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Progress

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Progress.
  By: Miko Marquez

 

During my first 9 months of Crossfit I’ve found that the idea of progress can be surprisingly humbling, exciting, and personal. Here’s an abridged version of the progress I’ve already seen in myself, in the hopes that some of you can relate.

When I was born I was a month premature and had to stay in the ICU for an additional month. Complications included being underweight, blood clotting issues, breathing problems, and bowed legs legs that my mother had to stretch and straighten every night once I was allowed to go home. I’m still slightly pigeon-toed.

When I was 4 my immigrant parents put me into little league baseball in the hopes of helping me assimilate into our neighborhood. I liked it, and didn’t care at the time that I was easily the least athletic kid on the team. That changed after a couple seasons. Starting then, I would just feel embarrassingly uncoordinated and unconfident with most sports.

When I was 7 I started swimming lessons. Around this time I learned that I had asthma, and would need to have an inhaler poolside at all times. I’d push until I felt like I might drown, watching the other kids speeding away in front of me. I would always need that inhaler.

When I was 13 I had to start running track during PE. 1⁄4 mile laps + florida heat + daily exercise made me learn that I was completely flat-footed like my father. The inner edges of my feet would swell to the point of shifting my weight dangerously to the outer side.

By college my overall lack of athletic confidence and experience meant I was 5 foot 6, nearing 200 lbs, and eating horribly. My personality was night and day based on if I had to do something physical. Want me to step up for a guitar solo in jazz band or teach classes on mental illness to fellow undergrads? Sign me up. Want me to join your intramural bball team? Oh hell no.

Luckily, one day I decided to visit the Student Rec Center and I got the fitness bug. Lack of coordination wasn’t a problem. Asthma wasn’t (yet) a concern. I was starting out and the basics of working with weights meant form/technique+volume over time. I could do that.

Post-graduation I was significantly more confident, and wanted to push some more. My whole life had been pushing mentally in school and music, what better time to see what my awkward body could do right?

My first few months at Big Dane were rough but exciting. So many new movement patterns to learn, so many ways to correct bad habits I had built up, and best of all… a

community that absolutely didn’t judge its members. Now, I am continuously finding improvements I can make every single workout. Like all of the music I did growing up, Crossfit could be divided into learning, practice, and time. Now that I could do.

My feet still point inwards but I’m learning to correct it as much as possible, and not skirt my feet when I’m fatigued. I’d say that counts as progress.

Practice with a barbell over time, and some coordination confidence came. Sure I hit my chin now and then, and chipped a tooth (again), but there’s progress.

Running, jump-rope, and other endurance movements have greatly improved my breathing and conditioning. I still need that inhaler, but there’s progress.

Getting used to constantly moving, warming up, and proper movement patterns have helped me work around my bow-leggedness and flat feet. I still get some swelling and it can hurt my balance, but there’s progress.

There’s still so much farther to go, but isn’t that part of the fun? More plateau’s to break, more disappointing workouts followed by a PR the next day, more cheers from the rest of the class, more newcomers to welcome and more CF veterans to be inspired by. Just take it day by day, rep by rep, meter by meter. The goal isn’t a finish line, it’s just… progress.