If you have been around Crossfit for any amount of time, you have most likely gotten stuck on a movement, or a weight or maybe even a time for a named WOD. One of the greatest things about the Crossfit community is how determined we are to conquer our personal giants, and how it often takes the help of many people to get there.
Many newer Crossfitters don’t understand the time, work and diligence it takes to master certain movements and often give up on themselves way too early or over-rely on the scaling aids. Crossfit women in particular tend to get overwhelmed and frustrated with themselves easily and quickly. This is why I think it is so important to share our struggles because of how it can help others overcome their challenges too, even if only the mental ones!
So I want to invite you to post your toughest challenge (movement, lift, activity, WOD) and what you did, step by step, if necessary, to break free and get unstuck!
1. The Biggest Improvement
2. Most Inspirational
3.The Simplest Fix
The Prize is amazing and may even give you a secret edge in your training!
Please make sure you share your age, amount of time crossfitting and any cool info you think people would like to know about you (300 words or less).
What are you waiting for, Submit Your Story (in comments) NOW!
Kipping pullups! It didn’t take long to realize that using a band during WODs was a slow way to go. I was borderline obsessed with getting those pullups.
I watched videos, got tons of advice and demonstrations, and worked on building upper body strength. I visualized the idea, but putting into practice was tough. One Saturday I came into the gym, straight to the bar and stayed there about and hour till I got 2 in a row a couple times. It clicked, I got it….finally!
crossfitting for 5 months
You are so strong and determined! I love how much you focused and achieved in such a short time. You are truly a force to be reckoned with! WOW~
I was stuck on heavy deadlifts for sooooo long. My 135# max effort for deadlift never seemed to be able to change for months. I was so miserable and thought I would never be able to do certain WOD’s RX since they were heavier weights…. but I decided to just start practicing with a lighter weight and work on form and training myself to lift it properly, hoping that with time I would get used to the weight and be able to add more. And after probably about 3 months of practice, I was able to lift 155#. That was 3 months ago, now my max is 180# as I deadlifted the other day for a WOD. I was SO happy! It’s the best feeling to overcome something you didnt believe you could do. I always look to my coaches or fellow athletes for help and advice if I do have those “sticking” moments, because everyone will struggle with something at some point! We all know the feeling.
Dude… you blow me away! You have come so far in a short time! I know you will take that attitude and use it on EVERYTHING moving forward! I know you will experience more and more happiness and you get more and more UNSTUCK!
Brandi – Ditto on the kipping pus!!! I have to pick just one??? Okay… running. Any running wod would DESTROY me ! I loathed running. It didn’t take long for me to remember why I hated it. In my 30s running was my punishment to myself for binging. I had anorexia in my 20s, graduated to bulimia in my 30s and when I realized that people were catching on to my purging methods I decided…. if I run “a few hours” they’ll just think I’m working out. I smirked at the accolades for my “dedication” as I was the only one who knew my secret and the amount of food I had consumed just hours before. After the birth of my twins, the cycle came to an end as I had a toddler and 2 preemies to care for. Never thought much about running after that – who had the time??
Fast forward to my beginnings at CF at the end of 2008. I had been on the couch for years, so it was hard enough gettting up let alone running. Shudder the thought! I dredged through wods anyhow until 2 yrs later when i met my current coach. The girls in our group were FAST! And the LIKED it. How can that be? I trotted behind, usually … no, always last. My coach never gave up on me. If I would do the work, if I would BELIEVE i could do it, then big things were gonna start happening…. AND THEY DID!!
I adjusted my attitude. Running is not a punishment; it’s a priledge. It’s a gift of movement and freedom and time I give to myself. I do it because I CAN, not because I’m trying to get rid of the food I ate or beat anyone else’s time, but because once you realize what a joy it can be it’s amazing how light you feel.
Since October 30 I have brought my 5k down by over 5 minutes and the girl who struggled with 3 miles is up to 7! I’m training for a half marathon in June – because I CAN!!!!
