What CrossFit Means to Me: A Way to PR at Life

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by JADE SHARP

I often hear of non-CrossFitters talking about CrossFit as if it is some kind of a cult. Outsiders see CrossFit consume their friends or family members very shortly after they commence training. They have gone from being a non-active lounge lizard to being someone who is never home.

I come from a gymnastics background and was on the Australian gymnastics team for a number of years.
And if they are home all they can think about … Facebook post about … Google search … YouTube watch … and talk about … is CrossFit.

If they are not showing off their ever-developing calluses, they are talking about Olympic lifts, mobility or trying to convince everyone around them to do it too! It seems to have totally consumed their lives. So it is perfectly understandable for someone to think that they have lost their friend to a fitness cult!

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I have even convinced my own 53 year old mother, a grandmother of seven, to join. I have witnessed her go from not exercising at all to a chronic CrossFit committed cult member.

She trains 4-5 times a week, she shares technical posts on Facebook, rings me excitedly about her personal bests at any given opportunity, she has stopped smoking and has gone from someone who never had time for herself to someone who makes time for CrossFit and never misses her sessions.

So, have we all been sucked in by a cult or is there more to it than that?

To answer this, I reflect on my own experience and look at where my life has taken me and how CrossFit became a key part of my life. I come from a gymnastics background and was on the Australian gymnastics team for a number of years.

I retired at the ripe old age of 16 but up until then I trained around 40 hours a week as well as fitting in 30 hours of study a week. I was driven. I pushed myself. I set goals and worked hard to achieve them.

I lived away from my family at the other end of the country to train with the best coaches. My whole life was consumed by gymnastics and my goal was to make the Olympic team. I made the Olympic team and was injured soon after and did not compete at the Olympics.

Heartbroken, I retired soon after. After finishing high school, I coached gymnastics for ten years until I started family and now I am a stay-at-home mother of two boys aged 4 and 5.

I went from being a teenager who was in control of my destiny with passion and absolute focus to an adult living a life in such a way where I considered myself to be a victim of life
I recognize now that once I retired I had no focus. I never set goals and had no sense purpose. Because of this, I quickly slipped into a somewhat of a normal life comparatively speaking: going to work, coming home, watching some TV, bed, sleep, repeat.

Because of a lack of focus, I constantly sought distraction: whether that be with TV, video games, partying, Facebook in more recent years or just buying things to try and attach meaning and significance to.

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