I bet that everyone has ONE CrossFit exercise that scares the crap out of them. Heavy snatches, maybe? Because violently throwing your body underneath a loaded barbell seems more than a little insane. Or handstands... that has always been my #1 fear, hands-down. I remember getting down to GSX and meeting Tucker for the first time. Within two minutes, he said, "Okay, let's see what we've got here. Just kick up real quick..." And I was like, "Ummmmm... no f***ing thank you". I don't think he realized how much we'd need to baby-step the process. I set him straight on that one.
And I know a lot of people find box jumps scary. The thought of having to jump up AND successfully land on something that comes up to your knees - or higher - can be downright paralyzing. My sister Kelly, bad-ass kettlebell chick and recent CrossFit convert, is one of the box jump people. They have always terrified her. We've worked on them before, using everything from a 12" Reebok step to a 16" giant tire. And she'll DO them, but she doesn't like them. And they mess with her head in a serious fashion. At least, they did until last night.
Kelly has been doing some training with Kevin Williams - AKA "Torch" - at CrossFit Brooklyn (holla!). So I told her to hit her box jumps with Torch next time she went over there. She attacked the assignment head on. In Kelly's own words:
"As you know, I’ve always been irrationally afraid of box jumps. Hesitance translated into several attempts over the years that resulted in shins scraping down the front of the box. OUCH. That is NOT what I consider positive reinforcement. I’d always been told two things about box jumps. First, don’t look at the box. Two, try to land softly. Both of which meant I was jumping blindly, and nowhere near aggressively enough.
Torch’s advice last night: Look directly at the box. And stomp the shit out of it. Amen. I did a bunch of sets of 5 on a TWENTY INCH BOX without a single moment of hyperventilating. I don’t think Torch really understood the years of fitness anxiety that he had undone in literally a matter of 60 seconds. But I knew you’d get it."
In summary, Me:Handstands:Tucker = Kelly:Box Jumps:Torch. And the impact these trainers have had on us by helping us overcome our fears is pretty remarkable. My newly cultivated upside-down confidence has translated into me trying all kinds of new activities... more on that this weekend. And I guarantee Kelly is going to be jumping up on whatever is handy in the coming days - a bar stool, the kitchen table, maybe even another actual box in her own gym. So nice job, Torch and CFBK. Thanks for taking such good care of my sister. And way to go, Cute, for taking the lunch money from those mean old box jumps.
What are you afraid of, what have you overcome, and how did you do it?
I (heart) handstands. Brooklyn, get a picture of my sister stomping the box for me, will you?