Guest Post by Carolina Malm
Four years ago, I lost 40 pounds and could barely walk a block around my apartment. I was so weak and frail. I felt like if the wind was strong enough, I might blow away and never be found. So I asked myself: Do I want to keep living like this or make a change? I just wanted to have the strength to do normal things again. I realized I needed to do something and fast.
I decided to try a free class at Crossfit 214 in Dallas. I’ll be honest, when I walked in I wanted to walk right out. Oops, sorry, wrong place. Everybody had their shirts off. Six packs, sweat, grunting, people looking miserable. Did I really just sign up for this? But I was intrigued. Why would people ever come back to this? Obviously people come here for a reason.
I stayed. I was encouraged by the way people were encouraging each other. I remember a guy on an air dyne, a bike with a cool looking fan attached, he was intense. Then the guy next to him was yelling, “You got this, don’t stop, you’re owning it.” Then the guy went faster and faster. I mean forget the fact that he was about to break the bike, the guy next to him did not leave his side and encouraged him to push his limits.
As I stood there staring, my class was called to start. I don’t remember what the workout was that day. I think I erased that part from my memory. We started off with a light jog and I was like, “Okay, I’m good for the day, or for the month.” But then the class began. It was burpees and then wall balls (hitting the target on the wall with a huge medicine ball). We were going to repeat these movements for about ten minutes. I thought, this is going to be easy. I was a gymnast, this is dumb. Boy was I wrong.
The coach at the time (Tyler) told us to take it easy, decrease the repetitions if needed, and hydrate. Ok, got it! Can we start now? The timer on the wall was counting down. 30 seconds in, I thought I might die. Going as fast as I could. 2 minutes in, I was going to die. The coach never left my side, he encouraged me to do what I could. He told me that it was ok if I couldn’t finish. I could barely exercise for two minutes. I think I ended up working out for about 4 or 5 minutes. I just sat there and thought, I’m never coming back to this place. The coach talked to me for a while, told me that it would take time. He said I would get stronger over time. He told me to not give up. After 30 minutes of just sitting there, I decided, okay now is the time. I’m not giving up. It’s my body and I need to take care of it.
The rest is history. I’ve been doing Crossfit for four years now. I’ve never felt stronger and healthier. As soon as I changed my lifestyle so many things changed. I started sleeping better, having more energy, feeling more confident, craving healthier foods… the list goes on and on. So, what’s the hype about Crossfit? What attracts people to Crossfit?
Community: A place where people can feel encouraged and inspired. A safe place where you can exercise with a community of friends. Crossfit provides a variety of class times per day and usually the same people attend certain class times. These groups of people become you friends and your fans. They cheer you on and encourage you everyday.
Encouragement: Coaches and friends will encourage you to push past your limits. Your coaches and friends in your class will provide an encouraging environment and lift you up when you think you can’t push anymore.
Constantly varied: Different workouts are strategically planned out so that you can work different muscle groups and practice different skills each day. The same workout routine everyday can get really boring. By changing up each class, you’ll look forward to a new routine each day and your body will always be challenged.
Programming: Workouts are planned according to what our athletes need. The workout can be modified to fit your needs. If the workouts are too hard or too easy they can be modified to fit your needs.
Fun: It’s always a fun (crazy) time. Music jamming and lots of laughing.
Crossfit provides a variety of options that a regular membership at a gym may not provide. Invite a friend or come on by to try a Crossfit class. It may not come as easy as you’d like it to. But you’ll get it. Practice makes perfect.
For this week’s mobility lesson, we are revisiting the Hand Heel Rock (HHR) because you all know it is one of my favorite exercises. When done properly, it can improve mobility in the hips, knees and shoulders. It also serves as a warm up to wire your neurologic system for proper core activation to achieve a neutral spine. Got hammered by some heavy deadlifts the other day? It can be used to open up the joints in the low back and lumbar sacral junction and gently stretch the back extensors. But again, it must be done properly to get these benefits. So let’s review. (more…)