Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years you have probably heard of CrossFit and you probably think you know exactly what it is. “Bros, girls in spandex, people throwing weights all over the gym, people laying around on the ground after their workout, a cult, etc.” It’s cool.. I’m not mad about it… I thought all of those things too before I went to my first Crossfit class. I was actually one of the worst offenders for ragging on something that I thought I knew so much about but really had no idea.
So what is CrossFit really?
CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. These are the core movements of life. They move the largest loads the longest distances, so they are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time.
Okay so that’s the “definition” of CrossFit. What about that sounds bad? Functional, core movements that are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time – sign me up for that! Why wouldn’t you want to do the max amount of work in the shortest time frame.. um hi, it just makes sense!
So enough about the definition of Crossfit – I titled this post “Why I Crossfit” not “What is CrossFit?” I trust you know how to use Google, heck I’ll even link it here for you.
Now you’re probably thinking.. how did you get from being a hater to being a CrossFit athlete? Surely you didn’t just go to CrossFit.com and read the quote above and say “wow, I was so wrong, sign me up!” Well no. My sister and her now hubby started Crossfit when they were in college at Ohio State.. this was the time I was a hater. It wasn’t until they moved to Charlotte and I went to visit that they forced me to go to a class at their gym. It happened to be a hero WOD on Labor Day weekend and I think the entire thing took me nearly an hour. I wanted to stop and cry so many times but I kept going because all these random strangers who I had never met were cheering me on! The workout had 5 rounds and one of the movements was a 400m run – it was a 200m out and back, and every time I passed by someone (even though they were also dying and out of breath) waved, smiled, yelled “good job”, “almost there”, “you’re doing great” or a random encouragement. Have you ever been to another gym or fitness class where people are cheering you on while they are performing their own workout or when they finish they stick around to encourage you? Yeah.. me neither.
I don’t think I could move for 2 days, but when I flew home to Cincinnati I called up a CrossFit gym and signed myself up. So again why do I do CrossFit? The number one reason has to be the COMMUNITY. And this is where people call it a cult, but when you go through tough workouts that break you down every single day with the same people they do become some of your closest friends. The best way I can think to describe it is that it’s like a sports team for adults. I was a swimmer growing up – an individual sport – but you show up everyday with the same people and do the same work. You cheer for each other, push each other, and compete with each other. It’s literally just like that.
I have made some of my very best friends from CrossFit. Nick and I met at our CrossFit gym in Cincinnati and we have made some of our best friends through that gym. When we moved to Houston one of the first priorities we had was to find a gym so we could make friends! We are so lucky to have found an amazing gym – not only with fantastic coaches but also amazing people who have become our friends. We would be so lost in this city without CrossFit!
Another reason I CrossFit is because it makes me better and is so humbling. No one walks into a CrossFit gym and says “oh this workout will be easy” and if you do then you’re not pushing yourself. Every day you are getting better and stronger. Just a few weeks ago I did my first pull-up of my LIFE – I don’t think everyone realizes this but I swam competitively for YEARS. We weight trained 3x per week on top of double swim practices and I NEVER was strong enough to do a pull-up! And this year during my THIRD CrossFit Open, I did pull-ups in TWO workouts for the first time ever! Literally tears. I am so proud of myself. And so thankful for my friends and coaches that push me to be better everyday. CrossFit teaches you a lot about yourself and your weaknesses – aka I am not very confident in my strength and need people to push me which is what I get from CrossFit.
If you haven’t tried CrossFit I challenge you to give it a try.. you might just end up drinking the kool-aid.