Guest post by Mary Beth Henderson, Rhapsody CrossFit Member
I AM A CROSSFIT ATHLETE
You have never seen me in a competition, I have yet to get a muscle-up and, at first blush, you probably wouldn’t believe I can deadlift more than twice my bodyweight.
Nevertheless, CrossFit is a significant part of my life and has been for the better part of three years. I binge on NoBull, my clients joke that I’m their figurative and literal marketing muscle, and I frequently use #shebeast or #strongisbeautiful on my Instagram posts.
If you are flirting with or new to CrossFit, jump on in the water is fine! If you’ve been at it for a hot minute, you know that progress can plateau and change starts to come in smaller increments.
I do not mean to be discouraging – it’s just that as the stakes (or plates and pounds…) get higher, margins of growth become narrower. You may work twice as hard to hit a 235# back squat as you did to break 200#, but, make no mistake, the victories are just as sweet.
During my tenure, I have trained at four boxes. Each with a unique approach to coaching and twist on programming. Although every one left me better than they found me, I couldn’t help but feel stagnant going into my third year of CrossFit.
Despite working longer and increasing volume, I simply wasn’t moving the needle on my goals; especially regarding gymnastic movements, which were quickly becoming my nemesis.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
Enter Rhapsody CrossFit in Downtown Charleston. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Founders Alan Shaw and Trinity Wheeler, you know all they had to do was bat those baby blues or have Coach Stan Tsoy flash a smile before I was willing to hand over my first born.
All that to say, they told me they were opening a box with a community-centric approach and emphatic emphasis on coaching for hungry, humble and happy athletes.
They had my attention, so I decided to give it a shot. What did I have to lose?
Founded by competition and coaching legend, James Hobart, Rhapsody CrossFit follows Hobart Custom programming characterized by an unapologetic nod to old-school CrossFit with quick, simple and high-intensity workouts.
Right off the rip, I knew this would be an adjustment. As I had become accustomed to 45+ minute WODs with parts A through C, only having one workout that averaged 15 minutes seemed like a step backwards. After a sneak peek at the programming, I was already starting to schedule time for supplemental work.
Joke was on me. The first WOD in, I was on the ground – a simple 12-minute couplet of snatches and sprinting had me seeing stars and eyeing the AED. I was either delusional on where I stood with my fitness, or these guys were tapping into something new…
BACK TO BASICS
Fast forward four months, I have seen the light and now believe. It’s not so much that Hobart and Rhapsody are doing something new, but, more so, getting back to basics.
My first clue came with a renewed ability to recover between workouts. Whereas I was only able to muster four workouts per week before, I started holding steady at five to six within my first month at Rhapsody. Getting an extra day or two in each week is a direct result of the intentional programming that builds upon itself day after day.
In short, it works you smarter, not harder.
By my second month, I noticed immense improvement in my conditioning. This programming wasn’t about each WOD being a slog or war of attrition – it was about hitting it hard and hitting it fast (not at the expense of technique, of course…) to find that edge.
That edge, I have come to understand, is where adaptation lies.
That adaptation stared back at me in the mirror by month three. Slowly but surely, I started seeing hints of definition across my shoulders, arms and back. Dare I say, a chisel here and a cut there… The compliments started coming, and I was feeling myself along with this new programming.
Drum roll, please…now for the main event…the big kahuna…the spice of that CrossFit life…smashing plateaus and shattering PRs! From nailing a 325# deadlift (20# personal record) with room for more to owning nine 15’ rope climbs (up from nil…zero…NONE) in one stint, suddenly I found myself making strides with optimism and enthusiasm.
I attribute this long-time-coming progress to cutting out an absurd need to boil the ocean. As I mentioned, Hobart Custom is quintessential CrossFit with one workout that encompasses only a handful of movements. This simplified approach forces you to focus on the task at hand, which leads to small steps towards mastery of that movement or skill.
As someone who is notorious for moving my own goal post half way through the game, this approach allows me to concentrate my efforts – do one thing at a time and do that thing well.
Finally, if you’ll indulge me, I also suspect this new-found motivation stems from a squishy, warm and fuzzy place. Encouraged by an infallible community and educated by incredible coaches, I am daring for more and striving for better because, for the first time in a long time, I believe I can.
Plain and simple, I am enjoying CrossFit again and it is fueling my fire.
Whether you have yet to drink the CrossFit KoolAid or are a seasoned athlete looking to switch it up, Rhapsody CrossFit paired with Hobart Custom has a secret sauce well-worth sampling.
Don’t just take my word for it – drop on in and let’s get after a WOD together!