1. The people are so nice. I'm a terribly shy person and it took me a long time to make friends at the gym because of this. It turns out everyone at the gym is their own brand of shy, weird, quirky, and kind. There was really no reason for me to be scared. More than any other place, the gym is a location where I feel like I can totally be myself.
2. Safety is paramount. We've all heard stories about how dangerous CrossFit is. City Line is probably the least dangerous training environment I've ever been in. Daily emphasis is placed on technique and the coaches are diligent about making sure you're scaling the movements and weights properly for a given workout. There's often a fine line between pushing yourself just enough and pushing yourself to the point of injury, and the coaches are incredible at helping you figure out where that line is.
3. Don't be afraid to fail or be last. This one is a work in progress for me. But when I first started, I didn't push myself enough because I was afraid of doing a "bad job." In reality, a "bad job" doesn't exist. It's OK to fail lifts sometimes; it's normal for it to take weeks or months to learn a new skill; and everyone (EVERYONE) is last during a workout at some point. This is not an indication of your skill or character; it's a learning experience. Embrace it.
4. Ask questions! I feel like I spent my first month at the gym chasing Cassi around to ask questions. Sure, I may have been a little annoying. But when in doubt, speak up! It's better to have a clear understanding of what you're doing and why than to guess and hurt yourself or scale a movement in a way that doesn't help you get better. And if you want to improve at a movement, ask a coach how to do so. They'll work with you to create a plan that will pay off if you stick with it.
5. Pay attention to how CrossFit changes other aspects of your life (for the better). I was about a month into CrossFit when I realized how much better I was sleeping. This small change ended up making a huge difference, giving me more energy and focus at work. I started eating better, too, and have found I'm sick far less often. I also developed more patience and resilience in all aspects of my life. The list, really, goes on. I do want to be clear about the fact that CrossFit isn't some magic pill. But it can contribute to small life changes which, added together, can make all the difference.
Things I wish I knew before I started Crossfit:
1. How important the Coaching is to one’s progress. It’s very important to sign up with a Box that has great coaching. By that I mean not only people who are knowledgeable but also care about your health and well being. If you don’t have a sense of that when you are doing the WODS then you are probably in the wrong place.
You can come to Crossfit having a base of knowledge about some things and a certain level of fitness but if you aren’t willing and/or able to listen and learn from the Coaches then you will not progress and/or have fun.
3. How scalable the WODs are. Regardless of your fitness level, you can participate in the class WODs. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to get started.
4. How much the “community” aspect of the Box makes a difference in the Crossfit experience. If you don’t feel like you are part of a community of people who are friendly, having fun working out together, and who are there to encourage you and not judge you then you are probably in the wrong Box.
1. Don't worry about trying to go unbroken all the time. Even the fittest men and women on Earth break up movements into smaller sets.
2. You are never "too good" or "too fit" for the most basic movements in Crossfit. Just because you can do a movement like muscle ups or strict handstand push-ups doesn't mean that you then stop having to do basic progressions. Those basic progressions are still difficult and still have a ton of value no matter how experience the athlete is.
3. Exercise can be fun!