It’s fun to listen to the fossil CrossFitters. The ones who roamed the planet back in the pre-games age. The ones like Melissa, who have stories of the way we was four short years ago….it really does feel like it was yesterday.
The following is authored by Melissa Mitchell
My first week of CrossFit…
I longed for the fancy locker-room and “no boys” policy at my old gym.
I thought, 10 minutes? That’s it? I am not paying for a workout that only lasts 10 minutes.
I asked so many questions that Josh put a limit on how many he would answer until AFTER I worked out.
I argued with Ryan about what chest to floor meant: “Your chest has to touch the floor on push-ups,” he said. “Like this?” I demoed with my chest 4 inches from the ground. “No, all the way down,” he said. “Like this?” still 4 inches from the floor. “Is your chest touching the ground?” he asked.
We didn’t have newbies and veterans, just members.
I actually hate the terms “newbie” and “veteran.” I think it would be demoralizing to be called a “newbie,” and I think “veteran” implies a level of independence that I don’t feel I have or want. But I do think there is a difference between someone who has been CrossFitting for a while and someone just starting. Not in a bad way, just a difference. And since I am too tired to think of alternative labels, veteran and newbie it is.
Newbies long to be veterans, and at times I think veterans long to be newbies again.
Newbies ask “how long until you don’t get sore anymore?” Veterans laugh as they grimace, rolling out their own soreness from yesterday’s wko.
Newbies get to do Chief for the first time and not think about how bad round four is going to suck. Veterans think about it from when the workout is posted at 7 pm, until 3-2-1-GO the next day.
Newbies get to PR nearly every time they pick up the bar. Veterans may wait months or more to add a few pounds to the bar.
Veterans get the privilege of getting lost in the excitement of newbies’ achievements. Sometimes, when I don’t want to get up at 4 am, I think about what I might miss if I am not there. I get more excited to see someone else PR or perform a skill for the first time than I do when it is me. I bet I could list 100 first’s I was privileged to witness over the past several years. But, 100 more that I missed, and was so disappointed to have missed, because I had witnessed all the weeks/months of effort toward that goal.
I selfishly want to be present for that awesome electricity that is always in the air when a goal is achieved. That being said, I think veterans, at times, cherish and respect those now rare moments much more than they did in the beginning. I always make it a point to acknowledge a veteran’s PR.
In the Beginning…
We knew nothing. And sorry my beloved trainers, but I don’t just mean the athletes.
I remember the days of no warm ups, no clock (don’t panic, we had stop watches), no pull-up rig, no 5am class, eating 6 meals a day, mirrors on the walls, and no sense of what “heavy weight” really meant.
If we wanted to know tomorrow’s workout we would just hang around until closing time when Ryan or Josh would write it up right before leaving.
I remember when we only had 2 trainers, now we have more than I can count.
I remember when the only thing you brought with you to class was a water bottle. Now we choose our shoe type, sock length, and sometimes hairstyle based on the movements in the day’s wko.
I remember when Josh could barely get enough people to volunteer to go to California to compete as a team. (no open or regionals back then) and this year I suspect we will have nearly 100 people compete in the Open.
I remember when there were no morning classes, you started when you were ready; now the whole class does burpees if you are late.
I remember waiting in the parking lot for the doors to be unlocked and now you can find someone working out nearly any hour of the day or night.
I remember when Thursdays were strength days; now we do “strength” daily.
I remember when hardly any girls could do pull ups or dips and certainly not mups. It took me almost 6 months to get my first kipping pull up. I had strict long before. (btw we had no bands either!) Now I see people walk through the door expecting to be able to do whatever is on the board and anyone who does not have these movements is working towards achieving these skills.
I still remember the first time I DL 95#. I was so excited because it was almost 100. I told everyone I knew I almost lifted 100#s. Today I can DL 3xs that but none of the heavier PRs have been as exciting as the 95.
We warm up with more weight than was rx’d back then.
Our classes are so full that sometimes we run out of bars!
We have traveled to at least 4 states in the past 14 months to compete and will have over 20 athletes in a single competition next month alone!
We organize and run multiple events and charity functions each year, including the most awesome competition anywhere!
It’s fun to look back and play the “remember when” game. But some things have not changed and never will:
I know if any member needed something, all they would have to do is ask and PCF’ers would be lined up, no questions asked.
I know our awesome trainers, no matter how busy or tired themselves, will take the extra time to share a tip or correct my form, even when not leading a class.
I know we will continue to always welcome anyone who is willing to work hard and do their best, regardless of their skill level.
I know we will continue to strive to be better tomorrow than we are today.
And I know we will keep looking for ways to help other members of our box and our community.
It is fun to laugh at the videos of slow motion/strict burpees (that’s right, it’s on youtube if you don’t believe me) but the truth is, if not for those experiences, we would not be where we are today. Just as in life, we are who we are today because of the experiences of yesterday. I know that as each of us continues to learn and evolve, so will our box.
15-Barbell Thrusters @ 45 lb
AMRAP 3 minutes.
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