I get pretty passionate about CrossFit. I know it may seem like I’ve been indoctrinated into a cult but I wish I could explain fully what the CrossFit community means to me. It’s great that we work out and do hard things and root for each other. Each of those components are super important to me. And those three components break down into many reasons why I love the CrossFit way of life. Let’s take those three components and expand on each of them.
If you hadn’t heard, exercise is a fantastic way to prevent disease. The more I read about aging and strength training, the more I’m convinced that I’m doing the right thing for my overall health and my aging body. I’d love to say that I’m not growing older, but that’s just fantasyland. The reality is, as we age, we naturally lose muscle mass…and some studies I have seen recently indicate that menopausal and post menopausal women lose muscle mass more substantially after a certain age – dependent on when you enter menopause, etc. Because all this is “new science” (which is odd to me because aging has been around……..for ages, and so has menopause) the facts/figures are all over the place but a couple of articles I’ve read seem to say that the drop off into almost muscle atrophy is significant as you get into your 60s. I feel that the benefits I’ve seen in just my overall health – decrease in “bad cholesterol”, ability to lift stuff without hurting myself, reduction of “down-time” due to my persistent back issues – prove this one hundred times over. If I could just encourage one person to look into CrossFit as a regimen … even if exercise is brand new to you … and especially if you are a female … then I feel as if my journey would be beyond just a personal journey to fitness. CrossFit is accessible and DOABLE by all, especially if you commit and get the right help. The workouts can be scaled to any fitness level and the gains are extremely measurable.
Do hard things
I’ve exercised. I’ve exercised off and on since 1990. Each time I stared exercising, it was hard. But, I also know myself and usually when things get hard, I bow out. If I had all the time in the world and a good shrink to help, I think I’d probably discover that I don’t like pain and I don’t like to look like a loser/weakling so instead of getting to that point….I drop out. BUT, what CrossFit has taught me is that hard things build stamina and improve ability to complete everyday tasks exponentially. Because CrossFit is, at it’s heart, functional fitness – what we do as an exercise has a direct correlation with daily tasks such as reaching, bending, and stepping – I feel the change in my body’s ability to carry groceries, get up from the ground if I have to dig through a low cabinet, and pick up awkwardly shaped items when cleaning or moving things to our storage unit. Again, as we age, we find some of our “tasks” become more difficult or impossible due to “not flexing the muscles”. Instead of allowing that to happen, I fight it with every ounce of my being. And, even more than the physical doing of things, I show up regularly. Some people find it hard to work out alone. Even some CrossFitters don’t like the idea of being a garage-gymer. I love the community environment of CrossFit at an actual gym but since I have very specific time-frame issues for working out, I just can’t go to a local box because none are open at the time I work out. I’ve learned to get my inspiration and motivation from within and from my online community. The not-in-person aspect does make the whole experience a bit harder.
I think what I love the most about CrossFit is this part. While I don’t work out in a “Group” setting, I have. And, one of the things that KEPT me interested in the CrossFit style of working out was the feeling that my last place finish was equally as vital as the first place finisher. While listening to “Miles to Madison” yesterday, one of the judges for the CrossFit games was speaking of the iconic finish of The Capital event from 2022 where Rebecca Fusilier had the “power of the crowd” behind her as she struggled her way up the Wisconsin State Capital steps to finish (last) in that event – and he said (of the crowd) – “They will cheer for the person in first just as much or more than the person in last….that’s just the CrossFit way.” First or last, all are important. Everyone matters. Fittest to not, elite to novice, young, old, black, white, purple, male, female, either, neither….all matter in CrossFit. You stay til the last participant finishes and you cheer as loudly for the last as you do for the first (maybe moreso!!) I mean, when does THAT happen, huh? You get cheered on as you come in last as much as the person who came in first. It’s all about remembering that everyone can do this. EVERYONE. It’s accessible to all at any level. (If you remember nothing but those words from this blog, my job is done…)
Gotta throw a couple of photos to drive home the community aspect but also the fact that smallest to largest and weakest to strongest … all matter in CrossFit.
FYI – THESE ARE NOT MY PHOTOS – THEY ARE FROM CROSSFIT HQ MEDIA