July 4th marked 5 years of CrossFit for me (with a year and a half hiatus for a high-risk pregnancy and post-partum recovery). It's been a rad ride, and I'm so pleased I walked into my box that July 5 whole years ago and kept up with it.
I've learned a lot of things about myself in that time. And while this may come across as "giving up" or "being a downer", let me reassure you: it's totally not. It's more an honest accounting of where I'm at, what I want, and a (hopefully) refreshing candor about what I know I can accomplish and what I probably can't.
So, we all have different kinds of bodies and they're all good at different kinds of things. I'm short, dense, and have a lot of fast-twitch muscle, and not a lot of the other kind. I'm really good at lunges, flipping tires, bench press, jerks, deadlifts (oh, I love a deadlift!), squats, kettlebell swings, and thrusters. I am absolutely terrible at running, pull-ups, push-ups, burpees, dips, double-unders, and any damn thing involving paralletes. I'm passable at wall balls, box jumps, slam balls, and other things like that.
I will probably never be able to do a muscle-up. Maybe, if I changed my whole life, I could do one. It would involve losing a lot of weight, and training a whole lot. And that's cool, I could maybe do that. But do I care that much about doing a muscle-up? Not really. Would it get me a lot of cool points? Sure, probably. But do I see myself competing in CrossFit competitions ever? No, because the honest truth is: I'm too old, and I'm just not fast enough.
The one year I did the CrossFit Open, I nearly destroyed myself. I was yo-yo dieting, and I had a shoulder impingement that was turning into bursitis, and I really wanted to compete anyway, so I taped that shit up and I did it anyway. And it took me 6 months to heal that shoulder all the way. Wasn't worth it.
I did do a competition at my gym one time that I really enjoyed, and that was worth it. But I think honestly that some CrossFit movements just aren't a fit for me, and that's okay. I can do competitions that don't require those movements or do something else.
Knowing my strengths and weaknesses isn't an excuse. It's not a cop-out. It's clarity.
I can spend more time getting really good at stuff that's a better fit for my body and my life, and not worry so much about stuff that isn't. I think it's probably worth it to still train on those movements (well, at least the scaled movements that build strength for those movements), but it is okay to realize that I may never get there and feel okay about that.
In fact, I think it's a sign of relative maturity. Unlike Don Quixote, I'm not tilting at the windmill of double-unders and muscle-ups. Instead, I'm following my passion and doing what works for me, and I think that's a much more viable strategy for the next five years.