My BCF experience: Sometimes I would stare so hard at Mike or whoever was coaching that I would be afraid that I was going to be arrested. But, trying to process the words and co-ordinate the movements, was a lot for me. I came up with a lot strategies: 1) have partner that you can learn with, 2) be by yourself then you can learn without slowing people down, or, 3) stand behind a methodical person. Ha! You probably don’t know who you are, methodical people, but I do. I would stand a safe distance behind you and then copy your moves and your rhythm, down to the pre-stretch and prep you do before the movement. Quietly acting like all I was doing was listening to the music. That went on for months, while trying to learn new names, really enjoying the music, remembering to bring my towel, my water, go to the bathroom, and trying to get class before my notorious “5-minutes-late-right-on-time” reputation.
Crossfit is an amazing transformation if you can let it be that for you. It will change your standards for what is normal and how you want to live your life. My sister had gone the year before so her gung-ho enthusiasm also tempered my belief with “she always loves her fitness place and at the end they practically want to hire her.” But, what you at BCF don’t know is that I would show up in Beaverton, Oregon and I would have the same stories as Nyon, Switzerland. Stories of a place, where people spoke to you, where they knew your name, where they greeted you. Classes where they helped you put away your equipment, where they waited for you to finish and cheered you on and counted for you to get done. Coaches who held your hand as you boxed jumped 6” because somewhere in your growing up, you forgot how to jump up onto something. The same stories of CrossFit as a place where they celebrated your 400m time, your first clean, your squat with no pole and no pain. Sometimes because adult life can be like that “the CrossFit people” would be the only people that I would talk to between everyone leaving for work and school and then coming home again.
Now, this isn’t to make anyone sad. It’s just that don’t ever get it twisted about what the coaches and we at the box do, is just about fitness. It’s about transforming yourself into an athlete and that is as much mental and spiritual as it is physical. You, the athlete-in-the-making, have to feel comfortable, and cared for to do everything that you will have to do to make your journey happen. You gotta be okay with failing, sweating, forgetting, relearning, paining (is that a verb?) and you gotta be okay with not reaching your goal, to do the work to reach your goals. In my case, because if I am going fix something, as my husband Kevin Putnam would tell you, I am going to really fix it. This meant working with Rich, going to acupuncture, taking Alexander Lessons, working with chiropractor, finding trainer to work on weak muscles and changing my nutrition, reading about fitness, etc. I’m nutty that way.
I am truly honored to be the athlete of the month. It was a hard thing to reconcile when I got the email. For the longest while, I didn’t know what story to share but I asked Chad for advice and he said write from the heart (Chad smile, Chad hint of LA drawl).
In the end, all I did is what Mike told me to do when I started on July 5th 2013. I lingered a bit at the end of the trial class at his office door. I remember that he typed into the computer as I asked if I could actually do “this” and get results. Mike looked up and he said, “Show up. Just show up. Most new people don’t do that. We’ll help you with the rest.” And, so I did.
PS. I would like to thank all the awesome co-atheletes that helped me continue to figure this out. List of names to long to mention.