Almost 20 years ago CrossFit was born. I, for one, am grateful. It’s no secret I love CrossFit, but I’m not sure I’ve done a good job of sharing why I do. Let me take a few moments to do that.
- It is never boring. CrossFit is constantly changing. There are lots of different movements that can be done in a variety of combinations. Frequency and duration vary, and you rarely do the same workout twice. And when you do, it’s fun to see how you’ve improved since the last time.
- It is a full body workout. I’d challenge you to find one CrossFit movement that only works a specific muscle group. Throughout the course of a workout, the entire body – including your mind – is stretched. I leave the gym feeling like I worked everything, and it’s wonderful.
- It’s relatively short. It’s rare in CrossFit that we have a workout that goes more than 30 minutes. Class times usually run an hour, and within that hour, the warm-up, a skill, and the workout itself are completed. An hour and I’m on my way home. Some days, that’s literally all I have.
- I don’t have to plan it. This is often the best part. I have to plan everything else in my life. What we’re eating for dinner, who’s driving to practice, when the laundry is going to be done, etc. But I don’t have to plan my workouts. Someone else does it. I just show up and put the work in.
When I first started CrossFit, I wanted to get fitter, stronger, and faster. And I did. I discovered that lifting weights came easy to me. My overall fitness improved, making me a faster runner. Bottom line: I am happy doing CrossFit!
But a few times a year, I become a crazy CrossFit fan girl. Just like my husband would rather watch the Masters than go golfing for one weekend in April, I would rather watch the CrossFit Games than go to the gym.
I like to watch the top athletes in the world compete. I like to see how they hit new personal records in front of crowds, how they cheer each other on, and how they learn to overcome the obstacles thrown at them last minute.
Just like the Olympics, or any major sporting event, the lead up can be just as exciting. In fact, during the period called The Open, I joined my current gym. The Open allows – encourages really – everyone across the CrossFit community to do the same workout and see how they stack up. From that, the top athletes continue to Regionals, and then to the CrossFit Games.
But this year, there are changes and it’s gotten off to an interesting start. This year, the Open will still happen, but there are other ways to qualify. For most of us, this doesn’t matter a bit, but for those of us who like to watch competitions, it means we get more to watch! This year there are 15 sanctioned events, of which the winners will be invited to participate in the CrossFit Games. Yup, things just got a lot more interesting!
As with all changes, these have been met with some critiques. But I think that the next few years are going to be great for the sport of CrossFit – and more importantly for those of us who are day-to-day athletes – we’ll have more things to watch and more ways to learn from the best.