I had a few ideas floating around in my head that I figured might be something decent to write about so I may jump around a little bit in this post, but stay with me and I think in the end it will all make sense. Noobs, newbies, rookies; call them what you’d like, but remember, we were all that person at one point. Reflecting on a recent conversation that I had before a class one night, I was talking to some newer members and giving them a little pep talk on progress. One thing that I think new members need to remember when coming into the gym from boot camp or just fresh off the streets is that we all started somewhere and the things that they see after not having much exposure to CrossFit can be rather intimidating or awe inspiring. One of the things that I tried to impress upon them was that they may think that we are all amazing athletes, but as we all know, there is always someone out there that is better than us. Intensity is something that we all strive for and use as a sign of progress, but let’s take a little step back first.
Intensity should come second to quality movement, at least in my opinion. Bouncing back to the conversation that I had, I recounted my reason for joining the gym, and it was because my movement was poor. Poor movement led to injuries and having to take time off. When I finally made the decision to join, I also made the decision to fix my movement before I started to push harder. Here’s where the information part comes in! One of things that happens when I get involved in a new hobby is that I become engrossed in being as good as I can be at it. I watch countless videos, read articles and talk to people that I see around me that are better or more informed than I am. I want my movements to look like the people that we see in the cool videos or the ones that are blown up big on a poster. As movement progresses, intensity can increase. Hours spent working on making my snatch better, or tweaking my rowing technique leads to better performance down the road, and this is where the increase in intensity will start to show up.
Bouncing back to perception! New members come into the gym and watch us during a workout, seeing us perform heavy lifts or moving at a pace that they never think that they can achieve. What they don’t get to see is the hours that we put in getting to that level. It doesn’t happen overnight and consistency is the key! Showing up is part of the equation and being a student of movement is the other part. In this day and age, you can find information on just about anything. Want to know how to make your burpee more efficient? The information is out there, and if you can’t find it, ask one of the coaches or another member in class. I promise you that anyone in the gym will be happy to share any information that they have that will help you make whatever movement you are doing look and feel as good as it can. Our coaches (along with other members) are a great source of information, and I can almost guarantee you that at some point, they did the same thing that I like to do.
To this day, I still find myself learning new things all the time in the gym and that will always happen. The day that it stops happening, is the day that I’m no longer training. Always working to perfect my movement, or push a little bit harder is part of the fun of this journey and while I’d like to think that I’m pretty good at things, I will always see someone better than me which gives me more fuel for the informational fire. Take a minute to step back and just watch someone move, you can learn a lot just by watching, asking and trying.