Learning About CrossFit

So in my last post, I said I would share WHY I was just dead on scared about starting CrossFit.

I shall start that with my most used word when dealing with “Pole talk”: perception.

Similar to what most people associate Pole Dancing with when they only HEAR about it rather than experiencing it and then making their own judgement, I would say I had my extreme perceptions about CrossFit.  Having been surrounded by Fitness Professionals who specialize in corrective movement, injury prevention, rehab to the other extreme where they specialize in sports drills, olympic lifting and body building, you are guaranteed endless debates on whether CrossFit is doing the industry good or bad.  Being an educator, you will also get lots of people asking you what YOU think of CrossFit, which I could never answer to be frank.  Having been told about the many arguable points on the techniques chosen, training programs and overall display of unacceptable coaching methods supported by loads of “FAIL” videos of claimed CrossFitters lifting with horrible form, while the speakers drown with the coaches’ encouraging continuation, you tend to go with what’s easier to believe – “yeah, what they said”

It wasn’t until my  brother Andrew started expressing interest in CrossFit, soon after one of my best friends John who actually started (despite having waited on me for DECADES to do On Ramp), that I started to be more interested in learning about it myself.  Andrew got strong QUICK.  Don’t get me wrong, Andrew had always had strength and agility for weight lifting and martial arts but he was weak in endurance and stamina.  For him to work through those WODs and not pass out, it is MAJOR (sorry bro, big sister talk, I’m still proud of you 🙂 ) As for John, he was already in great shape (lean) with his experiments of eating habits but his CrossFit training transformed his physique.  Not to mention the joyful smirk I hear often – “Can have bacon mah!” without a string of guilt.  Okay, so I was half sold and made a conscious plan to start with the Intro Course (mandatory) at Pushmore , the first CrossFit affiliate in Malaysia.  Of course, timing is everything right, I was always teaching pole and aerial classes and clashed with Pushmore’s schedule.  However, I didn’t feel too bad…because the WODs were just straight up beastly, intimidating and posed to crush my confidence…and I had the excuse not to start.

Muscle ups, Cleans, Snatches… they never sounded foreign to me, just sounded improbable.  Like jerking, I failed at that technique in my CKT Level 1 back in 2009.  I guess ever since, I never had the motivation to try again.  So where did the interest start? A simple workout with a buddy who does a lot of power workouts on the track and in the gym, he also coaches a basketball team representing Taiwan.  He wanted to teach me how to do hang cleans, I said Why Not.  It was great learning something new, it was exciting to the body.  Sure enough though, I didn’t practice until summer of 2012, that’s what happens when you don’t hold yourself accountable for your workouts.  Zendo helped me whenever we worked out together on getting my cleans more efficient than before, while getting me to do 30seconds wide pull up eccentric load.

Then this thing called “Life” happened.

Long story short, injuries and stress were huge factors in my lack of training, which stressed me out even more.

YUP, I am one of those who gets frustrated when I DON’T train.

After hopping around different gyms and trying to score a good deal on them, I  still didn’t see value for money and became less motivated without a routine though still ever so frustrated.  One day, I said to myself – “I need an ass kicking”

(NO you can’t just come here and literally kick my ass!)

I knew I needed to be held accountable for my training and my eating, and I needed someone to kick my ass in the gym.

It was time to throw out the fear and forget the horror CrossFit stories.

I will only know what it really is if I am there, in a box, doin’ it.




Did my first CrossFit session on 1st of July at Coastal Fitness (CFPT) in North Point, Hong Kong.

The coaches were NOTHING like those horror stories and videos. In fact, they are a pretty darn impressive bunch!

On my 12th session yesterday, I squat cleaned my bodyweight…the only goal I had…EVER… in lifting.


the desire to jump and prance around like a total idiot…(like when I first nailed the Phoenix on Pole)…

was strong…


Heard that CrossFit can be quite addictive? I now believe so…just like Pole…and maybe running..?…  Well, most sports and activities can be addictive…though not every sport will have a room full of passionate movers who are encouraging to newbies, feel you 100% and support you, cheer you on and celebrate when you get that last rep (or Pole Trick)

The lesson I am learning:

1) It sucks doing the WODs.  It sucked on my first week, it still sucks on my third week and it will probably keep sucking, just hope for the best and that it will suck less in time.

2) I know what I am atrocious in, and I know what I am improving in. If I forget, WODify ain’t gonna lie about how you did last session. Don’t cheat yourself!

3) This is more than just moving, and it only goes forward from here

Published by Emily Lola Tan

I've been told that I'm tiny but tough, so I must have gotten SOME things right. On the inside, I feel like a mushy marshmellow who's a hopeless romantic and find corny cute. Writing "About Me" sections had evolved in the past x years of online profiles, currently, it sits at me still hungry for enlightening experiences and insightful traveling, particularly with human connections. My story at full length on the "About" page :) Thank you for poking around!

One thought on “Learning About CrossFit

  1. Hey! I REALLY admire you and ALL the many activities you do. It takes commitment and organization to be able to manage with so many things! Those are two qualities I don’t quite excell at. Anyway, I went to my first Crossfit class. At 40 minutes I was really nauseated after finishing my burpees and I couldn’t keep going. I am in really bad shape right now, I haven’t really been active in over a year and a half. Ever since I quit gymnastics I haven’t been motivated to do anything else. So, I was wondering. Do you suggest getting in shape first and the going to Crossfit? Or keep going until I don’t suffer quite as much? Haha thank you so much if you actually read this whole ramble. You’re a big inspiration to a lot of people.

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