“Who am I becoming… The challenge and mindset behind a real crossfit athlete”

by Lorenza Franciosi

“I eat paleo, I go to wods several times per week, I lift!”… All the elements for being a Crossfit athlete seem there, but the question is: can you consider yourself a REAL crossfitter?

Calling Crossfit “an” experience can be an understatement: for many of us, I can boldly say that Crossfit is THE experience that changed our minds and lives permanently. That’s what I am going to share with you along the lines.

The need of starting something new or changing the routine you have been in for a long time is a common human need, as to face something more challenging that can spice our lives up.

In terms of fitness, finding new ways/sports to improve your own figure, health condition or reaching the desired weight (something from the New Year’s resolution’s list?) is always on the spotlight: and what’s better than to jump into something so appealing as the Crossfit “phenomenon” is more and more now?

However, after dipping your toes into this very challenging water, who can become, who can feel him/herself as a real crossfitter?

Being a crossfitter myself I can reckon on the why I landed into Crossfit and how I see (and hear) why others are trying the same.

As the reasons why someone approaches Crossfit can be really diverse, that influences also the results you gain from it.

If you stick in something hard and challenging as Crossfit, for sure you feel a change not only in your body but mostly in your mind… but only if you really want it.

The power of Crossfit is to drag you out of your comfort zone, facing things that you have never thought your body would have been able to do… but again, only if you want to.

I am surrounded daily by crossfitters. I see the drive in who really wants to beat himself, who wants to reach the ultimate goal (the better self) and the constant effort of getting stronger. When this commitment arises in your mind then the change sets up.

Crossfit turns your life upside down in a way that it’s not just doing it to be fit or “going to the gym” but it becomes you and it changes your prospective. Even your life prospective, personally speaking. You can feel it and you can be really motivated for it but it won’t be an easy path: because it will push you over your limits.

And there’s the question: are you ready for this? Do you REALLY want to face all the fears you never expected to have?

Wod after wod after wod there will be the moment you will have to lift a heavier barbell. Being a crossfitter myself I know that fear, and it’s big, and it comes along with the idea of failing. And many times you will fail.

And now there’s the answer: when you are embracing your fears and transforming them into the force that lifts that barbell, when you are ready to start over and over after each failure, when you don’t retreat and don’t scale down, when you feel the confidence to push further, then you are on the path to become a real Crossfit athlete.

The challenge you put in your body when doing Crossfit will give you back the results you wish to achieve only if you want and are ready to challenge yourself in your mind first. And that’s the real power of the “sport of fitness”: you don’t have to be a professional athlete or a former champion for doing (and enjoying) Crossfit. It’s a process. I have seen people approaching it for many different reasons and from the most diverse (sportive or not) backgrounds and I am a witness of how you can build yourself up, with the willingness of trying more and more, day after day, facing every challenge and finding the joy in it.

It’s a transition to reach a better you, growing step by step with others willing to do the same and above all willing to help and be helped along the road. A Crossfit box is a community of people sharing the same passion, ready to help and motivate each other to improve and break the wall of their own limits.

Stepping into a box, the first thing you learn is to leave your ego at the door. The real spirit is not to show capabilities, or to be recognized as the best athlete, but it’s to discover yourself. To be ready to grow through your fears with the help of your companions.

There are crossfitters satisfied of what they can reach without pushing to the limits and taking the fun of every wod, and that is fine. But for others the countdown “3-2-1 go” triggers a new power in their minds, the power of not being just satisfied.

There is no quitting, there is no step back in a real crossfitter. Whatever the wod brings on (there is no “wod cherry picking” strategy in a real crossfitter just to avoid facing his weaknesses), the real athlete is ready to hit hard and keep moving forward. No skipping reps, no cutting corners, no CHEATING, and no “I can’t do this anymore”. In the end there is only one big push of the mind: “Don’t give up! Keep on going! I will show myself how great I am”.

The difference between who is just doing the wod and who is the real athlete is not in the potential, not in the genetics, it is in who is ready to start over again the day after, with big soreness and ready to beat all the weaknesses of the day before, letting the power of Crossfit unlock his potential.


To be eager to face the fear of the heavy barbell, heavier as when hitting a new pr, is what will make the real crossfitter lighten up. Every fear is a creation of the mind and the real athlete works on it, plans, programs, trains, hard and then harder, with the fear of not reaching his goal. Most crossfitters are just feeling “ok” with their level, is not in their mind to use rx weights: too heavy, too scary…or even it would take too much time to finish the wod and it would be a shame to be the last one to close the round.

On the contrary: whoever finishes last, after crushing all his limits and got out of his mind boundaries, is the real winner, is the real athlete. Who is not able yet to bear the rx weights but nonetheless doesn’t’ give up and keeps on trying is on the path, physically and mentally, is the real athlete.

