Whenever I talk with someone about physical activity, there are two questions that always rise: “Do you go to the gym?” and “How many hours do you spend working out?” The answer is always the same: “I CrossFit around 30 minutes per day”. After a surprised expression, usually the next questions are “What is CrossFit?”, “I heard it’s dangerous, is it?” …all that normal questions/comments of people who have no idea of what I am talking about.
Greg Glassman defined it as “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement”. But these short lines will not provide you a technical overview about CrossFit, but a perspective from someone who was a skeptical and became a CrossFit addict for the past 6 years.
I still remember when I was wrongly afraid that this kind of workouts. Finally, two friends convinced me to do an experimental workout at a CrossFit Box, back in 2012. When I finished the WOD, I felt like a freight train ran me over (several times) but at the same time I was in complete ecstasy with what I just achieved by going completely out of my comfort zone. And suddenly a rush of dopamine happened, while I was laying on the floor enjoying the moment and I told to myself “this is the kind of workout that I want do to.”
In my opinion defining CrossFit as a training methodology or a sport is quite reductive, since in reality it’s a life quality upgrader mechanism. It transformed me into an overcome addict by constantly driving me to challenge my self-imposed limits while taking me out of my comfort zone to that place where magic happens. For me each WOD is somehow a proof of life, a proof that the impossible only exists in the mind.
During my journey through CrossFit I was amazed how CrossFit impacted my life, both in terms of fitness capabilities and overcoming those daily life challenges.
I remember that I couldn’t even do 1 Pull-Up or 1HSPU, my Bench Press 1RM was 70kg, I didn’t know to Snatch or Clean and Burpees…. they were my nemesis. 3 years later I had a sub-5 Fran and a sub-5 Diane, my Bench Press 1RM improved to 105kg, I could Snatch and Clean in front of a wall without touching it and I was able to do 125 Burpees in 7 minutes (but they are still my nemesis).
And I did not even mention the most important part, which was the impact of these achievements in my daily life, such as better sleep, better mobility, more energy and availability (mentally and physical), increase of self-confidence and self-esteem, carrying 30kg of groceries became light, , cleaning my house turned into a WOD (for time) and even became a cook so that I could prepare healthy and tasty meals. And just between me and you…intimacy will become much more interesting and intense.
In general, besides making you stronger, healthier and sexier, it improves you as a human being, providing some lessons about humbleness, bravery, sacrifice which will eventually change the way you face your daily life challenges.
And does it have side effects? Let’s see:
- It turns you to an eating machine;
- Being called “Beast” or “Animal” it’s a compliment (for both genders);
- Improvement of language skills as you find yourself talking a complete new weird language based on imperceptible acronyms to people that don’t CrossFit;
- Improvement of your counting skills (even when all oxygen left the brain to the muscles during the workout);
- CrossFit is your main conversation subject;
- You get “construction worker hands” (with all due respect to those professionals);
- You become a hand calluses scratcher and you will find yourself doing it at the bus stop, during meetings, while talking to friends or reading this article;
- Your gym bag starts to carry workout shoes, oly-lift shoes, belt, foam roller, lacrosse ball and other goodies;
- You start driving while handling the wheel with hook grip
In my opinion another of the interesting aspects of CrossFit, it’s the existence of global and multicultural community that independently of your gender, nationality, social and professional status, color, race or religion, welcomes you at their Box as you were one of them and making you feel yourself at home.
Due to all this, after 6 years the magic still exists. Who tries CrossFit it will not be indifferent to it since will love it or hate it. I love it and you?