I'm the worst at self-development. Literally. It stems from being lazy about reading, and if there are too many big words or large paragraphs or the topic doesn't fully hold my attention, I ditch it. So when I sat down at the beginning of this year, I tried to be reasonable about goals.
One goal that has been creeping around my mind for the past few months has been ways to develop my fitness background, professionally. Then, through a series of cool events, that goal got fast-tracked - and this past weekend in Athens (which was a crazy story in itself) I went through the Crossfit Level 1 Training Course.
Yep, I was in a gym for most of my weekend in Greece.
A massive, beautiful gym for the record.
|Crossfit North Zone|
I learned way more than I anticipated - covering aspects of nutrition, how to calculate work and power, details around movements, etc. I could go on all day.
But what I really loved, is that I was the only American there (besides the instructors). I got to spend the weekend next to 7 Greeks, 2 Turks, 2 Egyptians, and 1 Cypriot, learning about constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements.
While the course was in English - it was a second language for everyone but me. Which wildly impressed me (there was a translator on hand who helped with some of the technical concepts - I really can't imagine learning about 'food blocks' in another language).
Stories were shared - crazy cool stories. I sat next to a guy who had been doing Crossfit for three months, and loved it so much he decided to MOVE across Cyprus to live closer to an actual gym. Then two months after that decided to take the L1 course.
Something else that really resonated with me is that we only had 4 females out of 13. Compare that to the numbers I found for the 2016 Crossfit Open - 42% female participation - to 31% females in my course.
I don't have numbers to back it up, but I'm pretty confident in suggesting that the female participation rate in Crossfit at an international level drops off big time if compared to just the US. It's more normal than not to find myself as the only female during classes in Tel Aviv.
Yet that doesn't really discourage me. It encourages me, because that shows potential for growth.
It also - for some reason - puts a chip on my shoulder to go harder. Because it's not just that I'm a female in Crossfit - I'm also 5'11'', and I love running - two things that existentially go against Crossfit stereotypes. I can't even tell you how many times I had to be corrected over the course of the training because I have these long ass femurs that refuse to track over my toes - my body is nowhere near compact - therefore I have a larger margin of error to f*ck up a movement.
Excuse my french.
It's my grind though. I might not "look" like I should be doing Crossfit but man do I love it, and how it's changed my outlook on both fitness and life. Mentally it's made me stronger than being a Division 1 athlete did. And I'm convinced I can be good at it, get down all the movements, and eventually coach it. As a tall, gangly female.
But why? Why Crossfit - why don't you just stick with running Kait?
Because Crossfit is running. And rowing, and swimming. And slamming balls around and swinging around on bars, walking upside - it's everything. It's being able to move the bookshelf across the room without having to wait for your husband to get home to help, and it's being able to throw your 6 year old over your shoulder when they're having a temper tantrum in public.
It's cliche but it truly is training for life, and
I dig that.
But I think even more - I dig the camaraderie. When you're grinding through crapiness together day in and day out, you realize that you actually have a team to help you get through.
The rest of us - the 12 who had already finished - started hitting the floor with him. The words 'I can't' left his mouth and we were like oh hell no, and we were up and down with him, grueling through, until he finished those freaking burpees.
And that's why I wanted a Level 1.
I've seen it change people's lives, I've seen people lose massive amounts of weight, kick habits, take on new hobbies because of it. But it's the knowing that you have people who believe in you - really truly - that's why it works.
Anyways, if you're reading this and rolling your eyes and thinking I'm brainwashed, I promise I'm not. Or maybe I am, but I also know the facts. I've loved health and fitness for pretty much as long as it's been on my radar. I jumped from globo gyms to niche gyms, consistently ran my face off through stress fractures and broken toes. I've bought passes to hot yoga and cycling studios, and it's all great, I've enjoyed it all and still do. But I've never seen or felt changes like Crossfit - and I've never seen fitness transfer into my other passions like this has.
Anyways, thanks for reading if you got through this whole thing. I'm excited about what's to come, if you can't already tell. And huge thanks to my husband & my "boss" - who both enthusiastically got behind me to pay for the training - that sh*t ain't cheap - and it was one heck of a bday gift/work perk.
Signing off, just in time for the Crossfit Open to kick off. Oh, and to drag my butt 13.1 miles (21.1 km) tomorrow morning.