What Is CrossFit?

Today was a spectacular day!!! Well, it really wasn’t.  I ended up staying late at work by almost two hours- yuck.  It was especially sad because the weather is B-E-A-UTIFUL today!  78 degrees outside! Can’t beat that!  Anyways, I was feeling pretty defeated until I walked in the door and saw a package addressed to me… And inside that package was the PaleOMG cookbook!!!  HOORAY! I pre-ordered it months ago, and to be honest I had sort of forgot about it, but that made it all the more exciting because I was totally surprised that it had arrived!  I even screamed to my roommate, “TODAY IS NOW GOOD AGAIN!”  I immediately sat down at the kitchen table (it felt like the right place to read a cook book, duh) and read all the intro pages and then drooled over all of her fabulous recipes.  Juli really is a culinary genius.  I don’t know how she does it, and I’m totally jealous of how super cool she is, but that cook book is LEGIT.  If you have not checked out her blog yet, then I don’t know what you’ve been doing on the Internet, but be sure to check it out immediately: PaleOMG!

Now that I’m done girl-crushing on JB. Onto what I really meant to post about today…


Good question right?  Last Sunday during our family Easter lunch, my teenage cousin–who is very smart, beautiful, and talented runner– looked at me with the most curious of faces and said, “So, what is CrossFit?”

What is CrossFit?  To be honest, I was a little befuddled.  This was my chance!  I literally dream about people coming up to me and asking me about CrossFit, and here I was with my own cousin asking me to describe CrossFit and I was lost for words.  I didn’t want to mess up my chance to make an impression on her, to get her thinking, “Hey, that sounds pretty cool, maybe I should try CrossFit…”

What ended up happening?  I described CrossFit very literally.  I think may exact words went something like this:

“Well, it’s referred to as the Sport of Fitness.  The work outs combine weightlifting techniques, with a lot of high intensity interval training….”

And then I went on to spout out a list of different “typical” CrossFit exercise movements and example WODs, etc.  She seemed to take my answer for what it was worth, a literal explanation, and went back to what she was doing.  Fair enough.  My answer wasn’t exactly mind boggling or life altering in any way.  BUT… it did get me thinking.  What will I do if someone ever asks me this question again?  How do I put into words a description of CrossFit that accurately depicts what CrossFit is while also conveying my love and enthusiasm for the sport but also trying to NOT sound like a crazy person?  I know it shouldn’t be this hard, but I’ve been pondering this question for over a week…

Now… two other events have happened in the past week, that I think will also contribute to my answer…

First:  A person at work found out that I do CrossFit, and he looked right at me and said things like:  CrossFit is terrible, no one should do CrossFit, it’s garbage, kipping isn’t good for you, they don’t teach form in CrossFit gyms, etc. etc. on and on.

I thought I was going to explode. I’m pretty sure there was smoke coming out of my ears.  Of course I argued right back with this person, disproving all of his reasons for being opposed to CrossFit.  But afterwards, it literally look me about 10 minutes to calm down from the whole ordeal.  I felt as if this guy had insulted a family member or something, pretty dramatic, I know, but really, I was offended.  And, believe me, I understand that CrossFit is NOT for everyone, for whatever reason.  But for this dude to blatantly attack CrossFit right in front of me, I was not happy.  I’m also super sensitive, so that could have played a role too.

Second: Jacob and I went to a wedding on Saturday. I knew it was going to be hard to do, but I told myself I would try my best to not talk to people about CrossFit the entire time. I said, “Only if someone brings it up first, can you talk about CrossFit or nutrition or fitness of any kind…”  Well it worked pretty well, but I feel like the people who did bring it up, instantly regretted it because then I just kept talking.  That’s one thing about me:  I get very excited about almost everything, and it’s hard to contain that.  Anyways, I don’t think I annoyed the crap out of anyone, which is good, but I do think I need to coach myself into being about to converse with people normally about my two favorite topics, without overwhelming anyone.

So, these three experiences combined, definitely have me thinking about the initial question:  What is CrossFit?

What’s the best way to answer this question?  Do I take a technical approach?  Do I go balls to the wall and just start rambling? Do I develop some sort of “elevator speech” that I can use to be informative but not overwhelming?  Am I reading into this wayyyyy too much. Yes, definitely yes. But, that’s okay.  I want to be prepared the next time someone asks me about CrossFit.  I want to be able to describe this incredibly awesome sport in a way that makes other people feel inspired.  After listening to me talk about CrossFit I want people who have never even thought about trying CrossFit to be curious, to want to look for a box and try it out for themselves.

My answer:  go to girlmeetswod.com, it explains everything you need to know.

JUST KIDDING!  Although one day it would be pretty sweet to be able to do that.  Now is not that time though.

My real answer:  CrossFit has completely changed the definition of fitness. They’ve torn down all of the walls, shattered the traditional approach and created something amazing.  CrossFit will challenge you physically and mentally in ways that you never imagined.  You will find that you constantly compete against yourself during the work outs–pushing yourself to the next level, smashing PR’s, and feeling like a boss while doing so.  By combining weight training with high-intensity interval work outs, CrossFit will leave even the toughest athlete wondering what the heck happened during that WOD.  But, at the same time, CrossFit can be catered to any caliber athlete.  That’s the beauty of CrossFit, athletes from any background can be successful CrossFitters, as long as they work hard.  And the best part about CrossFit?  The community.  There are CrossFitters everywhere, and they are the most hard-working, encouraging, motivating people that you’ll ever meet.

Also, I found this gem on the CrossFit HQ site.  Obviously, a pretty legit explanation of CrossFit also:  What Is CrossFit?

What do you say when someone asks you about CrossFit?  Do you have a hard time not talking about CrossFit all of the time? Or is it just me?

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