Crossing The Bridge

I did it. I took the plunge. Or rather, I succumbed to the inevitable. I became a CrossFit bunny. Well I signed up to a CrossFit box, so bunny in the making. I traded my pretty, colourful, carefully selected Nikes for Reebok Nanos and Inov8s. I relinquished my drive to be in the gym every day, to grunting and panting my way around a box. I have accepted that I will now have to find a way to be comfortable with standing on my hands (and actually trying to do a push up in that position), skipping more times than any human bladder should ever rightfully have to withstand, and lifting weights that look like they need a wheelbarrow to be moved, let alone little old me trying to load them on a bar.

 I know. From an introduction like that, I don’t sound overly enthusiastic do I? But I am. Truly. I am so over the moon excited and amped to be part of the box I have joined, part of the hype and the fanfare, and naturally, I am super amped actually to have the CrossFit body, which apparently can only be attained through CrossFit. (Trust me, I tried other ways… want a CrossFit body… then start CrossFit bud.)

Where did this come from you may ask? Well as mentioned before, the superhuman Chino is a CrossFit goddess (to readers that haven’t read my blogs before, that’d be my fiancé). She works hard, she plays hard, and her abs are hard. The holy trifecta, no? As if this wasn’t enticing enough, I actually managed to hold off for over a year. “It isn’t for me”, “I like running”, “I am not a CrossFit girl”… so many excuses, that at the times they were made, were completely true. And then… UWS happened…


United We Stand (UWS) 2015. South African team based CrossFit competition.

Cue Chantelle, ultimate support crew, measuring protein and pre-workout, packing wrist wraps and knee sleeves, screaming from the side-lines, handing out sweaty hugs (from the teams side… it doesn’t require much effort to sip a cappuccino and hurl supportive words across the arena), and trying to capture the exact moment when each person nailed that squat/snatch/clean on both a camera and my phone simultaneously.

Cue Chino, looking sexy in pre-chosen workout outfits most fitting to each event, wearing colourful team shirts, working her a** off in each and every event, receiving non-sweaty hugs post-workout, collapsing into bed each night of the three day comp, spraining ankle, destroying shoulder, gritting through the pain, barely managing to breathe at the end of each event… and smiling like a dam Cheshire cat every minute (obviously not when she was working out – then it was pure determination and focus on that gorgeous face).


1) The boys are hot, the girls are hotter. *Please GOD let someone take their shirt off during this WOD…* (generalisation of course, but I mean come on. They work damn hard for those bodies, and we want to show them the appreciation they so deserve).

2) There is no last place. Yes, someone will win. Yes, there will be the team that falls into the last spot, but in CrossFit, being out there, trying your hardest, not giving up, that IS enough. The community spirit is something that just about reduced me to tears more than once. Teams finishing their workout do not go recover, or celebrate their ability to complete within the given time; they go and cheer for the people who are still working. They stand around them. They clap. They scream. They count for them. They push them further. I personally cannot think of another sport in which the winners can simultaneously enjoy their victory, whilst still encouraging other teams to do better, be better, lift heavier, lift faster, finish what they started. These people are technically the competition, but in CrossFit, you will others to be their best (so incredible to witness, and even more incredible to realise that every person out there feels that way).

3) Every person is expected to be nothing more than their best. You do not need to compete with anyone but yourself, and if you gave it everything you have, that is enough.

4) HAVE FUN. I am not lying when I tell you that every person walked out of the various workouts smiling and happy. The number of photos I have of high fives and bear hugs and enormous smiles post-workout is unbelievable. These people take their fitness seriously, but their fitness is also seriously fun for them. They build relationships, they care for and love each other, and they want to enjoy working out alongside friends, peers and team-mates - and they make sure that whilst they are in the arena, they revel in the moment and have fun in what they are doing.

All these observations add up to one word. AWE. It is incredibly intimidating to be around these super humans, even as a supporter. So, naturally, challenge accepted.
I don’t think it’s going to be easy to start, or to progress, or to even walk out of each workout with a smile on my face. But I do know that not only can I do those things (with months/years of training and a sh*t load of amazing coaching), but I want to do those things. I want to be part of a fitness community that cares more about the individual being their ultimate athlete, than holding up a prize at the end (although, of course, that would be amazing too). I want to know what it feels like to break the limits that we seem determined to set for ourselves, and I want to know what the hell it feels like to wake up in the morning and see six perfectly defined little squares on my abdomen (yeah… the last one might be a stretch but a girl can dream!).

So here I go. Starting a journey I can only imagine will serve to build me into the athlete I always hoped I could be, the girl with the determination and drive to achieve the so called “impossible”, and finally to be able to be that person… “I do CrossFit. Wanna hear about it?”

* Thank you to all UWS athletes for the inspiration. Particularly those in teams: 360Rage and Greased Lightning.

Written by newbie CrossFit 360Vida Member, Chantelle Holthuis

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