People say to me sometimes, “Man, you really like CrossFit, don’t you?” If you are asking me that question, it’s obviously true. But what is it about CrossFit that’s so lovable?
I’ve always enjoyed being active — and running marathons has been a major passion of mine since 2010 — but CrossFit is a different animal. With running, it’s during and after that I love — not thinking about it (actually often dreading it) beforehand. But with CrossFit, I am excited to go — and a little sad when class is over!
When I started going to CrossFit 2. 5 years ago, a feeling of childhood pleasure came back to me in a way I never expected to experience again. I absolutely loved gymnastics as a kid — loved it so much I would practice at home every single day, attend open gyms, stay after class to work on skills and give it my everything. I watched every second of the Olympics and stopped anything I was doing if a competition appeared on TV (you hardly ever see those, it’s always ice skating — ever notice? I hated that!)
The thing was — I didn’t actually have any natural talent. I wasn’t good enough to make the competition team at my local gym. I never mastered a kip, an aerial or a full vault by myself.
But I worked like I was going for the gold. I loved it so much that it didn’t matter that I’d never place in a competition, I just wanted to work harder and get better. I was on my own level and wanted to complete what I could — which never went further back tucks and fly aways (and not very good ones.) I’d have never been able to whip out four backhandsprings in a row without working my butt off for years.
Looking back, backhandsprings and fly aways and backwalkovers on the high beam seem like insane feats that I could NOT complete now but in reality, they were very low level moves int he gymnastics community as a whole.
That being said, I feel similarly about CrossFit. I know I’m never going to finish all the Open workouts. I know I will probably never be able to do a muscle-up or back squat 200 pounds. I may never be able to do those cool kipping pull-ups all in a row, either.
But everyday, I’m a little excited, a little nervous, a little ready to see what I can do on THIS day. I sometimes like to hang from the bar like I did as a kid on the jungle gym and flip off with my legs. I love it when we do cartwheels and handstands — and the thrill of rope climbing is awesome (also because I have an excuse to wear my cool, CrossFit socks that *certain people [you know who you are!] make fun of me for wearing!
After 6 months of forced break from CrossFit, I’m so excited to be back — and really glad to have that childhood feeling of anticipation back too. There are very few things that can make you feel like a kid again — and that’s just one reason I really love CrossFit.