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The CrossFit experience

Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador, Jennifer Hudy, shares her experience as a new CrossFitter, answering the question, “What is CrossFit training… and what’s it like to try it as a beginner?”

I will be the first one to admit that CrossFit can seem scary, terrifying and extremely intimidating to someone who has never been into a CrossFit gym (or box, as the community calls them). To the outsider, it can seem like an extremely competitive sport of heavy weights, rapid movements and countless burpees! In reality, CrossFit is not that scary at all, and is more about getting out of it what you put into it. Although I had been weightlifting and working out on my own for about nine months prior to my first CrossFit experience, I still had reservations about being in a room with seasoned athletes, when I felt I was quite an amateur.

Had it not been for a daily deal for my local box, Hines Park CrossFit, I do not think I would have had the nerve to change up my existing training program and see what really went on inside of a CrossFit box. Knowing that I would be grouped in a class with other amateur CrossFitters, I decided it was a great opportunity to try out the classes at a low price with no commitment.

I walked into the gym feeling somewhat confident from my prior lifting abilities, but was extremely humbled by how much I did not know about CrossFit, and how many weaknesses were soon discovered in both my lifting abilities and endurance!

The first class we had to do a workout they deemed, “Welcome to the Jungle.” This test was made up of a 500 meter row, 40 squats, 30 situps, 20 pushups and 10 pullups, which they allow you to scale, based on skill, such as incline pushups or banded pullups. This was extremely hard for me and I really learned to check my ego at the door, and try my best at each assigned task. It took me a long time to finish, but when I retested only a month later, I had cut two whole minutes off of my time!

To someone who has never been on the inside, CrossFit can seem scary, but the most important thing to know is that they will never intentionally put you or your body in danger, and every single workout can be adapted to fit your athletic ability or your skill level. If you have an injury or physical limitation, the workouts will be modified for you. CrossFit is all about progress, and is primarily you vs. you, with a large community beside you to cheer you on.

After doing CrossFit for almost two months now, what I love most is that it pushes you out of your comfort zone and you start doing things that you previously thought impossible. The workouts are definitely tough, and I would be lying if I didn’t say there are days you want to cry, or quit in the middle of a workout. But the thing is — you don’t. You don’t whine. You don’t cry. You don’t quit. You just do it. And it makes you that much stronger of a person, both inside and out.

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