I joined a cult. The cult of CrossFit.
Throughout my adolescence and adult life I was a diligent member of a gym or competitively competing in a sport. I ran a half marathon and 10KM charity runs and never said “no” to a boot camp.
It was this attitude that led me to a trial class at my box. That’s right – CrossFit gyms are called boxes in what I can only determine is an attempt at being even more annoying to non-participants. Even though I had found “CrossFit People” annoying, I figured I should give it a shot.
A smiling young woman with the body of a Spartan greeted me in a dirty, cinder blocked room. Within fifteen minutes I was sweaty and sore enough to know that it was a workout unlike anything I had ever known. The next week I was enrolled part time. Within two months I was a full-blown member. Now, seven months in, I listen to CrossFit podcasts, I secretly watched the CrossFit Games on my phone under the dinner table and my Instagram feed reads like Richard Simmons’ thoughts in the ‘80s.
The point is, I know how annoying I have become. I literally annoy myself. But there are three reasons why I love the cult of CrossFit ,and if you are anything like I was, searching for a fitness option that was not only challenging but as much fun as heading to a bar… CrossFit may be for you.
1. Making Adult Friends is Hard
While I have a group of devoted and loving friends from childhood and University, I had yet to make more than one good friend in Toronto. Colleagues are great – but at the end of the day our interests did not extend beyond 5pm. By joining CrossFit I have been introduced to a community of like-minded young professionals who are outgoing, supportive and happy to lend a hand. CrossFit is a competitive community centered on the love of fitness and healthy living – both physically and mentally.
As a box, we have socials frequently. Whether hosted at a fellow member’s condo or in the box itself, the community gathers to watch sporting events, celebrate holidays or to simply play drinking games.
2. Burpees vs Cocktails
I no longer apologize for missing out on after-work cocktails with friends or colleagues. It turns out that burpees can be just as much fun as cocktails. Every time that PR (Personal Record) comes up on the gym screen it gives me more adrenaline than three shots of tequila. Not to mention, I am a happier person the next day.
3. Callouses + Bruises = Happiness
Who would guess that a woman who is addicted to manicures would take pride and pleasure in having calloused and ripped hands? Each callous represents a personal milestone and a bead of sweat and every bruise on my shin represents a box jump (step) that I did after failing one miserably. They act as constant daily reminders that I can overcome any challenge to come my way.
Anyone who may have been in the same predicament as me – missing a community, a purpose, a place and a life activity that is not entirely self-destructive should consider the cult of CrossFit. You will be so annoying, but you won’t be alone.