The following text was written by Palo Červenka:
Palo Červenka is a co-owner of CrossFit Proton in Bratislava, Slovakia that was founded in 2013. He started CrossFit six years ago and is a CrossFit Level 2 coach. He attained the certificate in Frankfurt and took part in the Coach Development Program (CDP) in Boston.
We are fighting the stereotype that is spread by people who have never tried CrossFit. I am always trying to stay calm and prove the opposite.
I understand that people can get this kind of impression because obviously the media do not present the successes of everyday individuals from boxes who might have run their first unbroken 400 meters or a full extension squat after one year of training for it.
It is amazing to watch those unbelievable performances in competitive CrossFit, especially at The CrossFit Games. After watching the competitions many people are tempted to try the sport, but I believe the same amount of people, if not more, are discouraged. They think they simply cannot do it or that it is not the right thing for them.
Although, on the CrossFit website you can find a quote:
‘The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.’
It is our (CrossFit coaches and crossfitters) job to highlight this side of our sport. Because we know how many benefits the sport can bring to those who are moving in the right direction. With help from the right community and coaches, lives can be changes, and people can get this kind of help in a CrossFit box.
Don´t forget that CrossFit is a young sport and those who stand on any competition podium were just CrossFit beginners not long ago. Maybe they had an even easier start because of their previous sporting background, but compare the standards of the sport now to the past and look at the massive leaps in progress that have already been made. How many people besides Olympians could snatch and clean & jerk for example? Now many Crossfitters of different ability levels are learning these skills and having a lot of fun in the process.
If all the CrossFit box members were competitive high level athletes, there wouldn´t be 15,000 boxes in the world but probably ten times less. That´s the first thing I try to explain when people think CrossFit is only for the strongest people. Or that they have to work out at home on their own before they show up in a box. 99 percent of people in the gyms are so called ‘ordinary Joes and Janes’ who have their everyday life and CrossFit is just an extra thing that makes it better and more enriched.
On the graph below, you can see an age structure of people in our box. You can clearly see that those 10 plus people after their fifties will not start to compete and their ambitions in CrossFit are completely different than those of the 20 years old athletes. Despite that, they all work together as one united community.
That brings us to the point of my message. CrossFit is not only about competing and performance.
For some people, the performance is just to come to the box and train one hour three or four times per week. Most of the boxes inform and educate their members on healthy nutrition, balanced diet and sufficient recovery. When I put two and two together, for a person that defeats the laziness, CrossFit must become a lifestyle because it simply drags you in with all its benefits and pros, starting with a friendly atmosphere right through to visible results.
That´s the real magic of CrossFit that makes thousands of people try this young phenomenon and figure out, that it can be also something for them.
I am not sure if everybody can remember who was the best athlete at the 2016 Open, but I am absolutely positive that all our box members remember their first PR, no matter if it was their first pull-up, box jump or double under.
It´s not easy to describe what we do in 20 seconds. But if we stress the health effect of CrossFit in the first place, maybe we will be able to convince the CrossFit haters as well.
Enjoy your next training, because if you are reading this then there is a fair chance that you are a Crossfitter too. Send the message to your friend who thinks that you must have lost your mind.