Lessons I learned from the Box
– me being “teachable” at the Beastskills seminar
I was reading the CrossFit Journal today and came across an article that talked about learning form and technique in CrossFit. Lots of people come into this from an athletic background… I personally was NOT one of those people. Sure I spent some time at the gym in pilates and yoga classes, used some machines here and there, but I never really knew too much about body mechanics. So for those of us who are not used to working with weights and our bodies, learning olympic lifts and gymnastics can be really frustrating.
When I first heard about the 10 physical skills of fitness, I never really took into account just how important it is to make sure my technique was on point. In the beginning you usually work with ligther weight, so getting that bar over you head tends to be easy (in the big picture). But let me tell you something, if your technique is not good by the time you get to your heavier weight you sure as hell aren’t gonna do much (without hurting yourself). This challenge of learning the movements in the beginning can be even harder for people who come from athletic backgrounds… why? Because they think they know everything. If you know everything and you are super competitive by nature, that might be a disaster inside of a CrossFit box. So what can you do to avoid disaster? Well… you allow yourself to be humbled, be teachable (mimic what the coaches show you), and open up your mind to new ways of working out. Even though CrossFit takes simple functional movements (things you do in everyday life) and turns them into a workout, doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. There are ways that we do things here that are very different than anything you have probably learned at your local global gym. Take this tip from a seasoned athlete who writes:
Sometimes it’s easy to give up on new things before giving them a proper chance. People don’t like feeling uncomfortable, out of their element, unsure, afraid, vulnerable or weak. No one likes the feeling you get when you’re standing there and everyone is watching you, waiting, because you can’t seem to grasp what they can so easily. No one likes the feeling you get when what you’re doing goes against everything you’ve ever known, how you’ve been programmed, so much so that you cannot, for the life of you, figure out how to adapt to it, how to change, how to just let it wash over you as you go with it.”
My suggestion is this: Give yourself TIME. Focus on your technique, not your points or time or body composition and DEFINITELY not your numbers on the scale… at least not in the beginning. If you are always working on your technique and challenging yourself with how you choose to scale your workouts, everything else will follow. The lifts will get easier to accomplish, you will start to speed up, and your body will start to change. This is one of the things that luckily, I caught on to quickly. You have to trust your coaches. You have to ask questions. Most timportantly, you have to be patient with yourself and allow yourself to be teachable.
All we have to do is hold on. The rest will come naturally, if not at first, then soon enough. It’s not that it’s hard, per se. It’s just new.”
-excerpts by Melissa Soccoccia CF Journal