Ask yourself: who am I? Am I prepared for the unknown? Who do I wanna be?

If you feel a real crossfitter, if you want to be a real crossfitter you just have to DECIDE: just decide who you want to be, how you are going to do it, and decide to sacrifice what you are now for what you want to become.

Never be afraid to fail. Failure will be the constant drive to reach the better you and to make you discover what you are capable of and to push even further.

Don’t surrender and always try; and even when you fail at least you have tried, living in the “what if” is not an option for a real Crossfit athlete.

You feel that you are the athlete you want to be when you don’t “just do” Crossfit, but Crossfit becomes part of you. Then you ARE Crossfit.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 
Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

Seth Oberst DPT CSCS published the post Going Barefoot for Strength Training on Tabata Times
Whether or not you've read my prior piece on the short foot position, this bears repeating: the...
adrummonds published the post ABS Banana Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes! on
Ingredients: 1 Scoop ABS Chocolate Chip Pancakes 1/3 C Egg Whites 1/3 C Unsweetened...
adrummonds published the post ABS Pumpkin Chocolate Protein Cookies! on
Ingredients and Directions: 1 Scoop ABS Vanilla Cake Batter Pancakes 1 Scoop Vanilla...
Vanessa LaFaso Stolarski published the post How to Break Up with Your Box on
So your back squat hasn’t PR’d squat in six months. The box owner is bedroom WOD’ing with his...
CrossFit Train shared a link on Facebook


Beaverton CrossFit posted an article
Beaverton CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit West Santa Cruz shared a link on Facebook

Don’t Try At Home http://wp.me/puz1A-5aN

CrossFit West Santa Cruz posted an article
Telegraph CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Thursday 10/23/2014 WOD http://www.telegraphcrossfit.com/thursday-10232014/

Telegraph CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Oakland shared a link on Facebook


CrossFit All Terrain posted an article
CrossFit Oakland posted on Facebook

Thursday is a Recovery Day.

CrossFit Ashland posted an article
saulj posted on Facebook

World Series Game 2 Giants vs. KC Royals is on at 5:07. Work out and cheer 'em on! Go Giants!

San Carlos CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Kids Fitness is a program designed specifically to meet the special neurological, cognitive and motor needs of children. One of the most important aspects of our Kids Fitness classes is that they are FUN! Kids will look forward to coming to class, and will learn that “exercise” is interesting, fun, and worth doing. Our classes are designed to get kids moving properly and under control. They will enhance their coordination and agility, increase flexibility, build strength, power and confidence. All movements are age appropriate and the 45min workouts have been designed specifically by our trainers for children. Age ranges are from 8 -13 year olds. This program is offered on a monthly basis.

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p9

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p8

CrossFit Sandpoint shared an image on Facebook

Our next Foundations session starts November 3rd! The course will run four weeks on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30pm for a total of 8 sessions. Foundations is designed to introduce beginning CrossFit athletes to the movements and lifts that we utilize in our normal classes. If you’re looking to get started with CrossFit, this is a tremendous way to start. You will learn the basics, and you will gradually build up to the intensity that we utilize in our daily classes. This will allow for a safe and thorough start to your CrossFit life. In addition, we feel that starting with a group of beginners is less intimidating than jumping in with people who may have been doing CrossFit for years. If you haven't heard of CrossFit, or want to know more about what it is, this article does a tremendous job of describing what you can expect: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/03/01/a-beginners-guide-to-crossfit/ Please feel free to email info@crossfitsandpoint.com with any questions or concerns. If you’d like to sign up, you can register and pay at the link below. The cost is $100. https://crossfitsandpoint.sites.zenplanner.com/membershipTemplate-view.cfm?membershipTemplateId=9736A264-25F5-48A4-BA81-249F2F994347

United Barbell shared a link on Facebook

Less than 3 weeks until the "Fight Gone Bad" United for Youth event goes down at United Barbell! Make sure you register to reserve your space!

The Shipyard CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

It's time, guys! Sign-ups for November On-Ramp are coming up!! Tuesday, October 28th. 5-6pm. Start NOW.

United Barbell shared a link on Facebook

Survey Results

San Carlos CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

To the man that has the best sound effects, best sayings, best facial hair, and who picked the best day ever to be born on a big happy birthday goes out to the one and only, Tommy Ward. Tommy, I hope you have a great birthday. #Crossfit #Hgx

CrossFit 209 Sport shared a link on Facebook


CrossFit Los Gatos posted an article
CrossFitOfFremont posted an article
Kristy Parrish published the post How Do I Choose the Right Workout Program? on
Results outline the efficacy of a workout program. With a sound, objective foundation (i.e...
Berkeley CrossFit posted an article
Berkeley CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Oakland posted on Facebook

Wednesday's WOD: TIER 1 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by 7 Ball Slams + Burpee TIER 2 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by 5 Wall Balls @ 20#/14# + Double-Unders TIER 3 A. 3 x 3 Snatch Grip Deadlift B. Death by Handstand Push-Ups * Part B has a 15-minute time cap. * For Part B, Tier 1 starts each round with 7 ball slams and increases the number of burpees each round by 1 rep; Tier 2 starts each round with 5 wall balls and increases the number of double-unders by 10 each round (starting at 10 in the first round).

