My first exposure to CrossFit was the Netflix documentary “Fittest on Earth: The Story of the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games.” (watch the trailer here) I watched the documentary multiple times and quickly became a fan of athletes like Mat Fraser, Ben Smith, Katrin Davidsdottir and Annie Thorisdottir. Watching these athletes pushing themselves to the max on a variety of exercises that were completely new to me was inspiring and attractive.
It was around the same time I heard that a CrossFit "box" (The Ultimate Guide to CrossFit Lingo) was being opened a few miles from my house. I knew I had to give it a shot myself. It took about a year to actually make it happen, but since joining CrossFit Skopos in February 2017 I have been absolutely loving it.
The second myth I want to bust about CrossFit is that it is only for athletes who are super fit or who want to be super swole.
I understand where this myth comes from. People hear about CrossFit workouts that include biking, rowing, sprinting, mile runs, thrusters, squat cleans, and tons of push-up and pull-ups (usually not all together but maybe sometimes - which would be awesome!) and they get intimidated. It’s easy to think “I’m not strong enough for that!” or “I could never do that lift.” When you watch videos about CrossFit you see a lot of people like Rich Froning and Noah Ohlsen, or Sam Briggs and Sara Sigmundsdóttir, and you think “I’ll never look like that!”
The truth however is that the average CrossFit box is filled with an assortment of average men and women who are across a wide physical fitness spectrum. Some are thin and some aren’t, some are strong and some aren’t, some have an amazing endurance engine and some don’t. What I love about CrossFit Skopos is not that every athlete looks like Dan Bailey, in fact it is just the opposite, every athlete looks so different and yet we are all there grinding, sweating, working and getting stronger and healthier together.
Crossfit is defined as “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity.” What is so cool is that you can do constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity no matter what level of fitness you are currently at. You never have to be fit enough or strong enough. You start where you are at and you get better from there. And you’re never alone. You do it with other people, who are often just like you.
I’ve seen a lot of cool things happen at CrossFit Skopos since joining in February. I’ve seen people do their first push-ups and pull-ups, I’ve seen people PR (personal record) on Squats and Bench Press. I watched a guy dead lift 500 lbs and another guy box jump over 44 inches! All cool, all impressive. But the best thing I ever saw was the joy on a woman’s face when she two foot jumped from the floor up on top of a pad. It was a 5 inch jump. That jump is nothing for some people, but for this woman, who has been working so hard on her fitness, jumping up on top of that pad represented a massive accomplishment. It was so awesome to watch and be a part of!
Instead of thinking you need to climb over some fitness wall before you can join CrossFit, I'd encourage you to re-frame it in your mind. Picture the image of walking into a zero depth entry pool. You start right where you are at and work to get a little better, a little stronger, a little fitter everyday.