Happy July 3rd! Here’s to hoping that you had today off (aka a long weekend). If you didn’t have today off, that’s cool. If that’s the case then hopefully you can go do something fun with all your friends and fam tomorrow. 

Let’s get straight to business. First things first. There was a one workout competition this past Saturday to support a great cause. Everyone who participated paid $5, did one workout (“DT”). It was short, but so much fun. It didn’t have that competition vibe, but instead, it was just a bunch of friends working out together. It was also a great way to “start” competing for people who were interested in that. Several people from CFEC signed up literally right before they went (even after working out before), and I thought that was cool. And seeing people stand proudly on a podium is always a win. Shoutout to the Garrens for both making it to the podium. Also, shoutout to my friend Jackie for doing the entire workout “DT” in just over 4 minutes. Which is insane. And shoutout to Daniel for still finishing in a great time, despite taking 30 seconds to take off his shirt in the middle of the workout. Meanwhile, I just tried to not let that barbell fly out of my hands for the third time. 

So, all that to say…what a brilliant idea to have a CrossFit competition or event at Wren Park (downtown Anderson), and shoutout to Foothills CrossFit for making it happen, ANDDDDDDD if you had fun Saturday, you should totally think about doing Independence Games July 22nd (individuals) or July 23rd (team). I’ll be there all weekend, and so will a lot of my friends. We’re going to make a party of it. So, grab a friend, sign up, and let me know if you’re in. If not, just come watch and hang out with us. Click this link for more info.  There are different divisions, so there’s something for everyone! And you’ll have a squad of people there to cheer you on. 

Okieeee, moving on. Let’s talk about fitness journeying. Or the journey of fitness. And this is about *enjoying* YOUR fitness journey. So, listen up. 

I talk a lot on here about comparison, and how everyone is different, and all that jazz. Ugghhh. I’m not going to get into that today. Well, actually I take that back. I am. But not in the way you think. Nothing on appearance, food, nutrition, and weight loss (or gains) goals for today. But let’s talk about comparison in regards to fitness – especially for those of you out there that actually care about seeing improvement in your movements in the gym…those goals you’ve been working hard for. Because just like everything else in life, your fitness journey is going to look different than others, which is pretty cool if you stop and think about it. 

As CrossFitters, we all want to get better. Our goals may not be the same, BUT we’re all Type A (in some way, at least), goal driven, weird humans. Some may have aspirations to just make it to the gym 5 days a week. But some of us (even as adults at all different ages, even with kids, and full time jobs, and busy schedules) have goals to learn new skills in the gym or get better at certain movements. 

So, what happens when you try, and try, and try really hard, but you just don’t see the results in the gym? You feel like you’re taking 2 steps forward, and then one step back. Meanwhile, Susie (ugh Susie) over there started taking classes the same time you did, but she’s able to do way more than you can. What do you do about that? Even if you play it cool on the outside, it can still be easy to compare and really frustrating. 

Here’s the deal. I’m always a little late to the party. I don’t pick up on things very easily or naturally – even thoughI’ve played sports and stayed active my entire life (or since I was 5). In sports growing up, now in the gym, and in other parts of my life as well, I feel like I’ve never been the most efficient, or learned the fastest, or looked the best doing it. For example, growing up playing soccer, I was a center midfielder (aka I was the girl that could run circles around people for 90 minutes, yet I didn’t have the prettiest footwork, I wasn’t even close to being the most skilled, and usually the goals I scored were long shots from way far away). However, I never gave up, I worked hard, and it led to me having the opportunity to be a part of some cool soccer experiences before I quit.

Your fitness journey isn’t going to look the same as everyone else’s. But that’s what makes it so much more fun and not lame. You’re going to pick up on certain skills, get stronger to do those skills, and make some movements look easier than others will. However, there is always going to be someone better than you, and there are always going to be skills and movements that you have to keep working at. 

I’m only writing this because I’m coming through to the other side and finally starting to comprehend some things that I have been working on for a reallllllly long time. For some of you, the skill probably isn’t that impressive, but hopefully you can look past that and see the process. 

Last week I was able to finally get bigger sets of muscle ups (8 for me) consistently – as in, every time I went to the rings, I was able to consistently get 8. For some people, that may not be a big deal, but if you know the frustration I’ve had with those, then you’d be happy for me. Do I resemble a gymnast, or even just a flexible human, while doing said muscle ups? No, buttttttttt they’re better 🙂 Last summer, I sometimes couldn’t link together more than one.  

Last week I was finally able to (cleanly) power snatch 125 lbs consistently. Once again, you may be like, “ummm, that’s not impressive, Al.” But if you knew the whole story, you would know that before last week, I had never power snatched more than 115 lb ever, and it was always more of a press with starfish legs (if you can picture that). For me, snatching always goes better when I just throw a barbell up and try to get under it to squat as fast as I can.  I have been busting my butt (and my hip bones) in the gym, multiple times a week, many times with the help of Colin (gracias Colin) to work on all things snatch to try and be able to get more power in that movement and to not look like a baby giraffe. AND I know that being able to power snatch more will ultimately lead to me being able to confidently throw more weight over my head in a full squat snatch. So, that’s why I care. 

Last week I was finally able to clear a 20 inch box multiple times, over and over again, in a workout. And for some of you, you’re probably once again, not impressed. BUT box jumps in general have been struggs for me over the past couple of years. Unlike most people that have had ankle surgery, and more specifically, an achilles surgery, my right leg never really grew back. Who knows what that’s about?!? I’ve been trying to build it back up and focusing on staying balanced and evenly distributed in my weight – even while just standing. But box jumps, and especially box jump overs just SUCK. In the Open this past year (17.1), I’m pretty sure the few people who watched me go Monday morning feared for my life on that last round of burpee box jump overs when my right leg literally quit working, yet I had 8 more burpee box jump overs to do before I was done. Jumping scares me. I can’t jump. Like literally. I still can’t touch the tall bar on the rig. So, to be able to jump over a wooden box when I didn’t know I could, over and over again, was a big deal. 

And last, but not least, last week I finally convinced myself that any time I go into a handstand, I can actually walk on my hands and not crash. Before that, it was definitely iffy, and the confidence was never there. But last Friday morning, I walked 50 + feet over and over again, and even walked the entire length of the turf (75 feet) at one point. Some may not find that impressive, but if you saw me try it a year ago, you would know that confidence with this skill is a big freaking deal. 

Hopefully you get the picture. For some people, even when you put the work in, some things just take a little longer. But when they finally start to click, it’s all worth it. 

I’m not telling you all of this to be like “ooohhhh look at me.” I’m actually not “great” at anything CrossFit related except just trying to outwork people (which will also get you in trouble from time to time, or so I’m learning).  I just wanted you to see an example of what it looks like to finally see that lightbulb go off. 

And becoming more comfortable with skills comes a whole new set of challenges – fine tuning even more details, as well as more things to figure out and get better at. That’s why CrossFit is great for more than just feeling better about the way you look and hanging out with cool people. There’s always something to get better at. And that can be applied to life outside of the gym as well. 

So, whatever it is that you’re currently fighting to get and make happen – whether it’s jumping over a 20 inch box or getting a muscle up, or being able to run 400 meters under 2 minutes, keep working hard at it. When it finally starts to click, it will be all worth it. 

Be patient with yourself, keep working hard, enjoy the process 🙂 And God Bless America.