Friday, April 18, 2008

The really awesome thing about CrossFit...

You know, the last week or so in my life has been pretty interesting. Through the few short months that I've been doing CrossFit, I've learned a lot about it. But there is one thing in particular that I've learned over the last few weeks about CrossFit that just seems so unbelievably cool to me. CrossFit seems to have this innate ability to bring people together, who may otherwise in life never had had the opportunity to meet or interact. Let me take you back for a minute... (and yes there is a point to this)

The entire reason I found CrossFit was a guy. (I know I know... hush... big bad CrossFit girl pretends to be tough, found CrossFit because of a guy... Yadda yadda yadda) Anyhoo, I found myself in a situation with this amazing person. When he came to visit me in July, he mentioned his friend Jerry who had just opened a CrossFit affiliate in Old Town. At the time, I was doing masters swimming and I was content with that, but after his departure, and a few life changes, swimming just didn't hold the same appeal. I needed something different. So I decided to give CrossFit a try. I started with Jerry two days a week, and instantly knew that there was something about CrossFit that I loved.

Unfortunately, the amazing guy and I did not have quite the success story that CrossFit and I did. But I still think the world of him and miss him dearly, and am eternally thankful that he introduced me to CrossFit. As I started to CrossFit more and more, CrossFit became more a part of my life. I met people who inspired me. Not just inside the blue room, but outside as well. People who even without knowing me well, were taking the time to help me, and guide me through a lot of changes in my life. Without CrossFit, I probably never would have met these people, and certainly would not be at the point in my life where I am right now. I have a lot to thank CrossFit for. CrossFit just has this ability to bring together people who may never have met in real life, and it enables them to form a bond. Now, I am not a military person, nor have I ever been, and I have obviously never faced the rigors of combat. But I feel like perhaps the only way I can explain what CrossFit does, is to compare it to the rigors of combat.

In combat (so it has been explained to me) you are in the direst of circumstances, which creates a bond between you and the other members of your unit because you can relate to those around you and understand the hell the man next to you is going through. CrossFit is certainly not by any means the direst of circumstances, but it is designed to test you and push you and make you feel like you are at your limit. When the guy beside you is struggling with the same thing, you feel his pain and understand it, and therefore you encourage him. Through understanding bonds begin to form, and before you know it, a community of CrossFitters has emerged, fighting each workout with everything they have, and defeating them because they refuse to give up. This hostile workout environment fosters something amazing, and something I have never experienced before in my 19 years as an athlete.

And, as crazy as it sounds, CrossFit has also allowed me to form these similar bonds with people all over the United States. I'm not sure how anyone has found me, but I have had readers from Kansas, NYC, Chicago, Alabama, Indianapolis, San Diego, Texas, Alexandria, DC, and many more. Without CrossFit, I never would have had the opportunity to meet or interact with any of these people. I never would have had the opportunity to form this blog and do two things I enjoy; workout and write! I began this blog as a way for me to rant and rave about my workouts (and ocassionally my life). I never in a million years imagined it would spread to other people. People have laughed with me, or at me, and shared my successes, my triumphs, my sicknesses, my injuries, my frustrations, and have even in some cases been inspired by things I have written. I can't describe what that feels like. The feeling is unparallelled. In the last week, two affiliates (NYC and Alamo CrossFit) have somehow managed to find my blog and enjoy it. They have in turn posted things on their site for their CrossFitters to enjoy. To know that people around the country are reading and enjoying, and RELATING to what I'm going through, feels wonderful. I can't tell you how much I enjoy having the ability to entertain (and perhaps encourage) other people.

The really awesome thing about CrossFit is that it is unmatched and unparrallelled in the fitness world. There is simply nothing like it. It enables you to go beyond your limits and bounds everyday. Whether it is in the workout room, or in your daily life, CrossFit pushes you to find the best version of yourself. I wouldn't trade CrossFit, or my team, for anything in this world.

CrossFit; forging bonds through hostile workout environments.


Kurt T. Fuller said...

Awesome post Katie. Like you, I am continually amazed at the community that a workout regimen can create. It is unbelievable that something that seems so innocent can have so much power.

I'm a daily reader, mainly because your a regular updater with good content and engaging plots. If your ever in the Indy area, drop by TitanFit. And stay CrossFit!

Kim said...

I love reading your blog. You have the perfect balance of respect and humor. Keep it up!

Tanya said...

Hi!!! I read you girl, but haven't been commenting lately! My apologies! I'm off to a 10k this morning, which needs to be 10 mi actually, so hopefully the darn rain holds off.

Here's a haiku for you:

Katie writes a lot
pondering, feeling, thinking
blog is insightful

Katie said...

Tanya! So nice to see you this am! I hope the 10K goes well for you.... I reiterate... running fiend... :P

And I love your haiku! Since April is national poetry month we've been talking about haikus and cinquains in my 3rd grade class this week! How fun! :)

Brad said...

Here's my take on some of this...

I would be paranoid at the standard "globo gym" and hate seeing other people there - afraid they are watching and judging. For a while I thought the message board/blog thing was just a safe way to "be seen" at the gym. Then I went to the cert - I was not the high poster by any stretch, but somehow I felt TRUE support without any judgment or condescension.

We have found the 12 step group for fitness.

Of course, at 43, I might just be getting to old to let stuff bother me anymore....

Peace from your Alabama reader.

Katie said...

Brad, I think in some respects you've hit the nail on the head about the globo gym. I too feel paranoid when going there because let's be honest. Gyms nowadays breed competition. Everyone wants to be working out harder and heavier than the guy beside them. In many respects it's also turned into a meat market. People go to the gym to meet people and who's going to get the girl? The guy with the best benchpress (or so he thinks...) In the immortal words of Shania Twain (dear lord did I really utter that out loud?) "That don't impress me much."

CrossFit on the other hand is like a 12 step program for people like us. It kicks not only your ass, but everyone else's in that room. And you know the people aren't there because they're going to look cute while they work out. CrossFit is about hard work and improving, and everyone understands that. In the globo gym, no one cares if you just went up five pounds in weight.... but in the CrossFit room, they care, because they know how hard you've worked to get there. Just one more reason that CrossFit, in addition to being a better workout, is better than the globo gym. (This could be a blog in itself... :P)