Patty, your story is flat out incredible! Thank you for your honesty and know that someone will be helped by your courage not only to share, but to overcome and become stronger for your experiences! You rock woman, I am totally inspired!
ooopps forgot my stats – CFg 2 yrs, age 44
Oh there are SO many stories since every time I step into the box I overcome a new challenge (big or small) or look to a friend to help motivate me. But by far, one of the biggest obstacles I overcame last October was GRACE at Rx. It was a scary, insurmountable mountain when I first started CrossFit almost a year ago. I had NO idea how to lift weights, much less 95# G2O 30 times! I laughed at the idea…yeah right, I weight 120#…how is THAT going to be possible?!?! Then last summer my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a shock but a wake up call for me to ensure I didn’t waste time THINKING about doing what I wanted, rather DOING IT…using my Mom’s strength and perseverance as my fuel. If she could do months of treatment with a positive attitude, I could do this WOD. So, I heard about Barbells for Boobs and immediately contacted Zionna to get my box involved…and then started training…hard!!! Focusing on form, technique, the mechanics of the lift and believing that I would get to the Rx weight when all of those pieces aligned. No question it was going to be HARD, but thinking about my Mom and all the other women that could FIGHT and BEAT breast cancer gave me so much motivation. Long story short, I did it!!! The support from everyone in the box who knew how much it meant to me to accomplish this was incredible…and on every single rep, even when I was so tired I had to walk away from the bar…they cheered me on and I just thought about my Mom. Fast forward to now….she finished treatment and is feeling great…I’ve grown stronger and more confident as an athlete (physically and mentally) and believe I’ve only just begun what I will be able to accomplish! And to celebrate the journey we have both taken, I will be doing GRACE Rx (even faster!!!) for my 1 year anniversary of CF next week with a donation to MIA in her honor.
CF almost 1 year
WoW! What an awe-inspiring story! I exactly know your feeling of the #95lbs, I had the exact same hurdle! Good for you! It took something bigger than your fear to get you up and over and YOU DID IT! Woo HOO! Good for you girl! Love it!
When I was in grade school I was such a strong little girl. I used to win so many athletic awards and prided myself on obtaining the “Presidential Physical Fitness Award.” I was able to do pull-ups and everything else that came my way. When I came into CrossFit, many, many years later, I was scared of the fact that I couldn’t do a pull-up. I wasn’t only scared but I was pretty pissed! I had this looming thought that I would never be able to do a pull-up or kipping pull-up. I have a major shoulder issue and I was positive it would never happen. The garage gym that I started CrossFit in didn’t have those handy rubber bands to aide you in the process of a pull-up. So, everyday I did jumping pull-ups on a box and then I transitioned into jumping up from the ground and pulling, kicking and grunting my way up to the top of the bar. I tried to work on my kip and was told my legs were swinging up too high, but I kept trying anyways. I worked at kipping pull-ups for a solid three to four months. I remember the day I finally did one kipping pull up…it was sooo liberating!! I achieved it, I couldn’t believe it!!
Now, as a coach, I really take pride on helping not only everyone, but especially women, get that first pull-up! I get so much joy out of watching my girls obtain such a desired goal!!!
And a great coach you are! What makes it so is the fact that you are so willing to admit your shortcomings. That is what makes you so able to relate to your clients and why you don’t let them give up~because you don’t give up!
Muscle Ups! Muscle Ups! Everyone who has attempted or gotten a muscle-up knows how hard physically and mentally it is. Because there is A LOT of failing that is involved with that very first muscle up. And even when you get one, you want to start linking them and then after that, doing it without a “false grip” The journey never ends… Not only does it require strength, but it’s also a highly skilled movement. About 2 years ago when I first attempted one, it was one of the worse “CrossFit” days of my life. Left the gym so frustrated! Even though I could do 40 Pull Ups in a row, I could not get one muscle-up for the life of me. It was to the point where my ego got in the way and I was so frustrated I could not do “1” that I gave up on it and avoided as much as possible.
But then, I started realizing that as a coach my clients are going through the same thing everyday with kipping pull ups, depth on squats, pistols etc. At this point I needed to practice what I preached and it hit me that I need to work on my “weaknesses” I started implementing a Push/Press program for strength and worked on muscle up transitions techniques daily after every workout. Eventually I was able to get my first one and now to this day still working on non false-grip muscle up! But for me, it was more about fixing my attitude and understanding the beauty of CrossFit. We all have weaknesses…
You are one of the most determined people I have ever watched Rich! This story is just another example of how “QUIT” is not in your dictionary! What a great story…
Like Patty…where do I begin? There are *so* many challenges I have overcome, I thought I didn’t have an athletic bone in my body when I started CrossFit at 2 years ago, at 37. I didn’t think *that* was old til a few months into it, a coach asked “May I ask how old you are?” and I said “37!” all happy, fully expecting him, like most people usually do, to mistake me for much younger. THEN he said “Well, God bless you! That’s just GREAT.” Um, I was a little mad.
