September 26, 2014

Shhhh...I Joined Crossfit...

So, recently I bit the bullet and I joined Crossfit…and I’ve sort of been keeping in on the DL.  I wanted to share why with you today.

I actually used to secretly despise it.  Well, if I’m being perfectly honest, it wasn’t a secret.  Please know that it wasn't the sport itself but the weirdo self-proclaimed Crossfit ambassadors who just wouldn’t shut up about it.  You know the ones I’m talking about.


And to drill down a little bit more, it’s not even the people who wouldn’t shut up about it – it is the cult members who feel it is the ONLY way someone can get fit or lose weight.  Guess what people?  It’s not.  There are some people out there with a definite arrogance about Crossfit and quite frankly, it’s annoying.

The second thing that bugged me about those die-hard Crossfitters was their obsession with Paleo.  Again, nothing to do with eating Paleo itself, but more about the smugness of those touting that it is the ONLY way to eat healthy or lose weight.

I will say this:  Crossfit is a sport, just like lots of other sports.  There’s running (my first love), walking, biking, Zumba, basketball, soccer, swimming, hiking, dodge ball…lots of people love these sports.  Lots of people get healthy doing any of these activities.  Paleo is an eating plan, just like lots of other eating plans.  There’s Weight Watchers, the Blood Type Diet, Atkins, eating clean, gluten-free, macrobiotic…lots of people lose weight successfully by following a healthy eating plan.

Truth:  86 of my 90 lost pounds are gone due to eating better and getting my butt off the couch.  

I didn’t follow one plan, but many, and found what worked for me in that moment in time…MANY times what worked for me, didn’t work for long…so I had to switch it up and do something different.  Bottom line:  eat healthy; get moving; be okay with switching it up.

Back to this whole Crossfit thing.  Yep, I (reluctantly) drank the proverbial Kool-Aid and I signed up.  Am I ashamed?  Hell No.  Do I feel like I have to explain myself?  Well, kind of.  JUST because of what I wrote above.  I want to separate myself from all the crazies!  Again, I am in NO WAY bashing Crossfit, but I want to assure you, I will not become one of THOSE people.
So, if I felt so strongly about it, why DID I join?  Well, for a few PERSONAL reasons.  1) A year ago I hired a personal trainer, and she proceeded to kick my ass and made me love fitness even more than I thought I could.  She stole my healthy, fit heart.  She is also a Crossfit coach; and 2) I was ready for something new, to change up my workouts and wanted to do more strength training. 

I’ve never done any type of lifting – well, except food off my plate and into my mouth, ha!  – and I wanted to learn.  I’ve been wanting to learn how to lift properly for about 6 months now and while I am also a member of a big, national gym, nobody at that gym wanted to take the time to show me how to lift properly.  Yes, there are weights there, and seemingly there are “trainers” there that are supposed to have the knowledge to train us, but after numerous attempts asking for assistance, no one ever would.

I had heard about the Crossfit culture (the one that is encouraging and supportive) and it appealed to me.  I don’t think that every “box” (what Crossfitters call their gyms…I seriously cringe a smidge when I use that word because it’s so…well, Crossfitty) is the same, but the one that I have joined is great.  There are many reports of how the mentality of Crossfit is all about more…more weights, more squats, more burpees…more, more, more...but this particular box, Iron Musket Crossfit, is not like that.  AT ALL.  I have encountered the most caring, encouraging, certified trainers that I could have hoped for.  They watch us like hawks.  “Jenn, no more weights for you, you were struggling on that last squat…” or “You’re done; rack it.” Which means, put the damn weights down, now.  I feel like they are watching out for us.  I never felt like that at my other gym.  There’s comfort in this.

So what I’m here to say today is that I’m a proud Crossfitter.  It is what I was looking for in the next step of my journey and quite frankly, it’s just fun.  I look forward to seeing what the next workout will be…I love challenging myself in ways I didn’t even know I could.  If you’ve been following along on my journey this is not at all news to you.  I love hearing people yell my name in encouragement and I love encouraging my fellow boxmates…I’m not even sure that’s a word, but that’s what I’m calling them.

Oh, and the whole Paleo thing?  Haven’t heard a word about it at the box.  Nada.  Not sure if that means they are saving it for a later date or if they are of the same mindset as me:  eat healthy – enjoy life.  I’m really hoping that’s what it is.  I’ll keep you posted.

What I’d like to impart to you today though, is this:  Just do you.  Whatever makes you happy, and brings YOU joy, do it.  Just don’t put others choices down – what works for you, may not work for me and vice versa.  Isn’t the goal to get healthy?  That’s my goal…and I’ll be here to cheer you on – whatever YOU decide to do.

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