CrossFitters: Are we really that crazy?Or are we just in a healthy relationship? An examination of my CrossFit experience as a relationship.

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I hear the word crazy thrown out a lot in reference to CrossFit , but when you take a step back and look at it, are CrossFitters really all that crazy? In this short piece I look to outline my personal experience with CrossFit in the context of a relationship to hopefully provide some insight into why CrossFitters aren’t crazy, but rather just in an exciting healthy relationship.

Roughly two and a half years ago marked my inaugural Work Out of the Day (WOD) and the beginning of a new relationship. I still vividly remember that 20 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) of 20 x Air Squats coupled with a 200 meter run. Since that first workout, my relationship with CrossFit endured its ups and downs just as any other relationship would.

1. Dating
Kind of like blind date, I skeptically tried CrossFit based on a recommendation from a friend. I have always been familiar with the gym and exercising, but never like this. Through the dating phase, I looked to get a feel for what CrossFit was all about and whether it was a right fit for me. Challenging? Check. Efficient? Check. Quantifiable? Check. Constantly Varied? Check. This began to look like a promising relationship for me.

2. Honeymoon
After realizing how great CrossFit was, I quickly became a little obsessed with it. Remember the first time your childhood crush reciprocated the same feeling towards you? How excited you were? You couldn’t wait to spend every waking moment with that person! Well just like that first childhood crush, CrossFit began to occupy my every waking thought. The thoughts of mastering new movement, PR-ing my back squat, and working towards my first WOD as Prescribed (Rx) evoked this feeling of excitement and passion in me. The bottom line was that I couldn’t get enough of CrossFit and I wanted to learn everything about it, which led me to earn my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification.

3. Comfort
Like all relationships, my relationship with CrossFit out grew the glamour and novelty of the honeymoon phase. My initial explosion of growth and improvement began to plateau. However, just because the honeymoon phase is over doesn’t mean that all the excitement has to be over. As relationships mature, we grow to understand and appreciate the nuances of the relationship. In that sense, I grew a whole new appreciation for CrossFit as I began to grasp the principles of CrossFit and how to apply them. As CrossFit became a priority in my life, I began to eat healthier, make time to work on mobility, venture off and explore the outdoors, and cut back on bad habits like drinking. Just as relationships grow to become a part of your life and identity, CrossFit became a part of mine.

4. Curiosity
Admit it or not, everyone questions their relationship at one point or another. Thoughts like “is he/she the right one?” and “I wonder what else is out there” naturally cross our minds. As amazing as it is to grow comfortable with yourself in the context of a relationship, it is just as important to find yourself outside of it. Eventually I began to question CrossFit and asked myself “Is this it? Is there something more than just CrossFit?” As I grew comfortable with CrossFit, I decided branch out and explore. As I tested the waters, I found excitement and novelty again in working on my Olympic Weightlifting and I began to work on solely on my Snatch and Clean & Jerk. Although I was specializing on my Weightlifting, I was also reinforcing my relationship and enjoyment for CrossFit in the grand scheme of things. I believe it is important for individual to have their own interest and passions outside of their relationship. This allows each member to bring something new to benefit the relationship as a whole. In that regard, my focus on Olympic Weightlifting was my personal interest outside of my relationship with CrossFit. It was something I could bring to the table to make the relationship stronger.

5. Sharing
Most healthy relationships eventually reach a point where you want to share it with others. In my case, I did this by starting a CrossFit affiliate for my unit in Afghanistan. I decided to put my Level 1 Trainer Certification to use and provide Soldiers in my unit an alternative to the Army’s “one-size fits all” prescribed fitness regime. Being able to help re-create my journey for others and help people kindle a relationship with themselves has been one of the most fulfilling experiences. When I look at most Crossfit gyms out there, I am convinced that every single gym owner has reached this sharing point in their relationship with CrossFit. As great an individual CrossFitter as they may be, I believe gym owners find the most satisfaction in helping guide people through this amazing relationship with CrossFit.

By examining my experience with CrossFit in terms of a relationship, I hope that I was able to share my passion in a ways that most can relate to. CrossFitters may be crazy, but when we really take a look at it, aren’t we all a little crazy? We all have that special relationship in our lives that makes us seem a little off base to the outside eye, whether it is our family, our friends, our significant other. As CrossFit continues to grow and become more prominent in the fitness industry, I hope this piece can help bridge the gap and help people understand our relationship with CrossFit.

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