Since a young age, I have played team sports. The competition, community, and teamwork mindset has become an internal part of who I am. From youth t-ball to college field hockey, I have always had my team to motivate, inspire, and support me. After graduating and moving to Colorado, I turned to hiking and skiing and biking to fulfill my physical activity—but I felt a little out of place without the accountability of daily practices and the excitement of upcoming games. I lost my drive, and with it, my fitness. I no longer felt like an ATHLETE.
In January 2017, I got over my fears (of the stereotypes, the injuries, the price) and enrolled in Intro to CrossFit at Project Move. I committed myself for one month to try it out….and I haven’t looked back since. From day one, I felt that sense of belonging that I had been missing. Not just belonging in a social sense, but the kind of belonging that you feel deep within; the set your soul on fire type of contentment. I was “drinking the kool-aid” and wanted to shout it out!
CrossFit has given me so much more than power shoulders and superior VO2 Max. It has shown me what a true community is. I have learned how to be more accepting of all people, how to minimize my judgements and really get to know people. There’s no bonding experience quite like a 5am WOD: covered in sweat, sprawled out feeling like you might die, and getting a fistbump from a badass 57 year old with a smile on his face having just gone through the same thing. I’ve gained lifelong friends by letting go of my attitude and “forging elite fitness” among some of the most unlikely of humans. As much as I thrive on competition—I have to admit my favorite part of Project Move isn’t that it stokes my competitive fire, it’s the extraordinary community I’ve found myself welcomed into.
Over the past year and a half I have improved greatly both mentally and physically. I’ve had months of pushing myself and months of scaling back. I have shown up crying, I have shown up laughing. I’ve been welcomed and supported through it all. I’ve learned a balance of intensity and effort: and learned how to train for longevity—I want to do this when I’m old!
If you’ve thought about joining CrossFit I want to tell you to DO IT. Stop being afraid of “not being good enough” or being judged. NO ONE CARES if you scale every single workout for a year. Or two years. Here are my top reasons why I love CrossFit at Project Move:
1. I’m never bored. I love the CrossFit style workouts because they vary in intensity, duration, and skill from day-to-day. It’s not all meathead heavy lifting and its certainly not the boring cardio machine grind. The WOD (“workout of the day”) is programmed to work well from one day to the next, so I don’t get burnt out going 5-6 times per week.
2. I see measurable results. Results that go way beyond the scale. Lifting PRs, Performance measures, and greater ease of LIVING LIFE. I love knowing I am in shape to do ANYTHING I want to do, I never have to consider my fitness holding me back.
3. I’ve learned proper form and technique. CrossFit is a traditionally small group setting, so I’ve gotten very specialized training in complex movements. I am thankful for our skilled coaches who have spent a LOT of hours (and probably a bit of frustration) teaching me how to safely lift heavy weights. CrossFit has a stigma of injury, but it comes down to proper preparation, and personal responsibility. Injuries happen when the ego is too great.
4. I’m challenged and I’m empowered. I’ve accomplished things I didn’t think I would, I feel incredibly strong and confident in who I am beyond the limits of the gym.
5. I found a community like NO OTHER.
Yes, CrossFit is expensive. Yes, CrossFit is polarizing. Yes, CrossFit is difficult. IT IS ALL WORTH IT. I’m so thankful for my health, my friendships, the built-in support, and the lifestyle I’ve adopted.