Listening to the rain this morning, reading my devotional, checking out the post on Facebook from the folks at my gym made me thankful to be a part of something in this big old world. Around 2010, I started Crossfit, hesitantly. One of my running buddies convinced me to come give it a try. The gym was offering a free trial week so I said what the heck let’s do it. By the third day I was hooked. I “drank the Kool-aid,” as they say and have never looked back. After five years, I have no regrets and I still love it. Crossfit is for everyone, regardless of what you have heard or any images you may have seen or conjured up in your head. Don’t lose out on a great health benefit, physical and mental, due to some crazy comment or image you may have heard or seen. It’s wrong.
Like anything else someone will always find the negative, but it has been my experience that the positive overrules any of the negative. Why after five years am I still hanging around? At first, I was intrigued somewhat. This mysterious “sport” was different. I soon found that I was actually good at some things and really stunk at other things. Because I was good at some things, I experienced success only to be humbled the next day with something I was awful at. Every day was different. The only expectation was to come and give it your best. Even the coaches had strengths and weaknesses and worked on improving themselves and everyone else. I soon found that even if there was something I couldn’t do, like a pull up, there was an alternative exercise that could be incorporated to ensure that I was part of every daily workout. I was coached well and encouraged continuously.
Before I knew it, I was embedded in a community of people working to improve and help each other get better. Many times before or after a workout people hung out to work on a skill or movement, soon I did too. The coaches and others always wanting to help. I have watched over the years as people have come in intimidated by Crossfit, but willing to try something outside the box, transform. Not just physically, that happens too, but mentally… the confidence levels of so many change drastically. The Crossfit mindset becomes ingrained in all who stick with it. “Even if I can’t do it, I will be able to do it with the right training and in time.” All of a sudden people embrace a “growth mindset” of nothing is impossible and flourish.
Every day is new, but the message is the same… hard work, commitment, motivation, encouragement, support and good coaching lead to great results for anybody. I have seen people from the age of nine to the age of seventy-five do Crossfit and change. I have seen people very overweight transform their bodies. I have watched people with little to no athletic ability become some of the best athletes. I have seen under confident men and women become new people and their whole life changed. I have seen unbelievable athletes move to a different level… Crossfit Regional and Crossfit Games. I have seen the changes in me and my family and I know the “Kool-aid is good.”
I still have struggles. I still have things that I am good at and things I need to improve on, but they are different now than before. I have grown. Now, I am a coach. It is probably the one thing I love the most, outside of my family. I am not the best athlete, many out do me, but there is not a day that passes that I am not excited about the possibility of what will happen in the gym. Watching someone get their first pull-up, climb a rope, or even run for the first time without stopping is exhilarating. Everyday people have their own personal victories and there is something that stokes the fire within me to push harder and savor the moments… the small victories personally for me as a coach and as an athlete. Helping others see the endless potential within themselves helps me to see that for me as well.
Despite what some may say…. Crossfit is good in so many ways. The camaraderie, the community, the people and the mindset is what has kept me loyal for these last past years and pushes me forward into 2016. Be encouraged, try it. Find a local gym and do it for yourself and forget about everybody else.
Some of my favorite Crossfit pictures: