I can't tell you how many times I see articles swearing up and down that CrossFit is bad, and that it causes more injuries than any other sport. Not to mention, it's helping to pave the way for some very lucky doctors' children to go to college! Thanks CrossFit! Ugh, every single time I see one of those articles it makes me want to start punching the computer screen. Ok, well, maybe not that. I would have to pay to replace it, and yeah... about that. But, you get the point. It makes me angry. According to all of those people, and all of those articles for that matter, I should actually be dead. No, seriously!
According to all of these people, there is no way that someone could do CrossFit for a long period of time. According to all of those articles, the injuries will get me, and I will realize the evils of CrossFit, and decide that there are far better uses of my time out there, because CrossFit is bad. I don't really want to ruin all of, well, we'll just keep calling them "those people's" day, but.... I have a very deep, dark secret I want and NEED to confess to the world. Are you ready? Of COURSE you are. You were born ready..... deep breath... here we go..... I'VE BEEN CROSSFITTING FOR OVER 7 YEARS! (almost 8).
Wait, wha? Yeah, you read that right...... 7 flipping years. There was a minor hiccup in there with that whole foot surgery thing, but that actually was not a direct result of CrossFit. That was a direct result of me not having an arch in my foot and doing a lot of walking for the past x number of years. But back to my point here.... 7 years is a long time. And here's the thing I don't get.... if CrossFit is so evil, if CrossFit is just going to lure me down the dark and dangerous road to rhabdo and injuries and totally ruin my life..... uh, why has it not ruined my life and killed me yet?
My relationship with CrossFit throughout the years hasn't always been rosy. We've had our ups and downs just like any relationship would, mostly due to work and schedule related issues, but in the end, it's never broken me. Have I had injuries? Legitimate ones? Yeah. In 7 years, I've had 3. 3 injuries that actually required the care of someone smarter than me. 1 of those injuries actually wasn't really even CrossFit related, but CrossFit was more or less the straw that broke the camel's back. I had tried to move and set up my classroom the week before the competition. Is it any wonder my back was really sore after the weekend? Of course not! I'd spent the whole week prior using improper form to lug around boxes of crap, not to mention desks, chairs, and other assorted classroom items. It's sort of a no brainer. I should have pulled out of the competition and I didn't, so I don't blame CrossFit for that one at all. The other 2 were honestly more my fault than CrossFit's. It's true. I'm a stubborn individual. And I paid the price for that.
Now, before everyone goes around shouting, see! She did get injured, also understand that while these injuries did require some attention, they were not life-threatening, nor did they actually keep me from working out. They also happened at competitions where I was away from my home box, and my inner "Just DO it!" kicked in. So before anyone accuses my coaches of not watching me, understand that this was something different entirely. These injuries were minor dings and tweaks that required a little working around. I had to get creative sure, but at the end of the day, I could have done the same damage to myself in my classroom alone as I did in the gym.
So what's my point? My point is, if I listen to everyone else out there, the naysayers, the "fitness experts", the bloggers, the article writers, and the self-proclaimed couch experts, I should, for all intensive purposes, be dead. CrossFit, in this length of time, should have debilitated me to the point where I shouldn't be able to move or enjoy life. So in other words, dead. But I'm not. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! NO WAY! Yup, way. I'm not dead.
So what does that mean exactly? Well clearly, this must mean that I'm a freak of nature with extraordinary athletic prowess. Really? I'm over here rolling on the floor at that one. It couldn't be farther from the truth. Ok, so then, I must have a private doctor who helps me every day? Seriously, do you have any idea how much that would cost? I don't know if you all know this or not, but uh, I'm not Dana Torres. Well then clearly, I must be lying.... nope, not at all.
So this begs the question then, of why am I not dead? Because I said so! Kidding, but I've always wanted to use that as a legitimate answer to a question. I don't have kids so I may never get to use that one. I had to... But back to the matter at hand... me being dead, or not rather. Why am I not dead?
I think that my story illustrates what a lot of us have known for a really long time. CrossFit, when done as it's intended, isn't a bad thing. CrossFit can be an important, and long lasting, part of your life. CrossFit can be a tool of your health and fitness. And when I say your health and fitness, I don't just mean for your body, but for your mind too. The story of the past year of my life is an interesting one, and maybe some time I'll get around to writing about it, but I know that without CrossFit in my life, there are times when my mental fortitude would have probably broken. I know that there were times were I treated what I was going through much the same way I treat those difficult wods in the gym. I put my head down, gritted my teeth, and found a way to just keep moving. Without CrossFit in my life, I'm not sure that that strength would have been there.
Now, this doesn't mean that CrossFit is without risks, absolutely not! But any CrossFitter or coach worth their salt will tell you that the key to longevity in CrossFit is acknowledging those risks, and working to minimize them. And THAT is exactly what I've done. I am absolutely not super human, and I am by no means rich enough to provide myself with daily personal care from an advanced team of doctors. What I have done is talked extensively with my coaches about what I've got going on in my life. They know and understand that my schedule is insane. They know what the limitations are for someone like me who is working out the number of days I work out, and they are quick to tell me if they think I'm out of line. I've taken rest days when I'm tired, and I've stayed in bed on some days rather than coming to the gym because I understand the inherent risks and long term affects of working out when your body is suffering from sleep deprivation. I've changed my diet, and I've developed the attitude that what I can do on any given day is simply what I can do. These things have enabled me to be able to continue to CrossFit, despite the fact that, according to everyone else, I should be dead. There is longevity to be found in CrossFit, without a doubt, and I'm living proof.... literally.