I came to CF because of a display Catalyst had at a Wellness Fair at Sault Area Hospital. I spoke to Jarrett there, and it sounded interesting, so I booked an appointment for my wife and I. We visited the gym and spoke to Melanie; I signed up for On Ramp and liked it, and went on from there.
I had been doing other things for exercise, such as yoga, cross country skiing, and cycling, but I had never really done much upper-body exercise, so the weight-lifting was new to me.
Quite frankly, the first impression was a bit intimidating, because the workouts are so strenuous, but that went away fairly quickly. The atmosphere created by the coaches and participants is encouraging, not pushy, so you quickly realize that the idea is to try hard and to improve your fitness, not to snatch 400 pounds.
The biggest improvement comes when you realize how much the workouts are about mind over matter. I was joking with Jess the other day when she described the Manmaker AMRAP WOD as “100% mental”, but I knew what she meant. When I first started, early in many of the workouts I would start telling myself that I would never make it to the end. However, I always did make it to the end somehow, and eventually I quit sending myself the negative messages.
I never work on anything in particular, as I just attend the 0700 group three times a week and do the WODs. I don’t have a gym membership where I work on my own, but if there’s one thing that I should do, it’s to practice until I can do double-unders. I hate trying them during the workouts, as it makes the workout slow and inefficient, and it’s not the best practice environment for them anyway.
I do enjoy the atmosphere at the workout group, pretty much every time. Competition is not on my priority list at all, but being part of the group does inspire a greater effort than I would be coming up with if I was working out on my own. Again, this comes without any undue pressure, so nobody ever needs to feel bad about how they are doing.