The CrossFit Experience
I think CrossFit gets a bad rap. If you've never tried CrossFit, you may think it's an extremely intense form of exercise that causes injuries, ripped abs, and extreme muscle soreness. All three of those things are true, but they should not be at the forefront of CrossFit. Your picture of CrossFit is represented by what you see on social media and maybe some footage of the CrossFit games. That depiction represents a very tiny percentage of CrossFit and its athletes. As a veteran CrossFitter who still can't do half of the prescribed movements, I can say I have never had a serious injury, I do not have ripped abs, but I am sore on a consistent basis. Injuries happen when the integrity of CrossFit is undermined. Unfortunately this tends to happen at gyms where the coaches don't care about their members, they only care about the bottom line. Next month will be my 6 year anniversary with CrossFit. Since it's been a large part of my life for the past 6 years, I thought it deserved a blog post.
Why did I start CrossFit? Well a good friend of mine (if you know, you know) decided to open a CrossFit box (fancy term for gym in the CrossFit world) a few miles from where I was living at the time. I was going to a regular gym (nothing against them, I understand they work for some), but I was bored from running on a treadmill and doing some amateur moves with free weights. I was not intimidated by CrossFit because I played competitive sports for a large part of my life. I was very excited for the new experience. I spent a couple hours at CrossFit MontCo on a Saturday and the rest is history. I have been doing CrossFit or some sort of functional fitness ever since.
My why for CrossFit is not to be able to do ring muscle ups or handstand walks, however trying those movement progressions are rather fun. My why is to be able to function well on a daily basis. I want to be able to run and jump with my daughter. I want to be able to pick her up without hesitation. CrossFit provides an extremely varied program that improves cardiovascular health, muscle strength and endurance, and improved flexibility/range of motion.
CrossFit also provides a great outlet for me that keeps my mental health in check. I often use it as an escape from my stay at home mom duties. I will not bore you on all the research about endorphins and exercise, but I know after a kick ass work out I am in a better head space than I was when I walked in the door.
The last thing and probably the best thing that CrossFit has to offer is a sense of community. Some of my greatest friendships have come from CrossFit. In a CrossFit box or at a competition the cheers are louder for the person who finishes last than for the person who finishes first. That is one theme you will see throughout all CrossFit communities. A lot of gyms have tried to mimic the CrossFit mentality, and some are very successful, while others seem to miss the mark.
We are all social beings and often show up to things for the experience. Find a gym that gives you an experience rather than a lonely run on a treadmill. I promise you will fall in love just like I did.