*Previously posted in our private members group
Just recently I had my 7 year anniversary in CrossFit. Not many of you in this group knew me before Lacey and I opened this gym.
I’ve been through a lot of phases and here are some thoughts from someone who has been at it a long time, and transitioned through many roles.
At first, like anyone else, the goal was just to get my fitness back. It seemed like an efficient use of time, which I did not have a lot of. I was a little skeptical of the workouts at first because it was so different than what I was used to, but after laying on my back not knowing what hit me a few times I knew there was something to this. A few months later when I had dropped significant amounts of body fat while getting stronger I was truly all in.
I talked about it all the time, I got a lot of people started with it back then. It was so easy when they saw my changes. Several of you have heard the story that I actually had to buy Lacey her membership at first. When I started training at an affiliated gym rather than just on my own I couldn’t explain fully why it was different than working out at home. I couldn’t talk her into it, so I just put up the money.
When I found out about the CrossFit Games my goal was make it there and nothing short of that would do. There were a lot of good times, but there was definitely a pressure I placed on myself. I felt it most days. Vacations didn’t feel right. Even going home from the gym every night I had the thought “Was there more I could be doing?” (Always yes…)
I think I was good enough to make it, but regionals didn’t always go my way, and it was always a tough pill to swallow. I loved training- competing was stressful. Very stressful. I had such high expectations for myself. I expected to win all the time- and when the events constantly change that’s really hard to do.
I don’t want that to sound too negative. There were certainly huge positives too. It gave me my identity as an athlete back. It was seriously depressing feeling like I had lost that in my transitioning years out of university.
But it came back, and actually further than I’d ever hoped or expected. In 2013 I was the “Fittest Man in Ontario” they didn’t send out shirts for top CrossFit Open finishes back then like they do now, but I’m proud of that one. Actually, Lacey was the “Fittest Woman in Ontario” that year as well and had a higher world ranking….
Always outdoing me :)
I remember last year when I was training to compete in weightlifting I said one morning at breakfast “You know, if I can win the Ontario championships, that will be my 4th provincial title in a different sport. Pretty cool eh? Track, football, CrossFit, and hopefully weightlifting”
She thought about it for a second and said “hm…I guess I’m at 5” (track, gymnastics, cheerleading, CrossFit, weightlifting)
I casually went back to breakfast. I guess the lesson there is don’t compare yourself to others. (And I ended up second place, losing only because the other lifter was 0.2kg lighter than me)
These days I’m in the best place mentally that I’ve ever been. I’m just plain old back to loving the journey. Not worrying about who I have to beat. I don’t think about the workouts all day. I don’t worry that I’m not doing enough.
My focus is on other people. It brings me much more joy than focusing on myself. When it’s my turn I still go like hell, and you all know that.
7 years is a long time, and I’m still surprised with the progress.
I train just as consistently but maybe half as much overall time as I used to. Really just doing classes with all you guys and girls and fitness continues to go up. PR’s on lifts, WOD’s….I thought at best I could only maintain.
I always thought that making the games would make me happy. It would satisfy a goal that I’d set for myself. But I’m much happier now. I thought not training to compete would be a step back. But it’s allowed me to step forward in many other areas. And I’ll continue to find more.
CrossFit has brought about so many different opportunities for myself and Lacey, things I never really imagined for myself growing up. We’re told as kids to follow dreams and seize the day, but for so many people that is lost somewhere along the way and we end up doing the same old shit. Get outside the comfort zone- whatever that means for you. For me, starting a business was just that.