I want y'all to know that I've been trying to write this post for days now. Literally. Recently, a guy I know from high school posted something on facebook to the effect of: "I had heard a lot of good things about crossfit being this great workout so I tried it and it was okay, but not that great. I've seen results based on the workouts I've made up myself, so my opinion is to save yourself the (insert ridiculous amount of money here) and just workout on your own." Y'all, this guy is an insufferable asshat. He's been a dee-bag since I've known him and growing up hasn't done him any favors.
Which is why it completely pains me to say that he's right. Ugh. That left a terrible taste in my mouth. You do not have to be a part of a box to crossfit. You don't have to do crossfit to be in shape. And you don't have to pay dues to anyone to workout. He's right. But, I'm going to attempt, with my most honest and concentrated effort, to express why I--and a lot of other people, I think--pay our dues every month to do this crazy crossfit thing. And I'm going to give it my best because the last thing I want to do is take this...thing...that I hold so close to me and make it sound like some douche-y, fad thing. I do crossfit because I love it. But I fell in love with it because of the people it brought me to. I don't make it a secret that I love my box and the people there, but I don't think people really realize how much they matter to this journey. I would not have stuck with this if I couldn't count on Andrew's dirty jokes, Stephen laughing at me while I fall off a box, Lauren making me keep my elbows up, Jess forcing me to use my hips, Mama Melissa reminding me to register for class, Jarrell yelling at me in general, and countless other people cheering me on. Yelling for me. Encouraging me. Making me pick the bar back up when I didn't want to. When I felt like I couldn't. Getting down on the floor with me after they finished their WOD to do pushups with me and push me through. Bringing me chalk. Sharing their protein. Cutting the ripped skin from my hands. Never forgetting to tell me good job. Even when I came in last. Which is often. I need them.
When I pay my dues, I never look at it as a hassle. Ever. Because I know that those dues take care of my crossfit parents, Andrew and Melissa. I know they take care of our box. I know they take care of my crossfit family. And that's worth my money to me. Because I couldn't do it alone. I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't have them to support me and guide me.
And no matter where I go, there are branches of crossfit family everywhere. People who understand what you're doing and want you to succeed. Who will sacrifice time, sweat, and pain to help you, even when they don't know you. And that's an incredible thing to me. I want to be that for other people. I want to help them be their best. And then exceed their best.
The thing is: crossfit is what you make it. If you don't immerse yourself in the culture and community, you're wasting your time. If you don't go balls to the wall everyday and shatter your limits, If you don't yell and cheer for every PR, If you don't push your boundaries and encourage other people to push theirs, If you don't take time to clean up your weights and lay in a sweat angel on the floor, you're just wasting your time. You're wasting your money. This is not one of those things that you can do half assed. You have to come in here, every time, and decide that you are going to be better than you were yesterday. And your family is going to hold you to that decision.
photo credit: www.crossfit.com
If you can go it alone, I applaud you. I am impressed by you. Maybe you are a far greater athlete than I. But I thrive with my family. I tried a lot of things alone before I came to crossfit and none of them stuck because I needed those people. I needed their help to make me who I am today and help me determine who I will be tomorrow. I pay my dues to my community dedicated to sport of fitness because it helps my family grow. Nothing could make me more happy.
Judging and cheering on Jarrell (maybe during 13.1?) Photo credit: www.mikebuckphotography.com