Saturday, March 27, 2010

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Over the short time that I have been Crossfitting, I have noticed several changes in the build of my body, my confidence level, and my general attitude. At the beginning of the semester, I was slightly unsure of what to expect from the program. My friends who had taken the first semester had told me how helpful and progressive it was, but I still didn't understand fully the difference that working out every day could have. When we did tabata air squats on the first WOD, I immediately saw what they were talking about. Crossfit is a program of work, where one has to be motivated to see benefits. That being said, the benefits are easy to see.

Over the past few months, I have lowered my body fat percentage and gained significant muscle mass that I had not seen with any workouts I had tried before. The class ensures that I do something active a majority of days in the school week, and therefore keeps me motivated, as I can see definite gains from my work. In addition, doing the workouts with other people helps to keep me motivated, as I can see what they are doing and reassure myself that I, too, can stick with the workout. Something being painful or tiring is no longer a valid reason for me to give up in the middle of a work out, but is motivation to keep pushing my boundaries. The concrete signs that workouts are helping keep me motivated, as I feel energized and determined.

In addition, Crossfit has taught me a variety of new exercises which I can do with very little equipment. Gyms like the YMCA, filled with machines, have always puzzled me. They target specific muscles, but leave many unused. In addition, the repetition of the work that many people do when using these machines allows their bodies to become complacent and simply go through the motions. Lastly, there is decidedly less motivation to complete reps when the going gets tough, as stopping the exercise is as easy as letting go of a couple of handles. Crossfit exercises help me to utilize all the parts of my body at once, making my exercise both efficient and interesting.

The Crossfit class has also acted as an extended program of physical therapy for my knees and ankles, as I continue to grow and try to be as active as I can. Not doing the same exercise every day (i.e. running) reduces the wear on my body, and allows me to continue working out day after day, rather than being unable to do anything. Having to scale back a workout is, at least in my opinion, much better than having to limp around all day.

Finally, Crossfit has helped my emotional and mental well-being. I have always known about myself that doing active things throughout the day keeps me in a better mental state. Simply having a break from the monotony of the school day is healthy for me, as it allows me to get motivated to do something that challenges all parts of my body, including my mind, in a different way than subject tests. The feeling of productivity that I get from Crossfit helps me to stay sane throughout the school day, as I can, regardless of the exercise, say that I pushed my limits and endured something that challenged me mentally and physically.

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