I see a lot of really excellent articles about former competitive athletes who have found CrossFit as a place to start setting goals and exceeding them once again.
There are also plenty of stories floating around about people who have never been in shape, but find CrossFit and add quality and quantity of years to their lives.
Both are great.
Neither are me.
I was the non-competitive athlete in high school. Oh, I certainly played on the competitive teams, but I was no threat. I was not that guy. I was never hungry for victory or hitting some goal the way you hear other talk about. I had 3 unimpressive wrestling seasons and 4 years of pole-vaulting because it was something to do. I never won any accolades besides a leadership award in Track. The irony of a guy finishing last in the 4×400 relay winning a leadership award was not lost on me then.
I started CrossFit a little over a year ago. Unlike many who find it because they are in need of something more hardcore or are looking for a exercise program that can finally work for them, I was just bored. I had moved to a new state where I was struggling to feel comfortable and was just looking for something to fill the hours.
I walked in to my first session at OV CrossFit feeling like I would be challenged but not broken. After all, I had watched like five YouTube videos of CrossFit, so I basically knew everything there was to learn.
Then I was asked to attempt a strict pull-up. And I just kind of hung there.
I left fired up. I left hungry for that strict pull-up.
It would be weeks until I got a pull-up without bands. It would be a few days later that I strung two together. But I had the bug now. Let’s get 3. Let’s get 10. Let’s get chest-to-bar.
In my albeit limited experience, CrossFit can be a shock to the system of anyone. Couch potato, former military, a high school quarterback that doesn’t fit into his old jacket anymore. And the perfectly average person. I didn’t have a lot going for me, but I didn’t have a lot stacked against me.
When I moved back to the East Coast, I knew my box before I knew my zipcode. CrossFit Novem is different, the community has different goals and different challenges. But I love it. I love getting to throw a terrible day of work into a barbell. Or burpee away a rough weekend. I’m growing. I’m getting faster and stronger.
But being average is ok. You don’t need to have a great struggle. You don’t need to have a picture of yourself dunking a basketball 15 years ago. We need those people. I love working out in between those two people. Literally and figuratively. But we need those average folks, too.
I’m still average. I can sometimes finish in the top of the pack, I am sometimes the one you are all waiting around and clapping for as I finish two minutes off everyone else.
I’m still average, but CrossFit average. Which is not average at all.