I’ve been called lots of names…

            I’ve gone by many names in my lifetime—Brock, Brocolli, Brocker. Recently, I began answering to a new title. I packed a bag with a change of clothes and shipped out to Ft. Benning, GA for Army basic training. From May to late August I wasn’t ever called Broccoli—just “Private Crystal.”

I’ve been alone halfway across the globe, but I was still scared out of my wits in a worn out brick building in Georgia. I was new and there were a lot of mean-looking men yelling instructions. It seemed like I couldn’t get anything right for thirteen of the fourteen weeks of training.

It was difficult to say the least, but I never forgot what our commander told me on day one. He said to roughly 200 of us, “men, if I could give you only one piece of advice for your training, it would be this: never quit,” so I didn’t. Fourteen weeks later, I stood on a freshly groomed parade field to graduate with honors as my mother cried fervently with joy. I too felt that joy.

My experience was intentionally exaggerated, but the concept is the same: Being new can be challenging, confusing, and even scary. Every group has a culture, and every culture has norms—generally accepted behaviors and patterns. Getting to know those norms is most often a trail and error process. We make mistakes along the way. We learn from our mistakes. We grow.

If you’re new to CrossFit, to Worthy, or to a specific program, I encourage you to keep coming to workouts. Don’t give up. You might be scared at first, nervous, or feel like you’re doing it wrong. That’s normal—give it time. One day you’ll realize you’re a part of the group and have been from the moment you stepped through the door, and you’ll feel the joy.

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