Many people make New Year’s Resolutions for self-improvement. But whether it’s eating cleaner, joining a gym, or increasing productivity, their efforts tend to diminish as the year unfolds. Like so many others around the world, my New Year's resolution in 2023 is to work out more. I plan to take a big leap into a whole new experience: CrossFit.
Recently I decided that I wanted to try out something new. I hadn’t worked out in a long time and I had very little self-motivation to take myself to the gym and work out on my own. After witnessing Athelo Group athletes, Dani Speegle and Brittany Weiss, compete in CrossFit competitions and following them through their journeys I thought ‘this might be impossible, but I’ll give this CrossFit thing a try,’ and so I signed up for a free week at the gym right around the corner from me. When I say I was scared, I was scared! I didn’t know the first thing about CrossFit; not the names of workouts, not how to properly lift weight, and don’t get me started on what a WOD was. It was terrifying walking into this place, but every single person was a beginner at some point in their journey.
The first workout was hard - one of the hardest workouts I have ever done, but I felt fantastic… after it was over. So I went again, and again. I only went two days a week to get comfortable with the movements and to go easy on my body, but that was enough for me to feel so much better about my body and what it is capable of doing, not to mention how my mood was different every time I came home from a workout. I could tell I felt better. I was more proactive with at-home tasks, I just wanted to keep moving! Now imagine if I went more than twice a week.
Working out in the new year doesn’t have to be something that won’t last. Come 2023, I am attending CrossFit 4-5 days a week. Not only do I want to keep going for physical and mental improvement, but the people. Being surrounded by 20 people who are all lifting big weights while you are still just lifting the bar can seem extremely intimidating, but it’s not. Every single person in that gym is there for themselves, to better themselves, just like you are. The CrossFit gym is a place where people want you to succeed and will never ask you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with. I was lifting the bar the first 4 classes I took, and only when I was comfortable with adding weight did I put some on. CrossFit is a community filled with amazing, strong, hard-working people; like most gyms. My first day the workout was so hard I never wanted to go back while I was doing it, but everyone was proud of each other for finishing strong, it wasn’t a competition; just a group of people having fun and lifting weights.
I expect that in the new year, CrossFit will better me both physically and mentally. By doing just a little bit to start, I have been more confident in myself and I have a stronger body-image. A lot of people, particularly females, have difficulties with their appearances; being told we need to look a certain way to maintain an “ideal” feminine body-image, but not one single person at the gym cares about how you look, they are just happy you made it and proud of you for showing up.
For me, it is the community that keeps bringing me back, no judgment, no hate, just CrossFit. Working out in the new year may seem difficult, but in the right place with the right people, it can change your life. What New Year's resolutions are you considering putting into practice in 2023?