How to Love a Crossfit Newbie


She was so obnoxious, I wondered why Coach Rob didn’t just tell her to shut up. I think she talked the entire session, nodding wisely and trying to add important information to the conversation, which wasn’t really a conversation at all–she just didn’t know that.

I do understand when you have not yet purchased the correct tool, you will dig around in the junk drawer of your brain to find anything you can use to do a new job.

And, like hanging up drapes with paperclips, it’s not pretty.

While I’m sure our coach was intrigued with her knowledge gleaned from years of step aerobics and running, which she mentioned frequently, he didn’t say anything about it other than, “Here, you have to leave your ego at the door.”

She didn’t seem to think anything about that until later, when she realized that pretty much everything she had been doing, while good for her in many ways, had been wrong.

Eventually, she learned to keep her mouth (mostly) shut and listen–really listen, which means applying it to the WOD. 

It still amazes me that the more experienced Crossfitters were not only patient with her, but encouraging as well. They took the time to get to know her, to show her things, to give her pointers and tell her when she was leaning too far forward while squatting the bare bar.

In case you’re wondering, the Newbie in question WAS me.

As I look back over a year of Crossfit, I can see how far I’ve come, not just in physical strength, but in my mindset as well. I’m not the most stellar athlete–I still haven’t RX’d any WOD that includes lifting or pulling the entirety of my body weight, but with one year under my rapidly shrinking belt, I have learned a few things.

  • People might annoy you, but give them a break–they’ll settle in. And besides, they are trying something way out of most people’s comfort zones.
  • Camaraderie is what makes Crossfit the best sport on the planet–do your part to build such an environment.
  • The Newbies who come back routinely might become your new best friends.
  • New Crossfitters are working hard too–if they’re not, they probably won’t stick around long.
  • Be patient and wait to see how Crossfit changes them physically, but also mentally. The proof is in the Paleo pudding.
  • Even if you have to lift the plyo box out for them and put weights away for them and show them where the toilet is; love them, because no matter how buff you think you were before coming to Crossfit; you were a shiny-shoed little school-kid once too.

About Keri

Writer, widow, life story coach, expat, Mom of 4, madly in love with Crossfit and Krav Maga--my life is stranger than fiction View all posts by Keri

3 responses to “How to Love a Crossfit Newbie

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