I’ve been crossfitting for just over a year and can honestly say it’s helped me in ways I could never have imagined a short time ago. Like many people, I come from a reasonably athletic background. I ran track competitively at the state level in high school and was even able to continue into college before multiple knee injuries forced me to quit. At this point I did what most young men invariably do at some point and hit the weight room to try and stay “in-shape.” I saw great results doing this and would likely have stayed with it for years in happy ignorance if not for a surprise visit from my brother Austin.
As twin boys we have always been competitive. It seems that since day one we’ve been trying to best each other in one thing or another, so when he suggested we do one of his crossfit workouts together I couldn’t say know. The workout was simple: run 1 mile then do 20 pull-ups and 30 burpees. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my glory days of running and conditioning were behind me. Years of skipping leg workouts, doing no cardio work and not training things I was weak at resulted in me being unable to finish (let alone compete) the workout. On our walk back home he told me a bit more about how crossfit had changed his entire idea of what being “in-shape” really meant.
I was hesitant to try crossfit at first because of the stories I’d seen in the news about people getting injured and about horrible trainers by the dozen. Over the past year I’ve learned that, as in most things in life, for every sensationalized internet story of injury and poor coaching there are a hundred success stories you’ll never hear. What makes Hoosier Crossfit (HCF) unique is that the coaches have instilled a great culture of safety, proper form and community. I’ve never felt that my safety has been in danger at any time since I’ve walked through the door even though I’ve been challenged every day.
I remember watching clips of the Crossfit Games at the gym and telling Shaun I would get a muscle-up one day. When he looked back at me and said simply “let’s do it,” I took it as a personal challenge. I had no idea at the time that it would take months of hard work and flexibility training to get there, but the feeling of getting up there the first time is one I’ll never forget. That was the first goal I made at the gym and many others have come and gone in the past year. When I walked through the door I could barely jump rope or get a barbell from the floor overhead. With a lot of hard work and guidance, those days are distant (but fond) memories.
My goals are a bit different now that I have a year under my belt, but the coaches and people at HCF are still pushing me to move forward. I have come to embrace crossfit’s mantra that fitness can be defined as “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains” and that’s what I’m trying to achieve. For me, being fit no longer means being able to lift 300# off the floor. I want to be able to lift +300# off the floor and then go run a 5 minute mile and do it again. The beauty of crossfit, and more importantly HCF, is sometime the workouts that are programmed force me to work on things I’m bad at doing. I never would have done that a year ago and because of it I’m overall more “in-shape” than before. As an athlete who has always wanted to be well rounded, crossfit has been my saving grace. For those of you who may have a solid athletic background and are looking to challenge yourself, I encourage you to give crossfit a try. You’ll workout beside housewives (husbands), students, doctors, teachers and others who will wholeheartedly support every day. Heck, many of those housewives challenge me to keep up some days!