I’ve been a dedicated CrossFitter for 2 years now and in the last 5 months I’ve focused on Olympic Weightlifting and have started to train for competition. Prior to this I had absolutely zero background in fitness. I’ll never forget walking through the doors of my first CrossFit gym – honestly it was terrifying! I had no idea what to expect, I didnt even know what a kettlebell was and everytime someone said ‘snatch’ I had a huge giggle to myself.
Fast forward two years and Im now taking competing in Olympic Weightlifting very seriously!
During this time I thought it would be cool to write and Instagram about my fitness journey, Ive always loved taking photos and as a total newbie to fitness I hoped that I could give some insight into how CrossFit & Weightlifting isnt just for ripped, six pack bulging ninja’s!
I have learnt ALOT of lessons over the last 2 years and Im sharing the stuff most people won’t fill you in on so if you ever decide to go on this awesome journey one day you wont need to spend time worrying about the bad you can just enjoy ALLLLL the good!
People will laugh at you!
When blogging you put yourself out there – be it to help people or not – you put it all out there and unfortunately with that will come the comments (usually behind your back) on how ‘your not really that good’ or ‘who does she think she is’ or ‘did you see how bad her form was in that video’ – you’ll also get the ‘she loves herself’ and the ‘Im sick of seeing her photos/videos’ comments (errr there is an ‘unfollow’ button folks!). They hurt – especially when people you admire, aspire to be like or think are your friends are the ones that subject you to it but there is a HUGE flipside to this…. Ive met people through blogging and CrossFit that have become my very best friends, my support system through the bad times, my cheerleaders through the good times. In fact the relationships you form with people that have shared interests and goals is unbreakable and Ive found a very special group of friends since starting my fitness journey. These friends dont judge me, they understand the demands on your time that training takes, they ‘get’ me and it was not something I ever expected to happen. Funnily enough every single actual elite athlete that I have met or spoken to via social media have been nothing but supportive and genuinely think any progress I make is great, the reasoning for this (I believe) is because they are not insecure in their own abilities and they understand what it takes to get fit and healthy and they want everyone to share the joy that they do, no matter what level. Very honestly there may be people in your life that dont understand the change in your lifestyle – for me – honestly I lost some, not many, but some of those people. It hurts at the time but you come to understand that if someone cant love you or be your friend whilst you try to better yourself and your health then maybe they were never the friend you thought they were in the first place.
Your body will change and it will FREAK you out!!!!
So, I have legs now, like actual quads and calves. I also have traps and lats, I have muscles!! I LOVE my muscles but fuck did they freak me out to begin with! Clothes start to fit differently – you become more toned, your body shape changes, you look amazing in your gym gear – you look amazing in all your clothes but when it starts happening its scary. I remember dress shopping for a friends wedding, Ive always been a size 8 but none of the damn dresses would zip up over my shoulders – everything else fit perfectly but my lats were having none of it. Honestly – I cried in the changing room of TopShop on Grafton Street, I felt bulky, I wanted to be in my Nike Metcons feeling awesome again. Then I took a long hard look at myself, my body had changed but I wasnt bulky, I was toned, I was reaping the rewards of all my hard work and I found a gorgeous dress that didnt need to zip up over my lovely toned 10 pull ups in a row able lats (see below!)
You can’t do everything!
When I say I had no fitness background before I started CrossFit I am not exaggerating, I was a dancer for years but that all came to an abrupt end when I turned 18 and I discovered nightclubs, After Shock (remember that?!) and boys! When I decided to join CrossFit I used to look around at the more advanced members and think to myself ‘I cant do that!’ The fact is that I couldnt do it, what I didnt realise is that one day I would be able to do it! I remember my first ever bodyweight deadlift – wow did I celebrate that!! Im now on route to clean that weight – PROGRESS. What happens is that your cant’s become can’s and you start to realise that there will always be something that your not able to do – but you learn that you will be able to do it one day and so ‘cant’ leaves your vocabulary and is exchanged with ‘goal’. So rather than saying “I cant do a bodyweight clean, you say ‘I have a goal to do a bodyweight clean’ – BOOM. There is NO such thing as cant!
You want to help inspire people…and then you REALLY don’t!
When you start blogging it comes from a really good place, you want to share your story and you want to help inspire people to find their own journey – but that’s the thing. People don’t always find their own journey and so they decide that they will follow yours and by follow I mean copy..and so every couple of days you will see a version of something you did a few days earlier posted – generally with a similar ‘story’ behind it and you will see RED! All of a sudden it feels like people are competing with you rather than being helped or inspired or anything you ever really wanted, people trying to be better than you at something you only just started or people claiming they just discovered something you just discovered the day before. And then WOAH WOAH WOAH….hold up! You realise three huge things….FIRST- you tell yourself to get the fuck down off your little ego buzz.. Someone bothered their arse following you, reading what you posted, liking what you posted, thinking ‘Id love to be able to do that’ and then tried to do it, then they shared it with their followers and friends. Thats really fucking cool and actually was what you were hoping to achieve in the first place!!!! SECOND – nobody will ever ever ever be able to ‘copy’ your journey and if they are following your lead thats awesome, it means you’ve inspired someone! Cool! THIRDLY – if its really obvious to you its probably really obvious to everyone else so chill, do your thing and most importantly if YOU happen to be inspired or to downright copy something cool you saw just tag the person that inspired you – why? Because it will make their day! Coz thats why we take photos and write about what we do – coz we love it and we want to share it with you so that you can love it too!
There will be days that you have aches and pains in muscles you didnt even know existed..there are alot of quotes etc around that tell you being sore is awesome, BULLSHIT! Being sore is minus craic, DOMS hurt and so do achy joints. There will be days when you do not even want to put a toe in the gym or even actually get out of bed because the previous days workout kicked your ass!!! There will absolutely be days your whole body hurts,your muscles and joints do get used to the daily workouts, they do hurt less but generally then your Coach puts you on a new squat programme and BOOM you cant walk up the stairs the next day…those quads tho!!!!! Regular mobility and stretching coupled with lots of protein, glucosamine and fish oil really limit the aches and pains and Epsom Salt baths are epic plus saying your sore from leg day sounds pretty badass but yeah – it hurts sometimes and your gonna have to deal with it! That pain turns you into an absolute machine, it makes you healthier, it makes you fitter and it makes you mentally ready to take anything on!
So, there you have it, some honest reflections on my time as a novice athlete and an even more novice blogger…Thanks for reading X