What I Learned From CrossFit

By John Bauerle

John Bauerle works out with us during the summer.
Currently he his back for Christmas Break.
I’d like to share with you his thoughts that he wrote to me regarding our training program here.
I have done this with his permission and no edits.
These are his thoughts verbatim.
Enjoy. -Coach.

What I learned from crossfit

I’ll start with a bit of background information first. I began crossfit the spring of 2012 back home in Athens, GA where I attended about 2 weeks of workouts before going to Hilton Head for the first time in my life. There aren’t many things that I would go back and change if I could, but not keeping up with crossfit when I came to the island for the first time is one of them. Crossfit caught me at an odd state in my life dealing with major changes on the family end and also being out of school for a semester looking for where to transfer to. Fast-forward to Christmas break of the same year was when my friend Sara Manesiotis recommended CrossfitHHI to me. Thankfully I decided to check it out and see what all the hype was about. I was stunned. It was completely different from my first box, where I was among 3 other athletes at my workout time. This time it was like a little society all working towards one goal: improving our fitness and being the best that we can be each day. I was hooked. The rest is history.

Current day I am at the Western Kentucky University playing tennis and between classes, practice, and team workouts, I do my best to sneak in a few WODs each week just to keep me in shape for when I return to HHI. I constantly look at articles about crossfit and fitness to ease my boredom during the day. A lot of the time the only thing I can think about is what my vampire squad is doing and how hard they are pushing themselves while I am still in bed (fell back into the college schedule unfortunately). I like to wonder what kind of jokes good ole Morgan Base brought to ease the morning blues. It wasn’t till the other day when I read an article online about some of the things that you will encounter when you begin crossfit, and I began to think of what it has taught me about fitness, myself, and life in general.

When I began crossfit I thought I was a pretty decent athlete. Coming of my first year as a D1 tennis player from Mercer University I thought, “hey, I can hang with some old dudes in the gym no sweat”. Holy s*** was I wrong. Lesson 1: Old dudes will literally leave me in their dust and I will be ashamed to have underestimated them. My initial fitness was the first time I had done a rowing machine and I thought I was going to vomit just after a 5 min row. That was just part one of three. That was also when I weighed close to 210lbs and thought I was in decent shape. As I sit here typing I am 173lbs, in the best shape of my life, and still am not satisfied.

Starting crossfit was not only a new hobby of mine, but a new lifestyle. I heavily cut down on drinking, my diet has changed, and I am hungry each day that I am away to get better and be my best for when I return. The self-value and life aspect go somewhat hand in hand where as I learned that just like pushing through that last set of 20 burpees, sometimes you have to push through the hell in life as well. Good things come to those who persevere. There are plenty of times I have wanted to quit a WOD or not do the Rx. Take any hero WOD or in my most recent memory, the bear WOD. Sure you can bring the weight down a bit but how do you feel when you’re done? I specifically remember one day not feeling so hot but went in anyway and kept a lot more than I should have off the barbell. I finished first and looked around only to see my fellow athletes working their tails off and then there’s me taking the easy way out. What good was cheating myself while everyone else was giving all they had till the last rep? I swore I’d never let myself go down that path again.

You look around and see others struggling but pushing themselves at the same time to reach the same goal you are after. It truly is magical. There is just something about it that I cannot put into words (I am a business major, not a creative writer). Crossfit really does break you down mentally to the point where you can’t even stand up or want to cry, but at the same time it allows you to look back and look how mentally strong you are at the same time. You just wiped the floor with Fran or Murph, and are thinking to yourself “wow did I just do that”? Yes, in fact you did. It leaves you in a mental state thinking that you can take on whatever nasty WOD Craig may have in store for you that day.

I know everyone has their own story that they can share about crossfit as well. I am sure everyone has their own unique background with some impact crossfit has had upon them. All I know is that since I started, I have never once looked back on my decision. It has changed my life for the better. I hope you guys can all say the same as well. I am thankful for our coaches because they really do so much for us that we don’t really get to realize until we take a step back and look at the big picture. It really is the little things that Craig, Aaron, Jeff, Jake, Jenna, Christy, and our coaches anywhere do everyday for us that make an impact. I am thankful for this special group and make sure you let them know you are too if you feel the same. I could honestly write a few pages on everything else the guys have taught and done for me but I’d like to keep it as short as possible. See you guys soon.


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