Shockingly, everyone I work with knows I CrossFit. I am often approached by people who do not have any fitness routine who ask me how to get abs, how to get rid of the muffin top, how to take care of "this…… area". They all tell me the same thing – "I've been doing crunches, sit-ups, etc but don't see any results." My approach to them is always the same. First and foremost, what is your diet like? Then, do you do any other physical activity other than these sit-ups you speak of? Without fail the answers are the same – I don't really have a diet plan per se and I really am just focusing in my midsection.
Well guess what, there are no shortcuts.
I give them a little speech about nutrition, no gluten, Paleo, Whole 30 and I even send them links to ACF WODs on the Road section to try to get them started at first. I barely ever hear back from them. They don't want to do the work. And I have to say, until recently, I was the same damn way.
Over the summer I trained with an amazing group of athletes at ACF. All of them only hit WODs RX and were regulars at CrossFit competitions. I was the token cheerleader who did a good job but wasn't that great by any stretch of the imagination. Everyone in the group was so insanely supportive and always cheered me on and joined in celebration of my accomplishments, whatever the size.
One night, after we had worked out with the group, I was at home and started crying. I mean full on bawling. I couldn't stop thinking, why wasn't I as good as the other athletes in the group? Not even that, but why wasn't I even half as good?? David came in to the bedroom and found me in all my hot mess glory and I explained what was wrong. His answer? You don't train as hard; you're not as committed.
Once I decided to start speaking to him again, I realized he was right. My diet was sloppy, I didn't train as hard or as long as these other people and I didn't want it as much as they did. Once I accepted that, my approach to CrossFit, and to myself, changed. Did I want a handstand? Well I better work on it. Did I want my double unders to improve? Better put some effort in instead of hoping some miracle would happen in the middle of a metcon. So when Jay told me in a one-on-one that my squat needed work and that I should have pull-ups, I took it in stride. I added banded pull-up EMOMs and squat therapy to my outside-of-the-WOD work.
You have to put in the work every damn day. CrossFit is amazing and will turn you in to an incredible athlete but unless you are willing to clean up your diet and put in the additional skills work outside the WOD, there is only so far you can go. I have no desire to ever compete in CrossFit but I do want to constantly push and improve myself. The only way to do that is to take the long, hard, uphill road every damn day, because there are no shortcuts.