Athlete of the Week: Cheryl Perhai!

Many moons ago, my sister wanted us to join Friction after our Groupon with them had expired.
As someone who’s never maintained a healthy habit for too long, hopped from one fad diet to the next, the idea of a long-term commitment sounded icky.
But I decided to give it a go.
My progress with Friction has been quite the process.
I originally started with the limited membership, which was hard for me to maintain.
It was a chore and I was not consistent.
I’d show up for a class here, skip a week or month there.
Drag myself to class again, then intentionally disappear again.
Cherry picked the WODs.
Walked into every class sick to my stomach being so nervous for the WOD.
I was a member but I wasn’t being committed to myself.
Three Years Later:
Fast forward three years and I just recently upgraded to the unlimited membership.
I had to crawl thru several mental blocks to finally be invested on this level.
There was a lot of “stinkin thinkin” that set me back from reaching goals & it took the fun out of coming to class. Thoughts of “I don’t belong here”, “I should have this by now”, “I’m not cut for this”, “I’ve been here the longest yet perform like it’s my first day” etc.
My mind was fixated on the myth that progress is this upward straight line.
But I’m learning regression happens with progression and it’s part of the territory. When I shifted my WOD anxiety from “I’m not ready” to “I’m as ready as I’m going to be” while remembering why I CrossFit (to become the strongest, healthiest version of myself), it became fun again.
Mental and Physical:
CrossFit has become more of a mental journey vs physical for me.
I have to constantly reframe the negatives and focus on the positives.
The phrase “I’ve been doing this for months/years” can have two completely different meanings depending the angle I look at it. It could be said with frustration and end at that. Or it could be said with compassion and extending it to thinking there’s still so many more goals to reach and I’m just getting started on this journey!
Being surrounded by an abundance of inspiring, supporting, motivating coaches & fellow athletes at Friction has helped me stay on the path of accountability as well.
Coming from a kid who always “forgot” their gym shoes to avoid gym class, or who didn’t voluntarily join soccer/softball only to pray every game that it’d downpour rain so it’d get cancelled, to end up willingly coming to the box almost daily…
the sky’s the limit for me 🙂
Author: Athlete, Cheryl Perhai
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“A little over a mile into the race was one of the first more difficult obstacles we had to finish and I remember climbing over it and saying, Thank goodness we do CrossFit!-Athlete, Lindsey Swarthout