Anyone who CrossFits for a period of time can tell you that there are benefits that carry over from the gym into the rest of your life.
Suddenly, you can deadlift boxes when you move without hurting your back. You power clean the keg (of, um, coconut water) into the back of your car. You push-press logs because they’re easier to carry overhead.
Maybe you can actually do the monkey bars with your kids at the playground now instead of sitting on the bench. Maybe you sprint with your dog around the block to get that extra 400m run instead of walking. Maybe your sex life has improved with your new, stronger body.
Above these physical changes, I am most surprised by how CrossFit has changed me mentally and emotionally.
We all have those WODs that stick out in our brains for one reason or another: maybe you crushed it, maybe it crushed you. For me, it was 7 rounds of 7 squat cleans and 7 lateral burpee jumps over the bar. I was only CrossFitting a few months, I was terrible at squat cleans, and even worse at burpees let alone lateral bar jumping ones.
On the second round, I felt like my wrists were going to snap, my legs give out and I just wanted to quit… and I’ve never, ever quit. I felt the threat of tears burning in my eyes – and I don’t cry – and I looked at my coach and whimpered, “How am I going to do this?”
“One at a time. That’s how,” he said. “I’ll stay right here.”
He did and I finished, crying through most of it. But I left the gym that day a little different than the woman who walked in. Humbled by my own weakness and proud of myself for not letting it beat me, CrossFit was changing me.
Now, I can look at an overwhelming pile of work: deadlines for my publishing career, two kids fighting, dinner that needs to be made, dishes in the sink, laundry overflowing the hampers, take a deep breath and say, “One at a time.”
Working towards fitness goals and pushing through hard WODs has taught me patience and fortitude that makes me a better mother. I can look at my “tantruming” three-year old and kneel before him and wrap him in a hug instead of yelling because I’ve learned to take a deep breath and calm down.
I started doing adventure races, climbing obstacles and heights that would normally make me hork up my lunch, because I have learned to trust myself and my strong body enough to push me through the fear.
The confidence in being a strong woman – in being a CrossFitter – has changed me in so many ways other than a nice new ass.
What about you? In what ways has CrossFit affected your life other than just fitness and strength?