Year One: 6-12 Months
The gains are coming thick and fast now.
You feel like you are finally getting your head around the Olympic Lifts (oh wow, you LIFT with your LEGS! I GET IT NOW.) You retested one of the Girls WODs that you did back in your first few weeks, and absolutely destroyed your old score even though you went with a heavier weight this time.
Your body is CHANGING. The people who thought you were mental for doing CrossFit now remark on how much weight you've lost or how much muscle you've put on. Maybe you decide to experiment with your diet, and read up about Paleo or the Zone, or join the Nutrition Challenge at the box. It can't be harder than Fran, right?
You're not always the last one to finish anymore, and you make sure to cheer for the new people as they struggle to finish their WODs. You remember that feeling all too well.
You go on your first Box Night Out. You can't believe how different everyone looks when they are not covered in Reebok and chalk. Someone does burpees on the dancefloor.
Maybe you've been giving some thought to competing, when your Coach asks you if you'd like to put your name in for the In House Competition they're having at the box, or for the local Throwdown.
You? Competing? What if you can't lift the weights? What if you can't do a pullup?
Then you remember that it's all scaleable, and that no one will ever laugh at you for trying.
You put your name down.
You don't sleep for three weeks.
You turn up on the day in your best stash ready to give it all you've got.
And as soon as you hear 3,2,1, GO...it's just another WOD.
You have your first CrossFit Anniversary. Maybe you redo your first ever WOD. Maybe you clean out your closet of all the clothes that don't fit anymore and give them to charity.
One thing is for sure. Year Two is going to be MEGA.
Year One : Month 2-6
It's been more than 2 months since you started CrossFit, and you're struggling to remember your life before the box.
A few times a week, you get to leave the stress of work behind, and go to a place where everyone is nice, friendly, funny, driven, compassionate, and buff as f*ck.
And the only price of admission is that you kill yourself with burpees.
WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO DO THIS?? You think to yourself.
The movements are still tough, double unders can 100% go to Hell, but hey ho!
You've moved up a weight on the kettlebells, and the rig no longer turns your bowels to water and your hands to bloody stumps. Running sucks, but not as bad as it used to.
Your Coach says your snatch looks great. You both laugh. It never gets less funny.
You're starting to lose a bit of weight.
The scales tell you so, but your clothes tell you even more. The muffin top is shrinking.
And so you've bought yourself a box t-shirt to celebrate!
And a skipping rope.
And some Nanos.
Reebok were having a sale! The t-shirts are only £17! So you buy 3. You need gym clothes, right?
You seem to have a hundred new Facebook friends, and you start following a few CrossFit pages and athletes (Have you heard of this Rich Froning guy? They say he doesn't sleep, he just squats all night.)
CrossFit haters on Facebook can go do one. No one gets injured in your box, because your Coach is always making sure you are moving well. You invite them to come and have a go. They decline.
You get your first handstand, or your first box jump, or your first pullup, or whichever movement you tried on your Fundamentals Course and were not even close. Progress! PBs! RING THAT BELL!
YOU. ARE. HOOKED.
Part 3 coming soon!
Does this sound familiar? Did I get it completely wrong? Miss something?
Add it in the comments!
A friend/member and I were chatting this week, and he was telling me that he feels he is struggling to keep his gains in one area (weightlifting), while making the time to improve in other modalities (in this case, gymnastics).
My first thought was "Of course. You're in Year Three."
The Dreaded Year Three of CrossFit, where it all seems like hard work even to stand still.
Gone are the glorious days of Years One and Two, when every day was a first, and every lift was a PB.
In my head, the trials of Year Three are as natural as Autumn following Summer, as night follows day.
The next step in the Life Cycle of the CrossFitter.
Year One : Day 1
You hear about CrossFit, probably from a friend who does it and won't shut up about it. Maybe you're curious. Maybe you're giving it a try to humour them. Whatever it takes, you find yourself in a warehouse that smells like old tyres, devoid of even a single treadmill, and laden with terrifying piles of weights. Everybody seems to know everybody else, and everybody seems fitter than you.
You've been shown how to use a kettlebell and how to throw a "wallball".
You are convinced that everyone is looking at you.
"This will be GREAT." someone says.
Maybe it's the Coach, all smiles and encouragement.
You remain unconvinced.
Sometime later, you find yourself on your back, staring at the joists of an industrial ceiling.
Maybe steam is rising off your face.
Your heart sounds like its about to make an appearance through your skull.
Everyone is sweating and smiling. And you're smiling too.
Year One: Months 1-2
You complete your Fundamentals Course/On Ramp/Induction. The people you did it with were strangers when you started, but now you stick together because you feel as clueless as each other.
You are convinced you will never learn which one is the power clean and which is the push jerk, and that kipping pullups are something that happen to other people. You've destroyed the towel rack in your bathroom trying to sit on the toilet after thrusters. You can't understand how burpees and running in the same workout can even be legal. You feel like you've been hit by a bus after every WOD, but you kinda like it. You've made some friends in the 6pm class, and your Coach tells you your squat is SO MUCH better than it was when you started. You start to look forward to certain movements, and dread others. You can't go to sleep until the WOD is posted.
You share your first CrossFit post on Facebook. It has begun.
Year One - Months 2-6
Did I miss something? Add it in the comments!
Don't underestimate this one.
Make sure your KB swings can be done unbroken.
Post scores to comments!
In the last few weeks since the Open finished, and the weather has gotten kinder, I've had a chance to do a bit of thinking about the The Big Questions.
What is Fitness?
What Should We Be Eating?
What are we doing here?
Lucky for me, someone smarter already answered the first two.
I've gone back and read Coach Greg Glassman's seminal CrossFit Journal Article, "What is Fitness?" (2002) for a refresher about what this crazy notion of functional humanity is all about.
(If you haven't read it, make it so! If you've read it before, read it again, it's gold: http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_Trial_04_2012.pdf)
This has helped me to answer the third question: What are we doing here?
Specifically, what is LN CrossFit doing here?
We are here to build a community and to deliver a programme that will help as many people as possible to attain health and general physical preparedness.