This goes out to all those new to CrossFit. Yes, it is a little scary when you first walk into a CrossFit box. I remember my first day well. I had been scoping out gyms in Chiang Mai, Thailand having just moved there, and came across CrossFit Chiang Mai.
I googled their website and instantly thought, “NOPE!” First of all, my body and the bodies of those in the pictures were two very different images! I had zero muscle and they had all the muscle! Secondly, I didn’t even know what the big bar with weights on it was called much less be able to lift it. (For all of you like me who don’t know what that bar is called, it’s a barbell!)
However, I am the type that if I get in my own head and convince myself of something, I will do it. So, I emailed the manager and set up a time to come in and meet with one of the coaches to get started. I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous in my whole life!
Tip number one: Go to the bathroom before you go into the gym! I was so nervous I thought I was going to wet myself!
I was nervous because in my own mind, I had decided I wasn’t fit, that the coaches would think I was too weak and give up on me, and that it was going to be a waste of my time and money. Let me tell you right now, I was so wrong!
Tip number two: Don’t let your mind convince your body that it can’t do something. Sure, I could barely lift the bar over my head for a long time. Of course, I couldn’t do hand stand push-ups or climb the rope either, but there was a lot I could do.
Tip number three: NO ONE can do any of those things when they first start! So, don’t let yourself get discouraged! CrossFit coaches are some of the most encouraging people you will ever meet. They will push you and sometimes you will feel like passing out or puking after a workout. Here is the thing though, they help you see that you are capable of doing a lot more than you think you can. You can and will get stronger and better if you keep motivated and CrossFit coaches are great at being motivators!
So, beginners don’t walk away because you think you can’t do it or its too intimidating. Your mind is your biggest enemy when it comes to getting into the box. Take that first step and make the call or write the email and get your butt to the gym!
Tip number four: Don’t compare your journey to the journey of others. When you do get into the gym, focus on making yourself better and stronger. Just because you can’t lift a lot or you don’t run the fastest DOES NOT mean you are the weakest link or that you should quit. Let me be the first to admit, I’m nowhere near the fastest or strongest and I’ve come to terms with that. I compete with myself instead of trying to compete with others. When I get a new PR, I am ecstatic! I beat myself, I won the battle of mind over matter!
So, get in the gym and don’t look at those around you, focus on yourself and compete with yourself. On the days when you are discouraged and want to give up, get your butt into the gym and push yourself, Don’t let your mind talk you out of what your body is more than capable of doing!
Tip number five: MIND over MATTER every time.
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March is the founder of the Barbell Beauties. Her goal is simple… Empower every woman to grab a barbell and LIFT. She’s been an active CrossFitter for 7 years and credits that sport for turning her into a true athlete.