I have seen four articles today about CrossFit. Two of them were very con and two of them were in response to those. I’ve seen my friends’ social media sites blow up in response to these articles. As you can guess, I’m friends with a lot of Crossfitters. I’m also friends with a lot of people who do not do CrossFit. Strangely enough, I do not discriminate.
So, the gist of these anti-CrossFit articles are as follows: “It’s really unsafe and those who do CrossFit are just going to get hurt and are in some sort of cult.” Ok, so I may be paraphrasing, so ignore the quotation marks… but still. That is the point. For the sake of being fair to my readers here is one of the articles. I have decided to throw my hat in the ring of “those who blog to defend CrossFit.” Enjoy.
Many of the points of this article is that it is dangerous and people can get hurt. And to that I say, yes. Yes they can. I agree with you Erin. CrossFit can be dangerous IF you don’t know what you are doing. IF you don’t listen to your body. IF you don’t listen to your coaches. IF you don’t have a good coach. There are easy ways to remedy these situations. I’ll start at the back and work my way forward.
Is your coach in the room when you are working out? If the answer is no, you don’t have a good coach. Is your coach paying attention to the athletes while they are working out? If the answer is no, you don’t have a good coach. Is your coach correcting form and range of motion for athletes as they are working out? If the answer is no, you don’t have a good coach. Surely, you get the drift at this point.
Are you listening to your coach? Did they tell you to start light and work your way up? Did they tell you to focus on form first before you try to max out the lift/move/weight? If they did, and you didn’t listen, that my friends is on you. Have you ever worked out before, but think you will try to do 25 kipping pull-ups even though you can’t do one strict one, then that, my friend, is on you. Coaches are there for a reason. Don’t cry foul for an injury you caused.
Are you listening to your body? Is your shoulder pulsing with pain every time you put it over your head? Is your knee burning every time you squat? Are you just plain tired? Then stop. Rest. Quit. Do whatever you need to do to make the pain stop. There is always going to be pain in athletics. You are always going to be tired and have some muscle fatigue. That is part of pushing yourself, but only YOU know your body and what it can handle. If you get to the end and realize you could have pushed through that a little harder, then next time do it, but you have to do what is best for you. We watch the Games competitors on our iPads and T.V.s and know they are pushing through the pain, and think “I can do that,” but see, I can’t. You know why? Because, I don’t train 8 hours a day everyday. If I did, I would be more aware of my limits and thresholds. I don’t try to overhead squat 135lbs because I can’t even jerk 135lbs. I know my limits. If you don’t, again, that, my friend, is on you.
Another point to Ms. Erin’s story is that CrossFit is some kind of cult. You’re right. It is. Here’s the deal. You can’t do what we do every day, sweat, bleed, and cry next to each other without some bonding. We stare at the whiteboard together and feel the same fears, anxieties, excitements, and pain. We know how awful 100 burpees are, and we cry through them together. We make eye contact with our fellow athletes, shake our heads, and keep going, because they are. We applaud those super fast scores, as well as the super slow scores, because we did it. Sure, there are some athletes that come in, “do” a workout, crap out on range of motion or reps, and post incorrect scores or reps, but that’s on them. That’s not the sport’s problem. That’s the athlete’s problem. We are a cult because we know. We have been in the trenches with each other and faced our weaknesses. We talk about it all the time because it’s what we do. It’s alive inside of us.
If it’s not your thing, that’s fine. It doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to be active in this world. You can run, do yoga, go to a barre class, go to a globo gym, or walk in your neighborhood. There is no wrong or right way to do something, but don’t hate on us because it’s what we like to do. I’ve generally learned that when someone is hating on something else it is generally out of jealousy. So, I’m sorry Erin Simmons that you are jealous of what we can do. I hope you find fitness success elsewhere. Do us all a favor, and stay out of our box.
The pic above is some of the members of my cult. The awesome athletes of 918 CrossFit. Photo Credit to 918 CrossFit.