Before I came to X-Project I was your typical weightlifter. I had competed in figure competitions in 2010 and 2011 and just continued on that path of lifting certain body parts on certain days aiming for aesthetics rather than overall fitness and health. I thought I was strong and did the standard weight lifting, preferring free weights over machines. I always had that figure competitor mindset – achieving a certain look that the world of bodybuilding felt was the most appealing. I loved working out by myself and in my zone and hated it when someone would interrupt me (If the earphones are in…) I never asked for a spot so I only ever got so strong; too afraid to push myself in fear I would fail the reps. I had tried CrossFit two times just to try it and I HATED IT!!! I got hurt the first time and just didn’t like the coaching the second time. I was one of those people that thought CrossFit was evil and an injury waiting to happen. I thought that form and movement were overlooked and under stressed in order to achieve speed of movement in any way shape or form.
I decided to try X-Project because I had heard that Michael was a really good coach and that I would enjoy the workouts. I was hesitant but decided to try 2 days a week, feeling that if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t be losing out too much. My very first workout was with Michael, the very first day of classes when he took over SRT. To say I walked in with an attitude was an understatement. Michael spoke with me about what I was hoping to gain from being there and I flat out told him that I didn’t trust CrossFit and that I would hold myself back if I felt that I wasn’t ready for something because I was NOT going to risk getting hurt again. I’m pretty sure he laughed at me but said he understood and didn’t want to see me get hurt either.
I went my 2 days a week and was SUPER intimidated by the people in the class. Not only was I a newbie to CrossFit but everyone I was in class with, at the beginning, were X-Project members. I was clueless. They were throwing around terms I didn’t understand and talking about lifts that I had never heard of. I felt like a fish out of water but I loved it!!! I found myself so excited for Tuesdays and Thursdays and dreading walking into the gym on the other days to lift by myself. I found that only going those two days left me feeling very lacking and far behind. I felt like I wasn’t able to progress because I was missing things that they were doing the other days and I wasn’t able to learn a lot of things. When I talked to Michael about it he flat out told me that if I only came a couple days a week I would only be able to get so far and would be limited on how good I could be. Needless to say, I’m not good at being not good! I also can’t halfway do anything, so, in a month’s time I had canceled my gym membership and went to X-Project full time. I loved that every day seemed to be a stepping stone to something better. It was not easy learning new things or overcoming my fear of the weights and the lifts but every day got a little better, even with the bumps and bad days along the way.
I’m amazed constantly at the changes I’ve been through over the past year and a half. I have gotten stronger in that short amount of time than I did in 5 years of lifting at the gym. I am able to do lifts with good technique that I had never even heard of and able to throw weights around that I’m still shocked I can handle. I have a blast with whatever workout we do, regardless of how much I hate it or how much it hurts, or how sore or tired I am. I always feel a sense of accomplishment and power when I finish. I know that I pushed myself, maybe not as hard as I could but sometimes harder than I thought I could. I’m surprised every day at what I can do now, compared to when I started. I couldn’t do a strict pull up when I started and now I can do them easily. It took me forever to learn how to kip them and now I do it without thinking. I went from wrapping the rope and taking a year to get to the top and back down to getting up in about 2 pulls and flying back down. Last year, I was talked into doing the Open (actually registering through the website for it). During the open, they had bar muscle ups and I was determined to get mine. I sat up and watched video after video on technique and tried to get them in the warm up, only to realize I was going to have to C2B instead. I did the whole Open workout with C2B pull ups and at the end, Michael had taken a few of us aside to work on our muscle ups. With his coaching and tips, I was able to get my first muscle up!! I was so excited I LITERALLY ran and jumped into his arms giving him the biggest hug (and probably shock)!! I decided to repeat the workout a few days later incorporating my newly accomplished muscle ups. Since then, I work them when I can but I have never been able to string them together. Just the other week, in preparation for this year’s Open, I got some coaching (from Jon Fisher) on what ways make it easier to kip. I watched some videos and listened to his suggestions and I finally got my muscle ups strung together!!! I squealed from the top of the bar in excitement!
Nothing in this journey is instantaneous or a guarantee but working and never giving up and pushing past your comfort zone does pay off… without a doubt! That’s one of the biggest things I’ve come to learn and love. I may not get there today or even next month but I will get there. There will be set backs, injuries and illnesses, but if I don’t give up on myself then I will be able to fight my way back and continue to grow and get stronger. I’ve seen this with so many of the other members that have walked through the doors since I’ve joined. It’s amazing to see their improvements and their changes. I love the positive attitudes and the overall support of the members and coaches. I think that’s the best part of CrossFit and the X-Project… the community/family that comes with it. We feed off of each other and push each other. No matter if we are competing against each other or not, it is definitely an uplifting environment. To hear people cheer each other on is inspiring. To watch the struggle and the success is awesome!!! That alone is reason enough to give this a try. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what I will be able to overcome next.