Brais Louro is a big fan of CrossFit, and like many modern-day gays, has become more than a little obsessed with it. Having mastered the art of walking on his hands and lifting lots of heavy things, he talks about what he learned going from novice to CrossFit regular.
1. Chalk up and get on with it
There are times when things get uncomfortable or even tough.
Imagine this: You are on your 43rd pull-up and your calluses rip a little. So what do you do? You clean them up, take a deep breath and finish the seven you’ve got left to get to 50.
You set a goal and you committed to it, and you are not afraid to work hard and get on with it.
2. Adapt and reinvent yourself
Now think about this: you manage to squat 120kg but your squat clean (lifting weight up, squatting it and putting it down) is not moving past 85kg; or your chest-to-bar pull ups are easy but your bar muscle ups are far off. In other words, you hit a wall or two and you are stuck.
That’s okay, every challenge offers you an opportunity to adapt and reinvent yourself. It is in these big moments that I have learnt to:
- sit back and study what you do,
- consider how you could do it differently,
- get a 2nd or 3rd opinion
- give it another ago.
More often than not you will find yourself overcoming obstacles and getting closer to mastering new skills – exactly how I got my first bar muscle up!
3. Take a break but always come back
There will be times when you will burn out – that’s a fact! Your muscles will tell you to stop, and when the time comes, I would say to listen to your gut and remember that there is no shame in taking time off.
If you are anything like me, you will not want to take a break, but take it anyway. Write a plan or whatever works for you, follow it and come back; always come back.
And when you are back, chalk up and get on with it (#1). Because if your comebacks are anything like mine, they will be tough but great fun, and will definitely make you even stronger and more resilient!
4. Lean on your community
Arguably the most beautiful lesson of all is a reminder that you are not alone. You may be squatting on your own, but you have got the support of your community right there with you, all the way; cheering you on, generating all the positive energy that will fuel you in your weakest moments and humble you in your strongest.
So lean on your community and let them lean on you. Because good times are so much better when you share them with awesome people; and bad ones are much less so.
5. You can do it
And finally, you can do what you set your mind to. Yes, I know, I know – it is unlikely that you will become the next Mat Fraser or Tia-Clair Toomey – CrossFit champions. But that is not the point (unless it is, and if so by all means go for it!).
The point is that you can become the best version of yourself, and there is no one but yourself to stop you from doing that.
If there is anything that my personal CrossFit® journey constantly reminds me of is that results are only a function of the effort you put in smartly, and community and commitment are the glue that sticks it all together.
If you feel inspired to try CrossFit, then check out WODProud, Brais’ home away from home when he’s in London.