How many times have you heard that question? I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for about three years now and there are two things that never pop into my head when this question is asked. First, “constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity” and the second “Increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains”. Though I can recite these like scripture, and believe in their worth to fitness, they are not the first thoughts in my head.
The first thing I do think about is how CrossFit has changed my life. How do you explain that to a stranger? They always ask me, were you overweight? No. Were you out of shape? No. I didn’t start CrossFit with all these lofty goals to lose weight and get in shape, so how could CrossFit a strength and conditioning program, change my life so drastically that I cannot imagine my life without it?
CrossFit does change people’s lives, those that are open to it? It exposes you to things that you are not good at. You will look silly and you will not always be the best. It doesn’t matter who you are, you will be challenged by aspects of this program. At first, this is a big hit to the ego and you desire to be better so that you can be the best. Soon you find that the best gets you nothing but an impressive “Grace” time or bragging rights and then the real changing begins? So why does CrossFit change peoples lives, all CrossFitters not just the fire breathing kind?
CrossFit changes people’s lives through constant challenge and exposure. When you are at your worst CrossFit will not let up, it will not release you to stand and watch. It is tough love, it throws you back in the fire and says you will endure, you will finish, and you will be the person you know that you can be. How can a workout do all that? I don’t have the answer there; it is a mystery how 21-15-9 thrusters and pull-ups can change how badly you want to become that person inside.
I believe that we all have an image of ourselves, who we keep striving to be, CrossFit exposes this person and challenges you to be just that and no less. It’s not easy to face yourself everyday, and just when you think you have been defeated, your community arises around you to rally. Friendships are developed, you become closer to your CrossFit comrades then you ever thought possible, they endure along side you and remind you that you are a part of something bigger then yourself and your life begins to change. Now tell me, how do you explain that to a stranger?