JULY 2014 :: ERIN DAHL
First, I am so incredibly humbled! This fall marks my two year anniversary CrossFitting, and I couldn’t be happier about it! While I have always enjoyed sports and team activities, I lived a relatively academic (and thus sedentary lifestyle) before joining CrossFit. I am so grateful to have been introduced to it by encouraging friends. However, I honestly don’t know I would have continued were it not for Jim, CrossFit Matters, and all the athletes and other coaches. The attitude within the community is so supportive and positive that this hour is the highlight of my day. I regularly try to attend the same class (M/W/F 7am shout-out!), and as a result, I don’t think I’m wrong in saying we have developed a strong rapport with one another – and in many cases – great friendships. This community is one of the biggest reasons I wake up so early and keep coming every week; I know I’m going to have a great time! I can’t lie; the sweet promise of the chance to play Burpee Dodgeball doesn’t hurt.
The changes I have experienced have been as much physical as mental. I am in the best shape of my life and I’m doing things I never thought I could or would do. Since starting CrossFit I have run two half marathons, run two Tough Mudders, participated in two team CrossFit competitions, and I’m signed up for my first triathlon and my first marathon this year. These are not things I thought I was capable of doing, but physically I am prepared. Mentally, CrossFit has changed what I think I am capable of doing. Now, I don’t give up easily. This applies not only to a WOD, but also in academic and work pursuits. I push myself harder because I know I can do it! CrossFit has given me a confidence that simply working out alone at a gym could never do for me.
1 :: I started CrossFit two years ago this fall.
2 :: I can’t pick just one song! However, I do have songs that play in my head during certain WODs. For example, whenever we do push presses Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” plays in my head. Similarly, Ludacris’ “Roll Out” is my song during. . . you guessed it. . . roll outs. Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” is great for squats; you see where I’m going with these.
3 :: CrossFit matters in my life because it’s the best hour of my day! It’s always challenging; I always feel better and I always look forward to going (even when there are thrusters). To a degree I can explain how CrossFit has positively affected my life and my health, but there really aren’t words to express how grateful or happy I am to be a part of this community and have the opportunity to do it every week.
4 :: Can my favorite movement be BURPEE DODGEBALL?!?!?! Well, we all know that is my favorite warm-up. . . because it’s the GREATEST WARM-UP EVER! I really enjoy deadlifts, Turkish getups, and I’m getting better at double-unders and toes to bar – things I never thought I would ever do!
5 :: There are still movements I find very technically challenging, and I think many of us struggle with them (like snatches). These are very clear. There are others that will take me time and strength to develop, like pull-ups. However, I absolutely loathe the thruster. Really and truly, it’s like the mullet of the CrossFit movements. Two things that do NOT belong together and that never feel comfortable or right together. In my head I’m thinking: “am I doing this right? This doesn’t FEEL right. . . but it is right. . . right?” UGH. I would rather run 10 miles than do thrusters.
6 :: Guilty non-CrossFit pleasure is definitely. . . BAKING. . . and eating all of the baked goods!
7 :: Achievements include the aforementioned races, and also some lower lying fruit that I’ve been working on like double-unders. I’m making progress with pull-ups but that’s still a huge goal. I would also like to get better at doing push-ups consistently (and not on my knees). Ambitions for the rest of the year include finishing the next two races and I would love to do another group CrossFit competition. Maybe one of these days I’ll master the cartwheel, too!
8 :: To someone considering CrossFit I have said and I will say: Just do it. Just try it. Whatever you think it will be it will be more than that. It will be different; it will change you in more ways than you think. You won’t regret it. Don’t be scared – or – be scared and do it anyway. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
9 :: Something other people don’t know about me is that I’m just an average person who shows up and does the work. I look around me and I am inspired by everyone at CrossFit Matters. I am pushed and I am guided and I am encouraged and I am so happy and grateful to learn from everyone. We all excel in different areas and in different ways, and that’s what makes it interesting.
10 :: It’s really hard to choose my most memorable CrossFit experience because I have so many and I have had so much fun! However, there is one that truly stands out because it demonstrates what we can do as a group and the support we have for one another. In my first team competition with Amanda, Nick, and Brian we had to do power snatches (for women, 65lb). At that point I had only ever done them with a 35lb bar. Needless to say I was scared and unsure of myself. My teammates were incredibly supportive and helpful. We worked together in the few hours between heats to practice my form, working up to that weight. They were so patient and so kind, and I could not have had a better experience. I PR’d that day (many times over). It was incredibly hard and during the competition onlookers could see I was struggling. I probably dropped the bar as many times as I got it up there, and some of those snatches weren’t very pretty. I felt bad about that, but they cheered anyway. People who didn’t know me and people who had never met me cheered for me, and somehow I found the strength to do it. Amanda was right (as she usually is) – you learn a lot about yourself by doing competitions. Thanks again to my awesome teams for their support!