Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why CrossFit Doesn't Suck, But Your Attitude Does

 Lately, it seems that every time I log onto Facebook, someone is posting something negative about CrossFit. 
Clearly, it's your Facebook, and you're welcome to do with it whatever you like. However, two of my pet peeves are being rubbed together here: 
1. People bashing on things that are not harming them personally in any way shape or form
2. People posting things without actually doing research on the topic, or educating themselves about it, or actually trying it (even trying it once doesn't count as trying it. Sorry).

So, I (like many others, I'm sure) am writing about something I know very well. I know because I've done research on it, and I've participated in it for a year and a half. 

Let me tell you about one of the greatest feelings in the world. But first, let's look at an awesome photo, shall we?

 This photo encapsulates CrossFit. See how there's one competitor left? They are all competing against each other, but when one finishes, they start cheering others on. I have never seen this happen in any other competitive atmosphere. You will NEVER hear anyone in all of CrossFit boo someone. Or threaten someone. Everyone here appreciates their rivals. Everyone respects each other. This camaraderie isn't only at the professional level.

So let's discuss one of the best feelings there is. I'm in the middle of my WOD (workout of the day) at my CrossFit gym. I'm in the middle, but a few of our box's champs have already finished (I'm not as fast as them, but that's okay. I'm only competing against myself).
It's grueling. There's a bead of sweat working its way down my eyebrow and I'm trying to jump rope and tilt my face the right way so the sweat doesn't drip into my eye. That shit sucks. My calves are locked up. I didn't think it was possible to do this many jump rope skips in this little time. Four letter words are dancing on my tongue but I keep my jaw clenched and keep working. It's miserable but also enlightening, because every time I come in to work out, I push myself farther than I thought I could.

This is an interesting thing about the mind. If you can keep going long enough to break through the "I can't do this it's too hard stop" thoughts, you eventually reach a feeling of "it's almost over, you've got this, keep going keep going keep going!"
One of my friends (everyone is friendly at CrossFit) who has already finished starts cheering for me. It doesn't matter that they are done, and exhausted, and fatigued. They are encouraging me to do my best. I'm still working out and she gives me shouts of genuine encouragement as I finish. And as always, I do.
I slump to the floor. People who are capable of walking come by and bump fists with me and give me high fives. When I can stand again, I'll return the favor.

When I first started working out like this, I'd lay there for minutes- reclaiming my breath and trying to extinguish the fire from my lungs. Now, I only need about ten seconds before I can peel myself off the floor. I've become fit in ways I never thought possible. Capable of doing things with my body I had never dreamt of.
Before CrossFit I never had a single defined muscle in my body. Now it is starting to look like someone has taken a carving knife to parts of my body. I actually have triceps. My back (which used to just be one piece of flesh) is a piece of art. I have muscles in there that I can see that before CrossFit I never even knew existed! I have traps. My thighs can support holding up more than my body weight. I'm part of a community that beats down typical (and often detrimental) female body ideals. It's not enough to be thin. To be skinny. Skipping meals is not envied and the thigh gap that so many women vie for is non existent. The women here are sculpted. They are beautiful. They are healthy. And they are strong. No one gives a shit how much someone weighs. We care about how much you can lift.

To CrossFit women, this is sexy. And it takes eating. And working hard. And lifting heavy.

We are strong people. Emotionally strong. Physically strong. Strong enough to know we can always get stronger and always improve.

Anyone can do CrossFit. I speak from experience. I was NEVER athletic before CrossFit. Before CrossFit, I would legitimately think that running up the stairs a few times during the day counted as "light exercise." However, just because CrossFit can be for anyone, doesn't mean that everyone has to choose this lifestyle! If you think CrossFit is dangerous, or overrated, or silly or whatever, then go about your normal business. For people who do CrossFit, it's not any of these things.

If this life is not for you, we don't care. Go find joy however it is you find joy. Go run. Go work out. Or don't work out. Eat paleo. Eat junk food. Eat vegan. None of us are here judging you.

None of us are judging you because we're all too busy cheering each other on as we do what we love.

So before you start hating on CrossFit, maybe just go find someone to go cheer for.


  1. What an amazing post!! I am pinning, and tweeting... I want so many to see this!