Thursday, July 10, 2008

Restful ramblings: Why do I CrossFit?

Oi, I took a rest day today. After the beginning of this week, I was due! So, since it is a rest day, I must entertain you, bemuse you, or annoy the pants off of you with some restful ramblings. (Do you like how I found a way to use alliteration this time??!?! :) )

You know what's really cool about blogging? (Besides the fact that I get to say whatever I want and people read it!) The fact that with modern technology I can know the locations of the people reading my blog, and I also know where they came from on the internet, and, if they came through a search, I can also see what they searched for, and thus found me. Pretty cool huh? Sometimes this produces many interesting results. I'm not sure why it came up on me, but someone was searching for "Will the Stairmaster give me a big butt?" and somehow wound up on my blog. It kind of cracked me up. But I instantly thought of a post I had recently read off the affilitate blog about how women are afraid of picking up heavier weights and bulking up. Then I kinda got a little huffy with the woman to think that this woman was more concerned with her appearance than health, but that's a whole other blog post and I digress. The one that really sent me a little over the edge was the person who was searching for "Why CrossFit sucks". No, you read that right. He wanted to know why CrossFit sucks.

Now, I don't know if said person ever found ANY information pertaining to that topic, but I'm willing to bet that if he did, it was written by someone who tried CrossFit for the first time, didn't scale appropriately or accordingly, and thus got their ever loving butt whooped. I became a little bit enraged that this unknown individual even dared to insinuate that CrossFit is anything but a wonderful program. It made me wonder what even possessed someone (who very clearly must not have ANY testicular fortitude) to try to do CrossFit. And this of course got me to thinking, "Why do I CrossFit?"

As I sat and thought for a moment about why I do what I do, I realized something. Over the last few weeks/months as I have progressed, I have lost site of what I am doing this for, and I think now is a great opportunity to remind myself, and perhaps jog the memories of others. I have been very hard on myself regarding my Zoning, my weights, and my progression in general, and I don't know why. Thinking back on my original reasoning for joining CrossFit, my self-deprecation doesn't make any sense... goals change for sure, but I lost sight completely of what CrossFit is doing for me, and I think it's something I need to keep more fixed in my mind.

With the completion of the CrossFit games, it's easy to sit and think that "Man, I really want to work out like those guys." But the reality is, that for most of us, that is an ideal that just won't happen. Why? Why is that not in the cards for most of us? Because. When we joined CrossFit, we did it for a different reason. I know that when I first picked up my very first thruster, or KB swing, or band for my chins, I wasn't thinking that CrossFit was going to make me the most elite athlete out there and I was going to be able to complete amazing feats and compete in the games. I didn't pick up those weights because I wanted CrossFit and training to become my life like many of those athletes. I picked up those weights because I wanted a change.

Before CrossFit, I was having a hard time walking up stairs, or picking up boxes and other heavy objects without feeling winded and tired. Even though I was swimming in a masters program, I felt weak. I felt sluggish. I hated how much my appearance had changed, and I knew that if I continued at my current rate of weight gain, it would not take long until I had a pretty serious issue. I joined CrossFit because I was sick of Globo gyms telling me that kick backs and pull downs were going to help me with any of the problems I was having. I joined CrossFit because I wanted to live. I want a life where I am not confined by my lack of strength or my body composition. I want a life in which I know that I am healthy and strong, and will live, God willing, to see the day that I get married and have kids of my own. I want a quality of life that enables me to do everything that I want to do. I don't want to be hindered by others ideals of what beauty or fitness are. I joined CrossFit because it's going to make me, and keep me healthy. I didn't join CrossFit because I want my ass to look great in pants. I didn't join CrossFit because I want to be a firebreather. I didn't join CrossFit so I could look at men shirtless in the gym (although gentlemen, that's not a bad thought... work on that for me...). I joined because I had a desire to do something different. I had a desire to better myself in a way that would be lasting and not fleeting as so many stints to the globo gym have been in the past.

CrossFit has given me all of this and more. It has given me all those goals, and many I never thought possible. I can walk stairs, lift boxes, run miles, hoist weights... CrossFit has given me all of that. Not only that, but CrossFit has given me a support system and community of amazing people who have allowed me to become the stronger and healthier person I am now. Amdist the games and standard changes it's easy to forget that we're here, not to be firebreathers, but to be athletes with goals. It's easy to forget that we've made progress and that that progress is worth celebrating. Often times we look at these athletes and compare ourselves to them, wondering why we can't life that much or move that fast. But we can't forget that we are not they, and that we came for a different reason. We need to remember that we have all grown stronger, and healthier because of CrossFit. I joined CrossFit because it gave me my life back. What about you?


Justa said...

Very good post, Katie. We should all remember why we started, and we should all set goals that make sense for us. This will ensure continued progress and keep us on track.

