Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Fight or flight?

First let me say that I'm on my mobile phone so if there any oddly placed words (due to the auto detect) then please forgive me. And also thanks to those who have read these posts and to those who have given me some encouraging words.

Okay, now onto my first full CrossFit session. As I have previously mentioned I suffer a mild social anxiety, including some pretty serious body image issues, so you can imagine I was in quite a state by the time I was nearing the door to 'the box' (this is the name that CrossFit Avon give their gym). The usual sweaty palms and racing heart, craving of nicotine, alcohol and any other goddam substance that would make this go away. I was nearing full on 'fight or flight' mode and it was getting worse, I know all too well that worse means 'panic attack' and a panic attack in the middle of your first gym session would mean that there won't be a follow up session.

I decided that I had to do something about it, and right on cue the trainer, who was just rounding up the last session, came up and said these simple words "Good to see you again, how are you?". He remembered me from the intro session. So I suddenly remembered a little piece of advice which was given to me by a great therapist I had when I was receiving CBT, and she would always say that no one will be angry or mock me if I tell the truth, and so I simply told the trainer that I was nervous and instead of laughing in my face, destroying my self confidence, and kicking me out on my arse (which is CLEARLY the normal reaction) he reassured me and made me feel really welcome. He also paired me with a really friendly guy who was well experienced and acted as a good mentor for the session.

So down to the session. We started out with some stretches and skipping to warm up and then jumped into the Workout Of the Day (WOD) which consisted of thrusts and cleans (with the barbell) and then skipping. We had three minutes with each exercise to get in as many reps as possible (AMRAP) with two minutes rest between each round. And my final scores weren't all that bad really. So to finish off we got into pairs and had to complete 60 burpees (who in their right mind would think torture could feel so fulfilling?).

All in all it was painless (apart from all the pain I'm in now), and all of the anxiety was for nothing in the end.

So on a final note, if you suffer like I do or worse, I feel for you and I know that if you just muster all of the confidence you can to jump into an exercise class that suits and appeals to you then you'll see that it's worth going through the fear and panic. Go with 'fight' because 'flight' has had the limelight for way too long.

1 comment:

  1. I know this post is getting on a year old, but I think I can identify with you as far as social anxiety. I've been thinking researching Crossfit a lot lately, and it's great to hear the folks at the box you went to were so welcoming after told them about your nervousness. It's really inspirational to me because one of my biggest sources of worry is that if I go to a gym, the trainers there will belittle my introversion and shyness, which would such because part of the reason I'm so interested in fitness is the mental health benefits that can come with it! Anyways, I'll end this long winded post by saying that I hope that crossfit has turned out to be something that benefits you and I'll be interested in reading about your progress!