“Clean and Jerk”
What on earth do these words mean? And more than that, what do they mean to someone like me? They mean that I can:
- carry my work backpack, multiple bags of groceries, plus a couple of cartons of soda from my garage to my front door and up a flight of stairs without any issue
- lift a heavy piece of luggage over my head into the overhead storage compartment on a plane without hurting myself or asking for help
- pick up the rear half of my motorcycle to move it over a few inches in the garage
- get a heavy box from my chest to over my head as I move it to another shelf at work without hurting myself
For the longest time, I had a nagging shoulder issue where my right shoulder would start ‘hang off’ my body and become so sore that I had to put my hand in my pocket so it wouldn’t hurt so much. Sounds crazy, but after regular visits to Fearless weekly, my shoulder muscles grew stronger to where my shoulder stopped hurting so much.
As someone who never thought she would ever want to do, hear about or participate in something like CrossFit, I can say that I am so glad I decided to join something that I wasn’t sure would be for someone like me.
My goals when starting with Fearless were to simply get stronger, maybe lose a little flab around my waist, maybe lessen the pain in my shoulder. My husband joined, too, so it was a nice way for us to spend time doing something that we could both enjoy.
Although it was a little bit intimidating at first, I appreciated the “On Ramp” class that allowed me to get introduced to the world of Cross-fit and the incredible family at Fearless. The coaches were friendly, helpful, and funny. Not once was I yelled at or made to feel like I didn’t belong. Everyone belonged and not just because we were paying to be there. We were there to simply learn new things without hurting ourselves and hopefully have a little fun while doing it.
Every time I showed up, they were coaching us to work as hard as we could, all while being safe and comfortable at the same time. Safety isn’t something you might think about in a gym environment, but in this one, it was everything.
Trying to attempt something that you had never tried before without understanding the safe and correct technique would probably result in an informal conversation. Gentle yet firm coaching to help you know that what you were trying to do would likely end up hurting yourself. The last thing coaches wanted was for anyone to get hurt. Scores, times, and measurements may have been recorded, but there was never judgment, only applaud of your accomplishments no matter how seemingly small they felt.
And I fully, thoroughly appreciated that. It immediately made me feel better about my decision to come here. As a former motorcycle safety instructor, I know what it’s like to help someone learn to do something that could be incredibly intimidating. Lousy coaching can make or break your ability to learn a new skill, especially something so physically intensive as CrossFit.
Confidence is a great drug, and knowing that someone like me, 5’2”, 130bs, and flabby in more places than I’d like to admit could do all these things felt awesome. When I first joined, I started with a ~14-minute mile which almost made me throw up (I hate running). By my 2nd year, I’d dropped that down to a hair under 8 minutes. Not because I was there five days a week, or even 3! Shoot, I was lucky if I made it once a week most weeks.
It was the accumulation of work that I’d had done in a couple of years, setting very small, achievable goals. And that was all I needed. Slowly, my flab converted to less flab (I never lost all of it, sadly), and then my pants started to fit better. I never lost a pound, but I lost a whole dress size. I had no goals of losing weight whatsoever. It wasn’t a huge concern as much as feeling better was.
Just like any sport or activity, you will always get out of Cross-fit what you put into it. For me, I wanted to feel stronger. I did, and then some.
Thanks, Fearless! I love you!
Written By; Joanne Donn @gearchic
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