I think the simplest fix was with my kipping pull up. I got “it” after a year of struggling, but then could only string together 2 or 3. For months. It was agonizing. My coach (also fiancee, which makes things dicey, er, I mean interesting) had been forbidden (by me) to take pics or videos of me lest they show up on FaceBook or on the gym’s website. One day he convinced me to let him take a video that he promised to immediately erase. He taped my swing and then (drumroll) SHOWED me what I looked like. I was dumbfounded. I was NOT pushing off the top, I was just kind of coming up and then falling straight down, no pretty little arched back with the feet kicked back up to my butt! I was like a dying fish flopping on the bar. I felt like somebody electrocuted me when I saw the video. He had been forever saying “push off the bar” “big chest when you swing through” and on and on but I literally needed to see what I was doing before I could make it happen. I swear, I jumped up to the bar, and did five in a row right then and there. And again and again. The next day I couldn’t do any, I was so sore LOL
I was being so “small” in insisting that I not be videoed that I hindered my progress substantially. No more 🙂
Great Story Aileen! I love that it only took one look at your form for the light bulb to go on! Now, the pull-up world is YOURS! Awesome!
I have been stuck in so many areas but with the help of my coaches that believed more in me than I believed in myself, I got unstuck. Starting Cross Fit at 46 and no background of any sports, it was beyond my imagination to stay in the program. (The Box jumps used to terrify me). Well, I had to get off my “Buts” and make no excuses and do what Cross Fitters DO “Train Hard” (we just don’t work out, We Train to achieve our goals). I made a promise to myself that if I can only achieve 1 pull up, I’d stay in the program forever. After 6 months of practicing, I got my first one then it just got better and better! It took of a lot of practice, visualization and strong desire to get it done! When I look back at my early days in CrossFit, it does not feel like being stuck it was just part of the progress and at the same time I was getting stronger in other areas.
You are an incredible competitor and athlete Carmen! Your story and work ethic inspires so many people! Great!
Aileen… what a crazy good story! I love how you had to set aside some stuff mentally to allow the help! And what a breakthru for you! I bet you KILL them now…and haven’t looked back. So, have you been able to apply that lesson to any other aspect?
Wow, so many but I guess for me the biggest improvement was believing in myself, quit doubting that I couldn’t because I had not been an athelete all my life, that I had been sedentary for two many years, that I was still (in my head) to heavy, not strong enough, to old (50), that I would never be as good as some of the other crossfitter’s in my box…but after crossfitting for over a year, through the encouragement of my trainer, my daughter, and my crossfit community they were able to see in me what I couldn’t, and help me find that inner strength to believe in myself and now I can keep up with some of the younger kids in our box. I am crossfit and I know I can do whatever challenges that are brought before me because I believe in me….
Trudy- It is simply amazing to me that a fitness program could provide so much believe in one’s self! You are strong enough, you are good enough and you are worthy! Keep at it, never stop! You are doing great! Thanks!
