CrossFitters Don't Think They're Better Than You

In terms of athletics, there are a variety of stigmas and stereotypes within distinct sectors. Being stereotypes, they are not only common, but commonly misplaced. For example, CrossFitters are constantly accused of thinking they are superior to anyone who does not do CrossFit, simply because of the complexity of their sport and how much Crossfitters talk about it. For those of you who don’t even know what CrossFit is, it is simply defined as a series of functional movements that are constantly varied at high intensity. In other words, it is fitness training with tactics that constantly change, but consistently involve Olympic style lifting, cardio, and mobility.

Now I will admit, before I started CrossFit, it seemed like one of the most intense things a person could do. I had heard countless stories about people throwing up and struggling to get through each work out of the day (WOD). Last April, when my mom told me that she needed to make a drastic lifestyle change, and that she had joined CrossFit in order to do so, my mind was immediately filled with doubt that was equivalent to my pride. Through perseverance and dedication she did not quit, and continuously gets stronger and healthier everyday. 

Stemming from my love for exercise, CrossFit has always been something that interested me. However, it wasn’t until my mom was coming home every morning raving about how sore she was, yet so happy, that I decided to try it out. When I first started, I mentioned it in confidence to a few friends who immediately started spewing out stereotypes and judgements that I had never even heard before entering the CrossFit world. Their first response was always an eye roll of disgust, because apparently the CrossFitters that they knew, never shut up about it. Immediately after judging me for even muttering the words that were apparently more familiar to them than they were to me, they would start to ramble on about how CrossFit teaches bad form, and that is why everyone always gets hurt. 

I have to say, this didn’t make much sense to me. My entire first week in the box (gym), I worked individually with a coach who patiently taught me proper technique with little to no weight so that I would be prepared for future WODs. Everyone was so friendly and seemed to be in incredible shape compared to me. After a few weeks of being more sore than I realized was possible, the pain lessened and my body was noticeably getting more defined. I loved CrossFit. I didn’t have to worry about whether I was on leg day or arm day, every time I went to the gym I worked every single part of my body. 

It wasn’t long after CrossFit became a daily part of my routine that I started hearing the remark that I thought I was better than other people, who just went to the normal gym a couple times a week, simply because of the way I chose to exercise. Apparently, those CrossFitters that my friends mentioned, where their workout was all they talked about, also seemed to come across as egotistical. By that I was very confused, because everyone at my box was so different, yet so happy and kind. There was no difference between fat or skinny, new or veteran. 

The best part about CrossFit is that everyone is equal, and no one thinks they are better than anyone else. No matter where you are at in your physical progression, people are constantly cheering you on. Based on those positive first-hand experiences, the only explanation I can come up with for why those CrossFitters rant endlessly about their sport is because they understand the mentality and camaraderie that has influenced their life for the better. 

Next time you are talking to a CrossFitter, instead of assuming that they think they are better than you, ask them why they are passionate about their sport. Despite our differences, when the world is filled with more passion, souls are connected and what brings us bliss can lift those around us. That kind of optimism can not only bring people together, but can move mountains. 

-M