If you haven’t already read part one of this series check it out here. Today we pick up with Part 2 of SJ’s thoughts. -Patrick
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe
My first introduction to CrossFit at Ironstone was a lot of fun. The sense lightness and positive energy of the space and the people in it captured me as soon as I set foot in door. I quickly realized that there is nothing to be scared of, because it’s all about taking the necessary baby steps towards a particular movement or activity while being fully supported along the way.
The “start where you are” quote came to mind immediately since it mirrors Pat’s advice to us. I feel as though this quote could really be used as a tag line for a CrossFit gym, and any situation in life, for that matter. While using your body as your machine, do what you can do, and start where you are. It’s about focusing on the steps, towards making individual progress, and not trying to be perfect at anything. In yoga, this is called “krama.” It literally means taking steps.
Although the CrossFit movements are high intensity, varied, and functional, the coaches are there to support where you are, and will help you scale and modify those movements to best suit you in that moment.
“Ahimsa” in yoga implies that in every situation we should adopt a considerate attitude and do no harm. As with any activity, whether it be yoga, or CrossFit, making modifications is necessary to support yourself where you are while encouraging self-awareness and compassion to avoid injury.
Self-awareness, or “svadhyaya” can easily be cultivated in the Foundations course, because of the small group size. I felt like I was getting more of a one-on-one coaching session with Pat, because he took the time to work with us individually to acknowledge where each of our starting points were with every movement. With that, it is important to intentionally find self-awareness in all that we do, and accept ourselves, even to the point of welcoming and accepting our limitations, so there is room to grow.
I really enjoyed working out together as a group and while there is still a lot to learn, this introduction was not overwhelming at all. This first class included a warm up, and an overview of some of the basics of a squat, followed by a work out. Our first mini WOD together included a repeated sequence of rowing, ring rows, burpees, and sit ups. I really like the variety in that, and since we barely scratched the surface, I’m already looking forward to the next one!