Ask Leah


Posted by Jocelyn

She’s every coaches dream.  Leah walked in the door just 8 months ago ready to change her life.  Although very nervous and de-conditioned, she checked her skepticism at the door and told us she was ready to do what ever it took.  She was ready to do the work, ready to listen, ready to learn, and all we had to do was show her the way.  She never questioned anything we told her.  Fully committed, Leah came to CrossFit West, did the workouts and cleaned up her diet.  When we told her it was time to increase her attendance, she increased her attendance.  When we told her it was time to get even tighter with her nutrition, she attacked that as well.  Her commitment and determination to a healthy lifestyle has resulted in the blossoming of one amazing athlete.  Stronger, leaner, more confident, and a new member of the “beat Cliff by a couple of pounds” club, she is becoming the person she was meant to be- an inspiration to all.

Now everyone is talking.  People from church and work are stopping her on the way out to ask what she is doing.  Inquirers stop by the box regularly (this is no joke) to check us out because they know someone named Leah who works out here and “the transformation is unbelievable! I mean she looks like a different person!”  And we think she glows like one too.  Leah has inspired people to tears even.  In fact so many people are inspired and asking questions about Leah and questions/concerns about starting CrossFit, motivation, nutrition, etc., that we decided to have her answer them directly here on our site. So without further ado, I give you Ask Leah.

Q. I am interested in giving CrossFit a shot but it just looks so intense.  I see everyone lifting tons of weight and running so much and it seems like it’s easy for them.  I’m going to be so out of place- I can barely run to the end of the street.  I’m afraid I’m going to stick out like a sore thumb.

A.-There is no doubt that succeeding in the CrossFit gyms demands personal commitment to doing what YOU need to do.  You have to take the responsibility to learn many new things, keep track of your numbers, manage your own injuries, speak up when you don’t know what to do, and more.  You also have to be content to start from where you are.  It is intense.  That’s an integral part of CF, but it is intense for you, at whatever level you are, and it is intense for everyone else, at their own level.  It seems very hard to believe, but CF is truly scalable and can work for you if you want it to.

If you can’t run, you walk.  If you can’t do a pull up, you do a jumping pull up.  If you can’t lift heavy weights yet, you lift lighter weights.  If you need to cut down the number of rounds in a wod, you do what you can do.  There truly are so many ways to make every part of CrossFit work for you.  If you want to do CF, you can.  I upon things all the time that I don’t think I can do at all, in any scaled fashion because it sounds too intense.  But I never get let out of anything, anything at all.  The trainers always have something for me to do.

Even knowing that I would be scaling everything, I was terrified of sticking out when I started.  Now honesty is important, right?  The truth is that you will be doing some things differently from some of the other people in the box.  It is entirely possible that no one else in the class will be doing exactly what you are doing.  Really, that is a good thing!  You don’t have to go as heavy or move as fast as everyone else.  You just have to move your fastest and lift your heaviest.  Other people will be doing what they need to do.  I had to learn to be ok with the fact that I struggled to run 200 meters.  I had to be ok with using a pvc pipe for a lift instead of a real barbell.  I had to be ok with stepping up, not jumping up, onto the lowest box.  But you know what?  No one at the box is bothered by your scaling!  No one cares that you ran less or completed fewer rounds than other people. People do care that you showed up, tried your best, and want to get better.

When I started CF, I was so busy remembering all of the steps in every lift, and all the abbreviations, and cues that I didn’t know what anyone else was doing.  I had no idea what music was playing and unless a trainer yelled repeatedly at me by name, I did not process much of what was said after the timer started.  And now, all of those same things still keep me busy.  There really aren’t too many people standing around paying attention to what everyone else is doing.  Everyone in the box knows what it is to struggle with CrossFit.  One person’s struggle is going to be different from another’s, but everyone is working hard and knows that everyone in the box has to work hard.

That’s the key to getting past your initial fear of what you will look like-just come and work hard for you.



Clean & Jerk

Warm up to about 75% of 1RM then:

1 full C&J on the min for 8 minutes

then move up in weight for each of 5 more reps at your own pace

7 rounds:

12 Box Jumps

7 Ring Dips

1 Rope Climb