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  • Fell apart during crossfit

    This is going to make me sound like the most snivelly person on the planet, but I recently started Crossfit and during the WOD last night I totally lost it--had to step outside and was just sobbing. (Brief background--I am an ICU physician coming off a tough call week and still need to catch up on some sleep; I don't normally walk around as an emotional basketcase.)

    Although I really like the movements of Crossfit, especially the more gymnastic stuff, I feel extremely pressured during the WOD and all I really want to do are the skills and the heavy lifts. I just don't feel like I need yet another aspect of my life in which someone's got a gun to my head (figuratively speaking.)

    If any Crossfitters or others would like to weigh in, I would love to hear your opinions; thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Crossfit is intimidating in the beginning. I think I had an advantage because the class I started in was the 5:30 am class and only had 2-3 other people, who were very encouraging and the coach had the time to give me extra guidance. (Since then, the box has grown and the class size tripled and quadrupled.) I did Crossfit for months before I ever RX'd one and it has been a while since I've RX'd another one. Those are goals to work towards and you should not feel like you should RX ever single thing. You are competing against yourself and you should not feel like you have to be an expert at it when you are so new.

    The WOD is designed to push you, but you should not feel bad about scaling a WOD. I have been Crossfitting since July and I am just now able to do 1-2 pull-ups, still can't do a ring-dip, and don't even ask about my double-unders.... LOL I have improved in many areas and I hope to RX more WODs, but I don't want to hurt or injure myself. The key is to have fun, make some friends and improve over time. Crossfit should make you feel good. If it doesn't, maybe it isn't your thing. There's nothing wrong with that. I wasn't sure it would be my thing at first either. (BTW, I'm a 40 year old female and this is the first workout stuff I've EVER done.)

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    • #3
      Join gymnastics and lift on your own time.
      In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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      • #4
        Aw, sorry. It sounds like you had a really rough week. There are times when I feel frustrated at Crossfit, when my trainer calls out 'No rep!' and corrects my sloppy form but I know it's because they really want me to succeed and do my best. MY best, though. I'm usually the last to finish a WOD and use the lightest weights in the group but I really am trying to improve my technique before I go heavier. My trainer supports this but sometimes gives me the push (which I hate/ but need) to get me to next level. Baby steps, though. ;-) I go to the morning class because that trainer and the group suits my sensibilities best. The evening group is a bit more 'elite' and I'd probably feel less comfortable there.

        I have a feeling it may be a combination of just getting started/ having a rough week that contributed to your upset feelings. Can you try another time/ another trainer? Come at it again more rested/ in a better frame of mind?

        Good luck!

        PS I am also female/ 42/ getting stronger bit by bit :-)
        Female / 5' 8" / 42 / SW: 166 CW: 159
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        • #5
          I looked into starting crossfit (as they have all the cool equipment).. but going through the WOD's looks like a PITA..
          I wanted to be able to go do my own thing work on heavy lifts and form etc - I think they discourage that type of behavior.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by slowcooker View Post
            I looked into starting crossfit (as they have all the cool equipment).. but going through the WOD's looks like a PITA..
            I wanted to be able to go do my own thing work on heavy lifts and form etc - I think they discourage that type of behavior.
            Any Crossfit gym that discourages personal practice time is shit. That is a glorified group exercise class and should generally be avoided. Good Crossfit gyms should give you the option to lift, work on skills and then put them to work in a WOD.

            Only ever working on skills during a maximum intensity session is nonsense and that's what some of these so called coaches practice.
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            • #7
              I agree with The Coach on this one........

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              • #8
                I haven't done CrossFit, but I had a funny heart-to-heart with some of the black belts and instructors at my MMA gym the other day about bursting into tears on the mat. This was women AND men, by the way. I think it's just part of the territory when you're really pushing your limits. That said, you DO need support and you SHOULD be getting encouragement, especially as a beginner -- even if your CrossFit gym is as bloodthirsty as it sounds like most CrossFit gyms tend to be. Maybe have a chat with one of the trainers for some tips and encouragement?

                I also agree with the person who mentioned modifying movements when needed. I've been attending some resistance classes lately too, and even though it's a little embarrassing to modify the hell out of a movement, I figure I'm not getting anything out of it if I can't do the whole movement, so I just suck it up and do the wimpy version.
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                • #9
                  I've had a couple of WOD meltdowns too. Usually for me they happen when I'm overtired, haven't eaten right (especially if I am too low on carbs), and/or pushed really hard to finish a paper. I've seen that happen to pretty much everyone, and it's okay. We all have bad days.

