Lessons Learned from 10 Plus Years of CrossFit

I’ve been doing CrossFit for a little more than 10 years and I can’t remember if I wrote a blog like this on my actual 10 year anniversary, so now’s the time. I’m sure the other one is lost in the internet abyss anyway.

Learning from the past is the best way to continue to improve the future, so take the pieces that make sense to you, and share in our comments section what lessons you have learned from your own journey:

  1. You don’t need to try and change all your eating habits all at once, but you should start somewhere. I VIVIDLY remember the nutrition lecture at my L1 seminar. I remember at some point in the lecture the phrase, “You will need to weigh and measure your food,” was uttered, and I VIVIDLY remember thinking, “I’m NEVER doing that.” I actually didn’t start weighing and measuring my food until I was almost three years into my CrossFit journey. Over the course of 10+ years I’ve made MYRIAD of changes to my diet. Every time I want to change something, it seems like I just continue to take one more vice out of my diet. I didn’t start perfectly. I don’t think anyone does. You just have to start. You have to start with the low-hanging fruit and just continue to make improvements from there.

  2. For me, it’s been important to log workouts from the moment I walked in the door. When I got started, workout tracking apps weren’t invented yet. The whole genius of the CrossFit program is measurable, observable, repeatable workouts. NO ONE had ever done that in the fitness space. It was just, “Oh yea, I think I did this much last time.” If you know exactly what you did on every workout, you will then be able to know if your fitness is improving or not.

  3. I’ve logged over 1800 workouts in Beyond the Whiteboard and my resounding thought after all of them is, “I should have scaled so many more times.” CrossFit has gotten a bad reputation, because people can often get an ego. You will NOT improve your fitness with one workout. Your fitness is NOT just one workout. It is the SUM of ALL your workouts. If something comes up that you can’t do, DON’T do it. That’s how you hurt yourself. CrossFit isn’t going anywhere. There’s an old saying in baseball, “Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher,” which means if you’re forced to scale a workout and you feel bad about it, just wait a day. The next one might be completely in your wheelhouse.

  4. You should never feel like you HAVE to workout. If this is your mindset, try changing up how you talk to yourself about coming to the gym. There’s a scene in a movie I like where an older woman has a great quote about age and I think it applies to having the ability to workout. “If my muscles ache it’s because I’ve used them. I’ve got a few wrinkles here and there, but it’s because I’ve laid under thousands of skies of sunny days. Getting old ain’t bad, getting old, that’s earned.” There are SO many people who don’t have the ability or the means to workout in CrossFit gyms. We would love to help everyone, everywhere, but that’s beyond the realm of possibility. You have the ability in your bones and muscles to USE them in a way that is so beautiful and revolutionary. It would be shame to not realize that.

  5. Make friends with the people you workout with. This one might be the most important. Life is hard. You’re doing your best, but sometimes things don’t work the way you want them to and that’s a fact of life for everyone. But, you don’t have to endure things alone or keep them bottled up. And, I love my family to death, but there’s often times when I don’t want to tell them something. You need a group of friends that aren’t going to judge you. They aren’t going to offer their thoughts on the matter, just their ears and their empathy. I think CrossFit workouts foster that. The people you workout with know how hard it is to do a pull-up. They know you’re working on it. They’ll also know that when something comes up in your life that’s giving you a hard time, you’re already working on fixing it. You don’t need another chef in the kitchen so to speak. Sometimes, you just need someone to come give you a fist bump, tell you good job, and see you tomorrow.

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