Well fast forward a couple of years and its Crossfit that takes up most of time outside of work and im absolutely hooked. Crossfit is hard work and it constantly pushes you to your limits both physically and mentally.
Crossfit has been described as the sport of fitness, which involves constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements. I think of Crossfit as the combination of fitness, gymnastics and weight-lifting and a Crossfit session will generally involve an aspect of all three disciplines. A session is generally split into three sections, warm-up/cool-down and stretch, skill/strength work and the workout of the day (WOD).
Ensuring that your body is properly warmed up is essential in Crossfit, so there is always a big emphasis placed on this, I sometimes find myself at the gym 15 minutes before class warming up because you can never do too much. After a good warm up you will move to working on either a skill or strength component. My current challenge in the skill area is learning how to handstand walk, I have managed to get 5 metres now I’m trying to push that out to 10 meters, and I am always trying to lift more weight, at the moment I can get 70kg from the ground to above my head, I would like to get that to 85kg by the end of the year, some of the top crossfitters can do over 100kg’s! Once you have done your skill or strength work you move onto the workout of the day, no two workouts are ever the same, in fact I don’t recall ever having done a workout twice. Last night our workout was a running one, 5x400m uphill sprints, doing one every five minutes, the day before that we did 7 rounds of 21 reps of barbell movements. As you can see its always varied, sometimes the workouts can be short and very intense others can be longer and require more endurance, but there is always one constant, you will be pushed to your max and although it won’t feel so great at the time, afterwards you will and you will feel like you have achieved something.
I decided to take up Crossfit competitively about a year ago now, after watching my coach compete at a competition here in Wellington against some of the best crossfitters from around New Zealand and Australia. I thought to myself, I can so do that! So I told my coach I want to compete and we started working on the skills and strength that I was going to need to do so. The first Crossfit competition I competed in was “Judgement Day” in Hastings, it was really great to be able to compete a little closer to home and to be able to have my family there to support me! It was a great three days of competition, which included a run up Te Mata peak and an event held at Splash Planet. I got to compete against women from all around the country and I managed to finish in first place, which was awesome and a total surprise. Competing in Hastings really fuelled my passion for Crossfit and made me want to get better. The next event I competed in was the annual Crossfit Open, an event which is held over five weeks where CrossFit HQ in the USA releases a workout each week which you have to complete and then submit your scores. Your score is then ranked against all those others competing from around the world. This year there was over 200,000 people from around the world competing and I finished in the top 10,000. The top 30 people from the Australia and New Zealand region move onto the next stage of the competition which is a weeklong event in Australia. My current goal is to make that top 30 and compete in Australia, I finished 754th in the region this year, so I have a lot of hard work in front of me to make that top 30, it’s a good thing I enjoy it so much!
Not only has doing Crossfit meant that I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been, it has also really sparked my interest in the sport and exercise industry, so much so that I have started studying again, towards a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise with a focus on Sport Management and Sport Psychology. It is hard work trying to juggle full time work with study, training and making time for my partner and friends and family. It’s a good thing that they are so supportive of what I do and don’t mind not seeing me much because a lot of my spare time is spent in the gym. It is a real good test of your time management, discipline and motivation, it means you have to work hard but you also have to be smart about it. You have to know when to take time away from the gym, so that you can prioritise your work or study and you have to make sure that you make time for the others in your life, no matter how short that time may be.
One of the best parts about Crossfit is the community, everyone is so supportive of each other and they all like to have fun while working hard. The people at my gym, Instinct Fitness, are kind of like my second family and they are all there right behind me in my pursuit of the top 30, we definitely had the biggest cheer squad at a recent competition that we competed in. My coach is awesome, even though he is training for the top 30 himself he always takes the time to help me out with anything that I need, he is now more of a training buddy then a coach and he really pushes me past my limits.
If you ever get the chance to give Crossfit a go, I would really encourage you to do it, it may seem a little scary to begin with but I can almost guarantee that if you stick at it you will really enjoy it and the health benefits will be second to none!
We wish you the best in aiming for the top 30 Paige, and we’re sure you will be taking the Australia stage very soon
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