Love it or hate it, Crossfit is here to stay. The CrossFit program recently crossed 5,000 affiliates worldwide –a number that has been doubling every two years since 2005. It’s a worldwide phenomenon that has pushed its way into the conscience of anyone who’s even remotely aware of health and fitness trends. Why do I say it’s here to stay? because it’s not an easy sport to participate in. It’s not something that’s popular because it’s fun for the whole family. It can beat you down. It can be intimidating. It can teach you real quick where your weak spots are. If you need to be good at something right away, it’s not for you.
But then it does something miraculous.
For the initiated, dedicated, and lionhearted, it will transform those weaknesses into strengths. It will teach you what your body is doing, how it’s moving and how you should help it move. It will teach you to be humble but to also take pride in the strength you’ve gained. I came into crossfit three years ago now from an almost exclusive diet of endurance training. I was suffering from plantar fasciitis that I couldn’t get rid of, a stress fracture from running with bad form, and a thought that maybe I was too old (at 31, hah!) to compete in the sports I loved so much at the intensity I was used to. CrossFit changed me. It’s made me a better, more efficient runner. I don’t get injured anymore. I’m more aware of how I move. I’m much more well rounded and it’s absolutely catapulted the way I think of true fitness out of the dark ages and into a bright shiny future full of push-ups, kettlebell swings and amazingly efficient strides into the sunset. My body mass has changed. I’m bigger for sure. Some would say not ideal for anyone serious about endurance racing. But with that mass comes strength and ability. I may not look like a skinny runner anymore, but I promise you that I am three times the runner I used to be when it comes to efficiency.
People hate crossfit. I get it. I hate parts of it too. It can be bombastic, silly, clicky, unhealthy if it’s executed poorly, and the absolute wrong way for many folks to get their exercise in if they have serious mobility limitations or are not used to the intensity. For me, it’s a great way to cross train. I’m not a die hard; doing six or more WODs a week and hanging out only with my other crossfit elitists. But I know that IS how some crossfitters live. That’s fine. You see that in every other sport. When I raced road bikes my group of friends consisted of thirty-something doctors and well-to-do’s who refused to buy a car that wasn’t german and couldn’t not talk about Lance Armstrong. My sister called me a recreational nazi. It was a fair assessment.
But here’s my point, denizens, Crossfit has been a force for change. I believe it’s pushed things forward. It’s made a lot of people realize that these ideals of health and fitness are actually attainable without dedicating the majority of your day to expensive personal trainers, the gym, and all the douchiness that comes with it. Besides the actual fitness aspect of CrossFit, I don’t think this is more prevalent than in how women have embraced their new crossfit bodies. This is a sport that is extremely popular with women. And the women that excel at it do not look like your average airbrushed model. It’s definitely not everyone’s idea of beauty, but for the fitness inclined, a crossfit body speaks volumes of how difficult the training can be -you can’t fake abs like that. Dedicated crossfit women have some serious muscle to them and the crossfit community loves it. It’s amazing to see how the sport is starting to change some stigmas as to what a women should look like and what defines physical beauty. CrossFit just released this video which talks about this and how other crossfitters like to define the beauty found in their sport.