My New Normal: Life After CrossFit by Pat Garcia

Exactly a year ago, I had a totally different life. For 3 years, I have been a full time CrossFit coach and competitive athlete. That means I would train 5-6 times a week, and sometimes even twice a day when there were competitions coming up. I dedicated three whole years of my life full time for CrossFit. I did CrossFit for 6 years to be exact, but during the first three years, I was balancing CrossFit with College as a Sports Science student in UP Diliman.

My CrossFit Journey

Within those 6 years, I had big goals and dreams for CrossFit. At 19 years old, I started out in the Small RX division back in 2014 and I thought I had a chance to win that time, but I didn’t. There were a lot of things that I still needed to improve on. So after that competition, I told myself that one day, I would be as great as those RX girls - I would win and be great at CrossFit some day. I dreamt that one day, I would be able to get all of the gymnastics movements especially the Ring Muscle-Ups, which was the “kryptonite” of almost all the girls in this sport. I also dreamt that one day, I would be able to represent the Philippines in any international competition.

The problem however, was back in 2016. I applied and got accepted in a Medical school already, without even having to achieve anything yet in CrossFit. I had never won in any of the major competitions yet, I haven’t had the chance to compete internationally and I still didn’t even have any Ring Muscle-ups yet! As the competitive person that I was, I knew back then that I couldn’t just exit the sport without even maximizing my fullest potential. Hence, even though it would make my family very upset, I decided to defer my Med school application and pursue my long-time dreams.

It wasn’t easy at all. I got lost at some point and it took me so long to be able to do it but thank God, with the help of so many people along the way, I was able to do it. I was able to fulfill all of my goals and dreams for CrossFit. I was able to represent the country along with my team, Avant Garde, in the Asia CrossFit championships, and we even competed alongside some of the BEST CrossFit teams in the world. Not only did I get to see them but I actually got to be in the same competition WOD Floor as with my idols, Lauren Fisher, Rich Froning + other members of CF MAYHEM AND CF INVICTUS!!!

I was also able to win a Gold medal for my Age Group in Spartan race and eventually got the chance to compete and win 3rdplace at an international competition in Malaysia for that sport, Obstacle Course Racing. I was also able to win a Gold Medal in the Philippine National Games (PNG) for Olympic Weightlifting and of course, I finally got to showcase my Ring muscle-ups during my final competition in CrossFit!


From CrossFit to Med School

Because of all of those blessings, I have finally decided that it was finally time to retire, let it all go and pursue the career I had pushed back for a long time, which was to become a doctor. In order to focus on this goal though, I had to fully let go of my CrossFit life. So for a year now, a life without CrossFit is now my new life and my new normal. My routine now is that I go to school from 8am-5pm. If I still have energy, I workout sometimes after dismissal, rest for a while and then do an all-nighter until midnight or even past it and then repeat that routine for 5 days a week. I usually spend my whole weekend going home to our house (since I live in a condo near my school) and continue to study there. Because I am super busy studying all the time, I haven’t even gone to a single CrossFit competition for a year now even just to watch because I just had to study all the time. So far, I am actually enjoying this new chapter in my life. Masaya din naman pala kahit na hindi mag WOD araw-araw lol :)

However, even though I’m not active in CrossFit anymore, I still make it to a point to workout all the time even though my goals now are not competitive anymore. My goal now is simply just to be healthy for my future. So during my free times, I still workout on my own, in the gym near my school or even just simple workouts at our condo or at our home. I also joined the basketball and track and field teams in our school just so that I could still have a regular training somehow. That’s why this ECQ, I actually didn’t have a hard time adjusting anymore because not working out in a CrossFit gym has been my life ever since I exited the sport. But I’m glad though that with the help of PlayHard Fitness, I get to tweak my workouts and make it more challenging since I have the equipment to do it already.

Online classes in Med school continued for us this ECQ so working out was not really my priority at all but when I get to do it, I enjoy using these PlayHard equipment and it makes me miss CrossFit so much. I plan to go back though in having a regular training regimen here at home especially now that it is FINALLY my summer break already.

Forgive this long post and of mine but this was what I wrote here in this blog post because I know that this time is hard for everyone. CrossFit gyms are closed and we don’t even know when competitions will be coming back. But I shared my story here because I want to be able to inspire even just one person to not give up on his/her goals and dreams however long or however hard they may be. I hope that the fire that you have in you would still be there even though we are in an unusual situation. Don’t ever let anything or anyone stop you from achieving your goals and dreams because trust me, it will happen if you just commit yourself to it and if you just believe that you can do it.

And lastly, don’t be afraid to go at your own pace especially now that we are all stuck at home. It is okay if there would be days when you just don’t feel like working out. As long as at the end of the day, you know you still want to achieve something, taking breaks is fine once in a while. Not everyone has the same timeline of their progress. Heck, it even took me 6 LONG YEARS just to be able to pursue my dreams to the point that I had to push back some aspects of my life. In fact, as of writing, since I delayed my Med school application, my original batchmates are now on their way to graduate and get their MDs while I’m here crawling my way as an old first year Medical student. But that is totally okay because I knew I had to fulfill a long-time dream of mine first. I have no regrets at all anymore because I was finally able to achieve and fulfill all of my goals and dreams, and my “what ifs” for the sport that I love.

So to anyone who is reading this right now, I hope everything turns out well for you too. Always just work hard, believe in yourself, and don’t ever ever give up. Everything will be okay eventually :)