Accomplishments, milestones and success, all these pertain a subjective meaning to us all, a little amount of transformation can show us what these really mean to each on of us. Recently, we had an opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with one of our members, Mandheer, as to what his CrossFit journey so far has come to mean to him.
As one treads on an unknown path, not knowing the destination, but knowing only the journey and the starting point, we thought of starting from the very beginning, to know how the ‘Box’, CrossFit Life Performance, came to be visible to him. Upon inquiring, he informed us how all this while he’d been crossing the box because it happened to be on his path of his daily travel, leaving only to his wild imagination that it was an arena for some outdoor adventurous activities. Within fifteen days of noticing it, Mandheer decided to check the place out and to his surprise it turned out to be a ‘gym’. During his first Rendezvous with Vijay Raj (our Head Coach) he had a general conversation about how the ‘box’ is not really a regular gym, and how CrossFit focuses on performing functional movements for life. He walked out of the ‘box’ knowing a little about CrossFit. Post this conversation he headed down to McDonald’s, and while waiting for yet another guilty- never ending cheat meals which were all a part of the things obstructing him to from attaining a healthy lifestyle, he decided to log onto the website and go through the details. After reading about our coaches, Vijay Raj, Adhish Chhabra and Rohit Yadav, Mandheer was so inspired that he immediately, and yes mind you, he DID NOT eat THAT meal, went to the ‘box’ and got himself registered, without a trial class. It’s as though deep within himself he knew this was just what he wanted, just what he needed.
At this point it would be a good idea for us to tell you a little about Mandheer. He had been overweight all his life, did not stick to any gym memberships, not because he lacked motivation, which any one of us could vouch for, but because those programs were all routine- based and all focused on isolation workouts. So trying to explore whether he had done something for his fitness previously we asked him why it was difficult for him as an individual to maintain his regimen at the regular gyms, upon probing we concluded that he didn’t really do much because gyms were so boring and tediously monotonous with no visible results making it extremely difficult for him to stick to that program.
Walking into his first CrossFit class (no matter who you are or what athletic background you belong to) halfway through his first workout he realized that this is different, very different. Coming from a non-athletic background the idea of CrossFit was also challenging for Mandheer. He recalls, that during his first trial class, Coach Vijay was running everyone through a review of technique for some squat movement with the help of the PVC pipe. He had never done squats in his entire life and to do them overnight, it “just wasn’t my game”, he’d thought to himself. But with every squat he was trying to do he realized that this is what he wanted, or as he tells us, “I wanted to be able to perform those functional movements in my life!”
CrossFit for some of us is just not a way of working out it, it’s a lifestyle. Keeping a track of his nutrition and workouts very sincerely he started noticing immense amount of changes. He was changing not only in the way he looked but also in his performance. For him everything else was falling into place. He says that the physical changes obviously made him feel good, but the most amazing change for him was his lifestyle, how the people and the environment around him changed. It hurts, but it’s the truth that people change once a person has lost a certain amount of weight, the way people saw him changed. But for us, his gleaming eyes were also telling another story of how he saw himself changed, he really saw himself now, and believed in himself. It was an immensely powerful moment of acknowledgement. Over a period of 4.5 months Mandheer sits here in front of us having lost 36 Kgs claiming proudly that all the discipline helped him in his life. He, as a person, has become much more organized and disciplined. He also saw himself constantly pushing himself to be better in every sphere of his life. For him, CrossFit is the reason behind all these changes in his life, he now felt that he could do everything better.
Mandheer derives all this inspiration in the manner in which the coaches work so hard to make us all fitter, stronger and faster. Mandheer as a person is a little introvert, and if you are a CrossFit Athlete then you know that no matter what you’ll be visible to the community and yes you’ll be a part of it. The camaraderie, the strong bond that we talk so much about just doesn’t grow out of “working out” together, though on the face of it it’ll look like it. This unique bond grows out of how our lives have changed, of how we all have a common goal to achieve and that undying passion within ourselves. It is something that not only requires you to show yourself but also come to terms with yourself and since the process is something which requires vulnerability, it connects us all and creates relationships at a whole new level altogether. These are not just people you share your workouts with, these are the same people who will be there with you to share your disappointment with yourself, those DNFs (Did Not Finish) you loathe so much, and are also the ones who will cheer for you and scream and jump in joy when you PR (create your own Personal Record). For Mandheer too, this healthy relationship with the coaches who have built this beautiful community with amazing goals for themselves is an extremely important part of his life.
Walking into a new year, we thought it would be interesting to get a glimpse into our member’s biggest fitness goal for this year. He tells us, “I want to move slowly… but…” we lay an emphasis, “slowly?” he further informs us “…But… I want to be like Rich Froning!” By his birthday, which falls this July, he wishes to have accomplished an Overhead Squat of 200lbs. Some of us have our favorite workouts and not-so favorite ones. His favorite workout is Double GRACE, and he doesn’t really enjoy Rowing much because to him it is a recurrence of the same thing for 2-3 km.
We experience an immense pleasure in sharing his words of advice to his fellow CrossFit Athletes and people who are aspiring to join CrossFit- “Stay focused, stay disciplined and stick to what the coaches are trying to tell you. Don’t listen to shit happening around, what people are trying to tell you, how they tell you that this will not change anything. Our coaches know more than anyone else, stick to what they have to say!!”