By Pam Riddle
Exercise mojo is self-confidence or self-assuredness that comes with finding some exercise that you love to do so much that you actually look forward to doing it. Once the exercise mojo is attained, it is a part of you and, therefore, a part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth. I’ve been an avid CrossFitter for almost 3 years. I wake up at 4:30am most days of the week to exercise before work. Here are 6 reasons why I look forward to waking up early, and why I hate rest days, even if I know they are necessary.
What I love about CrossFit:
- The Community—I love that the people at my box are supportive, encouraging, caring, and friendly. If I miss a few days for whatever reason, you can guarantee that I will get someone messaging me to find out what’s up. If I hit a PR (personal record) and kick butt, I’ll get high-fives from everyone there. If I am the last to finish and getting my butt kicked, I’ll have people cheering for me to give my best and finish strong. Generally speaking, the same core groups of people attend the 5:30am class with me, so it’s easy to become friends.
- The Coaching—I love that form and technique are taught and emphasized every single day. Whether the class consists of all veterans or all newbies, points of performance are reviewed for every single exercise. If I have a question about an exercise, my form, my technique, etc., all I have to do is ask and any one of the coaches will give me their undivided attention. The coaches know how to give you just the right amount of encouragement while maintaining your safety.
- The Programming—I love that I don’t have to think; I just show up and do the workout that is posted. The workout of the day (WOD) changes every single day so I never get bored. In fact, because it changes every day, by the time 7pm rolls around, I am usually grabbing my phone and saying, “What’s the WOD?” because it’s always posted the night before. I do this even if I know I am not going because I want to see what I’ll be missing. Because the coaches do all our programming, I frequently do exercises that I don’t like, that I am not good at, and that put me out of my comfort zone. Because of this, I am forced to work on what I am not good at so they get easier.
- The Scalability—Every workout can be scaled or modified to the needs of the individual athlete. “The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.” (www.crossfit.com) This means that some days I am doing the workout as it’s written (Rx), or some days I scale it to something more appropriate for me.
- Goal Setting and Self-Esteem—At CFS, there is an entire white board devoted to setting goals. Some goals may be simple like WODing 3 times a week or double under practice in the warm-up; others may be more difficult, like obtaining the elusive muscle up or dropping 10 pounds. Ultimately, it is known that with goal setting, once you put it in writing for all to see, the likelihood of sticking to it increases greatly. Achieving our goals is celebrated in the monthly newsletter. Glenn and John make it a point to publicly acknowledge when someone hits his/her goal or if something special is going on in our lives like weddings, babies being born, or special achievements.
- Results—Plain and simple…it works and it doesn’t take forever to see results. I accomplished more in 6 months of CrossFitting than I did in 1 ½ years of running. Results can be anything from losing weight and body fat to increasing strength, endurance, and vitality.
Pam Riddle, MEd, ATC, CSCS, HFS is a full-time wellness teacher and co-author of the award-winning fitness and health blog Fit Moms & Full Plates. She has over 20 years of combined experience as a Certified Athletic Trainer, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, massage therapist, strength and conditioning coach, and public school wellness teacher. She holds a Level 1 CrossFit certification as well as CrossFit Kids and CrossFit Striking certification.