I Wanted to Hate CrossFit…

Posted on 07. Oct, 2013 by in Get Motivated, SUPERHUMAN30 Challenge, What to Eat, Workouts

First hear­ing about Cross­Fit in 2008, I thought it deserved as much respect as the thigh mas­ter.  This placed it a step below the Total Gym and just above Fit­ness Made Sim­ple DVDs (or were those VHS?).  I remem­ber think­ing it was just a big fat fad like its mil­lions of coun­ter­parts in the health and fit­ness universe.

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My Gold’s Gym work­outs on the other hand were basi­cally per­fec­tion, Men’s Fit­ness mag­a­zine told me so.  Every time I was in an air­port or wan­dered into a Barnes & Noble, I made sure I checked out the health mags and their sug­gested work­outs for “Sum­mer Abs!” or “Big­ger Biceps!”.   Every new arti­cle described exactly what I was already doing.  It was con­firmed, I was still awesome.

Over the next few years I had some invites from friends to give Cross­Fit a try.  If you couldn’t tell already from the first two para­graphs, I felt above it.  Besides the fact that is was infe­rior to Bench Press Mon­days and Once-a-Month Back Squats, Cross­Fit was just way too damn expen­sive, way too culty, and they just seemed to work way too hard.

The more pop­u­lar Cross­Fit got, the more I wanted to hate it.   I have to warn you, I do this with a lot of things though; hot stocks, the use of hash tags, any­thing that has to do with vam­pires, the New York Yan­kees.  Just kid­ding, I freak­ing love the Yankees.

But really, what was the deal with pay­ing over $100 a month just to work­out?  I can still remem­ber that humid, south Florida, Sep­tem­ber after­noon when I got my Gold’s gym mem­ber­ship down to $21 a month by giv­ing up class and travel priv­i­leges from the pre­ten­tious 34 smacka­roos they were try­ing to gouge out of me.  #Winning

So how in the world did I go from hat­ing Cross­Fit to becom­ing obsessed with every ounce of it?

It was some­where around hit­ting the age of 27 where I noticed I was get­ting con­sid­er­ably less awe­some.  Sooner or later we all have that pic­ture taken of us where we go, “O M G, please don’t tag me in this.”  For your enjoy­ment, here’s that picture.

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But it wasn’t just the pic­ture. I was actu­ally feel­ing “old age”.   Was 26 really the best it’s gonna get?  If so, what does high 30’s look like?  Hav­ing a Bachelor’s Degree in Eco­nom­ics, I couldn’t help but chart my future health decline in my head.

Fur­ther analy­sis fol­lowed; If only I could increase the fre­quency of my already per­fect work­outs in con­junc­tion with drink­ing less beer. That would prob­a­bly result in a flat­ter decline until about 32 or 33 where my cycles pre­dicted my next leg down in health would occur.

As cyn­i­cal as it sounds, I really thought we were all des­tined to be fat, sick, and tired. It was just a mat­ter of time before we got there.  I knew I was going to get there, but I was deter­mined to keep that line up as long as possible.

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It’s a pretty sad day when your most ambi­tious goal is to have slower declin­ing health.

Even though this seems like a pretty low point on my health jour­ney, I wasn’t actively seek­ing out any solu­tions.  As far as I knew, drink­ing less beer was a suf­fi­cient the­ory. It didn’t trans­late into prac­tice as much, but a great the­ory it was.

Real change didn’t come until my brother chal­lenged me to try a Paleo Diet Chal­lenge for 30 Days.  At first, I resisted for months due to my known hate for fads.

Finally one day he saw me gulp­ing down some old man heart­burn pills and couldn’t take it any­more. “You are doing this chal­lenge, and once you are fin­ished I bet you never have to take another heart­burn pill,” he told me.

I never shy away from a bet so I accepted the chal­lenge with the intent of prov­ing my brother wrong and show­ing him what old age was really like for us geezers. “He’ll under­stand in two years,” I bit­terly thought.

What resulted after those 30 days com­pletely changed my entire life.

I could go on and on about the obso­lete heart­burn, the fat that melted off my body, the energy and mood improve­ments I never knew pos­si­ble, or my whole changed rela­tion­ship with food, but noth­ing beats the per­spec­tive change I had experienced.

