When I first started Crossfit, I didn’t have much of a choice.
Seth, my husband, was a coach at our local box and he signed me up for Elements without asking because he knew I wanted to get back "in shape" and said I needed friends. (Ouch!- we had just moved to Chicagoland in the middle of winter and I decided the best option was just to bunker down in the apartment with our 2 month old baby. The extent of my fitness was walking up 5 flights of stairs with one arm full of Target bags & a baby in the other when the elevator broke).
Honestly, I was dreading Elements. At that point, Seth was a Crossfit kool-aid drinking, shoe buying, jump rope swinging fiend and I was not on the bandwagon. All I heard was “Reps for Time”...“Mecon”...“On the minute”...“It was horrible”...“I love it”...”Though I was gonna pass out”.
Really dude, you’re not selling this well.
BUT, I went. The whole, “be supportive your husband and his hobbies.. He’s trying to share what he loves with you...It’s just a couple classes” was literally the only reason I stepped foot into that box.
I was winded in the warm up! We were moving around PVC pipes like bow-staffs and did hip thrusts into the air! I was dripping sweat. I couldn’t do a box jump.
But, I didn’t let that deter me or the smile that was glued to my face for challenging myself & trying something new. I traded box-jumps for box step ups, and after a few classes, graduated Elements with a high-five from the coach.
After my first group classes, someone came up to me and gave me a fist bump & said “You did great!” My immediate response was “thanks, but I scaled it.” To that they said “ya, who cares? We all did that when we started & still do that now depending on the workout! You still did the workout just like everyone else here.”
It sounds a little wacky. But that small conversation changed everything for me.
We all have to start somewhere. We’re all at different levels. We all progress at different rates.
Day after day coaches did their thing. They dissected the workout for the class. They talked about scaling up or down, what Rx or Rx+ was. They did the “see me if you don’t know what to do” and I did. I asked every single day for months.
I thought that there was NO WAY I could ever do the “standard” prescription that was on that board. But the coaches helped me choose weights, pace, fix my technique, help me progress when I needed to be pushed and told me to back down when I was doing too much. I learned that everyday I show up, I get a fraction better.
I also learned that it's okay to look at other people and see that they lift more than you or finish before you. I always remember, everyone started somewhere. Admire people’s hard work. Admire their motivation. Admire that people are willing to try something new to improve upon themselves. And, most importantly, don’t let what other people do intimidate from participating. 99.99% of people are cheesed that you are trying something new. If they’re an RBF goober who doesn’t know how encourage or celebrate other peoples victories, along with their own--DON"T SWEAT IT. Some people just suck.
So that’s my long winded 'round about rant saying:
Perform the workout capacity it was meant to be done at. That means: Preserve movement quality and aerobic nature. Scale down or scale up. Or maybe a hybrid of the two depending on what your strengths and weakness are. If you don't know what that means- ask your coach. They want to help you.
Scaling is cool. Scaling is smart. Scaling will help you be a better athlete. You’ll get to those progressions. You’ll make those milestones. It won’t be tomorrow, next week, or maybe even this month. It takes time. Everyday you show up you’ll be a fraction better. Leave sweat puddles behind you, smile along away and bring people that encourage you and lift you up on the journey.