Sami has been working out with our remote coaching tool a few years now. Here's his story.
“I have never liked any sports. I have deeply disliked any kind of physical training since I have memory. Not even as a child or teenager did I enjoy any ball game (almost unheard of in my country, Argentina) --. Around my 17th birthday; however, I did understand that a certain level of physical activity was necessary to stay healthy
Hello there! I'm Sami.
I'm writing to tell you about my (unexpectedly) fulfilling and rewarding experience with CrossFit Sörnäinen.
Firstly, let me start with an honest statement, I have never liked any sports. I have deeply disliked any kind of physical training since I have memory. Not even as a child or teenager did I enjoy any ball game (almost unheard of in my country, Argentina) or exercise-related issue. Around my 17th birthday; however, I did understand that a certain level of physical activity was necessary to stay healthy, so I started working out in a local gym (seldom and inconsistently, of course). Every time I went, I truly felt uncomfortable and irritated. So, you see, any couch who tried to cheer me up or improve my experience would quickly realise how useless their efforts were. Some people find pleasure in the social aspect of the exercise, working out in a group or sharing the gym time with a friend; well, for me that was completely the opposite.
When I turned 25, I moved to Finland and I was still convinced that some muscular work was physiologically essential but mentally a burden. So I started working out in the university gym (again, seldom and inconsistently, of course). As I had zero ideas about what exercises to do, one day I dare to ask Miska to program for me. He did that for more than a year and a half. The whole first year, I can promise you that I hated every second at the gym (he can confirm how negative my attitude was); However, the workouts themselves were awesome, I could not find a flaw or an exercise that I would want to skip. So, my mental reaction against the gym was still there, strong as usual, but I did see changes in my body quite fast and I got some encouragement to train more often. It was the first time that I noticed that a workout was actually, well... working!.
After that first year, I (surprisingly) started liking the workouts and the time at the gym. It was not (and it is still not) my favourite activity, but I can enjoy it and appreciate the fulfilment of a well-done workout. I even ventured to try some group workouts and boot camps at CrossFit Sörnäinen and they were not bad at all. I'm being unfaithful to my continued gym-hating feelings by saying this, but I did like them! On the body level, the changes were undeniable, not that I became an underwear model, but my body was in really good shape for the first time and other people could also notice it, I was not delusional after all.
A the beginning of 2020, I was totally in workout streak, I was not missing any and I felt that it was going to be my year. Of course, myself going against my true nature did not please the Seven Gods, and the COVID plague was unleashed. When my university gym closed, I knew it was a signal for me to quit, and I was decided to come back to the good old days of laziness. "Yes", I thought, "let's stay in, do home office and watch NetFlix". A month ago (11.03.2020), the home-workouts started, I was getting crazy because of the social distancing and the life between 4 walls, so I gave them a try, just to prove that napping was better. Oh boy, how wrong I was. Since that day, I did every home workout, and I mean EVERY. I did not miss a single one since they started. I quickly discovered that this one hour a day was essential to keep my mental health. All this social distancing issue was really affecting myself, but with the routine that the workouts created in my daily life, I can be much more productive, positive and healthier. Being 24 hours at home is not a minor thing, and we have to use this kind of tools to keep up.
You may be wondering what was my experience working out every day for a whole month. Well, apart from feeling physically and mentally better, let me tell you two stories. First, you should know that I hate running more than any other thing, the last time I run I was in high school, it was compulsory and I did no more than 1km. In one of the home workouts, we had to run 2miles (3,6km), so I said "that's it, good-bye" but my flatmate and I cheered each other up and we did it. Then, I told Miska my time score and ask "this is not even white in the Level Method, is it?" and he told, "it is actually very close to blue". I was astonished. My second story, even more surprising, happened yesterday (08.04) when I went back to my office. One of my colleagues, who I have not seen for a month, stopped to see me and said: "Hei, you got butt implants?!". I blushed a bit, and explain to her that the reason was a sustained workout streak at home (next time I should report the harassment I think).
Well, that is my testimony, I think I do not have anything else to tell. If you are wondering "should I start a membership at CrossFit Sörnäinen?" my answer is "are you ready to fight against your own prejudices and start finding joy in body training? Then do join the Box". If you feel that this quarantine is affecting you and that your productivity and your vitality are down, then do not hesitate and structure your day following the home-workout routine (or go tho the Box, which is still open). I can guarantee that if you follow them for one week, you will notice the difference not only in your body but also in your mood. If this worked for me (an extreme case of gym negationism), it will surely work for you.
Best of lucks, stay home, stay healthy and work out!
Sami Jalil MSc, PhD Student Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine University of Helsinki
You can reach Sami on his Facebook profile or by email to sjalil93 [at] gmail.com - he has kindly agreed to answer any questions you may have.