Box jumps terrified and fascinated me at the same time. From the day I walked into Crossfit, it was something I wanted to be able to do. That first day though, I literally couldn’t jump. I wasn’t physically capable of propelling my body off the ground. When is the last time you jumped? Think about it. I don’t have any idea how many years it had been since I had jumped.
So when the class before my training session completed a brutal workout called “Filthy Fifty” I watched, like with my mouth agape, as they breezed through 50 of the box jumps just to start their workout.
I do know that it was a couple months before I could even jump onto a 3” weight plate. So while the rest of the class was leaping feet into the air, I would use the weight to jump onto until that became too hard, and then I would just step on and off it. I graduated from the weight plate to the 12” box. First stepping and eventually jumping. Of course, my other skills were improving too, at a slow but consistent pace. I remember the first time I jumped onto the 12” box. I saw the corners of Raina’s mouth turn up and she met my eyes with approval and pride.
“ I jumped” I almost shouted to no one in particular.
As the months rolled on, I could was able to jump more and more. Adding plate after plate to the 12” box until I was ready to try the “real” box, which was 20” in the short side, It was February of 2017, nearly 3 years since I had first walked into Crossfit. Heart pounding, I kept walking up to it and walking away.
“Try stacking plates first” suggested Coach Dan,
Somehow, it WAS less intimidating to leap up to the same height onto the rubber weight plates, than to attack the wooden box, with all its sharp edges. I had to work my way up. First 12”, the 14”, then 16” and 18”. This was it. I stacked the final plate. Jumped and landed solidly on top. I was filled with happiness and pride. Three years ago, I was a sedentary and obese human, headed for an early grave. This jump represented so much more to me than just another goal completed. I was one of the movements I had been so intimidated by for so long. I was filled with so many emotions, I think it may have been the first moment I actually believed I was going to do “this”. I was going to conquer obesity and become an athlete.
Last week, we again had Filthy Fifty programmed. I was one of the many athletes leaping onto to the box 50 times to start my workout. Now a single box jump is a very simple thing.
“What’s simple to do is simple not to do.”
It’s easy to eat clean and healthy for one day. It’s also easy to NOT eat healthy for a day.
It’s simple to complete a workout, and just as simple to skip one.
This thought can apply to so many areas of life. All the little decisions we make to push towards or pull away from our goals eventually create the outcome. But we are in charge. Adding tiny, incremental improvements up over and over creates what everyone else sees as a miracle, but is really just hard work.
I didn’t “RX” Filthy Fifty last week. But I’m thousands of steps closer to being able to. Literally, inches, is all I have to conquer to be able to do a “Knees to Elbow” – which is hanging from a bar and pulling your knees up until they touch your elbow. I can pull my knees to just above my chest…inches from my elbows.
I guess the point of this is to encourage anyone with a goal in mind to keep making small steps towards that goal. They might seem insignificant today, but they aren’t