For anyone who knows me at all, it will come as no surprise to hear that I’m completely obsessed with CrossFit at the moment.
A surprising number of people often ask me why I prefer CrossFit as my conditioning for fighting and I could think of nothing more appropriate and equally as challenging.
As I worked my way through my WOD today (8 toes to bar and 12 burpee over box, 5 rounds for time) all I could think about was those damn level changes in MMA. In my first camp it’s what destroyed me the most, even though I was in great shape at the time. Although I’m taking a break from fighting, I still like to incorporate these skills into my week because I know how much easier things will when I go back to fighting, if I stick with it.
I’ve always liked to push myself, even as a kid, and I am competitive by nature. I love anything that challenges me so CrossFit has been a perfect fit for me.
I have done plenty of circuit training in the past and I’ve always loved lifting, but my real CrossFit journey began when I started at Black Sheep Athletics here in Berlin in December.
My competency in lifting and baseline fitness from fighting carried me through the first few months until we hit the Opens.
I never expected to qualify. I actually expected to have to do most of the WOD’s scaled. I was thrilled to come out the other end, completing 2 RX’d workouts and an MMA fight in week 3. Naturally, after enjoying the Opens so much, I wanted to do more!
After a few hiccups, injuries and fight training, my CrossFit sessions were coming to a grinding halt and I missed them. I missed being at the box. I missed having something new to challenge me (not to say that fighting is not challenging). I missed the community.
When I decided to take some time off from fighting and martial arts training in general, I had planned to continue training CrossFit most days. I didn’t want to stop training I just needed to take a break from the mental grind. The constant dieting and poor recovery. The struggle with my body image with the pressure of needing to be a certain weight all the time. The expectation to be a certain way, or to be at a certain skill level AT ALL TIMES.
To give me something to focus on, I signed up with the Training Plan. They offer structured training plans from beginners to elite competitors. I figured it might be a good way to start developing some new skills, or the ones I really sucked at. Following this I found one of the few CrossFit competitions here in Europe that offer 3 divisions (as opposed to two that go from extremely difficult to verging on a little too easy).
I elected to enter into the Elite division for this competition. Everything but muscle ups and handstand walks are possible. I figured it was a good way for me to push myself when I’m training alone and forces me to develop skills that I might not be so inclined to train on a regular basis.
I’m about a month in to the training program with 2 weeks until the qualifying weekend for the Throwdown and I am truly amazed and happy with how much I have progressed, now that I can give it all my time and energy and I love how I can see and feel my own progress instead of constantly wondering if I’m actually improving.
A few months ago burpees box jumps had me grinding down to a complete stop, dead on my feet after just a few. I couldn’t do toes to bar because I wasn’t strong enough to hang off the bar! Now I’m hitting plenty of PB’s and I am enjoying all the gymnastics skills that are on offer.
I have no expectations on my performance in this event but it has been nice to have something to work towards.
One of the other great things about being so new to this sport is that no one expects anything from me. If I fail at something or I mess up a lift, no one screams at me telling me I’ve done it wrong, or that I’ve messed up. Sure I feel frustrated with myself sometimes, but mostly I feel like no one else even notices when I do fail.
CrossFit has been such a welcome change and addition to my life. It’s allowing me room to challenge myself without causing myself any mental grief. It’s also helping me learn how to love and appreciate my body again.
I’m not the skinniest or prettiest girl in the room but man I can do some pretty great things with this strong, bad ass body I’m in. I am grateful for this everyday.
Stay tuned for the Throwdown update!!!