I recently had the opportunity to attend a level one CrossFit trainer certification course (a whopping 4 1/2 hour drive from the Steel City! yeowza!). I feel so blessed to have been able to learn from such amazing, inspiring, and dedicated individuals; throughout the certification course I was constantly reminded of what a community CrossFit truly is. It’s a unique experience to be in a room filled with fellow fitness-minded folks, because— for once— I’m not the gal who is “obsessed with fitness,” since, you know, WE ALL ARE! The passion, motivation, and drive of all of these CrossFit-lovin’ people is just an electric experience! I had an absolute blast!
That said, I’m eager to share some take-away points with all of my readers.
The biggest? CrossFit is a community. A community formed the foundation of the sport of CrossFit, and the community of CrossFit is constantly re-building what CrossFit means. There’s a reason CrossFitters get a bad rep for being obsessed with CrossFit (“CrossFit tunnel vision”), and it’s because CrossFitters live, eat, breathe, and love CrossFit. Your fellow CrossFitters will be cheering you on when you’re struggling to finish that last round in an AMRAP. Your fellow CrossFitters will call you on it when it’s been a week since your last WOD. And they’ll be pushing you to bust PRs. It’s a community of people who truly love CrossFit, and that love is 100% contagious!
Beyond that— form is important! CrossFit is always getting criticized for poor form, bad technique, etc. But I firmly believe that isn’t something bred of CrossFit in and of itself. We spent hours learning proper form, common faults, training our eyes to see those faults, learning appropriate correction techniques, and so much more. Really, it was form, form, form, form! CrossFit attempts to balance the scales between form and intensity to find a place where threshold training can occur— a place where the body is being challenged with high speed, reps, weight, etc. but not so much that form becomes poor, ineffective, or just downright unsafe! So those naysayers that believe that form isn’t important in CrossFit… well you need to visit a real box with real trainers!
Lastly, fitness monogamy has inherent drawbacks. The core of CrossFit is the inclusion of such a wide variety of movements, and this can be off-putting to many people. As a run coach, I work with people who focus solely on running the majority of the time. And as much as I love running, if running were all I did— I’d have a huge deficit in other areas! Fitness as a whole includes a broad range of things from balance to flexibility to agility to strength to power. No one activity is going to touch on all of those— which is why CrossFit encompasses so many activities under the umbrella of CrossFit. This variety pushes people to become fitter overall in each of these areas, not just good runners or bikers or lifters. I know so many people who do these things well, but if you ask them to switch to another activity… that ability to run or bike or lift just doesn’t translate. CrossFit allows people to play the field: preventing boredom, pushing athletes, and encouraging a more well-rounded fitness level.
In the end, I’m so glad that I took the leap to become a level one CrossFit certified trainer; it was a truly unforgettable experience that taught me so much about CrossFit and the CrossFit community!