The Crossfit Addiction

Husband has expressed that he is thoroughly TIRED of hearing about Crossfit. Apparently I somehow manage to bring it up in every single conversation. It’s all I talk about. It has changed me. And although he agrees that it has been a hugely beneficial hobby for me, I would say he is less than thrilled about the addiction I’ve developed.
I’m sure you’ve seen the funny e-cards about the Crossfit cult. And many of you whether from observing a Crossfitter, or being a Crossfitter yourself, have probably witnessed the deep passion that builds and then spills out from those who have found themselves enamored with chalky hands, sweaty brows, loud music, and heavy weights.

I’m always tempted to say that I don’t really know how to explain my love for Crossfit. And in truth I don’t know how to explain it to someone unfamiliar. But if given a chance to discuss this new passion with a fellow Crossfitter, I’ve found we can spend literal hours recounting this WOD or that WOD, battle wounds of heavy metal bars slamming into your chest or shins, or how far we’ve come in executing the game standards for form. It isn’t hard to explain at that point, because they get it. 
So what is it exactly that drives people who have never picked up a weight in their life to suddenly power through Olympic lifts…and enjoy it? What could possibly be exciting about doing box jumps and burpees until you actually puke from the exertion?
While I believe there are a number of reasons, each unique to that person’s experience, I would argue the overall theme, is the sense of self accomplishment. In Crossfit you do things you NEVER thought you could do. Not only do you do them, but you go beyond that imaginary limit and truly test just how far your body, and often times, your mind and discipline will go. And when you are finished, once your heart rate has decreased to an almost normal speed, and you’ve caught your breath, you realize…you can’t wait to do it again. It’s the ultimate adrenaline rush, and you did it…all by yourself. 
You live for the moment when the trainer counts down 3, 2, 1 go! Your nerves are on edge, your heart is already pumping with the anticipation of the challenge in front of you. The music blasts from the speakers and weights start crashing down all around you. There is a frenzy as your fellow Crossfitters hurry from one activity to the next, racing against the ever ticking clock. The trainer yells “You’ve got 60 seconds to go!”, and you want to reach your goal so bad you will do anything to achieve it. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 TIME! You drop to the floor. Every ounce of energy you had poured into your workout. You find your water bottle, wipe away the droplets of sweat falling down your face, you take a moment to document your time or rounds, chit chat about who did what and how hard the WOD was. Then you pack your things and go home, wondering what the next day’s WOD will bring. 
But your efforts don’t end there. Once entering the world of Crossfit you realize that it isn’t just about increasing your physical ability alone. There are all of these movements that you need to learn. You find yourself practicing, yes practicing, things like push ups and pull ups. Trying to get the form down. And suddenly your short workout extends to other areas of your day, as you search for a few moments to bang out a series of push ups, or make an extra trip to the gym to work on your power cleans. Working out has now turned into a practice of skill.
And then there is the nutrition aspect of it. There isn’t a place for crappy diets because without proper fuel it’s hard to get through the workouts. Not to mention downing a cheeseburger before a WOD will result most likely in your stomach feeling like it’s full of lead as you try to speed through, begging for the feeling of lightness. You begin to think about how to eat to help you recover and build muscle. More so than ever, food is fuel.
The next thing you know, almost without trying, working out and eating right come naturally. And with that realization, the addiction begins. Add to it the incredible camaraderie in the gym, the unending support and cheerleading that gets you through each struggle, and you find it hard to think about anything else.
I’ve never understood wanting to spend hours in the gym. I’ve never grasped the concept of “maxing out” on a lift. I’ve avoided weight training my entire life. But even I think nothing of going to the gym, setting up my barbell in a room to myself, and spending an hour or so just testing out what I’m capable of. And I actually enjoy it. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment and hard work. It makes me happy knowing that I’ve found something to love that is beneficial to my health. Looking at Crossfit membership rates it’s normal to wonder how anyone could justify the cost, but once you’ve experience it, you find yourself willing to pay any price, because it’s worth it.

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