Why I Love CrossFit – Even If I’m Not Supposed To
September 17, 2017
For those of you that don’t know me very well and what I do with my life, aside from posting snaps of dogs thats aren’t even mine and hating life during rope climbs and toes to bar, I actually go to school full time for physical therapy. It’s a lot of work, but it’s really cool to be able to learn more about the human body and apply it directly to CrossFit as an athlete and as a coach. I’m kind of a walking oxymoron though (emphasis on the moron, sometimes) as most physical therapists are known to heavily disapprove of CrossFit, citing it as dangerous and blah, blah, blah- I’m sure you’ve all heard it from someone you know before. I usually shrug comments like these off – it’s really hard to offend me – but one day in class, in the middle of lecture, I couldn’t not say anything. I defended our form of fitness, with humor and in a way that got people thinking, however, I’d like to take this opportunity to expand on my points and why I love CrossFit here.
- Do you even lift bro? It has been noted that more than 80% of Americans do not get the recommended daily physical activity. THAT’S INSANE. They say “sitting is the new smoking” and the primary reason I love CrossFit is that it gets people moving. Whether you’re a ten year old kid trying to get stronger for football, or a 70 something year old grandpa looking to improve your quality of life – everyone and ANYone can get moving because of CrossFit. In an hour or less a day, people can come in, warm up, get stronger, get fitter, and leave without even thinking. They are supervised by a coach, scale movements to their ability, and are encouraged by their classmates. To be honest, the constant variation, loud music, supportive community, and awesome workouts are why I have been able to stick with this for so long and see no end in sight.
- It’s functional AF. CrossFit prides itself on functional movements – those that translate from the gym to everyday life effortlessly. I found it ironic that I faced criticism for my form of fitness from people who complained their backs hurt from transferring patients or that their arms hurt from holding a patient’s leg above their head to stretch out a hamstring. I love that deadlifts and heavy front squats are the reason I have a strong and stable core to carry heavy patients. I love that the high rep shoulders to overhead or HSPU are the reason my arms have the stamina and strength to stretch a hamstring with ease. I love the endurance and forearm strength you get from endless thrusters, toes to bar, kettlebell swings, etc., so that when your brother books an Air B&B on the seventh floor in a hotel with no elevator, you can carry your luggage and your mother’s without hesitation. Just kidding, I hate thrusters. You get the idea; we perform movements that are functional and make us better at life – so the next time you complain about why we need to clean and jerk, try getting your suitcase from the ground to the overhead compartment on a plane.
- The people. It blows my mind just how powerful community is and how CrossFit brings people together so beautifully. Something about suffering and knowing that the person right next to you is going through the same thing – and prevailing, makes you push harder and admire one another in a way that’s impossible in a Globo-Gym. When you PR, the person next you is cheering you on and celebrating with you. Try celebrating a squat PR in a Globo-Gym by yourself – that’s just weird. Working out is one of the most vulnerable states you’ll ever be in – sometime during the workout you’re doubting yourself, you’re suffering, you’re miserable, you’re unsure. No one likes to be vulnerable, but CrossFit enables you to do that, in front of people, and in my opinion, it’s why some of the strongest friendships and bonds are formed. As a coach, I see it all the time from afar – friendships form from a high five , from a “do you have a partner for the wod today?”, from the “want to stay after class and squat with me”? I’ve personally gotten to benefit from the community aspect, as it’s given me one of my best friends, and it’s honestly my favorite part about CrossFit.
There’s a million reasons I love CrossFit, but I need to study and figured I’d keep it at three. I get it. You may not like CrossFit and the fact that it’s “dangerous”. To be honest, any kind of physical activity poses a risk of injury. I’ve known someone who has sprained an ankle in Zumba, herniated a disk picking up a newspaper from the ground, needed a knee replacement from years of marathon training, etc. but I don’t look down on any of those activities simply because they’ve had an unfavorable outcome. At the end of the day people can say what they want about my form of fitness and my response will always be the same – You can embrace your bicep curls, your lat pull downs, or your couch without judgement from me – whatever makes you happy. I’ll just be over here getting stronger, fitter, happier, healthier, and kicking ass with 100+ of my closest friends.