Finishing Last pt. 2

“Finishing Last” is an editorial series by Christina Crumpecker, MD. Check out Christi’s Featured Athlete profile here

Finishing Last: Reasons Why I Can’t Go to CrossFit Today

I’m the girl who spent months stuck in Fundamentals classes. I’m the one who took week-long “breaks” from the gym.

I had every excuse in the book for not making it to CrossFit Memorial Hill for regular classes. And it’s not that I didn’t want to go or didn’t like the place; there just always seemed to be something getting in the way. So I wrote a list of that stuff and made plans for how to address it. That has helped me turn the corner and get myself in to the gym. Maybe you’ll see something familiar here.  Maybe you have something to add. Maybe you’ve never been affected by any of these reasons for not making it to CrossFit, and if so, good for you!

But I think most of us have at least one reason in common for not walking in the door today…
2. There are few familiar faces

Sometimes I go to the gym and recognize almost no one. Not too long ago, I didn’t recognize anyone. It’s tough walking into the gym those days. In spite of the warm welcome from coaches, in spite of the smiling faces ready to introduce themselves–if you are at all shy, it’s still really hard.

But it gets easier every time you do it.

You find something in common with the athlete standing next to you: you are wearing the same socks, you both work night shifts, you share a love of tattoos. You introduce yourself and work out side by side and then those less familiar faces become good friends. And then there are the coaches. It’s easy to get used to the one or two coaches that you initially have classes with. But the rest of them want to know you, too. The first several times I got a call or an email from one of the coaches, I immediately felt worried: Did my monthly payment not go through? Did I break something at the gym? Was I not getting better fast enough? Of course not.

They were emailing and calling to offer encouragement, to answer questions, to give advice.

It took me several months to get over this and recognize it for what it was. An offer to connect, recognition that maybe they haven’t since your face for a while and want to make sure that you’re okay. A welcoming, an open invitation to just show up.