Ask Leah

Leah performing a Bulgarian Split Squat

Leah performing a Bulgarian Split Squat

Everyone knows Leah.  And everyone loves Leah. (Remember our inspirational paleo finalist that stole the heart’s of CrossFitters across America? See her testimonial:  That’s because Leah epitomizes what CrossFit is all about;  Full functionality, health and longevity, inspiration, motivation, changing lives, and just plain being better.  I asked Leah if she would write something for us directed toward people who are interested in starting CrossFit, but who just aren’t quite sure they have what it takes.  CrossFit can be pretty intimidating for those who have little to no athletic experience, who are moderately or even severely de-conditioned, and who are shy.  It can be intimidating for older people, women, and many, many more.  It turned out, when I asked Leah to address this, she had already answered one inquiry from a woman with the same concerns.  Here is the Q&A on that topic from Leah:

Q: My husband and I are considering joining CrossFit. I’m a bit intimidated but you seem to like it. What would you say to someone considering it?

A: Hi,
I would say to go for it!  If you are ready for something that will challenge you, CF will do it.  You do have to be ready to work very hard, to try new things, to work harder and longer than you might first think you can.  In other words, I do think that anyone can do it, and do it very well when they want to!

There is no doubt that it is intimidating, but as long as you know that you want to do it, a great CF trainer will make sure it is totally doable, whatever level you are at when you start.  Another CrossFitter and I were talking about how hard it is to wrap your head around the fact that CF never really gets easy.  It is hard for everyone, and when you get better, faster and stronger, they just make you learn new things, move faster, and lift more! 

I talked to Sam before I started, and I was super honest with where I was fitness-wise. I was very unsure of my ability to even do the basic elements.  He assured me that everything was scalable and that CF would be great for me.  I was very unsure and was afraid that I’d show up for the elements and be told that I would have to stick with private training until I could join the regular classes.  I quickly showed up for my first elements class, knowing that I had to move quickly before I talked myself out of it.  The elements series is fabulous and is key to learning all the basics and allowing your coach to have a good idea of your fitness level.  When you move from elements to your first regular class, the trainer is still extremely supportive and helpful, making sure you aren’t lost, overwhelmed or left behind.  When you make the effort to show up, learn, push yourself, and really work hard, you find out that CF really does work. 
As someone who started CF with plenty of insecurity about my ability to do any of it, and plenty of insecurity about even being in a gym with other people doing anything harder than an elliptical machine, I can assure you that all of my fretting was for naught.  Our gym is full of very, very supportive and helpful people, both the trainers and the athletes.  I always know that the trainers have their eyes on my form, that they have a pretty good idea of what I can do and what I should push myself to try.  They are all pretty good at just ignoring both my look of dread and even my look of fear, but if there is something that I really, truly feel I can’t do, they help me figure out something else to do instead.  Even now, I am sometimes blown away by the support that the other CrossFitters provide to each other.  Everyone is there working towards their own personal best, but they are so often looking out for each other as well-always ready to help, to encourage, and to whine with you. 

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