19 Jul 14 – a week in the USA to remotivate.

As I sit here at gate C8 of Washington Dulles Airport, awaiting my flight to the UK, I have been thinking about my short time over here and what I have achieved. While I have been over on work, I took the opportunity to visit 3 CrossFit boxes on a reenergising, remotivation trip. My CF journey has become very stale back in the UK and this was a good chance for a refresh.

After landing last sunday and a brief sleep in the DC area, I journeyed south 300 miles to North Carolina. The heat and humidity knocked me on my arse as soon as I opened the car door on arrival. Like nothing in the UK, I was definitely not prepared for that. Regardless,  on Tuesday I headed to CrossFit Wilmington and sought out the owner, Joe, for some coaching. It was out of session hours and I took the opportunity to get some one-on-one Snatch coaching. Very quickly, some issues were identified and I have drills to remedy them. When colleagues then arrived, we did some back squats before hewding in to a 10min AMRAP that included pull ups, push ups and sledgehammers. I’ve not done anything with sledgehammers before but handled the 16lb mallet well. The heat was taking its toll and my heart was really pounding but I kept on while maintaining a watchful eye on it. Throughout the 3hrs that I was in there, I made the most of the excellent facility and smashed out a great many rope climbs, handstand walks, free handstand shoulder touches and flips. However, eventually the lack of sugar in my system was making itself known with the ‘shakes’ and I called it a day. A great start to this little adventure.

Next on my trip was an excursion all the way up the I-95 to Baltimore for a day and a half. After a quick google search I discovered CrossFit BWI (12 Labours CrossFit) and took a quick drive there. Once again, a great bunch of coaches, very diligent and a good crew doing the WOD. I had a good friend to compete with over a WOD that contained a 2000m Row, 3RM Front Squats and 4mins of double pushup ManMakers. I thoroughly enjoyed the WOD but more than that I enjoyed meeting new people and seeing their enthusiasm, it was very infectious. We didn’t spend too much time due to other commitments but it was an hour exceedingly well spent.

It had been my intention all along to end the visit with a trip to Outlaw CF. On the way from Baltimore to Arlington I stopped off there to workout. However, they were finishing that WOD and weren’t going to reopen until much later……right when I was due to be getting on the beers with one of my closest friends and his wife. I made the decision to go on Sat morning instead, right before I was due to fly home. But. After talking to a few friends online, I was convinced to forego the Outlaw box and head to a more local one instead, CrossFit Adaptation. It took some convincing but I trusted what I was told and, hangover creating small cracks in my skull, I got up this morning and headed over there. What a fantastic decision it was. CF Adaptation was probably the best way I could have ended this tour and exactly what I needed to spike my enthusiasm more. Sally, the coach, was brilliant. Welcoming, firm and very knowledgable, she controlled a class of circa 15 or so people with expertise. The WOD was a 20min AMRAP of 4 x Muscle Ups, 8 x Handstand Push Ups and 16 x Kettlebell Swings at 2pood (32kg). Straight away I scaled the KB after realising that over here they only do Americwn Swings…that is, straight above the head. I’ve not done that in a whileand stuck to 24kg instead. The collective there consisted of relative newcomers right through to seasoned coaches. Most had their own scaling but there was genuinely no ego about it. All were exceptionally friendly and welcoming. After a comprehensive warm up and explanation of the standards, we were away. I immediately identified an individual at the far end of the room to compete with and, as it turned out, he did the same with me. The muscle ups were my weakness here and after the first 4 unbroken, all others were individuals. However, my competition down the room was destroying the MUs non stop. He had a relative weakness in the HSPU though and it was here that I maintained pace. When 20mins rolled around, I had completed a healthy 5 rounds plus 10 KB Swings. I walked straight over to the individual at the other end and introduced myself. He turned out to be a coach there called Stephen and while he was RX throughout, I was very pleased to have kept his pace. Extremely friendlyand helpful, we discussed programming and students before I purchased a t-shirt and headed out. Whenever I am in DC, this is the box I shall be going back to.

My aim was to see if I could reenergise my enthusiasm for CrossFit and in only a week it worked. I proved to myself a few things.

The first is that I am still motivated by the group and that I perform much better when not working out alone.
The second is that while I still love coaching, I perform much better as part of a group and not when having to help and correct others. Coaching and my own development must be disassociated.
The third and final thing is that while I have set goals to achieve, the fun and social community of CrossFit is what actually gets me going. I could have gone to Outlaw and may well have had fantastic coaching but I ended up in Adaptation and met some truly great people who seem to remain in that CF “honeymoon” phase; their enthusiasm is wonderfully infectious.

While I head back to the UK now and will be back to working alone, I will make more time to get once every so often and engage in the community. I must find some competitions too and will seek some lower level ones out soon.

Thank you to CF Wilmington, CF BWI and to CF Adaptation.

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