It’s kind of hard to believe that something I once loved so much is slowly becoming something that I hate. The place I once looked forward to going is now a place that constantly brings crying and frustration. I feel embarrassed, and even guilty, every time I pick up my brand spankin’ new Pendlay bearing bar. Hard training sessions that used to evoke good pain and joy at the same time now evoke bad pain and tears.
I have been following the MisFit Athletics competition programming since the summer. While I am by NO means at the level of athletes that follow this programming, it was more challenging than a regular class and really fun to push myself and try new things. I actually started following it because doing the classes had started making me miserable. I hated Wodify and comparing myself to other athletes every day. I hated when I wasn’t at the top of the board and when I performed poorly.
Switching over to MisFit made me love CrossFit again. It was a new feeling working out with some of the top athletes at my box and spending two hours with them suffering through brutal sessions. It didn’t matter how I performed because there was no Wodify to compare myself to. And it also didn’t hurt that I was getting faster and stronger, both physically and mentally, then I ever have been. Even when my training partners couldn't be there with me and I had to get through these workouts alone, it was still thrilling to learn how to push myself when no one was watching.
But recently, these feelings have started to fade. Working out by myself rarely ever happens. Even working out with my MisFit friends has been a drag. Spending time on my weaknesses, which is always frustrating, has become debilitating to my workouts. Working on new technique in my Olympic lifts has made me storm out of the gym far more then I care to admit. I used to love moving heavy weight. It was my favorite part of CrossFit. And now, the fact that I physically can’t lift anywhere near my old maxes, makes me not even want to go near a barbell. I get embarrassed I can’t do anything right and people are watching me.
A few weeks ago, during yet another workout that ended with me hurling an abmat at the wall and having a breakdown, I knew I needed a break. I had a talk with a few of my coaches and friends, and they all said the same thing: walk away from the competition programming for now. Go back to what made me love CrossFit and take classes again. Walk into these workouts not giving a shit about the fact that, yes, I may be weaker than I was, and to just have fun with it. Laugh with friends. Push myself because I know I can do this. Don’t worry that I’m not in the gym for two hours at a time. Work on my weakness, but not to the point of tears.
So the next day, I sucked it up and went to a class. Right from the beginning I knew this workout was going to be different. I approached the class with a good attitude and a mindset that I was going to have fun. From the start, I was laughing the whole time with people I haven't worked out with in months. I don't think I’ve laughed that much during a workout in a long time. And you know what? I moved better than I have in months. Each round I completed felt like a victory to me, not something that was tearing me down every rep. They were simple movements that played to my strengths, and weren’t things that I had to modify just to complete the workout.
And most importantly, I had fun. I was reminded of why I used to love CrossFit and it all came back so quickly. I was surprised that I didn’t care that my Misfit training partners were on the other end of the gym hitting PRs like the beasts that they are. I was surprised that I didn’t even think about what the Misfit workouts were going to be that day.
It’s kind of funny to me now thinking back to June and seeing how much things have changed. I started doing that programming because the classes were making me miserable. Now, it’s the total opposite. Competition programming just isn't for me right now. But that’s just it. Right now, I need something different then I needed six months ago.
This whole journey has reminded me that CrossFit is exactly that—a journey. Things ebb and flow in every aspect of life, and that applies to everything that CrossFit is to me as well. Some days are on-days and some are off-days. There are injuries and pain, but there are also PRs and huge accomplishments. It all changes every day, and I’m starting to figure out that that’s a good thing. How boring would it be if everything stayed the same all the time?
So for now, I’m sticking with the classes for a bit. I’m getting back to what CrossFit has always been about to me: a special community that supports and uplifts each other, a great workout, and most importantly, friends and fun. Who knows how long things will stay this way, but for now it’s exactly what I need on this journey.