What Our Member’s Can’t Do…
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of introducing 4 new people to CrossFit Sandpoint and the training methodology that is CrossFit. In this process, I usually ask them some questions, they ask me some questions, I ask them about their goals, I tell them about the goals that we try and facilitate for them, I walk them around the gym, I talk about the implements that we use and why there aren’t any of the traditional machines that they are probably used to. Finally, the last part of our conversation usually revolves around the whiteboard. I discuss how every class is designed from warm-up to workout, and how it’s all planned out on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. There is usually a workout listed on the board from that day or the previous day. This is where I start to get objections and I start to see a look of fear wash over their faces (usually).
I go through the sample day that's up on the board, mentioning things like Pull-ups, Push-ups, Handstand Push-ups, and a litany of other movements that probably sound like another language to the unseasoned, brand new CrossFit athlete. They usually start with an, “ummmm, I can’t do a pull-up….”. That is followed by a “wait, you do a push-up while in a handstand? I can hardly do a regular push-up!” Sometimes I get a, “are there any other fat, middle-aged people like me?” (Their words, not mine, and they are usually neither). A lot of the time its, “I have really bad ankles/knees/hips/back/shoulders/elbows/neck/wrists/fingers/toes/eyes/ears/lips/teeth/etc, can I still workout?”
So, I tell them about scaling and ensure them that most people, cannot do those things, that most people come in out of shape, and that most people have some pre-existing injury or condition that will probably prevent them from winning the CrossFit Games, but will not hold them back from participating to a full extent here, and that the whiteboard is written for the best, and scaled for the rest. I mention that I’d estimate that 90% of the people here are scaling most, if not all of the workouts that are written on the board.
However, I generally get the feeling that they don’t believe me, and that this gym is full of shredded, super-athletes that are capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound. We certainly have a couple of those, (mostly for eye candy during the summer months), but the majority of our people are not those types of athletes. In fact, the overwhelming majority of our people here:
- are currently unable to do a pull-up
- are currently unable to do a series of more than 3-5 push-ups
- are currently unable to squat their bodyweight
- spend more than 8 hours a day sitting at at desk or at home
- (and because of that) currently have some difficulty squatting to full depth, raising their arms all the way over their heads, touching their toes, etc
- get out of breath running around the block
- have more fat on their bodies than they want
- have pre-existing injuries or conditions
- have lives outside of the gym that include occasionally eating crappy food and drinking alcohol
- are just here to get in shape to do their other recreational activities and have no desire of competing
And, that’s how it should be! CrossFit is designed to develop athletes of all shapes, sizes and abilities, and to help everyone improve to become the best version of themselves that they can be. If they never, ever do a pull-up, who gives a shit as long as they move better, feel better, and improve in their daily life. (Btw, if a pull-up is what you want, I promise you that I can get you there eventually).
So if you’ve been holding out on getting started here because you don’t feel like you’ll be able to do the things that we do, or are intimidated by who you think is in here, you should know that you’re just like everyone else (in a good way), and that you’ll fit in great as long as you bring a good attitude and acknowledge your limitations up front.
So what are you waiting for?
If you'd prefer to start in an environment that is made up of all other beginners, we’ll have a Foundations course in October that is a 4 week, 8 session course designed for you. That will be starting Mondays and Wednesdays on October 5th in the evenings at 6:30pm. if you’d like to sign up for that, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll get you on the list.