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Years and years of health advice from books, mag­a­zines, nutri­tion­ists, and our gov­ern­ment was just com­pletely thrown out the win­dow.  I felt for once in my life, in absolute con­trol of my body and my results.

Which led to my next question…what else should be thrown out the window?

The answer… my Globo-Gym workouts.

It was time to take on Cross­Fit for a cou­ple months and see what hap­pens.  I never go into any­thing new with­out bring­ing all my crit­i­cisms and men­tal bag­gage with so it’s safe to say Cross­Fit still had a lot of work to do to win me over.

I wish I could say I tried Cross­Fit and was instantly good at it. But while I con­sid­ered myself an ath­lete, I quickly real­ized how un-athletic I was.

My first work­out was ten min­utes of a sweet lit­tle work­out named “Cindy”, and it left me incred­i­bly sore for days. Cross­Fit­ters know “Cindy” as a 20-Min AMRAP (as many rounds as pos­si­ble) with one round being 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, and 15 Air Squats.  10 Min­utes was more than enough to con­vince my body that it was now doing some­thing that would actu­ally pro­voke results.

My work­out at my Level 1 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion went just as swim­mingly. I was one of the last ones to fin­ish another sweet lit­tle work­out named “Fran”.  Had it not been for one of the tough­est coaches I’ve ever met, Christ­mas Abbott, yelling in my ear, I prob­a­bly would have given up.

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There were many more WODs in between those two events. Some made me feel like I was almost a Cross­Fit badass, while oth­ers had me ques­tion­ing what the hell I was doing.  Either way, I was lov­ing Cross­Fit more each WOD, and was get­ting a hel­luva lot stronger.

My new found love for Cross­Fit led me into open­ing up a Cross­Fit box with my brother in our home­town of Jupiter, Florida; Cross­Fit Palm Beach.
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Once I started teach­ing oth­ers Cross­Fit, I began lov­ing it even more.

I would coach a mem­ber to a new accom­plish­ment or per­sonal record “PR”, and they would be filled with this hap­pi­ness that’s rarely seen in every­day life.

I saw our mem­bers cheer­ing each other on as if they were team­mates in the Super Bowl; 20-year-old guys giv­ing high-fives to 50-year-old ladies. Seri­ously, where else do you see this stuff?

I noticed that these peo­ple aren’t try­ing to be some exclu­sive cult; they are an all-welcoming team of dif­fer­ent level ath­letes help­ing each other get better.

I real­ized they don’t push them­selves to be bet­ter than the per­son next to them, they work­out to be bet­ter than the per­son they were yesterday.

I see our older mem­bers adding years to an oth­er­wise dor­mant lifestyle. Our younger mem­bers becom­ing more active out­side the gym walls, and truly expe­ri­enc­ing what life can offer.

They are pri­or­i­tiz­ing good health and mak­ing the invest­ment in it.

Every day I hear the moti­va­tions of our mem­bers, “To be a bet­ter role model for my kids”, “To be able to play with my kids”, “To not die of heart dis­ease”, “To com­pete in a triathlon”, “To fin­ish a 5k race”, “To be able to try an obsta­cle course race”, “To be a bet­ter base­ball, foot­ball, lacrosse (etc) player”, “To fit into a cer­tain out­fit”, “To feel a cer­tain age again”, “To get rid of THIS!” (what­ever part of body THIS may be).

What looks like a bunch of crazy peo­ple work­ing out, is hun­dreds of indi­vid­ual sto­ries play­ing out before your eyes.  It’s much more per­sonal and emo­tional than any out­sider could ever understand.

Lately it seems like each day a new arti­cle or blog post bad mouths CrossFit.

I won­der, “How can peo­ple look at Cross­Fit so dif­fer­ently and make such harsh crit­i­cisms about it?”

Then I remem­ber, that was me.

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tony about the author_edited jpg

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One Response to “I Wanted to Hate CrossFit…”

  1. GhostofAynRand

    17. Nov, 2013

    An exer­cise sys­tem for fools. I have owned a Gym Spe­cial­iz­ing in Olympic Lift­ing for over 10 year with NO INJURIES. Why? Because coach­ing is not who can make up the hard­est work­out, but who can pre­scribe the most effi­cient AND MOST EFFECTIVE work­out. This does not hap­pen in CF. Ego very much rules the day at a CF gym,often to the detri­ment of its’ customers.

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