December 28 2013

Member’s Blog

by Paddy Compter








It’s been a year since I started up at Cross Fit Waitakere. I slipped in the side

door of the old box – staying close to the safety of the wall – and hoped nobody

would notice me. Fat chance. The unmistakable voice of Genice yelled across

the floor ‘haere mai’ and before I knew it we were into it. That initial trial seemed

quite hard work at the time and when it was finished I sat in my car and phoned

my husband.

“How was it?” he asked.

“Good”, I replied. “Apart from the fact I can’t hold the phone up to my ear without

my hand shaking.”

Of course, I was already hooked.

Background on me is that I love exercise, always have, always will. I have

played sports and been active all my life, especially with field hockey plus

running, swimming, tennis and rugby/touch rugby – whatever is going pretty

much. I am a better person for exercise. In fact, I’m rather grumpy if I haven’t

done anything physical for a few days. Ask my family.

So I went into this cross fit thing (which I knew zero about) feeling like I would be

able to cope reasonably well. How hard can it be? Um, really hard. Harder and

more challenging that anything I have done before with my body (with the

exception of giving birth to two children of course). So much to learn. So many

physical barriers to push through. So many preconceptions of what I can and

can’t do to break.

Hell, there is the vocabulary for starters. I now know that a dub is not a style of

music, clean is not something you do to your kitchen bench, strict is not

something you are with your kids, kip is not the Dutch word for chicken and

snatch or box are not words for your… you get what I’m saying.

Then there are the ‘humble pie’ lessons. Really wanting to be good at everything

NOW. Really wanting to be good at anything (the clean would be a case in

point) but not quite getting there. Realising that it all takes practice and all takes

work and all takes time. And being okay with that.

I celebrated the first time I lifted my body weight off the ground. Now I am

hoping to lift this over my head one day. I celebrated the first time I did a strict

pull up on the bar (unassisted). And then was brought back to planet earth when

it was pointed out to me my elbows were not even close to being straight at the

beginning of it. No rep. I have celebrated on behalf of other members and

training partners who done awesome things. And actually that is the best feeling

of all.

There have been surprises along the way – finding out what I can do well and

really like doing. Things it feels like my body was already made to do in some

way (coaches, you may have some opinions on this).

I like running, I love squats (any or all them), rope climbs are awesome, kipping

pull-ups and handstands are fun. You could probably add cleans, dubs and

kettlebells onto this list. And lifting heavy weights. I am still waiting for Kapua to

bring back her elastic so we can build a WOD around that – other 80’s kids will

know what I am talking about here.

But as Genice has reminded me – you like the things you are good at. So here is

what I am aiming to work on in 2014. Handstand push-ups – I really do suck at

these. The snatch, thrusters, push-ups, my mobility (always), pistol squats, dubs

and my clean. Also, I would like to get near those rings and not just look at

them. There is probably much more to go on this list but there are only so many

hours in the day. Always more to learn and always more challenges ahead.

During my first year at Cross Fit Waitakere I have celebrated some personal

sporting achievements outside of the box which I am really proud of. I

represented Auckland in Masters Hockey and then went on to get picked for the

NZ 35+ Masters Hockey Team. Representing NZ for the first time at the age of

37 years old was an amazing feeling. And I am lucky that my cross fit training

kept me fit, mobile and strong to get through a physically and mentally

challenging week of competition against Australia (we won by the way).

Then there were some disappointments and injuries and sickness. I was

concussed and twisted my knee (playing hockey) and then got some uber bug

over winter that knocked me sideways. I had to pull out of a beginners cross fit

comp because of this. Plus some other minor injuries over the year from sport,

life and cross fit. A lot of my training and gains seemed to just slip away over

these periods of recovery and rest and it was hard to get back into it.

But I have learnt that you can train at another (lighter) level or train around

injured body parts and not use it as an excuse to not to come in. Every time I

make it into the box I feel better after the hour spent there. Patience

grasshopper a wise man once said (patience is not my strong point).

There are two crucial elements that I haven’t really covered enough yet in this

blurb. The coaches and the members. There is this thing we do in our house if

we are all home for dinner at the same time. We each take a turn and talk about

what we are grateful for in our day.

So here goes, my list of gratitude:

I am very grateful to our coaches Genice, Kapua, K and Devon for their

guidance, expertise, good humour and energy they put into CFW. For creating

such an awesome and positive space where good things happen. I am grateful

to the support that is given to our families to be a part of it. I am grateful to feel

included and celebrated. I always look forward to coming into our box. As a fulltime

working mum and juggler of many things it feels like this time is for me. I

am grateful to have that in my life.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to give thanks and gratitude to the other

members of Cross Fit Waitakere for the last year. Some of you I have gotten to

know pretty well. Some of the new members I don’t know yet but look forward to

meeting. Going through physical pain and challenges together creates a special

bond that’s for sure. Hey, there is no hiding anything at 5:45am. At the least you

can count on someone to tell you when you have put your tights on inside out.

I have taken a huge amount of inspiration from others who train at the box.

Watched some people shrink and some people grow bigger. I have enjoyed the

camaraderie and laughs we have shared. I have benefited from the support and

advice that has been offered up, no strings attached. For all of this, I am


I especially want to give a big shout out to the some of the other strong and kickass

women who I have trained with at CFW – Cath, Gabz, Tanya, Maria, Jodi,

Liechelle, Amy, Maawhi, Nicole, Carlie, Ash, Mihi, Tiana, Glenna, Hazel, Briar,

Rach, Tania, Melissa, Claire – to name but a few (I am sure to have missed

someone here sorry).

Last but not least I want to give a shout out to my December Elements buddy

Phoenix who has been with me the whole year. Dec 2012 represent!

Happy holidays everyone!


  • cath — December 27, 2013

    Great post Paddy, very inspirational!

  • Mihi — December 27, 2013

    Awesome Paddy. Some things in there sounded like me writing this. Nice to know we are all together in this journey. Thanks again Paddy

  • Paddy — December 27, 2013

    Thanks ladies!

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