy, I was gasping for air and could not think. My calves and shoulders were screaming. My core was weak and I went into a lonely mental state. So I realised that I wasn’t that fit or strong!
There is no doubt about it – numerous studies show that maintaining an exercise routine whilst being pregnant has many benefits for both the mother and baby.
However, there is so much conflicting information out there about exercising whilst pregnant it is often difficult to know what is safe and what isn’t safe. This is particularly so for a pregnant Crossfitter – society isn’t used to seeing a pregnant woman squat, deadlift or even run. When a picture is posted of a pregnant woman swinging a kettlebell, all hell breaks loose on the social media front.
In the interest of our growing demographic, I thought I would share my approach to exercising through pregnancy. The following is based off my own personal experience – having Crossfitted through both of my pregnancies – but also having trained a number of women through their pregnancy journey.
I’m what you call the ‘average CrossFitter’ – I do it to stay fit (ok maybe I do want to get a bit fitter ☺) but I don’t train every day to compete in the sport (LOVE watching it though).
My journey at CCW started a little over 3 years ago when I finally dropped in for a trial class after to-ing and fro-ing about it for a good 2 months thinking if it was right for me. Well, I was hooked pretty much instantly! I had no clue about most of the movements (what’s a Thruster?) but I enjoyed learning about how I can move my body around (with or without a barbell or other equipment).
I wasn’t sure CrossFit was for me but Mum (yes, my Mum) convinced me to give CCW a go in 2013. Since then I’ve achieved things I didn’t think were possible, and made a ton of awesome friends through CCW. My numbers still don’t stack up with my Mum’s, but I enjoy chasing her round the gym with amazing coaches who always keep me smart and safe!