A fat guy walks into a gym…. No this isn’t a start to a joke. This was me back in early 2015 walking into my first CrossFit gym. Throughout my life, I have had ups and downs in my fitness journey. Times in my life where it was a primary focus and I was in amazing shape and times where I fell off that horse due to any number of reasons. I have also tried many types of fitness from being a gym rat focused on those isolation movements that made muscles big but didn’t really add strength to the height of my cardio when I raced bicycles. In 2015, I had started a new job at Eli Lilly here in Indianapolis, breaking the many years of spending many weeks on the road travelling. I like to blame all that travel on why I had gained 50 lbs. but if I am honest with myself it started even before my years of travel with not eating well and letting my time on the bicycle or gym fall away. What I did know is that now that I wasn’t travelling it was time to start down that road to being fit once again. But how? I had tried other fitness regimes and I could never maintain them. After about a month, I would just lose the desire. Enter CrossFit….
I hadn’t really heard of CrossFit before the last project I travelled for with my old company. There were a number of people at the client that were into CrossFit. When I expressed I was looking for a way to lose weight and keep motivated they sent me some links to videos and had a number of discussions over the last couple of months of the project. I have to be honest, in viewing the videos, I was hyped but at the same time nervous about my ability to do any of the movements I saw. It had been years since I had done even 10 pull ups or squatted heavy weight. In addition, what was these Snatch and Clean/Jerk movements? Those looked dangerous and complicated. Curls, Dips, Bench, Shoulder Press…. I knew these things. After about a month at Lilly, I decided to take the leap and try this thing called CrossFit. I looked up a number of gyms that were close to my house. Ultimately, I decided to reach out to Coach Lin at CrossFit Carmel.
I still remember that first week of basics. I am a decently athletic guy with decent coordination so even with my 50lbs extra I was able to pick up the movements fast and was out of basics in a week. Ok I thought to myself, this isn’t that hard I can do this. I am also a competitive person and I thought I knew how to push myself. BOY WAS I WRONG!!! CrossFit offers so many things, great workout, great community, and…. Quickly letting you know just how unfit and zero mobility you really have HAHA. I still remember my struggle to get below parallel in squats, having the flexibility to complete an overhead squat, and simple movements such as pull-ups and toes to bar. I have since become proficient in these movements but I can’t say I have mastered them. To be a CrossFit athlete means a never-ending journey. You start with the basics, with scaling all the WODs either due to weight or in ability in movements. You work for months until that fateful day you Rx your first WOD. What a great feeling! However, it doesn’t end there. There are always movements to learn, to perfect, to get just a bit better.
For someone that loves to learn, as I do, it is an intoxicating sport to be in because there is always something more to learn. Ultimately, it is this desire to keep learning and follow new avenues to improve that drove me being a CrossFit coach but that is a different story to be told in a follow up: The Journey to CrossFit Coach