The Wigan Crossfitter said...

I found crossfit by chance. I read an article called 'Sweat storm' in a magazine.

I had done the 'Body for life' program and lost a lot of weight and enjoyed going to the gym. But after a while I got bored. I don't want to look like a body-builder, I don't like the vanity side of it nor the orange skin and shrunken testes.

I wanted to get fit. Really fit. Reading the Sweatstorm article inspired me. It talked about a gym with no mirrors, no Ipods and no ego's. It seemed like the movie 'Fight Club'. Train like a other words just what I was looking for.

I copied the workout from the magazine (Hell week) and I was hooked.

I love the olympic lifts, the sheer physical demands of the workouts and the fact I don't quit even though my mind says 'give up, nobody will know'.

I've rambled enough for tonight I think!

Robin said...

This is a great post, Katie, thanks for sharing your thoughts. We recently had "Retro Friday" where people could pick a workout from their first week at CrossFit Regina and repeat it with the same reps, same weight, and BLOW their old scores out of the water! It was very inspiring. I had people commenting that they felt 10 feet tall and bulletproof walking away that day.

On another note, how do you find out how people found your blog? I'm on blogger too and would be interested to know this.

Katie said...

Justa, thanks for the compliment! It was more of a reminder for me, but if I'm losing my focus from time to time, chances are someone else might be too! Just a chance to reset the specs...

Steve, I think that's awesome. I also did not join to turn orange or look like a Muscle magazine. I like the comparison of CrossFit to Fight Club... it makes me feel like Brad Pitt, and he is very pretty... therefore... I am pretty! :) He... Feel free to ramble as much as you'd like, that's what I'm here for.

Robin, I use a couple different things to "find" people. The Feedjit counter on the side of my page keeps track, and if you click in the bottom, you can watch it in real time. Otherwise you have to refresh and sometimes the list is a little behind. My other "secret" weapon is that I have my blog linked to something called Feedburner, which allows your blog to be picked up by things like google reader (I don't know how many people subscribe to me using that function... that's the only bad part) but it also tracks number of visitors and physical as well as web location. It's fun to see where everyone is coming from! :) Some of the searches are funny too!

Katie said...

Forgot to mention Robin that retro Friday sounds awesome!!!! :) Back then I was doing KB swings with a 26 lb KB and using 15 lb dumbbells for my thrusters and the NAVY BLUE band for chins... my how times have changed... ;)

Kim said...

I love reading your blog. It's great to see such strong females that do crossfit! Truly an inspiration! Please keep up the good work! Your post made me think about why I started CF, and there are so many reasons. I think I'll try to put them all down on paper.

I'm thinking that the guy searching for "why crossfit sucks" is probably somebody that recently found it, hasn't tried it, and was shocked by all the positive things he found. Almost like one of those "is this too good to be true?" situations. Let's hope anyway, because I don't like thinking anyone really thinks CF sucks!

Katie said...

Kim, I'd love to see your list!

As for the dude, eh, it's ok... I'm just going to continue to assume that he has no "testicular fortitude". :) hehehe

Herb said...


I hope all is well. I think we have some friends in commmon, KTF and JB.

Can i use this in our newsletter? i will of course site you and have other bow before you when necessary

Katie said...

Herb, feel free! And feel free to drop by anytime you like. The bowing isn't really necessary, but I do appreciate it when people pay me the respect I deserve... ;)

Brian said...

Great article Katie. I joined originally purely to get into shape for Mt. Rainier. Now there are lots of reasons I do it... I love the competition, the intensity, the community, vanity (come on, this is at least a little reason for all of us), and now to help get me to the end goal of the 1/2 ironman next June.

Goals are always changing, but Crossfit is always there!

georgia said...

Great post, Katie. With all the Spartan/12 week challenge stuff going on lately I've found myself thinking, "But I'm really (finally) happy with my fitness, level of commitment, balanced diet and resulting looks." No longer do I go through the day worrying about fat rolls or "am I pretty enough." No. These days, because of Crossfit, I know that I'm hot stuff. (in a confident way, not a stuck up way.) I can do chins and push ups. I throw big weights. And I rock a tank top. Plus, I still have a lot of fun with margaritas and the occasional burger. For the first time in my life, I feel well-rounded and totally stinkin awesome about myself, inside and out. There is a level of moderation in my life that Crossfit has brought me to and I love it.

I guess I'm lacking spartan motivation at this point...going back to the beginning as your post suggested may just be the way to go. Start from the beginning...follow the yellow brick road...all that stuff :)

Katie said...

Brian, CrossFit is always ready and waiting to hurt you... kinda like an older brother you never wanted... ;)

Georgia, I have always thought you were strong and beautiful. CrossFit has just made you that much hotter. :) Rock that tank girl! :)