The last few days of travel have been quite exhilarating and rather eye opening for me. You see, I recently travelled across the US, as I quite frequently do, and was again wearing my normal travel get up of vibrams, skins and a mildly offensive t-shirt. Of course this draws attention because I can see the snickering of people as the chuckle at the latest "worded" sock I use or, the way my feet look in a pair of vibram five fingers. Heck, they even look at me funny when I might do air squats in the airport or in the back of the airplane.
What amazes me even more is when I was with my kids doing burpees, tuck jumps and then squat jumps with them on my back, the looks of joy that people got just thinking I was being a crazy dad. What was even better was the look of embarrassment on my kids faces because we were right in the middle of the airport. It is these moments that I choose to share my passion for CrossFit with the world.
You see, I LOVE CrossFit. I LOVE the community. I LOVE sharing CrossFit with just about everyone I meet. In fact, on this trip alone, i think i referred at least 10-15 people to boxes in their area because I like to do my research on boxes and meet the owners as often as I can. I love to see what people are doing, who they are working with and of course what the community of that box is like.
I CHOOSE to share CrossFit because I know it works for EVERYONE. And as I have said before, I don't believe everyone is for CrossFit, but CrossFit IS FOR EVERYONE. In some of the discussions that came up over the last few days, i met endurance athletes, US Swim team coaches, globo Gym members (met on the street in Washington DC). I had people stop me and ask me in the parking lot today where my gym was because of the advertising on the back of the car.
People want and need CrossFit. Why? Because it represents so much more than fitness. It now represents a way of life, a philosphy of living, a method of going against the grain. In a nation where obesity is on the rise, there are those of us out here who are doing battle with the TV, the Comfort Zone and all of the other stuff out there that helps obesity rise.
When people ask about CrossFit, I have had so many people tell me they don't know what to say. So here is what I tell people as I am out and about offending the world and defending the galaxy of fitness.
CrossFit is not just the best general physical preparedness program there is, it is also the most amazing community you will ever have the chance to be a part of. In CrossFit, we vary our exercise routine because we believe routine is the enemy. We scale our workouts to the appropriate level for each athlete and member that walks through our doors. We train with functional movements that you would use not only in the gym but in your every day life. We train at our highest level of intensity for us and try to push ourselves to be better each time we show up. CrossFit is NOT about Elite Fitness, but about YOUR Fitness. We want YOUR physical and psychological limits to be reached.
It's more than that though. The thing that drives CrossFitters to push themselves is the camaraderie and friendships that are made at each and every corner. There are people from far and wide that travel just to visit other CrossFit "boxes" to see what their coach is like, what is this box like or even to see their favorite "CrossFit Superstar" if you will.
CrossFit is a sport as well. What you see on TV, is the elite of the elite. The upper echelon of CrossFitters is getting better and better, and each gym contributes to that success. I let people know each box has it's own atmosphere, it's own community within the community, it's own feel. Each day brings a new challenge, a new moment to prove to yourself you can do something you didn't think you could do before. Each moment adds to the blessing of being a CrossFitter. You look forward to knowing that the WOD becomes the hardest and most challenging part of your day. When you figure out you can accomplish all that you set your mind out to do, then you can do amazing things.
CrossFit is a part of a bigger plan as well. There are several specialties within CrossFit so if you want to be a long distance athlete or play football, rugby, lacrosse, swim, wrestle... whatever it takes, then we can help you get there! That's what CrossFit is about, enhancing the function of YOUR life and ensuring YOU are going after it. It is about you LIVING your life and taking the time to ensure you can.
CrossFit is about how you react to the hardest parts of your day. If you can handle Murph or Eva then you can handle anything.. trust me. CrossFit challenges you mentally, emotionally, physically. It takes fortitude, strength and positive attitude to get through some of the toughest workouts. it trains not only the body, but the mind and soul. It is a cleansing for some and a relaxation for others. It is your worst enemy, but your greatest friend. It digs deep within you, finds your soul and grabs it. It calls out to your inner competitor. It finds the deepest part of you, finds it, grabs on and slowly burns inside of you to make yourself better each day. It Is a feeling you almost can't describe... something that just drives you.. pushes you, motivates you, encourages you, and allows you to succeed!
What is it about CrossFit that keeps "me" going? Is it being faster, stronger, better than yesterday? Is it the people? Is it the coaches? Is it the box? It's all of it. The community, the people who show up day in and day out to encourage each other, the classes, the workouts, the energy, the enthusiasm, the stories of success, the strength, the power, the endurance that is built, the sessions with athletes, the moments with coaches, the instances of success with each person that walks into the gym. It is about the overcoming of frustration, seeing the look of determination on people's faces, seeing people fight through their struggles. I see people overcome their fears every day. I see them pass right through their comfort zones. This is what keeps me going. The stories we tell of greatness coming out of each box you go to. The stories of doubt changed into self confidence. It is everywhere and in each moment within a gym!
So my question for YOU today is, what do YOU say when people ask you about CrossFit? What is YOUR story? What do YOU share with them when they say I've heard that stuff is hard and you guys are crazy? What is YOUR response when you are asked... What is CrossFit? Share your stories here!