10 Rounds for time of:
5 Deadlifts (135/95)
4 Hang Power Cleans
20 Lateral Jumps over Bar (Total Jumps)
From CrossFit Cynic to CrossFit Certification in 1 Year
Many of you know me from around the box and you know my wife (The Ambassador) as well. If you’re relatively new to the box you might not be aware that as of May 2011 I was still calling CrossFit “Crossblah”, a term my daughter and I coined to describe the way the Ambassador went on and on about it. It wasn´t just her either, our good friends Mike T, the Radis’, and the Koles would also constantly ask me “When are you joining CrossFit, Rich?”. My usual reply was that I didn’t have time or didn´t feel the need right now. My mindset changed during a fateful and pathetic hockey tournament in May 2011 when I realized that I was not at all in shape and that something had to change. Despite my 2 years of cynicism I decided to make an about face & join CrossFit Chicago.
It was slow going at first (ok, I’m still pretty slow). I couldn´t do a pullup, didn’t know how to squat, a pushup was something that was never done with the full range of motion, and I don´t need to tell you what my definition of a snatch was! Rudy laughed at me the first time I walked in the door (he still berates me, but I think that means he cares).
I have clear memories of an early WOD that included some 400m runs where fireman Lou helped me finish my runs when all I wanted to do was quit. I started CFC as a 3 day per week member and quickly went to 4 days. Since then I have rarely missed a day, even when I travel I either do a drop-in elsewhere or I do road WODs. After much hard work and perseverance I can pullup like crazy now, my squat form is pretty decent, my pushups offer the full range of motion, and even my olympic lifts are coming along okay (although I still can’t snatch worth crap).
Back in April The Ambassador & I noticed that there was a level 1 certification course happening in Chicago this summer and we jumped on the opportunity. We both wanted to expand our knowledge of CrossFit and become better at the sport. Around the same time I started the strength program at CFC, wanting to improve my performance on WODs and generally get stronger. I could write a whole article about the strength program (I’m a big fan), but the bottom line is that my CrossFit performance and my overall fitness have improved considerably in that period of time, so much so that during my level 1 cert I was one of the top performers on Fran, finishing in 6:14, a PR for me. By no means does that time make me an elite CrossFit athlete, but it´s a time that I’m proud of and that I learned puts me in pretty good company. The only reason I was able to do that is because of the strength cycle and my CFC experience.
I found out that I passed the level 1 Certification (as did the Ambassador, who of course outperformed me on the test) and I feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment having done it. I also know that I’ll be a better athlete because of it and that my understanding of this crazy CrossFit phenomenon is much deeper than it was just a couple of weeks ago. If you’re interested in a level 1 then go for it! There´s a lot to be learned beyond what we do in the gym every day.
My final thought is this- When a friend I haven’t seen in while sees me and is surprised by my physical improvements I tell them about CrossFit. I also tell them that there’s really nothing special about me. If I can do it anyone can, it just takes effort, perseverance, and lots of sweat. If they’re lucky they’ll also have their own Fireman Lou nearby to carry them on his back when the world feels like it´s about to close in on them, and a wife like the Ambassador who never gave up hope.