Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The mental benefits of CrossFit?

I've been doing CrossFit for over two and a half months now and I still love it.

Just a little bit longer until I will allow myself to buy some more workout clothes :). It was recommended to me that I stick with it for at least three months before investing in gear.

Well, I already bought new shoes, but that was necessary. My previous pair was pretty disgusting, despite washing, and got pretty foul at the end of each class. I couldn't get by washing my shoes several times a week.
My new kicks!
My attendance schedule has shifted a bit. Initially, I went twice during the week (often Monday and Wednesday) and then again Friday or Saturday. On Saturday mornings, they have a team workout, in which you often partner up with someone else. I have learned the names of a few people that way. This month, there's a strength program on Mondays and Thursdays, working on back squat and deadlift. Since one of my first goals is to deadlift my pre-CrossFit body weight, I have been attending these classes. I am also going on Sundays to open gym, mostly to practice push-ups and pull-ups (kneeling and with bands, respectively).

I want to go more often, but I don't think I want to sacrifice my evenings just yet. I also don't get enough sleep. I always wake up from the cats moving around or scratching the litter box or playing with a plastic bag...

CrossFit has become an amazing way for me to tackle anxiety. It's not just feeling ecstatic at the end of a class, thanks to the endorphins. It's knowing that I worked hard and did everything, with whatever weights or reps I was capable of. It's knowing that there are improvements all the time, like using a 20 lb kettlebell to warm-up instead of 15. Or not needing to stop and breathe after 3 burpees. I introduce myself often. I can't remember other people's names that well, especially when I might only see them once every three weeks if our schedules don't match up. Sometimes, I have to share a barbell with someone else in the class. All of it helps me push the anxiety aside and just feel functional instead of floundering. It's very empowering.

I want to be strong. There are plenty of physical benefits coming along with my new CrossFit endeavor, but those seem so minor when compared to the mental benefits.

I feel like I can focus better.

I feel like I approach conflicts a little more calmly, thinking things out before I act/move.

I partnered up with someone brand new to CrossFit last night for the WOD (workout of the day). I hope she had a great time. I think my enthusiasm spilled over. She asked me if it was doable to go three times a week. I realized that with my response (that's what I've been doing since I started a bit over two months ago), I became one of the people I spoke to during my first couple of weeks. My ice breaker? "How long have you been doing CrossFit? How often do you come?"

I'm so excited to continue on this journey.

Pssst! You can sign up for a free Intro class on Saturdays!  You can also join me for Bring a Friend on Saturday mornings :).