People often ask me how love I have been CrossFitting. I have been telling them 5-6 years, but I recently went back and figured it out. I still have my original teeny tiny workout notebooks where I kept track of my WODs with pen and paper.
My first workout was at a new gym in town.
10 Thrusters (we were allowed to take it off the rack because we hadn’t learned to clean yet. And they let me do 55# for my first workout.)
25 feet 25# Plate Overhead Walking Lunges
After the workout, we were talking in the parking lot about how hard it was (and how awesome it felt to have completed it.) It was then I realized I had inadvertently only done 10 burpees, not 15. I wasn’t cheating on purpose, I was just nervous and my brain stopped working once we got started.
As you can imagine – it was a brutal workout for someone new to CrossFit. But we signed up a few days later and went back to the gym. CrossFit was still relatively new and we wanted to be a part of it.
Turns out I have been CrossFitting for 8 years now. I remember that first workout well. I remember it sucking in the middle. I remember wanting to drop the weight on the barbell during the second round. I remember how hard the burpees were (even doing 10 instead of 15). I remember my quads aching and my shoulders screaming during the overhead lunges. I wanted to quit. And when it was over, I wanted to know when it was going to get easier. When it was going to feel better.
But here is the sucky part, the Disappointment Panda ugly truth – it never gets easier. You never get less tired. It never sucks less. Instead, you get better. You do more in that same amount of time. You do more with the same amount of suck feeling. It never gets easier, you get better. You do more in that same amount of pain.
That was (and still is) a very difficult concept for me to comprehend. I wanted it to feel easier. But it doesn’t get easier – we just get better.
We have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I know that sounds counter-intuitive. And it certainly isn’t any easy thing to do, especially in the moment. We need to settle our brains a bit and realize, really comprehend, that even in the middle of a grueling workout, when our brain is telling us that our bodies can’t do this anymore, that we are in fact OK, we can keep moving.
Take a deep breath. Know that you can still breathe. It’s fast and labored, but you are actually taking in enough oxygen to keep going. Notice your muscles. They are tired, they have been taxed, but they are still working, you can still will them to move.
Know that your brain will give up long before your body actually needs to. The brain goes into survival mode – this is uncomfortable so it needs to stop whatever it is that is making it uncomfortable. It is this feeling that we need to fight.
This is where all of your mental and physical growth will occur. Be comfortable being uncomfortable.