“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…
9. Partner/Team WODs
Ah, the moment that CrossFit is a little like grade-school gym class. If you are new or shy or just not very confident in your skills, a partner WOD can make you just want to stay home. I used to hate these WODs and went out of my way to avoid them. I felt like my lack of fitness and speed would drag down a team. Who wants to be that person? Also, if everybody else is already partnered up, what do you do? For a time, I stopped looking at the WOD before I went to the gym and stumbled into a partner workout. Just like I feared, the beginning was a little bit awkward. Most people already had a partner that they knew and wanted to work with (it’s not fair if you come to the workout with a spouse or a twin), and everyone paired up until there were just two of us left: the two slowest, newest people at the gym. We shrugged and agreed to work together. We rowed and planked and did squats and step-ups.
We both probably worked harder than we ever would have, left on our own.
I didn’t want to let my partner down. I could feel her eyes on me, willing me to row faster while she planked. It was totally invigorating and inspiring to see someone work so hard on my behalf. We finished last. Way, way last.
But by the end of the workout, I had a new friend.
We had survived something together. I still get a little nervous about partner and team workouts, but they always end up being some of the best excuses I have to really push myself and a way to bond with other athletes at the gym. And I never regret that.