I’ve never been inside a “box”, have never trained with a CF trainer, and can’t do a pull-up, a true pistol squat, or a variety of other exercises that scream CrossFit. Yet I paid $20 of my hard-earned sheckles to enter the 2021 CrossFit Open Women’s (50-54) Division in a competition that runs from March 11-29th. Yeah, it starts tomorrow.
I don’t care about any scores (they score this thing, right?), or how much I have to scale the RX (that is CF speak for modify the prescribed workout). All I care about is stepping up to proverbial weight plate and giving it 100%. Because, why the heck not?
A little secret that I’ve been keeping is that since April 27 of 2020, I’ve been doing CF-style workouts at home. I started with a 45-day program, doing the workouts 4 days a week. After that, I moved to a program that’s 5 days a week and for the most part, I’ve kept up. There have been odd weeks here and there when I’ve only done 4 days and a few where I managed only 3 days but about 90% of the time, it’s been 5 days a week. One thing I have going for me, besides strong legs, is a strong level of commitment.
Here’s the disclosure. I do not recommend that anyone start a weight lifting program such as CrossFit without proper training. I did not have a trainer but felt comfortable with my knowledge of body mechanics, my years of experience as a trainer, my own fitness level, and most importantly the knowledge of when I should *not* attempt a movement.
When I first started last April, I had basic equipment; dumbbells that dialed up from 5lbs each to 30, a 12lb bar, kettlebells, a Bosu, and a TRX-type strap system, a few med balls, and bands, but nothing CrossFitty. Luckily, the program I follow always includes how to scale based on where you are and what equipment you have.
So I took my time, read the workouts, watched the videos to learn what a Burgener warm-up was, how to do a push press, and something called kettlebell snatches, among a dozen or so other exercises I’d never done. As a personal trainer, I’m huge on proper form and I know how easy it is to injure yourself so I’d watch my reflection in the sliding door or the full-length mirror in one of my kid’s rooms. I’d attempt a movement, watch the video, try it again.
Over the summer I added a 45# Olympic bar and some 5# plates, then a set of 10# plates. I could barely do anything with that bar at first, but I kept at it and just this past week, I loaded it up with all of the plates I had and did my heaviest push presses to date, 75#.
And after months and months of working on my form and range of motion, my squats got lower, my pushups closer to the ground. The full-body flop burpees that I had such difficulty with on the Tester Round back on April 27th, while still challenging (they are burpees), I can do them with a certain lightness instead of just collapsing on the ground. It’s been a slow road but I love that the more I work at it, the more I can tell how far I’ve come.
For my 54th birthday, my husband and son built me a plyo box. It’s really high so while I can step up on it, I can’t hop up on it – yet. But my goal by summer is to get my butt up there.
While I wake up everyday kind of sore, sometimes really sore, a lot of the aches and pains I used to have no longer plague me. My shoulders, upper back, and neck don’t give me any problems like they did in the past and I rarely get knee twinges anymore. I attribute this to the increased strength plus the time I’ve been spending on my range of motion and mobility.
A few days before my birthday, I heard that there was a CrossFit Open competition and that you could scale it or do bodyweight options if you didn’t have the equipment. So I checked out the website, paid the $20, and set up my dashboard. The first workout is released on March 11th and we have until March 15th to post our results. So yeah. We’ll see how this goes. Wish me luck!
Now go run!