I did not come from an athletic background, what-so-ever. I was always the last pick for sports teams and the slowest player. But I always tried and never gave up which resulted to me often taking home the Sportsmanship trophy rather than the 1st place trophy. But I was okay with that because i knew I gave it my all in anything I put my mind to. I was mentally tough in athletics as a little girl and I lost that somehow on my journey through college. I focused soley on academics, work and friendships and put any type of physical activity on the back burner. 3 years ago CrossFit allowed me to regain that athletic mental toughness, putting my mindset back into “Even if I am dead last, I will go into this challenge giving it my all and come out of it feeling proud”. I have set goals, accomplished goals, failed at reaching goals all while being a CrossFitter. My most remembered moment in CrossFit was when I first started; I never thought I would get a pull up without a band. Jumping pull ups were hard enough. I see women now coming into the program in the same situation and conquering their first RX pull up only weeks after starting. It took me TWO years to get my first Rx pull up! And it wasnt because of the lack of trying and practicing, it was because the movement just didnt “stick” for me. I didnt allow discouragement to get the best of me; that only makes you take 4 steps back rather than baby steps forward. Everytime I approached the bar (with that darn green band hanging from it) I turned my mind off and let my body naturally do the work. I didnt over think it. Slowly I decreased in band size leaving me with only the red band to help me along. I would get stuck, feel like I couldnt get my chin over after a few good reps-many woman get frustrated at that point and want to quit or want to go back to the easier band. What helped me was constantly thinking how far I have come and focusing on the movements I was a “rock star” at (Overhead squats, wall balls) That enabled me to stay positive and allowed me to continually believe in myself despite the slow progression in getting that 1st pull up RX! It paid off, and the first pull up I ever did was well earned! I can still remember the exact day, workout and who was there the moment I achieved it. It is a memory that stays with me everytime I add a new hard and challenging movement to my CrossFit RX Wish List! I believe every athlete (especially women) need to soak up the proud moments of conquering a movement they once believed was out of reach while trying to achieve a new one in order to stay away from the discouragement and frustration. We are already confident just by stepping into a CrossFit box, we are already strong just by approaching a bar with any weight and we are capable of achieving anything within CrossFit-just as long as we believe in ourselves. Believe in your body, dont over think it, reflect back to all the great things you have achieved, put your mind back into that place and just go for it! If you fail, do it again! That simple 🙂
I would have never known you were not an athlete since you are such an amazing stud now! Your determination and fortitude are incredibly inspiring. I love watching you kick butt on the workouts and overcome your personal hurdles! Thanks for sharing!
Love all of the above comments. Lots of hard work going on!
Great stories from everyone, very inspiring. For me it would have to be something different then a particular workout or movement. Those happen all the time and I continue to get better everyday. For me, the life changing event of getting unstuck was actually recent. For the first time I feel in complete control of my nutrition instead of it controlling me. I eat so much more clean than I used to, but on a consistent basis. Going on 2 months now and I don’t feel like it’s a diet, I feel that this is the way I need to eat. I feel better and my workouts and training have improved greatly. I have even signed up for my first Crossfit event in May to compete in the NLI.
I say it’s changed my life because I have battled problems with weight and nutrition my whole life. Even in the Marine Corps although I was lean and in shape, I ate Jack in the Box every day. I hated and avoided vegetables. I had a physical where the doctor told me I had the cholesterol of someone 30 years older than me. I have been out of the USMC for 11 years now and have tried every diet out there with yo-yo results. At some points I was up to about 225 lbs at 5’9″. I even tried Paleo about 6 years ago before I even new Crossfit, but it was always a diet. Even joining Crossfit a year ago I did a Paleo challenge and was down to 11% body fat. But then I went back to my yo yo ways and even though I was doing Crossfit (only 2 days a week though because I always felt like crap) after the holidays I was back up over 18%. I finally feel like I have my nutrition dialed in and this last Paleo challenge I have still continued it on. I crave vegetables because I know when I eat more of them I feel and perform better. I don’t know why it took me so long to make this a lifestyle change more than a diet, but it finally happened and I feel great. I don’t ever see me going back. Although I do have open meals And enjoy pizza and beer occasionally, I actually want to go back to eating healthy to keep me in the game and performing at a peak level.
And it’s obvious why this has changed my life. My blood pressure which averaged 140/80 is now consistently around 119/69. My cholesterol is great, all my blood work is great. Although I could raise my HDL a little bit. I want my two beautiful daughters to have their Dad around as long as possible. I want to have great grandkids and be functional and coherent in my 80’s. I’m 32 now and I’ve been Crossfitting for 11 months now. If it weren’t for Crossfit and Paleo, I would be a yo yo through life for the rest of my life.
That is so great Sean, what an inspiration you are and so honest! I love it! Yep, those Marines are warriors but do have the tendency to eat like crap! Keep up the great work!
Great post although I was never an athlete and know nothing about Crossfitting. But, I learned how discipled an athlete must be…. This kind of discipline is carried out in other areas of people’s lives… Great post.