Why I love CrossFit.

It’s hard to talk about crossfit with someone who doesn’t crossfit…and I’m sure we’ve all been there. Now, imagine that you are a crossfit trainer/competitor (me) and your family doesn’t actually like that you do crossfit…sounds fun, right? right.

So I would even go as far to say that my family hates that I do crossfit. They may say this is an exaggeration but I don’t think it is. My mom hates that it’s a cult and I think she secretly dislikes the fact my muscles are fairly large and that I lift weights. My dad just hates that I lift weights at all because I had back surgery (I’ve talked about why lifting is important before) and he also would prefer that I have a runner’s body. My grandmother…well she just hates my traps. While this may be funny and somewhat absurd (it’s my life and my body, it doesn’t matter what they want me to look like) it’s frustrating because crossfit, like it or not, is a large part of my life. Eating well and working out are a struggle for many and people do it because they sort of have to if they want to ‘look good.’ I do this stuff because I love it and it’s not much of a struggle. I find it quite easy to eat paleo and to workout as much as I do. It’s just part of who I am. Not being able to share this passion with my family can be heart breaking. Mainly because many of the experiences I have had in the past few years have changed me as a person. I am lucky to be able to work with some amazing people who are both family and friends but I am beyond jealous of those whose parents come to watch them compete (my mom has come to some competitions…she usually leaves because she doesn’t like watching me lift heavy things) and whose parents actually workout with them, who congratulate them on PRs on their lifts rather than telling them not to lift heavy. I actually try NOT to talk about CF around my family or anyone who doesn’t CF for that matter.

I snatched 155# today. For me, that’s unbelievable. I have been wanting to snatch 150+ for a really long time and I thought I’d never be able to do it. If I told my parents this or sent them the video, they’d actually get angry with me. I want to share my (non-academic) accomplishments with them and I want them to be proud of the work I’ve done in CrossFit…but they don’t get it. They probably never will because all they see is that my shoulders and quads have gotten a little bigger.

Video of me snatching 155#

I adore my parents, they really are my best friends and they have supported me in everything I have done my entire life. I just know the impact that CrossFit has had on my life and I wish I could share it with them, and I wish they could understand the difference it makes and what it is really about because it is more than working out. The change that occurs in someone is mental more than physical and it’s an unbelievable thing.
CrossFit is not for everyone and I don’t think everyone should do it…but it does change you in a profound way.

Cherie Chan wrote the perfect article, “Why CrossFit Ruined My Life” It is all so true…
I have learned to see food as fuel and I am incapable of eating something ‘bad’ without feeling it’s effects. I will forever keep gluten and dairy out of my diet (for the most part) and think in (somewhat) of a block system.
I have a very different understanding of what people should like like. I criticize the fronts of women’s magazines because the bikini bodies look like crap and the models couldn’t lift 100 lbs.
I have seen people push themselves farther than they ever thought they could go, and then go further. I expect everyone to do this, every day, all the time. The confidence that people gain through doing their first rope climb or dead lifting twice their body weight is unreal and it transfers over to other aspects of their lives.
I share blood, sweat, and tears with my crossfit family and have a deep respect for those who give it everything they have, every time they walk into the gym. I don’t see other people (with the exception of ‘elite’ athletes) the same way.
I will forever be obsessed with getting better at my weaknesses and I no longer workout to ‘stay in shape.’
I am not very good at wearing clothes that don’t stretch…My shoulders and quads are too big and my waist is too small.
My hands are calloused and I have bruises and scrapes on my legs.

Crossfit has not ruined my life… it has saved my life. It has changed the way I see food and it has made me a better person and a better athlete. It breeds respect, honesty, diligence, hard work, and sacrifice. There are not many things in this world that I believe have the same impact on people’s lives that CrossFit can have. (There are a lot of exceptions here guys…I believe that any elite athlete, body builder, or branch of the military, etc…can produce similar results mentally)

I will never forget the Colorado Open Masters competition last year. All but one of the women had finished the workout and I believe the last woman was a 3 time cancer survivor in her 60’s. The clock was about to run out and she had her last run left. There was no way she would finish the run in time for it to count towards her score but she took off for the run anyways. Soon after that, the 10 or so masters women who has just finished a grueling workout, got up off the ground and started to run after her. They all finished the run together. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. I’ve never experienced the sportsmanship and camaraderie that I have in crossfit, in any other sport. It’s an amazing thing and I hope that one day, I will be able to share this with my family. Until then, I have an unbelievable group of friends (who are my gym family) that understand and support me.


6 responses to “Why I love CrossFit.

  1. Beautiful post 🙂

    I don’t do crossfit, or paleo – but fitness is a lifestyle for me.
    I workout because there’s nothing i love more, i eat healthy because i want to eat healthy.
    Most people don’t understand, get tired, get sweaty, lift heavy stuff, put in hard work? But why?
    No macD? No ice cream? No thankyou ma’am!

    We’re just crazy people 😉

  2. What a great post! I am a CrossFitter and follow a paleo lifestyle as well. I’m still pretty new. I joined my CrossFit in November 2011 and have been “paleo” since January 2012. My life has changed 100%. I completely agree with you that I no longer worry about working out to look good. Now I just work out, so that I can be faster/stronger than the day before. I also don’t have a hard time following a paleo diet either. If its not going to help my body, I don’t want it anymore (and this was most definitely not the way I viewed food just a short 7 months ago!!) No one in my family understands. My husband is supportive, but I’m in the same boat as you when it comes to my parents. I can see them tuning out when I start talking about the WOD I just did. I’m a 29 yr old woman, but having your parents be proud of you is still just as rewarding now as it was when I was 9. Why don’t they understand that? Also, my parents are yo-yo dieters but refuse to try paleo. So frustrating!! So, I feel your pain and your joy!

    • yea, it can be quite frustrating. But at least YOU are making changes for the better…I’ve learned that that is what really matters and you can’t convince someone to make the same changes that you are. My boyfriend once said something to me that I repeat to myself all the time when I’m around family and friends who don’t agree…”Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy.” I just sort of smirk and let them think what they want…eventually they will come to you for help and advice when they see it working. 😉

  3. Buyer beware. I have to have major spinal surgery because of crossfit. Confirmed by two doctors. My life as I know it could be over. The cultish obsessiveness that nothing is ever good enough is dangerous. Be careful.
    I was on cloud nine, and now this.

    • Vee- I’m sorry that’s happened to you. I’ve actually had back surgery. Not because of CrossFit though. I was a competitive snowboarder when I was younger and it was from years of being dumb. Like any sport, CrossFit has it’s risks. They are increased when the person isn’t getting proper coaching or isn’t performing the movements properly. Unlike a ‘normal’ gym routine, the movements we do are much more technical and often much more dangerous short term if not done correctly. Add the time component in when someone isn’t performing something properly and they will get injured… I know that my back is stronger than it ever was prior to doing crossfit and I thought my life was over at the time. Do you mind me asking what you did to it? I had an L4/L5 herniated disc that was about 80-90% into my nerve (I shouldn’t have been walking) and prior to that, a fracture in my upper thoracic spin somewhere (It was about a year prior and I don’t remember the exact location). I know it feels like your life as you know it could be over. I’ve been there. On many occasions. I can promise you that it is not. My boyfriend actually had the same exact surgery a year ago, completely unrelated to mine, and is currently in 5th in our region after the open and back to competing. There are many ways to look at it and I’ve been through all the emotions of major injuries that ‘take you out of the game’ for months or even a year. Once again, I’m really sorry about your back. It’s not a fun experience to go through. It’s actually the most pain I’ve ever been in. I can however, promise you that it will get better.

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