Pom in Oz with Derek Goforth: My love-hate relationship with CrossFit reignited on new fitness journey

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
Competitors in action at a Karratha CrossFit competition Dual Carnage.
Camera IconCompetitors in action at a Karratha CrossFit competition Dual Carnage. Credit: Brooke Turner/RegionalHUB

Following on from my “getting back on the fitness wagon” piece last week, I’m here to tell you I have returned to my former passion — CrossFit.

To say I have a love-hate relationship with this sport is an understatement. This past week — after a year off — was a stark reminder of why.

I will start with the hates — there are not many, but they are there. It hurts — a lot. That’s not to say it hurts because I am doing something wrong, far from it — it’s because I am finally doing something right. No more crappy movement, no more half squats, gone are the skipping muscle groups I find too hard to train. The coaches at CrossFit Geraldton don’t put up with poor form. They correct and correct until you improve.

The thing is when you train by yourself you can go at your pace, but when you are under the watchful eye of a coach, who doesn’t take nonsense, there is nowhere to hide, no excuses, no slowing down and no option but to push yourself. Because the coach and the rest of the class is watching.

I am sore, but it’s a different pain. It’s called CrossFit soreness. It stays with you. One day it’s your quads, the next your arms, then maybe your back.

And why do I love this sport, you may be asking.

There is no substitute for a good coach. Paul Barrett at Geraldton Boxing Centre and Coach ‘D’ from CrossFit Geraldton have made that a rock solid fact for me. Yes it’s cheaper to train by yourself and you can arrange to do it as you please. But you can’t mimic good coaching — no YouTube video has ever done that.

There is no better feeling than doing a movement you struggle with, looking over to your coach and seeing her do a small nod of acknowledgement. The only feeling that matched that for me was looking over and seeing my wife train next to me — seeing her do it and giving her my own nod.

Then there’s the class, the team, the mob. Whatever you want to call it. It’s what keeps me and a lot of others coming back over and over. The high fives, the “you got it Derek”, “keep going mate” — it’s those small things that make you want to push forward.

Seeing people grow and achieve creates a special bond — watching someone’s first pull up, their first toes to bar, getting to join them in a comp in Perth.

So, yes, getting back on the wagon is hard, but is it worth it? Of course. I may be sore today and tomorrow, but I know in a year, five years and 10 years I will thank the Derek of today for doing it. I will thank my coaches, my wife and my CrossFit mates for giving me the new lease on life.

Derek Goforth is a teacher at Geraldton Christian College

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