One of the biggest barriers to starting CrossFit is that people feel that they need to be “in shape” before beginning training. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard members say that friends, or family of theirs wants to start, they just want to get in shape first. I partly believe this to be that people generally have the wrong idea of what CrossFit is. I feel that people see, or hear about it on TV, and believe that it’s a sport. If someone wants to begin playing soccer, or basketball, they’d be smart to “get in shape” to do so. However, CrossFit was created as a training program BEFORE it turned into a sport. What people see on TV couldn’t be farther away from what they would be doing in starting a training program at most CrossFit affiliates. The version of ‘CrossFit’ that most would begin with, will look nothing like what they’re imagining they’re going to be required to do.
Pictured, is Mike Onoyan. He began with us a few months ago, curious to see if CrossFit would be a program that he’d be able to stick to, and produce the results he was looking for. He’d tried various things in the past, which didn’t “stick”. When he started, the only time he could feasibly dedicate to training was our 5:45AM class, a very hard time to commit to if you’re now going to have to set that alarm earlier than normal. The first month or so was not consistent. His attendance was spotty, at best; once one week, maybe twice the next, not at all the following week, etc. I’d email him to check in a few times, only to get the response; “I’ll be back hopefully in the next couple days.” Usually he would, but not consistently. Truthfully, I didn’t expect that he’d hang on for that long because when I chatted with him one of the times he was in, he explained that it was just really hard to make himself get up, and get to the gym. He had to go to bed earlier, and he had to avoid having a glass of wine or two with dinner the night before, if he wanted to make this happen.
Over the next couple weeks, I started to see him more frequently. Something had changed. He looked “into it.” After that, I noticed he was at the gym four days, then five, and now it’s been that way since. I recently approached him and asked what happened, what changed? He responded that it was just a couple, simple lifestyle changes that he really needed to make if he wanted to make this improvement; forego the drink or two he’d normally have the night before, and just get to bed a little earlier. It still sucks when the alarm goes off, that will never change...but it’s not impossible, it’s a choice. That’s it!
He’s taken on the challenge of signing up for the CrossFit ‘Open’--something he’d never thought he’d do, but he wanted to, not to compete, but for the satisfaction of taking on and completing a challenge, for himself. The first workout used a 20lb. medicine ball combined with rowing, back and forth for 15 minutes straight. It was hard. When he was done, he had said to me;
“It’s hard to imagine that the weight of this ball that I was just working out with, was what I lost since I started here!”
I think this is just awesome! Mike’s primary goal when he started was NOT just to lose weight. He wanted to improve his general health & fitness, his strength, his lifestyle. Using that medicine ball I think really gave his change some perspective. I was beyond excited for him, because that’s exactly what we look for! He had challenged himself to walk through the doors a couple months ago, a beginner with no prior experience, expecting that this was going to be like the CrossFit Games. What he found was the complete opposite.
We don’t want people to sign up and not show up, like Planet Fitness. We want you here. It doesn’t matter what your goal, ability, or experience is because we have multiple degrees of programming that include everything from beginner to advanced levels of ability. The most common factor that determines whether or not people see the results they desire, or not, is mindset. You do have the time, and where there’s a will, there’s a way. Stop hiding behind your kid’s schedules, or that your work keeps you “too busy”. You CAN make time, but it will likely require sacrifices elsewhere. Whether or not you choose to make those sacrifices is a different story.