March 17, 2013

Why CrossFit is For Everyone.

My CrossFit journey started back in July.

I needed a gym when we moved to Texas, but when you move to a small town options are limited.

A friend from church (a very fit mom of 4, who is now the owner/trainer at our gym) told me I should try CrossFit. I didn't think anything of it because in my head, CrossFit was for really buff people who knew all about weights and lifting. Which I did not. I was like a lot of other women (and Richard Simmons) in the fact that I basically did all cardio- because that's what I knew. Cardio only gets you so far in life, but most importantly it could only get you so far in the Hunger Games if they happened in real life. All I'm saying is, you never know.

So I decided that the little local Snap Fitness wasn't going to be enough for where I wanted to be and before I knew it, I had called the trainer and told her I would be there the next morning.

The next morning... It was the "Filthy 50". Basically 50 of every single lift, squat, jump, cartwheel, back flip, roll-around-on-the-ground you could think of. Not really. but it felt like it. And I absolutely loved it.

So here are my reasons that everyone needs to try CrossFit:

1. My assumptions were obviously wrong about CrossFit. There are people at every level of fitness. The trainer help you out with modifications of workouts, stretches, weights- whatever you need. And the best part about it is that you don't feel even slightly stupid for doing a modified workout. Everyone there had to start somewhere, and they let you know that.

2. Probably my favorite thing about CrossFit, and the thing that keeps me going every day at 5 a.m. is the team atmosphere. There isn't a single class that you won't hear people cheering each other on, making each other laugh, and talking each other through the WOD (Workout of the Day). There's also typically a little dancing going on mid-workout which I'm a big fan of.

It seems at a lot of gyms (Gold's Gym seems extra famous for it's overload of ego in one place), everyone there is competing with each other and sizing each other up. At CrossFit, everyone celebrates each other's strengths and learns from them. I'm not afraid to ask questions, look stupid, or try something new because I know that everyone there is supporting me, and I think this is a common atmosphere at all CrossFit gyms. I used to think it was so cheesy when people say they love their CrossFit family, but... I love my CrossFit family!

3. Women need strength training, not just cardio. It's necessary for so many reasons. In the past, I rarely used any sort of weights because I didn't know how. At CrossFit I have learned how to use weights, and how to use them properly. I never imagined I would ever be doing lifts with names like push jerk, hang snatch, and squat clean, but I am now and I love it. And when people ask me about the suspicious bruise on my collar bone, I tell them it's from power cleans and contrary to prior belief- it's not a hickey.

4. The sense of accomplishment. For me, it comes not simply because I have seen major results in the way I look, but because I am doing something that seemed literally impossible to me just 8 months ago. I am continually making progress and challenging myself. I am increasing my weights, running faster, doing hand stand push ups, jumping on boxes that at one point seemed impossible, and improving my time with every workout and I absolutely love the challenge.

5. You guys... I have muscles. And it feels pretty dang good. And it's never a bad feeling when your husband tells you that you're looking buff.  I never noticed my pathetic and wimpy lack of muscles before, until I see where I'm at now. Still a long way to go... But I'm getting there. Speaking of muscles, let's just take a look at Mandi, our trainer. Well hello "I have 4 children and my youngest one isn't even 2." She is wild and I love it.

This picture was taken yesterday after the CrossFit Open 13.2 WOD. More on that here and here.

6. I am more motivated to take care of my health and my body. CrossFit is hard. It's no Zumba class, my friends (although I do love myself a Zumba class. hollaaa). My hands are ripped and calloused from pull-ups. I'm sore almost every day. There are some WODs that will push you to the edge (I once almost cried. ok maybe twice almost cried). With how hard CrossFit makes you work, you're more likely to remember what you're working for, and less likely to blow that hard work on some brownies.
[...But sometimes you do because brownies are good.]

6. If you're married, go together! It's been so much fun to spend quality competitive time at the gym together. Clint and I have both always admired the "fit" couples, and it's something that we strive to have for ourselves and our future family. Not for vain reasons, but to live healthier and more active lifestyles. Because who doesn't think a 65-year-old couple doing pull ups is awesome?

I don't want to come off as someone who thinks that because I've done CrossFit for a few months, I think that I'm an expert. I am nowhere near it (that's an understatement). These are just observations from my few short months there. I love the progress that I am making, and the way CrossFit has changed my outlook on health and fitness. Life should be all about progression in everything you do.

My trainer (I used to say "my teacher" and then I decided I wasn't in 3rd grade anymore) asked me to make some signs for our gym, and these are a couple of them. I'm doing 12 total and I'll try to put the rest up once they're completely done. If you want to get an idea of the type of workouts you'll do at CrossFit, our gym has a website that lists each WOD. Just try it! I promise you won't regret it.



  1. okay. i'm getting kind of interested in crossfit now. i have always been intrigued but i'm seriously THE BIGGEST WIMP. and i sort of hate exercising and waking up early. but you are convincing me that it would be worth it...

  2. What cute signs for the gym! Xfit is such a good workout! There is a small gym that some of our friends got together. Since I started in 2008, I haven't been as consistent as I'd like and go through phases. This post reminded me how important it is to do other stuff than just run/cardio. I am so weak and do need to work harder on building strength.