How CrossFit Changed My Life Outside of the Gym

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So, you’ve started doing CrossFit and you’re a little scared. Congratulations, that’s exactly how you SHOULD feel.

A little fear is good. It means you’re out of your comfort zone and have the potential to stretch your knowledge, skills, or talents, may be around people you don’t know, and may frankly seem a little odd. CrossFit encompasses a bit of all of that, with the added benefit that you’ll also get stronger, more confident, focused, and maybe even a little smarter.

I know you’re already thinking that you’re only exercising to lose a few pounds. That’s what exercise is for. Yes, that is a part of it, but in my experience, that may end up being only a small part of what you can gain.

CrossFit isn’t promising you anything, however. The impetus is really on you to make all these wonderful things happen. But you don’t have to start with a bubbling fountain of confidence. You will get that as you do what all successful people do: practice, fail, practice more, fail a few more times, then, suddenly, lift 3 pounds more than you did a week before, run up the stairs without looking like you just got doused with a bucket of water, or outlast your friends on a hike.

To me the reality of CrossFit isn’t always what happens in the gym (though obviously that is important). It is the results you see in your real life. It will be different for everyone. The best example I can give is what happened to me. 

After I turned 43, my health suddenly started to cave in on me. First, an extra 50 pounds had somehow appeared on my body. In tandem with that, acid reflux had become so bad that I was having to sit up at night and sucking down Prilosec just to get through the day. The final straw was, following a doctor’s visit, I was prescribed to go onto a CPAP, one of those awful machines that blow air up your nose to help alleviate sleep apnea, a condition that causes your bed partner their own sleepless nights due to your chainsaw snoring and you the potential of several issues including heart disease, cancer, and a few other nasties. 

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Suffice it to say, I was miserable.

I had on several occasions in the past said I would dedicate myself to a regime of healthy living. But the realities of growing older and beginning to have health problems is what finally motivated me to begin. After a year of going to a “regular” gym with slight improvements, I was introduced to a new thing called CrossFit. Our fledgling group took over a corner of the gym and began learning the principles of what made CrossFit tick as well as sweating through a new workout style that was anything but routine.

I was hooked. Eleven years later and I’m still thoroughly smitten with CrossFit, became a coach about 6 years ago, and continue to see results from working out. Not only have my health issues disappeared, but a fortunate side effect I didn’t expect was helping to alleviate my issues with depression and anxiety.

While no one can guarantee that you will have these same results, we can guarantee that doing CrossFit---and learning more about living a healthier life---will pay off in the long run. As will introducing yourself to a community of  dedicated people who are supportive, caring, and accepting of you and your goals.

So be a little scared; it’s okay because that’s how you grow and improve!