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From skeptic to strong: My journey at CrossFit Sunnyside

Participants at a workout at CrossFit Sunnyside (Photo: Max Murray)

March 8, 2024 By Max Murray

At 23 years old, maintaining an active lifestyle had always been my norm. 

However, after starting my career, I found myself prioritizing work over workouts. Despite sporadic basketball games and uninspiring gym sessions, I couldn’t find the right fit until I stumbled upon CrossFit.

When I was offered the opportunity to join CrossFit Sunnyside | Sunnyside Strong, I was curious, but skeptical. I always cast it aside as something only for really buff, really strong people. But I knew I wanted to feel better about my exercise routine and was craving a new experience.

But on Day One, I soon realized that this was not what I expected. As part of my introduction to the program, I was probed into my aspirations, my athletic history, and my diet. The instructor laid out a roadmap for my CrossFit journey, starting with an in-depth analysis of my body using an Inbody machine, which provided insights into my body composition and set the stage for my fitness goals.

The instructors explained that CrossFit workouts are developed through a proven, tested workout method of varied functional movements at high-intensity, and that each exercise is scaled to reflect individual capabilities – meaning that it really is accessible to anyone and everyone.

Max Murray at CrossFit Sunnyside

But before diving into the workouts, there were five pre-requisite sessions designed to fine-tune my form and establish baseline assessments. The specific emphasis on technique and individualized attention reassured me that although I was just a beginner, I was in capable hands.

Session one truly set the tone. From the daily warm-up routine to navigating machines and dumbbells, every moment was a learning experience. I fumbled through unfamiliar equipment, but with patient guidance, I found my rhythm. 

Moving through the tiers of exercises, from air squats to push-ups and kettlebell swings, each movement was analyzed and refined. My coach stood by, offering corrections and encouragement, ensuring that my technique was solid before progressing to the next exercise group.

The assessments were often difficult, but they provided a benchmark for improvement. With the training sessions under my belt, I’m only now starting the group sessions and I can’t wait to see where I end up – I already feel like I’m getting stronger, but maybe that’s just the excitement and adrenaline.

As someone with a busy schedule and a strong desire to stay fit, CrossFit provides the structure and the intensity that I need. But it’s also so much more than that. 

It’s clear that CrossFit Sunnyside has fostered an incredible community, full of people looking to have fun and achieve their goals. Through firmly grounding its presence in western Queens and with long-standing members, CrossFit Sunnyside is a local staple.

Stay tuned for more during my journey at CrossFit Sunnyside | Sunnyside Strong.

CrossFit exercise session (Photo: Max Murray)

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