Why I WILL NOT quit Crossfit: Because you told me I should. Not really, but seriously people – the cycle of people sharing stories of those wanting to tell you why you should quit it – its nauseating.
The most recent one I read (here) was very well written, had some very good points, and I won’t knock the dude’s experience. I won’t even bash him for his viewpoint because it’s just that – HIS viewpoint. It was HIM telling HIS story and how Crossfit affected HIM. What I don’t get is how people want to take an article like that, and throw it in the face of every other person they know that does Crossfit as an example of why what we do and love is “bad” and we should quit. Do I “get” people that do ultra marathons and Ragnar relays? No!!! Do I think it’s smart (for me) to run 60 + miles a week like some do? Absolutely not. But look at Skinny Runner who is fit, happy, gorgeous and totally KILLING it in what she does – mad respect for that chick! Ever read how many miles that girl logs? She is a machine! Hey, did you read the article about the guy that died doing a Tough Mudder event? Are you reading this yet and realizing how ridiculous I sound?
My point is this: You do you, Imma do me. In other words, if Crossfit is not for you, that is perfectly fine. Just like I won’t be out running and logging a million miles a week with you, or getting in any century rides, you don’t have to “convert” to what works for me. As much as people want to believe its a cult and we are trying to make converts out of everyone, that just isn’t the case. For MOST people, all that has happened is that they have finally found what works FOR THEM and what they enjoy doing. They have found what is helping them feel strong and reach their fitness goals. You don’t have to like it. You certainly don’t have to understand it. But you have to RESPECT another’s decision to take part in something they love and enjoy.
Is Crossfit for everyone? Heck no!!! Are there people that are so extreme in what they do that they are going to end up getting hurt? Yes, but I venture to say that sometimes has to do with the person and not the activity. For example – if you have an athlete that you have recommended certain things to (taking a rest day, not lifting heavy back to back, etc.) and they ignore your warnings, is it then your fault and the fault of Crossfit when they injure themselves? I think it’s funny when some of these articles talk about how you go into a Crossfit box, do the workout on the board as fast and as hard as you can, and you end up in pool of sweat on the floor after vomiting your stomach contents post WOD. It’s downright laughable. What about the days where the sole focus of class is form and technique? The “goat work” days where we spend the entire time perfecting our form with a pvc pipe – using no weight at all? Don’t get me wrong though….there certainly are days that I finish my WOD on my back, in a pool of my own sweat.
I truly believe your experience in Crossfit can be impacted in a major way by where you choose to practice it as well. If you go to a location that is all about getting athletes in and out, not focusing on form, technique, individual skills and fitness levels, then yes, you will end up with a bunch of hurt people with a bad taste in their mouth giving Crossfit a bad name. Ever heard my first experience with Crossfit? The box owner turned me off of Crossfit in the first meeting and workout. I left saying, if that is how they treat people, and THAT is Crossfit? No thank you. But what I later found, the true community that IS CROSSFIT, a box full of amazing coaches that are focused on keeping me fit and healthy – well that is what it’s all about for me.
Are there going to be injuries that can happen in Crossfit? Yes, there are. There are times that an athlete is racing against the clock, and doing a movement that is difficult and heavy. If that athlete focuses too much on the clock and finishing in a certain time, and not on proper form, injuries can and will happen. Is that Crossfit’s fault? Or should the athlete know their limitations and be smart enough to know when you ignore the clock and focus on form? I ask that question, and its a silly question because we all already know the answer. Self ownership and individual smarts! If I finish “first” or PR my “Grace” or “Fran” time, I don’t walk away with an award for the day or cash in my pocket. Rogue isn’t calling me up for a sponsorship because I PR’d my WOD. When I leave my box every night after my workout, I am not leaving as a sponsored athlete collecting a check for finishing first and PRing on my WOD. I’m leaving as a 34 year old female that has to go home, feed the hubs and dog, clean my house and go to work the next day. I have the CHOICE in how hard I want to push myself in every workout. I have the CHOICE with how heavy I want to load up my bar during a workout. I have a CHOICE with doing the workout that was written on the board as RX, or if I want to scale to my ability and strengths.
One of my coaches told me, if you tear in the middle of your WOD – stop. I was like, what? Stop? That just won’t happen. He promptly gave me “that” look and asked what I win for finishing with torn hands? Do I get a check? Some huge trophy? No. What I get is two weeks of limited activity while my hands heal and a big “you’re an idiot” stamped on my forehead. The point is, nothing is worth an injury. If it hurts, stop. If it tears, stop. I am NOT a sponsored athlete under any contract getting paid for my performance.
The fact is, anyone can get hurt doing anything if proper form is ignored and you push beyond your physical limitations. Have you ever heard of runner’s having knee problems, joint pain, IT band issues, etc. Have you ever seen someone get hurt rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, cycling, doing an Ironman, playing football, etc. Heck, I tore my ACL playing flag football! Is Crossfit extreme for some? Yes. Can you get injured if you don’t focus on proper form and technique? Yes. Different strokes for different folks!
Ok, now that I have rambled on, I’m going to end this. I have never wanted to even address any of the negatives I hear about Crossfit, mainly because it doesn’t matter or even remotely begin to change my mind about it. Of course I know there is potential for injury if I am careless. To quote a 5 year old “Duh”. So you telling me I could get hurt is like me telling you that you have two eyes.
Crossfit has changed my life. Yes, it’s changed my fitness and my body and my strength but I just said it’s changed my LIFE. It may not change yours and that is ok. Find what does and be passionate about it. But please, for the love of all things holy, stop telling me my passion is hurting me!