I have now completed two gymnastics series with CrossFit Tri-Cities’ gymnastics guru, Coach Shaun. The first series was a muscle up series and the second was focusing on levers (back, front, and side). One of the reasons I fell instantly in love with CrossFit and weightlifting was the instant gratification of hitting a PR. Gymnastics, however, is a completely different story! There aren’t (usually) weights or times to keep track of progress. In fact, I have gone through weeks of progressions without feeling any real source of accomplishment. I have often described this lack of PR hitting as, “soul crushing”. After sitting down and chatting with a coach I realized there were two issues. It was not that I wasn’t progressing, I was just overlooking it. This is when I shifted my mind set and in return, found the love for gymnastics. In gymnastics, your PR’s are not as clear cut as adding 5 pounds to the barbell, it is more like… “hey, that wasn’t as difficult today.” One day progress might look like one extra pull up and others, it’s a centimeter further into the range of motion or hitting a new body angle that likely no one will be able to see… but you can definitely feel it! One day, it may even just be not feeling AS awkward during the incredibly uncomfortable movement. The second issue I was having in this journey of, “falling in love with gymnastics” was my willingness to put the effort in to actually see progress. As I had mentioned my love for weightlifting and CrossFit, in order to jump into gymnastics, I would need to step back from them. It was asked if I was willing to skip a day or two extra of CrossFit in order to get out of gymnastics what I wanted. At first, the answer was no. Why? No matter who you are, CHANGE is SCARY. I was in the routine of hitting a CrossFit class 5 days a week and was not willing to mix that up. Here was the problem: you get out of it what you put into it. If I wasn’t willing to adjust up my schedule and put real effort in, I obviously won’t see any real progress. It was not until I was asked about my goals. I realized that my gymnastic specific goals would transcend into my CrossFit and weightlifting goals. I wanted to lift more. Did you know that gymnastics will increase ligament strength and stability allowing you to add weight onto the dreaded overhead squat (and really any lift)? I wanted to be faster during WODs. Did you know I crushed a work out because I am now (thanks to gymnastics) able to string 15+ pull ups together with ease. My love for gymnastics was not a love at first sight story. More like, the more you get to know it, the more you have in common type. A learned love, if you will…think about drinking black coffee. The take away of the story is 1. Gymnastics is incredible and has helped me in other facets of my health and fitness. 2. Take time to think about your goals and what you are realistically willing to give and take. 3. Change is scary, but change is the catalyst for a better you.