Jumping into a new unfamiliar setting can be scary, be it a career, school or even a gym. It’s natural to want to exert any relative knowledge you have that pertains to the new scenario you’re getting into. But sometimes it’s best to let your guard down, embrace the feeling of vulnerability and let go of everything you know.
Have you ever heard of certain employers who are more inclined to select a candidate with no previous job experience over someone with a wealth of relative job experience? This is because those employers prefer to sculpt that person’s knowledge as they best see fit for the role. The same goes for attending your first CrossFit class (and every class to come!)
One of the most useful tools I’ve found during my time doing CrossFit has been to let go of all of my former thoughts and ideas, and to open my mind to new ones. For example, during my first foundations class, I learnt that I had been squatting incorrectly all my life. All. My. Life. Can you believe it? I can – especially considering my main priority at my former globo gym was to show off how cute I could look while squatting, not my form, of course. Now could I have told my coach to shove it and revert back to my old, comfortable ways? Easily. But I knew by opening my mind and giving it a try, I would discover so much more about the capabilities of my body – and I did.
It’s natural to want to draw back to what you’re most familiar with, but you’ll discover the most growth and improvement when you step beyond that and challenge yourself to try something new. These ideas aren’t presented to us to simply toss another challenge on top of an already existent challenge (hello burpees, thrusters and wallballs!), but because our coaches genuinely want the best for us and have a wealth of knowledge and experience to provide for us.
Even after two years of doing CrossFit, I’m re-learning certain movements or techniques that I learnt in my first week. At the beginning of each class, we go over each part of the movement and take the time to tweak certain parts of the lift as needed. Do you ever find that when you adjust and improve one thing, another piece of your technique suffers slightly? Or do you have some days where your body feels like a slithering slug and other days where it feels like a mighty machine? All the more reason to relearn and tweak these movements over and over again, even when you feel like you know it best. In fact, that’s probably the best time to review certain parts of a movement.
You can never have enough knowledge. That seems obvious enough, but sometimes we really think we know what’s best for ourselves. To an extent, we do, but when you’re not the one who physically gets to see how you grind out that 8th rep of your back squat, it’s best to put trust in your coach. However, trust that you are making incredible progress and that by making room for improvement, you are in the best position to better yourself.
– Rachel Molenda – CrossFit M3 Member