Diary of … a CrossFit novice

Maheen Dhanani is The Current’s distribution manager and is a sophomore biology major and mathematics minor. She is also the secretary for the Pre-Medical Society and hopes to attend audiology school after completing her undergraduate degree. She enjoys swimming, painting, Indian cinema and, of course, CrossFit.

It all started with months and months of working out at my regular gym and seeing little to no results. I was following a free, online workout plan and eating right, so I really didn’t know where I was going wrong. I had heard of CrossFit before, but when a friend of mine didn’t recommend it because it was too hard, I was — ironically — motivated to try to it.

Before signing up, I did what a curious newbie to any activity does. Look at my Google search history, and you’ll find “CrossFit myths,” “Is CrossFit for everyone?” “CrossFit injuries” and, most importantly, “Has anyone died from CrossFit?”

I found a few negative articles online that I later discovered were actually against what CrossFit stands for. These articles state that CrossFit doesn’t really pay attention to your form, it doesn’t give you any breaks, and it’s simply too hardcore. But, on the other hand, I also found brilliant success stories from many people, and these did nothing but inspire me to try the program and judge it for myself.

To make sure I didn’t chicken out at any point, I signed up for a three-month program. I knew that this way, I wasn’t going to let my carefully collected pocket money go to waste. It was located only a few minutes from school, and I could easily go before or after classes.

Jan. 15, exactly two months and one day ago (trust me, you will start to count days once you join CrossFit), I attempted my first WOD, the CrossFit acronym for “Workout of the Day.” I did easier variations of most of the exercises I wasn’t familiar with, and with the help of a trainer, I made it through alive.

As of now, I’ve been doing CrossFit for about two months, and this is all I have to say: it doesn’t get any easier, but you just learn to like it more. When people say CrossFit is hard, they’re not lying! There is a valid reason the Internet is flooded with so many CrossFit memes that make it look like a terrifying activity. But, trying CrossFit is a you-won’t-understand-the-taste-of-a-mango-until-you-taste-it-yourself kind of situation. The exhaustion after running a 5K and the soreness after a tough workout are especially worth it when you see more muscle on yourself in such a short time. These are nothing but catalytic feelings that make me want to push myself further.

In just two months, I was able to lift half my body weight and even deadlift a bit more than that amount. I’ve attempted and done many workouts that I never even thought I could, and I’m looking forward to mastering even more of them. Walking while doing a hand stand? I am still not able to do it, but I won’t say that I can’t. I now have the drive to say that one day, I will.

In this short time, I have seen myself grow; isn’t positive change what we all look for? I can only imagine where it will take me in another six months, let alone a year. Commitment is the only thing that you have to put in. Determination comes from within, as I’ve learned from my CrossFit program.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of M. Dhanani

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