Let’s talk a little about this thing called CrossFit. Ask ten different CrossFit individuals, “What is CrossFit?” and more than likely, you will get ten completely different answers. However one thing is consistent, CrossFit makes people better. Even if the meaning of CrossFit varies from person to person, they still go to the box, put themselves through some grueling workouts, and what for? It’s the drive to get better in some way.
To me, CrossFit is so much more than just a workout. Getting stronger and looking good are just side effects of what CrossFit is really doing. CrossFit gives me the confidence to go through life knowing that I am not weak and helpless. Often times I see people surprise themselves when they complete a workout or achieve something they never thought they could ever do, realizing they are stronger than they thought. It’s that confidence that people get after a couple months of diligent crossfitting that makes this program truly amazing.
Then you have the CrossFit community aspect of it. Suffering through tough WODs at the box creates bonds and friendships based on the mere fact that you just endured through a brutal workout with others along side of you. The saying is true, “In CrossFit the last person gets the most cheers.” As a coach, it doesn’t matter how much weight you did, or if you did the workout Rx’d or scaled. What impresses me the most is seeing people put in the work and giving it their best effort no matter what the whiteboard says.
The last thing I want to share is my love for CrossFit’s pursuit for excellence in everything. CrossFit does not claim to have invented anything new, however, what they have done is taken the best athletes in all realms of fitness (running, weightlifting, kettlebells, gymnastics, mobility, etc.) and passed their training methods on to us as trainers to then teach you and others. CrossFit is constantly evolving and will only do what has been proven to make people fit. CrossFit trainers are fitness freaks if it is proven to make you fitter then we do it. The key word here is PROVEN. In CrossFit, we do movements that produce power. To produce the most power you need to move large loads over long distances in a short amount of time. I guess what I’m trying to say is we are doing what works to create a very fit generally physically prepared person. CROSSFIT DOES NOT SPECIALIZE. If your goal is to be the fastest marathon runner then CrossFit will not get you there, but CrossFit will make you good at running. CrossFit will not prepare you for a strongman/woman competition, but CrossFit will make you strong. For example, there is nothing wrong with being the fastest person to run 26 miles, but it comes at a cost. A running athlete more than likely will be unable to back squat their body weight. As for the strong man/woman competitor, there is nothing wrong with wanting to back squat 1000lbs, but make that athlete run 1 mile non-stop, it’s probably not going to be attainable for them. With that being said, CrossFit takes a combination of the sports, creating a well-rounded athlete, someone that can run a decent mile and still be able to back squat their body weight. In conclusion, CrossFit is empowering, giving you the ability to achieve and do things in your everyday life.
There are so many reasons why I believe CrossFit is the greatest fitness program to date. It is easy to focus on all of the great physical benefits of CrossFit but to me, the best part is the mental skills you develop. CrossFit puts you in situations that are mentally demanding on a daily basis. You can dig deep inside you and find a way through it or you can walk away and quit. It’s entirely up to you. I believe that this helps prepare you for events in your life outside of the gym. When you are in the middle of a horrible WOD and you feel like you are losing control of what is going on, the only thing you can control is your response. By responding and finding a way deep inside you to push through those dark spots, you develop confidence in situations where you feel like your back is up against the wall. Everyone can relate to the sense of pride they felt in themselves after they finished a grueling workout and came out alive. That feeling translates into other parts of your life. You can take comfort knowing that you have been in a tough situation and you were able to find your way out of it and ready for what’s next.
CrossFit is also a great teacher of self-discipline. When it is 4:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning and you are mentally exhausted from a tough week of work, it is a challenge to get up and get into the gym. Everything in your body is telling you to hit snooze, roll over and go back to sleep. With self- discipline you learn to ignore those voices in your head and get up and get your butt to the gym. Nobody is going to pick you up, get you dressed and drive you to the gym. If you want to make the positive changes in your life, then you need to get up and be accountable to yourself. Again this self-discipline translates into all other facets of your life.
The last part that really draws me to CrossFit is the confidence that it creates in people. As a coach, there is no better feeling on earth than seeing the look on someone’s face when they get their first toes-to-bar or when they hit a 10 pound PR on their back squat. You see this joy and shock on their face that they couldn’t believe that they could do that. It is so much fun to watch people grow and progress though the beginning stages of CrossFit when they begin to see all the cool stuff they can do that they didn’t think they would ever be able to do. You see this confidence grow within themselves and they want to try new things and push the limits of what they can do. Again I believe that the confidence you gain while you are at the gym translates to the rest of your life. What amazing thing in life do I want to try that I never thought I could do before? And that’s what I love about CrossFit.
CrossFit to me is a lifestyle. The word CrossFit has evolved and changed for me as the years have gone on. In the beginning of this journey, I found myself questioning everything, from my physical abilities to my mental thought process. I remember I kept asking myself, “How could I exceed at this?” I began to dig into what CrossFit was and began to apply the new knowledge I learned into my everyday life. The new discoveries I made were so mind blowing that I craved to learn more, and began to push myself to new limits. The results have been so rewarding, that I wanted to teach not only myself but also share this with others. A personal goal is to compete at an elite level in this sport, a dream that I am determined to make a reality come true in the near future. So what is CrossFit to me now? It’s a way of living, eating, carrying yourself in and out of the gym. It is not only a fitness program but for some, it’s something personal to call your own.