Tears of an athlete?
Saturday May 7th…
I have a few Crossfit and Paleo blogs that I look at every once in a while when I am looking for inspiration either with my workouts or with my food choices. I recently came across a blog at CFLA about the influx of “advanced” athletes coming into their “beginner” classes.
“Take a moment and think of a subject about which you are an expert. Any subject… could be your work, your passion, or hobby. Now… think about a gathering of people that are also experts in that subject… think about the topics of conversation, the immediate relatedness, the shared language, the connection, and bond that exists, even before anyone opens their mouths. OK… now, picture that same group of experts after meeting regularly, one-a-week, over the course of two months. Getting the picture?… tight, connected, knowledgable… it’s a pretty awesome environment!
Now… I’d like you to picture a new person… a beginner… coming to that meeting, after the first two months, for the first time. Someone that has NO experience in the subject, is excited and eager to learn, but doesn’t really even know where to start. Take a moment to think about how that feels, and how difficult it might be to learn in that environment. THIS is exactly the environment that a beginning CrossFitter walks into when they come to a CrossFit LA All Levels class for the first time. It’s a tough environment… even for people that have self confidence and some experience!
Remember you were once a beginner too.”
I love this post…made me think long and hard about two things:
1. My behavior toward new people when I workout with them.
2. My own experience as a beginner.
I know sometimes when I walk into Undisputed..I am ..well.. a little obnoxious…hyper? annoying? I know the people I regularly workout with are used to this, but it made me wonder if I ever scare off some new folks with my…err..energy? What are the ways in which I can support people who are new to CrossFit? Which of course led me to remember the ways in which I was supported when I first started.
Unlike me, many of the the new folks are stronger, faster, and leaner than I was …hell..than I am! But..the moves are new to many..and the intensity can be an issue as well. I know what kept me coming back was how firm yet gentle..both the coaches and the folks working out with me were. I would come in some days..look at that board and say “I can’t do that”..and the answer back was usually…”ok then, what do you think you can do…you can start there.” The scaling of workouts or movements was a HUGE issue when I stared. It really allowed me to feel successful.
And then…ah…these kick-ass athletes would finish their workouts…and come to me…sweating on the floor, telling me I could do one more. Just take a breath Mona…you can finish this. When I would berate myself for being slow or ALWAYS LAST..someone..Phil or Leigh or Rod would say… you showed up, that’s what matters.
It is what matters. Even now…I berate myself for new things now…but I show up.
I still feel like a beginner anyway…. I love that about Undisputed too. As the coaches get more training themselves, they bring it to us. I know there are moves that I have been doing for almost a year now, but I still work at discovering the details of how the coaches are teaching them… I want to stay open to the process and never assume I know anything.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki’
Just like when I started…Thursday’s workout made me cry… I have not done that in a long time, but those ‘voices’ came back super strong…oh boy. “you can’t do this” “you’ll never finish” ” you still can’t get this done after all this time?”
I hurt all over and I just wanted to give in..and then, just like when I started this journey 11 months ago..a coaches face got right up in mine..”You got this baby”
Ok..I got this..slow, with breaks, in my own time. ‘Cause after all..this is about me right? My journey, my times, my weights.
I got this baby….