Rare is the occasion I’ll use “hurt” and “love” in the same sentence with the intention of convincing you that they actually go hand-in-hand. You see up until recently, I was convinced that pain, whether emotional or physical, had absolutely no “positive” place on this mantle called life.
That is, until I tried Crossfit.
If you know anything about crossfit, then you know it’s not an easy ride. Unlike rollercoasters, your participation does not require a certain amount of height, but rather a certain amount of bravery; a complete willingness to step outside of your physical self and forge into your greatest (strongest) self via extremely intense techniques (cardiovascular, weight lifting, gymnastics etc). The cliche’ saying, “No pain, No gain” could have easily been coined from a crossfit enthusiast.
So you might be thinking, “Whoa, this girl is probably into that crazy S&M stuff.” But believe me when I say I’m no glutton for pain. Quite the opposite actually. I was your stereotypical freckled & fragile redhead. The local crybaby, or at least that’s what the kids called me back in the day. Rightfully so though, because I was in fact, a crybaby. I was very liberal in saying something was too hot, too cold, too far, too steep, too hard, too….anything-you-can-think-of. To say I was a wimp would be a most accurate description.
So you can imagine it came as a huge surprise to me when I first tried crossfit, got my ass handed to me and kept going back for more! What made it soooo different that I would willingly, with no fight at all, give up my affordable $24.99 monthly membership at a “regular” gym and spend $160.00 a month on Crossfit? Well, the list is long, but here are just a few examples:
At some point in our lives, we’ve absorbed the idea that strangers don’t care about us, but that’s just not the case in Crossfit. Everyone is working towards a common goal, and while there is definitely competition against others (and yourself), your fellow crossfitters genuinely care about your success, just as much as theirs. When everyone is on board, the environment becomes a powerful platform of potential. The last time I felt that, I was in the 1st grade.
Let’s face it. America is vain. Most gym dwellers are there with the intention of having “like, a super hot beach body, duh.” That’s okay, except in order to squeeze out all the benefits that exercise has to offer, there has to be more than just an aesthetic desire, because aesthetics are really just a byproduct. Crossfit squeezes it all out, and the way your body feels supersedes the way your body looks. Your self esteem is then derived from how strong you’ve become and how great it made you feel to achieve that, rather than how quickly you trimmed off an inch from your waist.
- STAYING IN THE PRESENT
We all like to stay occupied. “Regular” gyms help us with this by encouraging us to indulge in the many televisions they’ve strategically placed on the walls. While I do love to occasionally indulge in an episode or two of The Real Housewives of Orange County, the gym is not the time nor the place. Crossfit keeps you in the present moment, focusing soley on what you’re physically trying to achieve, which is so much better than plateauing on an elliptical, reflecting on how bad work was. What a blatant misuse of perfectly good energy.
Needless to say, I love Crossfit. If I have to hobble, limp or crawl to get to class, I will….because it hurts THAT good. Oh and for the record, I’m still a crybaby.