In the zone

Many of my friends scoff at the idea of exercise and believe sports are best for watching, not playing. I was in that frame of mind not too long ago.

I would joke that the only way I would run was if something or someone was chasing me. Then, I realized how fast I would lose my breath doing something simple, like walking up the stairs, and I decided to make a change.

The trick is to find something that makes you want to keep going, rather than falling back into the same routine, and after several failed attempts, I found my “thing.” For me, it was CrossFit.

When I tell people I do CrossFit, I get two questions from them. It’s either, “Are you crazy?” or “What’s that?”

Right after the first time I tried it, I thought I could never feel worse, and then I woke up the next morning. I hated it. I never wanted to go back, but I did.

On my third visit, we did one of the hardest workouts-of-the day (WODs) that CrossFit has. It’s called “Fight Gone Bad.” It was only days later, once I could function normally again, that I realized that I not only liked but enjoyed CrossFit.

Being only 12 years old, CrossFit is a fairly new sport. Though many would fight me on calling it a sport rather than a workout program, these would be the people who have never participated in it.

CrossFit is more than just a workout program; it’s a community, which is what drew me to it. Though every person is competitive with one another, if you walk into a gym, or CrossFit “box”, you’ll hear shouts of encouragement. These people will become like a second family almost overnight.

It is based on everyday movements like jumping, running and carrying. Though it’s a bit overwhelming, the acceptance from everyone around you the moment you walk through that door is so encouraging.

One of the best things about CrossFit is that it’s completely scalable and bases itself mostly on intensity. It doesn’t matter if you are lifting 35 pounds or 135 pounds. If that’s your highest level of intensity, you are working just as hard as the person next to you.

Though CrossFit was the right sport for me, it may not be for everyone, but the thing to do is to search for your niche.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to track your progress. Write down your goals and the work you have done. Make note when you make improvements. Don’t just look at one aspect; use multiple measures of progress. Weight can be a deceptive measurement; what’s more important is how you feel and perform.

Sometimes the reward seems to take forever, but once you achieve your first goal, all the sweat and pain is worth it.