The CrossFit Divide: I Love a Hater

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by JENNIFER CHARLES

The CrossFit Divide: I Love a Hater

Reality check: [My husband] will never be a CrossFitter and we won’t be naming our next dog Fran.
To a CrossFitter, the world is divided into Lovers and Haters. In fact we’re so baffled by the Haters that we can’t even hate them back. What? CrossFit’s not for you? Of course it is! CrossFit is for everyone! In fact, my box is having a free community workout on Sund-…wait! Where are you going?

We joke about the Haters — you know, that “friend” who de-friended or unfollowed you on Facebook because she couldn’t stand any more stupid CrossFit acronyms cluttering up her newsfeed; the coworker who scurries past your office door because yesterday when he said “Good Morning” you started to demonstrate the banded good morning (in a skirt and heels) — but hey, you thought he’d asked. We know the Haters are out there, and we know we’re a bit nuts about our sport. It’s all good.

But what if you suspect… no, impossible! But just maybe… it hurts to say it!

What if your spouse is a Hater?

When I decided to join CrossFit, I asked my husband to sign up with me. Once upon a time, he had been serious about weightlifting, and I thought that CrossFit looked like the perfect blend of weights and cardio. I was pumped, but he just wasn’t interested. He was used to my “hobby-hopping” and most likely thought I’d try CrossFit for a few months before moving on to something else.

But I didn’t move on. What started out as a casual three-classes-a-week gym membership slowly evolved into an unlimited 5-6 classes a week obsession. I couldn’t help it. I could feel the changes in myself even before I could see them. I was becoming stronger and that strength was leading to better choices in nutrition, more confidence at work, and a lot of CrossFit talk at home.

My husband is my best friend. I know a lot of people say that, but the moment I met him I felt I had found a home. So when I started to get a hint that something was wrong, it nagged at me. My life was in an upswing. I was fulfilling the promises I had made to myself for years. It felt like I was about to hit a major PR, but there was a tiny rock in my shoe.

One Saturday we were driving to the comic book store. I was mid-sentence when I noticed my husband was staring at me.

“What?” I asked.

“CrossFit. That’s all you ever talk about,” he said.

And I found it. I found the tiny rock.

What if your spouse is a Hater?
I wish I could tell you that I was a total adult, that I listened calmly as he told me he was sick of hearing about CrossFit; how he didn’t care about the box (stupid name for a gym anyway); how heavy my thrusters were (stupid exercise anyway); or how my overhead squat sucked (why even do that?). I wish I could say that I acknowledged his feelings and understood his point of view.

Even though we were at odds over CrossFit, I knew that ultimately he wanted me to be happy and healthy.
But I only felt panic — as if everything I had achieved for the past six months depended on my husband’s acceptance of CrossFit and now it would all topple over because he was a Hater. And I was pissed, because he was a traitor…because he was supposed to enjoy hearing about my successes. Because eventually he was supposed to join CrossFit and we would rename the dog Murph and adopt a dog named Fran and have some of those stupid pictures taken where we’re kissing during a handstand.

I vowed never to mutter a word from the CrossFit dictionary again! I would quit and get fat and be depressed and it would serve him right!

But that didn’t happen. Even though we were at odds over CrossFit, I knew that ultimately he wanted me to be happy and healthy. I hadn’t considered that the changes I was making to myself were also affecting him. For the first time we weren’t on the same page. It was a bit scary standing alone, but wasn’t part of the process to move towards the fear?

So I tried to understand.

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