Socs Vistan recently blogged about some of her CrossFit successes. She and her husband Allan are regulars at both CrossFit London UK and CrossFit SE11.
When people ask how long I’ve been doing CrossFit, I always answer with a bit of hesitation, “on and off for two years”. I always say “on and off” as I don’t want to give Crossfit (and Crossfit London UK, Crossfit SE11 and Ronin Crossfit) a bad name.
After all, it has been two years and I still don’t have a proper strict pull up, kipping pull up, 2 x body weight deadlift, and so on…
Truth be told, the two main reasons why I don’t have those is because of my inconsistent gym attendance and my consistent bad diet. Yes, like everyone says, I only have myself to blame. In the past month, I’ve taken full advantage of being based in London and made the most of the classes at CrossFit London and CrossFit SE11.
I’ve signed up for the extra classes they have on offer, specifically the rope and aerial conditioning class in Bethnal Green and the Absolute Beginners Gymnastics class in Vauxhall. Both of which I’ve been eyeing for months, but have always been too intimidated to attend. Instead of relying on Allan’s schedule, I’ve started my own schedule, particularly since Allan’s not in London on weekdays. Once I did all of that, a funny thing happened… I started getting all sorts of personal bests (PBs).
Personal Best # 1
What ended up as an attempt to see how many ab-mats I needed in order to do handstand push-ups (I need one ab-mat to be able to do a handstand push up) ended up with me performing a workout WITH handstand push ups, scaled to two ab-mats! I’ve never done that in a workout before; the closest I came to was just a kick up to handstand.
Personal Best #2
It was one of those moves that I’ve always scaled down (I’ve quite a list of them) but I’ve been seeing a bit of progress in the past months. For SE11’s (or Sleven as it’s come to be known) first month celebratory workout, they incorporated knees-to-elbows. They always were “knees-as-high-as-I-can-get-them”, but lo and behold, I managed to get knees-to-elbows! Not only that, I managed to string 7 in a row on my first round for the workout.
Personal Best #3
Sometime in May (I think), Kat introduced me (well, the class I was in) to headstand progressions. Essentially, one of the first steps was to get your knees on your elbows (while your head and arms were on the floor). That was the extent of what I could do, while the others moved on to raising the legs up and then maybe straightening them. When I first attended the Absolute Beginner’s Gymnastics class, it was also as far as I could go. One week later, I come back to Amelia’s class and found myself not only getting those knees off the elbows, I even managed to raise my legs higher!
Personal Best #4
Once I found out that I could get knees-to-elbow, the next question was, could I get my toes to the bar? Next workout with toes-to-bar proved that I could. I still need more practice but I can definitely get them up there.
Personal Best # 5
If it’s something I’ve never done before, then it’s automatically a new PB, right? I don’t make a habit of hanging upside down from ropes, but when I do for Rachel’s class, I usually get a little bit (or a lot) of help to get myself in the right position. Until one Sunday, when, after several attempts and a very useful “just allow yourself to be upside down” tip, I managed to fight my way into a straddle. Now if only I can hang a rope from my flat’s ceiling, then I can practice at home!
Personal Best #6
I love getting strength PBs and finding out how much I can really lift. Lifting significant weight is, after all, what got me hooked on CrossFit. I never imagined I could put that much weight on a bar and lift it, that is until Allan started making me do push presses, deadlifts and back squats. I remember back squatting 50kgs in a hotel gym years ago and having one of the men in the weights section say how he’s never seen any female do that before. I was grinning ear to ear and to this day, that is my favorite back squat memory (isn’t it obvious). Anyway, back to the PB, I managed to Front squat 60kgs twice! My previous record was one rep for 55 kgs.
Personal Best #7
At the beginning of the month, several of the coaches started forming “teams” of people who would work on a particular weakness. Allan signed up to Team Double-Unders with Colin, whereas I went on to join Carolyn’s Ring Dip team. I could lower myself into a dip, but could never quite lift myself up again… until two days ago! Apparently, I can even string 3 in a row!
Only one phrase remains to be said after all that: Go Socs! The CrossFit London UK and CrossFit SE11 teams couldn’t be happier to see all the hard work paying off. To follow her future successes, subscribe to her blog.