CrossFit - The Beginning

How did I end up here and why did I stay ?

Hey folks,

Welcome to what I hope is the first of many blogs to come !

I have been thinking for weeks on where to start and finally concluded that the beginning is as good a place as any. The beginning of my very own CrossFit story. Do not fear, I do plan to share all kinds of things and not just my own personal stories. In fact, I would like to share many of the interesting facts I have discovered. Facts that will help us understand why the torment of our trainers is worth every drop of sweat and every single stinging muscle. There really is logic to all this madness !!

So why CrossFit ?

How did I end up in a CrossFit box in Wiesbaden? It certainly was something that, 12 months ago, I would never have dreamt of. So here a little background…

Back in 2016 (June) I broke the top of my hip, you know the bit that goes into the joint.... kind of important for all things involving mobility. The upshot was, I required a total hip replacement. I was 43 and this news sent me into orbit. I love sport and rarely sit still. My one true passion (well up to that point anyway) was tennis. Not just hobby tennis but also at a competitive level.

I had the operation and was assured, I had received the best implant possible for young folks that are active. So there I was, end of June 2016, stood up on crutches and sporting a brand new full titanium ceramic hip prosthesis. Mobility was at an all time low.

7 months later

The operation was a great success ... from a surgeon’s perspective but not really from mine. I still was not me and I certainly wasn’t as mobile as I wanted to be.

I did everything the doctors told me to do including 8 weeks of rehabilitation. I continued with physiotherapy, long past what was medically advised and still, I was not getting where I wanted to be. I had planned to be back on the tennis court for the next season league starting May 2017. I still had a long way to go and time was running out.

I tried various fitness studios but it was futile. Sometimes, I felt I knew more than the trainer because I had been researching my issues for so long. I knew I was crooked, I knew my squat was ‚crap‘ and yet no one corrected me. Something had to change!!!

The Discovery

It was back to the drawing board or in my case back to the internet for me. As crazy as it sounds, the internet was really the only source of any kind of information for someone in my situation. All other literature focused on older generations. I felt lost and abandoned. Surely I cannot be alone !

This was when I read a blog about a guy who had had a double hip replacement. He reported on how he had returned to CrossFit. I had never ever heard of CrossFit before. This was my chance.

And so the journey began ...

I googled CrossFit and my interest was immediately sparked. Next was to google CrossFit and Wiesbaden, although I didn’t really expect this concept to have arrived within driving distance of my home. Lo and behold, I got quite a few hits. I clicked through the various websites and there it was ‘CrossFit Wiesbaden - Smarter Coaching, Better Training, Safer Results. Wow wow wow, had I finally found something to suit my needs?

I hit the mail button and dropped an enquiry. I received a phone call more or less the same day from Emu. A lovely young man as my mum would say J He explained a little about CrossFit and listened patiently to my entire story including my 2 top goals:

1. Be able to put my socks on standing up

2. Be able to touch the ground with my hands

I was in luck. There was space in a basics course one week later. I was already convinced this was the way to go and so I turned up at Basics - Day one. It was still dark in the early evening, so as I pulled up, I could clearly see the end of a WOD in progress. I remember staring through the glass thinking these guys are nuts and you are nuts for being here. I cannot remember who it was but another beginner stood behind me and was obviously thinking the same. We took deep breaths and pushed the door open. This was the first step towards my now other favorite passion, CrossFit.

Sticking at it?

As hard as starting CrossFit is, there was always a reason not to give up. One thing that I loved was the immediate sense of belonging I had. It didn’t matter if I was lifting an empty bar beside Mark Brohm who lifting a full bar. We were all training towards the same goal and even though I had to scale way way way down, I still felt I was doing something right. I felt I was achieving small steps with every visit to the box and those steps were real physical progress. My hands were getting closer to the ground and my knee could be raised higher – I was getting very close to being able to put my socks on standing up.

Everyone at the box is so nice and supportive. All the trainers know that I sometimes need to deviate. Doing CrossFit does not mean I forget that I have a precious gift inside that I must look after. It is rarely an issue – there is always something equally torturous for me to do – like weighted overhead lunges instead of banded sprints !! CrossFit was what I needed to not only rebuild but to continue building on my new strength and in the end exceed my goals.

I did play tennis last season but more importantly I can put my socks on standing up! Believe it or not it’s still hard work but I can do it. My hands can also touch the floor and I can do sit-ups without feeling the world is about to end. Functional training at its best.

Another fantastic element of CrossFit is being able to measure and feel your progress. Even if it is just holding a plank 10 seconds longer or suddenly being able to scale up a little.

Recently, we did a Burpee warm-up whereby we had to do 8,10,12,14,... burpees every minute on the minute. I was dreading it. My relationship to the burpee is fraught at best and then it happened. Round 1, I did my 8 burpees and stood up. As I rested, I looked around. There were some folks still doing burpees – had I counted wrong? This couldn’t be true. But it was. Progress when I least expected it. So even the things you hate or dread, they too get easier. Stick at it. The feeling is even more fabulous when you break through a barrier on those elements that really challenge you. I know I never thought I would see the day that I would not be the last one getting off the floor in a round of burpees!

Where do we go from here...

I hope my meandering thoughts have been of some interest.

I would love to continue to blog for you as I still research a lot about why we snatch or do overheads. Why are we are made to do bear walks and what is the point of stuff like Burgener warm-ups.

So for now good-bye and remember – you may not be there yet but you are definitely further than you were yesterday.

Take good CrossFit care of yourselves from someone who last year thought the CrossFit games were absolute madness but this year totally gets it ❤