A dear reader who also does CrossFit sent me an email yesterday that I absolutely loved. A fellow female CrossFitter from her home box (gym) posted a list of reasons that CrossFit has ruined her life. It was hysterical and so true. I’m still fairly new to CrossFit (just hit the three month mark) but in the short amount of time I have been a CrossFitter, my entire outlook on fitness and exercise has changed. The email yesterday got me thinking about the ways that CrossFit has ruined my life as well – ways in which I will never be the same. This may be difficult for some of you to fully appreciate if you’ve never experienced CrossFit – but I will share anyway.
CrossFit has ruined my life because….
1) I will never be able to take a regular fitness class at the local gym again. Seriously – the thought of doing Zumba for an hour makes me want to throw myself into oncoming traffic. Give me a twenty minute AMRAP of dead lifts, GHD sit-ups & pull-ups and let’s call it a day. I will have burned twice as many calories in a third of the time and I will walk away significantly stronger than any Zumba class could ever make me.
2) Speaking of local gyms, I’m pretty sure I’m no longer welcome there. The housewives and pretty professionals at the YMCA get rather antsy when you start talking about improving your snatch and working on your clean and jerk. I don’t exactly feel at home in a gym full of people staring at themselves in a mirror and taking water breaks between every set. I simply don’t belong at those gyms anymore.
3) I thrive off pain. If I wake up in the morning and some muscle group on my body doesn’t scream in agony, I feel as I’ve done something wrong. Somehow I didn’t work hard enough in the WOD last night – I’ve got to take more weight, push myself to go faster. I should wake up every day with sore abs, aching quads & tight shoulders. And if by some bizarre chance I go two days without pain, I will get depressed. Seriously – I’m slacking BIG TIME if I’ve gone a full 48 hours without pushing my body to the point of exhaustion and I will spend the next four days in a row doing everything I can to get that pain back.
4) I’ve got battle scars and I like it. My pretty, dainty hands have turned into callous, hard tools to lift heavy weights. I’ve got rope burn all over my arms from practicing my double unders. My knees are banged up from falling each time I try to take on a 20” box jump – but hey, I’m practicing – and this morning, I did 10 in a row! I cherish these wounds because they are proof that I’m pushing myself to get better.
5) Nothing is ever good enough. Who cares if I got a PR on my dead lifts last night? I couldn’t do the 20” box jumps in the WOD and that pisses me off. It doesn’t matter that my back squat max has improved by 75lbs in two months – I still can’t do a pull-up on the green band and that pisses me off. That’s the thing about CrossFit – every time you show improvement, you simply raise your personal standard a little higher. There is no “good enough” in CrossFit. I want to push myself every time I’m in that box so that the next workout is faster and stronger – and if I’m not doing that – then I’m not doing CrossFit.
6) I’m no longer a cheap skate. Don’t get me wrong – paying $100+ for designer jeans still sounds absurd to me; but paying $100 for a pair of LuLuLemon yoga pants that stay in place is completely rational. I don’t need cheap workout gear holding me back in my lifts because I’m worried about mooning everyone while doing a squat. My $150 monthly membership to CrossFit is the best money I spend all month. Sure CrossFit gyms cost more than normal gyms – but I’ve just come to accept this as the price you pay to truly forge elite fitness. I’ve come to believe that when it comes to fitness and training, you really do get what you pay for.
7) I can no longer enjoy a midweek cupcake or any dessert for that matter. Knowing what that sugar will do to my insulin levels and hormonal balance takes the fun out of it. Knowing that eating that cupcake will make me tired late afternoon or possibly slow me down in my workout that evening makes me want it so much less. It was one thing when I didn’t understand how my nutrition impacted my physical and mental performance throughout the day – but now that I’m aware of the foods I should eat for proper nutrition, I just simply cannot eat a cupcake on a Wednesday afternoon because it smells yummy. Really – thanks for that one CrossFit. Don’t get me wrong, I still take a cheat day each week and indulge my sweet tooth, but I will never be able to eat dessert or a pasta bowl without at least mentally acknowledging what that meal will do to my system.
I could really go on and on about the ways that my outlook on fitness and nutrition have changed over the past three months. It’s hard to explain what it means to be a CrossFitter. I’ve never been more dedicated to workout regimen or nutrition plan before. But then again, I’m starting to realize that CrossFit isn’t an exercise program or a fad diet - it’s a way of life. It’s about pushing yourself each day to achieve greatness for yourself. It’s about setting personal goals and accomplishing them. And that feeling of physical accomplishment at the box spills over into every aspect of your life. CrossFit is slowly changing the way that I view myself: my strengths, my goals, my abilities and my best qualities. It has helped me to realize that I am stronger than I give myself credit and I really can accomplish so much with the help and support of people who care about me and my success. I’m addicted and I’m loving it!