A Sense of Belonging…
The first time I ever stepped into a CrossFit box, I felt like something was right.
Although my journey in the sports and fitness world is a bit off the beaten path in comparison to some athletes, my focus is the same. All I ask of myself is to keep learning, keep training and keep an open mind.
Growing up as a youth in South Jersey, I lived a very active lifestyle. Always somewhat of an introvert, I preferred solo sports to team sports and opted for BMX riding, skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing instead of soccer and football, both of which only lasted a couple seasons. I spent my summers commercial fishing with my Poppop and winters hunting with him. No, I never went to a sport summer camp, and yes, I almost failed 9th grade gym class (punk skater kid) but over those years of extreme sports I developed a sense of mental fortitude and work ethic.
A brief stint in jiu-jitsu started a fire that has only been satiated by one thing, and that’s CrossFit.
After asking myself the simple question “Why am I not doing this?” I tried CrossFit.
We all remember our first CrossFit workout. For me it was an AMRAP of pull-ups, wall-balls and double unders in Coach Kenny’s gym. How did it go? Well green bands for the pull-ups, a ten pound wall ball, and singles so atrocious they were comical. Oh, and I could barely squat a 45lb barbell.
How did I feel after? Defeated…
… But there was a new challenge in front of me and then began the journey, a journey I am still on and working to improve everyday, piece by piece.
That feeling I had in the jiu-jitsu gym; the smell of the mats, the hard work, the sweat, the mental chess match, the victory of getting a submission, it can all happen at the box. The smell of the rubber floors, the chalk, the 3.2.1 go, the mental game of 1 rep max, and of course the sweat.
For me, there’s a void that is getting fulfilled and it feels damn good.
As an athlete, we all have goals. That may be getting your first pull-up, muscle-up, double under, toes to bar. It could be hitting a number on your clean and jerk, snatch, squat or deadlift. It may be participating in a marathon, 5k, Spartan race or Tough Mudder. No matter what that goal is just remember, hard work WILL pay off and you being a part of this community is what matters, not how much weight you can lift, not how fast you can do Fran, or what your mile time is.