6 In crossfit

My PE teacher sucked! Here’s why.

I originally posted this on my old blog in September last year after I had just started CrossFit. I’m planning on bringing all fitness related posts over from that other blog of mine and the day I describe below was a very good day so it’s the first post I’m reposting 🙂

When I got to CrossFit bright and early at 7am this morning, there was a row of ropes hanging from the ceiling. I laughed and thought “Oh this is going to be a waste of time, I can’t climb a rope to save my life!”

Before I go any further, let me rewind 30 something years back to then Soviet Estonia – there were about 25 kids in my class from grade 4 onwards and I remember clearly that in PE only one girl was able to climb the rope. That girl was not me.

Whereas I was not at the other end of the spectrum either with the chubby one and with the super skinny one with no muscle at all (both of whom the teacher just ignored), I was one in the crowd of all the others who were not blatantly ignored i.e. we were actually made to try, but we were never encouraged or praised.

So everyone but that one rope-climbing freak of nature just huffed and puffed unsuccessfully at those ropes on and off for weeks over several years while being yelled at by the teacher to try harder, YOU ARE NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH!!!.

By the time we reached high school we no longer tried. “I cannot climb a rope and you cannot make me!” was the attitude all around.

You know where this is going, don’t you? 😉

Well, I saw the ropes today and immediately said something along the lines of “I can’t” out loud. The trainer heard me and said that he’ll make me do burpees if he hears me saying that word again so shut my mouth (because burpees KILL you).

After half an hour of other kinds of fun muscle wrenching exercises, it was time for the ropes. One movement at a time and it all sort of started to come together. Once we had to put all the movements together I did fail on the first go but then I FIGURED IT OUT AND UP AND UP AND UP I WENT!!!

Motherfreaking feeling of “OMG my PE teacher sucked so much, I am not a looser after all!”

After the class was finished and my arms were shaking from too many push-ups and my left ankle sported a beautiful rope burn, I quickly exited the gym and walked to work crying… from the sheer emotion of the curse that had just been broken.

If I of all people can climb a rope, I can do anything. Absolutely anything.

(except public speaking 🙂

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  • Reply
    March 29, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Ha, omg I know this exactly.

    Rewind back to Soviet Estonia as well and I was that skinny girl in class the teacher basically ignored. I was told I had no upper body strength, I couldn’t run and would never be able to you name it.

    My teacher actually told me to walk the cooper test and just passed me with a three all through middle school and high school. I really started believing I wasn’t athletic at all!

    And then as an adult I got interested in running and did it the right way – starting slow. I used c25k.

    Now I’m training for my first marathon. And last winter, while injured, I finally learned to swim well (with actual technique taught by a trainer) which also something I was supposed to be *incapable* of. -.-

    • Reply
      March 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      It’s so tragic how most of us were put off sport when children instead of encouraged to try our best and enjoy it even if we were never going to be olympics material. Swimming is something I definitely cannot do properly but maybe one day 🙂

  • Reply
    Lesley Boniface (
    March 28, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I think your experiences mirror most peoples – I hated PE/Games as a child, was never any good at anything until I found hockey and was then encouraged by the teacher (who just so happened to be a keen player) and she introduced me to my local club where I played for a couple of seasons! Amazing how those childhood experiences shape our lives!

    • Reply
      March 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Looking at my own kids’ experience with sports at school at the moment I can say that things have improved a lot and even those who are not ‘talented’ at sports learn to love it because it’s made fun for them.

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