Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Beginner

Hindsight can be a b*tch. Especially in things like CrossFit, because now after having done it for over 10 years, and even owning a gym for 7 years, it’s too easy for me to look back and say, “Gosh, had I known what I know now, I would be SO much better at CrossFit right now. Maybe I would have even made it to Regionals or the Games.” Ha!

When I used to share blogs like this - The “What I Wish I Knew” type posts, it always entailed the cliche, “Scale more, shave your calluses, cheer everyone on, and go outside your comfort zone” items. When you Google for similar blogs, they say the same things, too. All great advice, though.

This time, however, I want to try something different.

Here are things I thought I knew, then learned something else, then thought I knew better, but then realized I still don’t know:

  1. CrossFit will always be hard. It never gets easier. It’s not supposed to. So, stop pretending that you’ll reach an end. You’re not supposed to be “done” with CrossFit. You will always be good at some things, and then suck at other things. While your list of skills will gradually increase, there will always be something else waiting for you to learn. IT’S A JOURNEY, not a destination.

  2. Allow yourself to be a beginner like everyone else. Even those of us with elite backgrounds were still beginners to CrossFit. Give yourself to permission to learn and grow at your own pace, on your own time. There is no race to fitness. Embrace the process, and clap for yourself along the way.

  3. Nutrition is personal and individual, and completely up to your readiness, mindset, and emotional state. While diet fads, monthly challenges, and nutrition coaches can be beneficial, more times than not they only serve as expensive distractions with short-term results. At the end of the day, you need to find something that works for YOU, and is sustainable throughout your daily life. Really, the one and only BEST piece of nutrition advice I can offer you is: FOOD IS FUEL, not punishment or reward. Eat to perform at life (not just CrossFit), and find YOUR quality of life.

  4. Fitness is relative, and should actually complement your daily life and the activities you already enjoy. Don’t let CrossFit take over everything. And, don’t let “Rx” take over your fitness journey. It’s arbitrary. Fitness is fitness, and it’s in the small steps, the tiny accomplishments, that add up over a long period of time. Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all fighting battles daily that the rest of us know nothing about. Focus on your personal growth. Self improvement. Fitness is in YOUR personal achievements.

  5. Remember to live your life. While, yes, CrossFit can be freakin’ awesome, and the community you workout with can be life-changing, and your life can be consumed by if you allow it to be, remember to live your life, too. CrossFit is just one part. Remember to eat the cake, too. Go see a live band, climb Half Dome, zipline through Mexico, skydive over Hawaii, backpack through Europe, cook for your friends, learn the piano, take a woodworking class, and read a good book.

The funny thing about life, and even CrossFit, is that the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know!

So, be a lifelong learner. A lifelong CrossFitter. A lifelong liver. ;-)

Kara PurvesComment