I’m 27 years and I’ve been doing crossfit for 5 years now. (since 2013)
I can tell you that through those 5 years CrossFit has not make me fitter.
I started my fitness journey how I’m sure many of us do – through play. As a kid, I found fitness and play at the same time, usually via a team environment with other kids. By signing up, we got to pick daisies and do cartwheels along the side lines or be the kids kicking up dust going up and down a field with a soccer ball.
I found this again in swimming, track and field, volleyball, skateboarding, outdoor ice hockey, football with friends drama classes etc.
Usually in these activities we all met in a group with a coach/ teacher who had a planned practice filled with skills, drills and games. Some of us were competitive, some of us were there just for fun but we all worked hard because each of us were there to bring our best, encourage and push each other whether we felt like it that day or not.
As I got older I was told I had to specialize because the bank (aka my parents) couldn’t support the cause and also I wouldn’t improve drastically in a specific activity. My main sports led me to some varsity Athletics, track & field, weightlifting and football. Soccer, swimming, outdoor ice hockey and skateboarding were no longer in the picture. I chose football, track and field and Olympic weightlifting because they all benefitted each other to some degree and they were all involved being apart of a club or team.
When these chapters of my life were over, I found myself continuing at the track on my own, swimming solo sessions, going to the gym doing various warmups, handstand holds, back squat jumps like I used to. Except this time it was around someone bicep curling in the squat rack. Which to be very clear wasn’t the part I found strange. People had headphones in, I would talk to people here and there, and get weird looks from people I didn’t know. The part about all this was that I knew no one. I was bored with suffering through a workout alone.
It’s interesting that we encourage kids to be part of a team sport but then that goes to the wayside as an adult, as if fitness in a team environment isn’t needed anymore. I would argue that it’s the best environment for fitness as health and relationship are intertwined.
As CrossFit got more and more popular, it didn’t take long for some evangelists to tell me about it. They said it changed their life and how they looked at fitness and how it was the hardest thing they had done and that “if anyone is fit, it’s those CrossFit people”. So obviously I had to check this out. Coming from a track background, weightlifting for quite some time and football I walked in to a CrossFit Gym and tried a workout.
After doing a CrossFit workout I was quite underwhelmed to be honest. It wasn’t that difficult and it was much shorter than my normal training routines. I actually wasn’t planning on coming back, but I told myself to try it one more time.
Now, this is where it ALL changed for me. I walked back in that crossfit gym and what happened changed my life forever. I got greeted with HEY ADAM!! How are you!? how’s your body feeling? Did you get enough to eat today? Did you sleep ok? Is there anyway we can support you with? I noticed your squatting technique was really awesome last time let’s keep that going and let’s try to improve your overhead position today.
I was ABSOLUTELY FLOORED!! This all came from ONE session at their gym. I was instantly hooked.
I started coming 6x a week, sometimes twice a day. The workouts got harder, my technique improved, my friendship circle grew. I didn’t feel like I was alone in this sometimes gruelling journey and I started doing movements I never imagined being able to do. How was this not more popular I thought. Then I looked online and found out about the CrossFit Games but that’s a story for another post.
So no, CrossFit has never made anyone fit before. CrossFit has Facilitated the ability to create an environment to be fit in, and to plain just fit in. It has created an environment for people to be their kindest greatest most loving selves (and towards themselves as well) on a consistent basis. CrossFit has created a way of education to physically, mentally and even emotionally harvest improvement among a large group of individuals.
Looking back I can’t tell you what the workouts were or what the practices were about. Now I know that for me it would never have made sense to do those things on my own. I look at CrossFit LoLo the same way I saw it as a kid. A fun exciting place to gather around a knowledgeable coach who cares about me, with my friends and encourage each other and bring our best and show up for ourselves every single day. This is the inspiration for LoLo.
CrossFit doesn’t make people fit, People make people fit.
– Adam Davidson Owner/Coach