IT WILL BE TOUGH, BUT YOU CAN'T QUIT. IT ONLY GETS BETTER.
When I began my CrossFit journey in October 2011, I convinced one of my good friends and college classmate to join me. Now I was used to being in the gym, squatting, running, pressing, but she was not. After about two weeks, she posed a question to me that will continue to be echoed by beginners for years to come. How long will it be until I can walk the next day? One month, I told her. Give it one month and it will get easier. Truthfully, back then I had no idea what I was talking about, I just didn’t want her to quit so I reached for a number that sounded attainable.
And I mean sore. Really sore. But that’s ok! Truth be told, as I sit here on a rainy October afternoon writing this, just shy of my four year CrossFit anniversary, I myself am sore. And I mean really sore. Fortunately now, soreness has become a minor inconvenience as opposed to the crippling aches from when I first started. This will happen for you too. In the meantime, make sure you’re drinking lots of water, eating quality food, and taking some hot showers. And maybe just sleep on the main level of your home for a few days….
It truly breaks my heart, watching people struggle to learn kipping pull ups, only to walk away frustrated and bleeding. Again, this will get better. If you care for your hands properly, you will develop the calluses needed to prevent ripping. I always include a talk about how to care for your hands properly on our gymnastics day. In the meantime, Polysporin and keep those rips clean and dry! A rip is an injury as much as a badge of honour, and it must be cared for accordingly.
3. You Might Not Be Able to Do What Everyone Else is Doing
Given your current state when you enter the gym, there may be a chance that lack of strength or mobility may limit what you can do. Please do yourself the biggest favour you can do, and stop comparing yourself to the person next to you. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and abilities. If the person next to you is deadlifting 100 lbs, and you have 55 lbs, but you are both working at your max capacity, then you are both doing the same amount of work. If you don’t have the shoulder mobility to do an overhead squat, do your mobility homework that the coach gives you. You’ll get there.
As the saying goes, we grow at the edge of our comfort zone. Chances are, you have stepped outside of your comfort zone just by walking into the gym. For that, I salute you. Don’t ever stop pushing that limit. With some time and effort, you will be lifting more than you thought you could, doing pull ups, being upside down on the rings, taking off your shirt in class… Things you never thought you could do. Every pound lifted, every inch of mobility, every position achieved, every single gain is hard worked for and hard earned. Celebrate your achievements! Your classmates will be more than happy to congratulate you! Your first month of CrossFit can be the most exciting and most discouraging time of your life. Hopefully this guide will help you acknowledge the bad, but remember the good. Tell your coaches and tell your classmates. We’re here to support you. You’re home now.