There have been a lot of new members in my gym recently which is great. After a workout we all took a cool down walk and a new member was talking about how she was so sore from a previous workout that she struggled to take off her clothes … well, I can honestly say that for the past nine months I don’t think that feeling has ever stopped. I have been sore every single day since starting this sport.
I love being sore now though. It is a constant reminder that I am working as hard as I can in each workout. A lot of people hate being sore because for the most part it does suck, but I try to remember that I put my body into this situation and pain for the physical and mental strength I am gaining each day. Yes, it might suck now, but when we are all 60 years old running and squatting like we did in our twenties we will not be complaining. I love being sore. I know that this is why people who do crossfit are crazy, but it’s a very comforting feeling after a while. It becomes something that you adapt to and it becomes normal. When you are first starting out its difficult because your body isn’t happy about using muscles differently, but again once you adapt to the changes your body stops yelling at you so loudly. Now I find myself concerned when I am not sore and I try to determine why I didn’t work hard enough to make myself sore.
I find that being sore is almost a game now. I really enjoy trying to figure out what workout made a specific muscle sore. Often workouts will overlap muscles and pretty soon you aren’t sure if your quads are sore from the billion air squats you did Monday or from the weighted lunges you did yesterday. I don’t think I have ever won this game but it is fun to find out and think about why I am walking or moving strange.
Thankfully though there are a few things that can help mitigate some of the pain. Foam rollers are a god send. These little foam pieces of magic help release muscle tightness. Breaking Muscle has a great article about how and why this is so effective and how to properly roll out. (They also have other amazing articles, but this one in particular applies.) I have also been doing some ROMWOD with my coaches to keep my body stretched. ROMWOD is yoga for crossfitters. a couple nights ago we spent a lot of time stretching the hips and the shoulders, it’s just a great way to move and stretch your muscles!
What I am trying to say is that crossfitter’s have changed their mindset on the pain of being sore. We embrace it and learn from it. It is a constant battle to get back into the gym when you are in serious pain, but we do it because we know we can and because we have learned to love this feeling. We push ourselves to our limit and then we find and use different techniques to heal and alleviate some of that pain. We are beasts who sometimes look funny when we walk or move our arms.
The most sore I have ever been was the week after my very first crossfit competition, I thought I would never walk again! Tell me your most painful days and how you try to get through the pain!