What No One Will Tell You About CrossFit


CrossFit Kool-Aid
I think I need this shirt.

The CrossFit Kool-Aid is strong. One minute, you’re listening to your friends speak in a totally different language, the language of AMRAP and EMOMs. The next, you’re nervously entering a box, intimidated by the barbells in the corner and the rig mounted on the wall. You’re positive you’re making a huge mistake, and you’re ready to turn tail and leave, but someone stops you.

“Hi, I’m Jane! Are you new? Welcome to CrossFit!”

As the Regionals get under way and blanket the airwaves, you may think CrossFit is all about snatch ladders and muscle-ups. But what no one’s going to tell you?

You’re going to see all kinds of people at the box. Not everyone at the box is going to look like or perform like Rich Froning or Lauren Fisher. Sure, there are going to be the beast mode folks that smoke through an RX workout, but for the most part, you’re going to meet average fit people who are scaling their workouts at different levels, whether it’s doing jumping pull-ups or lifting lighter loads.

You’re going to be a part of a community. Some may call it a cult, what with the language and the rituals (an addiction to t-shirts, participating in the Open). But it becomes your community, your own personal Cheers (where everybody knows your name). You’ll meet first responders, business executives, doctors, retail professionals, soccer moms – the people who CrossFit run the gamut of professions, but they’re all there for the same reason: to be fitter than ever. For one hour, you’re all united toward a common goal, and you become fast friends as you suffer through wall balls. And eventually, you hang out outside the box, because you realize that these people get you.

As an aside, I’m an introvert. The idea of going to networking events scares the daylights out of me. But going to CrossFit thrills me. There’s something about it that doesn’t scare me at all.

You’re going to push yourself harder than you ever have. I used to think I gave it my all, particularly during half marathons. Then I started CrossFit. Suddenly, I was introduced to an all-new level of intensity, where I was competing against myself and my previous scores and weights, where I was determined to do strict pull-ups and handstand push-ups, where there is always room for improvement.

You’re going to be sore. As I write this, my glutes are still sore from modified pistol squats on Friday. I mean, it probably didn’t help that I went running Saturday, then went back to the box for an endurance WOD – but this isn’t my first “sore for days” rodeo. “Sore” becomes a way of life. You’re challenging yourself, and when you’re doing constantly varied movements, your muscles don’t have a chance to get complacent. Embrace it.

You’re going to love it so, so much. I love running. I love sushi. But CrossFit? It’s been nine months, and I can’t imagine life without it. I get a rush out of “3-2-1-GO!” I can’t stop grinning when I PR a lift or get my technique right.