Do you have the same feelings about your gym [membership], that I have about my CrossFit box?
Clearly this is a somewhat rhetorical question, as it’s not like I know you personally, but I really want you to consider what your [past??] gym membership has been like.
A new CF member asked me today, what I did before CrossFit. My response: Mon/Wed/Fri – Weight lifting, Tuesday/Thursday – Cardio, Saturday/Sunday – Off. Literally about 1 – 2 hours per day each time. I was consistent, had perfected the art of “waving and walking” to the somewhat aggressive patrons that are closely associated with gym chains (read: meat market), avoided the requisite $6 a pop “healthy” juice bar, and my body looked good…but I was anything but “good”.
My trainer, that I was paying big bucks for a 30-minute session once a week, refused to tell me why he had me do a certain combination/supersets/workouts, etc; he insisted that was what he was there for and that I only needed to concern myself with the results. 0_o. Errrrr..no lol.
My 2 hours a day had inched up to almost 3 hours (cardio, weights, more cardio), making me feel like a bad 80’s workout movie. I was never home and my friends, whew, they thought they might have to stage an intervention!
I guess my point is this: I don’t feel like that at all in my CrossFit Box. I actually, feel like I have a little second/third family that understands the healthy, fitness, workout part of my life that I invest so much time, effort and money in to. They don’t ask “why” I’m doing slow cardio before each WOD, they ask “what are the results that you get” and “what types of slow cardio do you do”? They are both insane and insanely supportive when I feel myself flagging during a workout or let my thoughts interfere with getting a new PR (personal record) with my back squat.
Each and everyone of them have unique personalities that somehow gel almost freakishly well with mine. Using terms similar to my favorite 80’s movie, The Breakfast Club, we have: geeks, nerds, jocks, princesses, pretty boys, weirdos, queens, know-it-alls, sarcastic mofo’s, and sensitives. They’re gay, straight, bi, black, white, mixed, latino, american indian, middle eastern, haitian, asian, jewish, catholic, baptist, and every-freaking-thing else you could possibly imagine.
We compete against each other like the Kennedy’s at Hyanis Port (but with way less money!), we exchange tips on our mechanics/form, we celebrate birthdays and discover little bits of information that make us truly unique (clearly I like comic books). We trust and have faith in each other…simply from joining a CrossFit “gym” and sweating out sucky, body/mind numbing WODs together. And really, we do it because we like it…those WODs make us forget about obligations, work, parents, children, siblings, etc., for an hour; because if we can handle that shit, we can handle anything that life throws at us.
This in no way happened overnight; it took time, consistently showing up at class, shutting up, lifting smart, carrying my own weight during WODs, and encouraging others. Like any relationship, you have to invest in it before you see the fruits/benefits, so don’t go showing up at a box with an expectation that you’ll be hit with that feeling of “fam” in 2.5 seconds….it won’t happen. Put in the work, be open to change and smile a lot. It helps…trust me.
The picture in this post of “Marvel Characters” as kids, completely epitomizes the elation I feel when I get to class and see my boxmates. We play together (really, all of us doing pull ups at the same time looks almost EXACTLY like that fan art!! lol); help each other become better athletes and recognize that in our own way we’re all super hero’s, with special abilities that allow us to meld together as a team/fam. If I’m better at heavy loads, I have a box mate that I can team up with who has insane skills in gymnastics, i.e. walking hand stands (so not there yet!!!).
Even though the Work Out of the Day is likely going to make a person feel like they want to quit (possibly hurl; at the minimum lay down flat on the floor), they won’t because their CF family is there to swoop in, spot you, prod you to up your weight or just generally get you to achieve more that you thought you ever could.
All of THAT, is most definitely worth the money, time and effort that I put into CrossFit…although the #badass body doesn’t hurt either.
I sort of rambled in this one, and it’s a bit long, but I think you get my point.