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Inside the Cult of CrossFit

Many of us have recently heard or read about CrossFit. Unfortunately, most of the information being passed around is negative. Those who discuss CrossFit usually have never tried it. And if individuals have tried it and turned away, it’s probably because they couldn’t handle the competitive, challenging, “give it everything you’ve got” aspect that defines each and every CrossFit workout. And of course, some men can’t handle losing to women. After all, men are suppose to bang out more pull-ups, front squats and handstand push-ups faster than any woman, right? Wrong.
If you can’t leave your ego at the door, then CrossFit isn’t for you.

I began CrossFit this past July against my own will. My dad was hearing a lot about it, but said he wouldn’t try it alone. He dragged me to a Saturday morning class just to see what it was like. The workout consisted of wall-balls and thrusters. I hated every minute of it. Not only could I not get the movements right, but I was embarrassed by the number of strangers cheering me on.

The following week, my dad bought us both a one-month, three times a week trial. By my second class, I was completely hooked. The reason is simple: there is no workout that compares to both the physical and mental challenge of CrossFit. You have to push yourself. You must to strive to be better. And quitting is not an option.
I went into CrossFit being 5’5″ and 114lbs. I didn’t sign up to lose weight because I knew I was pretty fit. I had a personal trainer twice a week and ran outside three times a week. However, the same day-to-day routine got tedious and I stopped seeing results.

At CrossFit, there is no routine. Each day is a different workout—all combining olympic weightlifting, endurance and gymnastics. No matter what height, weight, or body type you are, CrossFit will be a challenge. You work harder than you could imagine and each day is a different test. But one thing is clear: no gym, hour-long class or personal trainer will improve your overall fitness like CrossFit can.

People seem to think CrossFitters are out of their minds. We are grouped together in this “CrossFit Cult,” where we all must be drinking the same “CrossFit Kool-Aid.” We use different terms like WOD (workout of the day) or box (where we workout). I catch myself using these terms often—and I’m the first to admit it’s a little goofy. But if you choose to call CrossFit a cult, then the meaning of cult must be changed entirely. CrossFit gives you a sense of community, which is hard to find. My experiences at both CrossFit Morristown and CrossFit Fenway have been extremely rewarding. The coaches are there for you. They teach, push, motivate and encourage you at all times. And I have also made great friends with members, because unlike any other gym, you’re at CrossFit to cheer each other on.

I will continue to pass up any gym membership because nothing will ever compare to CrossFit. And although that may sound silly—you simply won’t understand until you give it a try. Several fads have come and gone for us workout fiends, but CrossFit is here to stay. I’m an average college junior. I go to class. I have fun and party with friends on the weekends. However, unlike many, CrossFit has had such a positive impact on my life, that my eating habits and fitness will always come first.

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