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/whiteboard/ Who's on top?

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook


CrossFit Oakdale shared a link on Facebook


CrossFit Potrero Hill shared a link on Facebook

WOD- Wednesday, Oct 22 This FRIDAY! Paleo Potluck and Pumpkin Carving! Bring a dish and a pumpkin. 6-9pm No class or open gym this Saturday for the Scream Team competition! Find a partner (guy/guy and gal/gal) to compete with! 3 events, all level …

CrossFit Sweatshop posted an article
CrossFit Potrero Hill posted an article
Corey's Gym posted an article
Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p7

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p6

cfsausalito shared an image on Facebook

Congratulations to C/S athletes Galo Arias and Sharon Squire for completing the Warrior Dash over the weekend and to C/S athlete Alicia Asensio for running the Nike Women's Half Marathon on Sunday! We love seeing you all express your fitness in different competitive environments -- so proud of you!

CrossFit Modesto shared an image on Facebook

Happy Tuesday! We'd like to welcome Nestor to our community. You know the drill: if you see him, introduce yourself and say hello. Thanks for joining us, Nestor!

CrossFit Modesto posted on Facebook

ANNOUNCEMENTS -- PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE IN YOUR CALENDARS! - CrossFit Modesto will be closed ALL DAY October 31st (Halloween) and November 1st for the Hock Hocheim Knife Seminar. - WODTOBERFEST takes place on October 29th at 5:30 PM and will be the *ONLY* class in the pm (NO 12pm or 4:30pm classes)

American River Crossfit shared a link on Facebook

10/21/2014 http://wp.me/sGeX1-10212014

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Prehab/activation: SMR - rhomboids / low back Banded hip flexor stretch 2x10 hip thrusts 2x10 scap retraction on rings -then- 5 x 250m row sprints - rest 2 mins between attempts, post best and worst time -then- AMRAP in 12 minutes: 15 push-presses (75/55) 12 back rack in place walking lunges (75/55) 9 pull-ups

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Competitors Program Week 1, Day 2: 5x5 @ 75-80% weighted ring dip -alternating with- 5 attempts for max time in an L-sit -then- With a 15 minute running clock: Run 1200m* Followed by max rounds of: (1,2,3...) Hang Power Clean (175/120) (1,2,3...) Burpee over the box jump (24"/20") *do the long 800m course, then around the building twice -then- Every 30 seconds for 8 intervals: 1x20yd prowler sprint (176/108) or use a weight that allows you to sprint 20 yards in under 10 seconds. Then, rest 3 minutes and repeat once more.

CrossFit HEALDSBURG posted on Facebook

Competence speaks through confidence and it is easy to carry others along when you believe in yourself. - Mark Twight

CrossFit Bios shared a link on Facebook

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Boot Camp is in full swing! We know who'll be ready for the snow!

CrossFit West Petaluma shared a link on Facebook

Good Ol’ Fashioned Strength Day http://blog.genesispetaluma.com/?p=2997

South Tahoe CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

Check out Derek getting low. Over 50lbs lost and an amazing gain in range of motion!

CrossFit Genesis posted an article
CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

The paleo challenge day 1. Can you guess who's paleo bank this is?

Jefferson State CrossFit posted on Facebook

Just watched Julie Noyes complete 3 touch and go power cleans with her previous max! -Stoots

CrossFit Anywhere shared an image on Facebook

Our #MCM goes to Blair and Rob as they prep to crush the competition at Iron October 2 this Saturday! Come out to cheer them, and our other competitors on at CrossFit Iron Mile in Natomas from 9-4!

CrossFit Feather River shared an image on Facebook

This Saturday the 25th is the Yuba Sutter United Way Spooktacular 5k/10k Run! Race starts at 9am and there will be prizes awarded for best costumes! Let's get out there and represent CFFR!! https://www.yuba-sutterunitedway.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=15

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Even though it's only October, we are already thinking about Decking our Halls!!! Mark your calendars!!! STCF Christmas Party is slated for Friday, December 12! You will NOT want to miss this shindig!

CrossFit Valley View posted on Facebook

This week is a special one! Why you ask?! Well because Our Box owner, Jennifer Correia, the one that brought CrossFit to Los Banos, is clebrating her Birthday this Sunday the 26th and guess what 30 burpees are due! so jump on her ass to get them done and hey, why not have her step it up a bit and make it for time????

CrossFit Valley View shared an image on Facebook

Starting off the day right

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV