“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…
4. I’m too out of shape for this
No doubt, there are a lot of people at CrossFit Memorial Hill who are in great shape. Everybody can find somebody in the gym who is faster, stronger, or more skilled if there looking for it. And the athletes who are in great shape got there by working really freaking hard. When you are just starting out, it seems like everybody can bust out a bunch of handstand pushups, when you can barely do one on your knees. It feels like other people must be judging you—you doing front squats with an empty barbell, stepping up on plates rather than doing box jumps, using hand weights instead of the lightest kettlebell.
Here’s the secret: they’re not judging you.
Every athlete is in the gym to work hard on their own weakness and they are plenty more focused on their own actions than they are on yours. But if you are anything like me, it seems like everybody in better shape. No one else is overweight, gasping for air and nearly worn out before the warm up is even done. No one else is sweating—and I mean SWEATING—like I am. It used to be embarrassing, but now I’ve just embraced it as a sign of a good workout. It was an easy thing to be self-conscious about. At some gyms I’ve been to, it was downright unacceptable. But at CrossFit Memorial Hill, another athlete told me, “When I see you sweating and I’m not, it makes me feel like I’m not working hard enough.”
And if anything is constantly celebrated in CrossFit, it is effort put forth.
At CrossFit, a sweat angel is the sign of a workout well done. The gym community will meet you wherever you are and support you as you develop your fitness. They’ll high-five and even hug you when you are a sweaty, dripping mess. So just come to class and try your best. I promise you it’s good enough.