                  I think a lot of this depends on the attitude of the gym, both coaches and members, and the attitude of the participant.

                  First off, nobody else should be "holding a gun to your head" in a regular WOD context. Your coaches should be pushing you to do your best and encouraging your efforts, but I am really opposed to some of the language I've heard about in some gyms where people scream at participants and so on. I believe good performance comes from confidence, and a coach should be building that confidence (but not coddling).

                  Second, are you demanding too much of yourself? If you're expecting that you will come in first in every WOD or beating yourself up over coming in last sometimes, then that's going to cause problems. I'm a seriously competitive personality and can easily get freaked out over stuff (to the point of bursting into tears when I got the first B+ of my post-secondary career instead of my usual A performance). I've had to re-examine that attitude, because drive to succeed is good, but flagellating yourself over failure is not. A bad WOD is a chance to learn, and sometimes you just need to accept that everyone has an off day.

                  If you can't find a way to do the WODs without the overload, does your gym offer open times and lifting classes? You might see if they have time blocks where you can just come in and use the equipment, and maybe find out if there's a coached lifting time that you could do. I think any good box will offer those as well as the regular classes.

                  Also, a couple of questions:

                  How many days per week do you do CrossFit?

                  What are you eating?

                  What's your performance like and how do you feel about WODs when you're getting enough sleep?
                  “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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                  • #10
                    What "gymnastics" stuff do you mean? Ring stuff? get your own rings, parallettes stuff? make your own parallettes... you don't have to go to CF to use these components (of course, be careful and don't get too crazy starting out or you'll break yourself)

                    Can't see your location, but if you're not in cold places you can set up rings outside (or brave the elements, which adds another level to your workouts) on tree branches. Don't worry about onlookers... if you have high ceilings, you're basically good to go. If I had high ceilings I'd use my rings a lot more. I currently have them on a Power Tower thing (where you usually do dips and pull ups) but the height is limiting..
                    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                    • #11
                      You're an ICU physician, so I'm going to guess that you are a Type A personality and set incredibly high standards for yourself. Not saying that is a bad thing, as I am the same way. I just like to point it out as crossfit is one thing that will break you down time after time and you will feel you have no control over.

                      Been there, done that. It took me 9 months to do my first muscle up. I used to come in before a WOD and stay long after in futile attempts to get my first one. I had my fair share of breakdowns too but just chalk it up to a need to control situations and a high level of intensity.

                      Sweet ain't as sweet without the sour...
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                      • #12
                        I've been crossfitting for almost two years. While I'm not a cryer, there are certain workouts that tend to be "soul crushing" as I like to say, that make me seriously consider crying. For me personally, anything that involves really heavy farmers carries or really heavy lunge steps crushes me mentally.

                        Nothing wrong with crying during or after a WOD. It's an intense process, especially when your new. The intensity never goes away, but you will handle it better. At some point the light goes off and you go from "oh god I cant do this" to "im going to murder this" (even while scaling).

                        I would definitely have lots of communication with your coaches to be sure you're scaling appropriately. If they're dicks about it, then there is another crossfit gym around the corner.

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                        • #13
                          Crossfit sure does push you to your limits.
                          I have only been for a week (4 times) and I love it. Yes I can't do everything, so some stuff is scaled down for me, and sometimes I do want to cry, but hey we can only improve from here
                          I say if you love it, keep at it.

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                          • #14
                            Ayla, what happened to starting strength?

                            And to the OP, I will second the comment that if you want to work on the gymnastics and weights and not do the WODs, you can do that at home pretty easy and save yourself the $100+ a month on crossfit, and feel no pressure at all.

                            Even if you want to integrate conditioning as well, you can still do this at home.

                            Just have to play the devil's advocate as so many people seem to take crossfit as some magic bullet when really there is nothing magic about it.

                            Here is good food for thought, an article by former crossfit darling Gillian Mounsey on how she feels after quitting crossfit to pursue her own goals (in this case olympic lifting):

                            Gillian Mounsey - Starting Strength

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                            • #15
                              I decided I would rather do Crossfit, I have been too scared for months to go, and I am glad I finally found the courage to give it a go, I love it.

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