Written by Ben Taylor, of Rockwall, TX
In 27 years, I have been through quite a bit. I bounced back from numerous sports-related injuries and half a dozen surgeries ranging from hernias to intestines while never losing the desire to participate in sports and fitness. While participating in sports is largely unchanged, my definition of fitness has altered considerably after starting CrossFit in February 2012. Throughout middle school, high school, and college, fitness was heavy lifting with mainly upper body while avoiding core work and cardio machines as if they were the devil himself. I worked at the main student gym on campus for four years during college so I figured I had a good idea of what was going on. Motivation was never a problem. Goals were set and occasionally reached but progress was slow for the hours put forth. I was at the wrong end of the CrossFit coined ‘constantly varied functional movements at high intensity’ spectrum. How long can you tread water before you just get tired of treading water?
I heard about CrossFit from Mike and Mary when we were coworkers in 2007-2008. Over the years, we stayed in touch and I heard more than a few CrossFit stories about their new box. I managed to avoid most of the free classes because I was comfortable with my current methods although the results were lacking. After getting destroyed in a few free workouts over the course of a couple years, I slowly began to question my own workout ideologies. I couldn’t stand senior citizens beating me when I thought I was in pretty good shape. After years of toying around in the gym wasting time and energy, I came to the realization that there was only one thing to do.
As with many other things in life, I had to do it wrong before I could learn how to do it right. Instantly, I could tell the CrossFit workouts were having significant impacts on more parts of my body than ever before. Sleeping better and generally feeling better was a side effect that I could live with. I normally attend 530am classes during the week, which was difficult at first but now is just part of the everyday routine. This was the only time of the day that accommodated two graduate school classes as well as overtime at work. As of December 2012, I have completed my master’s degree and now should be able to get some more sleep. However, I can decisively say that dragging myself out of bed for a 530am workout after only a few hours sleep was the only way I got through the mental and physical demands of balancing work and school. I am also fortunate to have a consistent workout partner. The CrossFit Rockwall coaches learned when to push me and when to ease back based on how open my eyes could stay that particular morning.
I am rather intrigued by the programming and general philosophy behind CrossFit. I completed the Level 1 certification in October 2012 and have attended or plan to take many of the CrossFit specialty seminars. It’s a good feeling to find something that works for me and learn more about it to continually improve. The biggest achievement for me will be having sufficient skills and knowledge to teaching others.
My first full year of CrossFit is quickly approaching and there is no evidence of slowing down. It’s hard to say where I would be if I stayed with my old fitness habits but I am very glad we won’t ever find out. If you want to know why CrossFit will work for you or want to give it a try, don’t worry. The amazing CrossFit Rockwall coaches and athletes will be there when you finally come around.