So I just read yet another blog by a Crossfit hater that’s gotten way more internet attention than it should, and I just can’t bite my tongue anymore. As the title alludes to, I think you Crossfit haters are a little wack. Give me a minute and I’ll tell you why.
But first, a little bit on my athletic background:
I’m a soccer player.
I played NCAA D1 before heading off on a pro career that has taken me for multiple seasons to Denmark and Norway, a pit stop in Australia, and landed me playing World Cup Qualifying matches and a few years for Ireland (I’m a dual citizen). I’m one of a small handful of North American soccer players that have medalled in Champions League, and I’ve played on teams with national team players from more countries than I have fingers on my hands.
So now that I’ve gotten the two things out of the way that seem to be a pre-requisite to articles by the Crossfit haters (the obnoxious listed resume that justifies why my opinion is so much better than yours, PS it’s not and a catchy title that suggests some element of crazy in being involved in Crossfit), let’s get right into the meat of things.
Crossfit has been the best thing that I’ve come across in my athletic life, yet I keep coming across these stupid, ill-informed, fear-inducing articles. So without further ado,
(From a Pro Athlete) 8 Reasons Why You Crossfit Haters Are Wack
1. Don’t Hate It Til You Try It
This is my favourite from people with a strong opinion on anything and the best way to look like an ignorant idiot. Go off with a super strong opinion of why something sucks so bad without actually trying it.
Just the other day I was talking to someone who thinks that “Crossfit sucks”, when I asked them why, they talked about all the Olympic lifting that they make you do, and how much weight they force you to pile on.
I asked them if they’d ever been to Crossfit before, and they said no, and then I asked them where they got their information from to have such a strong opinion, and they said they’d talked to this guy they knew who did it, and read stuff on the internet about it.
I thought this was interesting since I’ve been there, the majority of the exercises are bodyweight oriented (air squats, pull ups, push-ups, burpees, box jumps) and I’ve always chosen to keep it extremely light with the times we do Olympic lift, and never seen anyone forced or encouraged out of their comfort zone. But please, continue on spreading the gospel that us Crossfitters are having piles of weight slug on, with a screaming coach forcing us to lift heavy. Because it sure doesn’t sound like a place I’d want to be either.
With that being said,
2. If You Had A Bad Cup of Coffee Would You Stop Drinking the Stuff Altogether?
Are there bad Crossfit gyms out there? For sure. Just like there are bad coffee shops.
Just this past week, I’ve stopped going to two coffee shops because one has a cashier that is rude, and the other made me a latte with nasty milk. Does that mean, I am going to stop drinking coffee altogether, because of these two bad experiences, and do those 2 experiences mean that coffee is just an awful thing to drink?
Sounds ridiculous right?
Or how about, if I don’t like it, I just find another place to get my coffee from?
3. Just Say No
And by Just Say No, I’m not talking about the Reagan Administration’s anti-drug campaign in the 80s. I’m talking people, about your right as an individual, to just say no. An exercise seems too tough or out of your comfort zone? Then just don’t do it.
As someone that’s gotten stupid and competitive a few too many times in her life (yes, my resume in this regard includes a hamstring tear from trying to out do the 40 year old in yoga next to me), I knew coming into Crossfit that my purpose was to get into shape, and getting into shape required not getting injured, so I had to put my pride aside and be ok with not lifting the highest weight or doing the most reps of anything.
As I read these sob stories of people getting so injured doing Crossfit, one has to ask themselves, at what point does someone take personal responsibility for their actions and being smart within their limits.
And guess what, if you’re in a gym with someone that is screaming at you to do more and taking your body somewhere that you aren’t comfortable going, then take the advice from number 2 and go find another gym to go to.
Seems a little dramatic to sweep your brush and pronounce the entire practice the worst thing ever because of a few bad apples.
4. “Crossfit Ruins Your Body”
I went to my first Crossfit class last April, just over a year ago.
After going through a 45 minute elliptical ride at the local gym, flipping through Cosmo and barely breaking a sweat, I realized I needed to change things up as I wasn’t doing this whole-no-longer-on-a-sports-team-working-out-thing that well. I also wasn’t really meeting anyone in the town where I was living, so the idea of being around like-minded people was also a bonus.
I also had hurt my foot seriously the summer before, and thought I wasn’t going to be able to play soccer anymore and needed a competitive outlet. In 5 months, going 5x/week, and through initiatives at my Crossfit gym, feeling inspired to eat healthy, I dropped 12 pounds and 5% body fat, the first significant positive body change I had ever had in all my years of pro soccer.
I didn’t get injured once, and only 6 months after starting, had gotten myself back into good enough soccer shape from just doing Crossfit and ball work, that I secured a contract in the Australian pro-league over the winter. For the first time my chicken legs have muscle and as a 34 year old athlete, I have never felt better, or more injury-free.
5. Don’t Hate the Playa, Hate the Game (Yes it’s expensive, but yes, it’s worth it)
If there is one thing that being an athlete has always taught me is that there is no price too high to pay for your health.
Do Crossfit gyms make a pretty penny off of their high fees based on their overhead? As a business owner, I’d have to say it is a fairly genius model.
But to choose to go into an environment that benefits my health, my mind, and motivates me to treat my body well, there is no price too high to pay. Does that mean that I give up eating out, and put that money in my budget towards Crossfit, yes it does. But enough with the “it’s so expensive” moaning. Let’s all spend our money the way that suits our priorities best.
As my boy Ice-T once sang so eloquently, Don’t Hate the Playa Hate the Game
6. Where There’s Hate There’s Usually a Reason to Motivate
Ok that sentence made no sense I agree, but hate and motivation seem to go together, and I just couldn’t pull that sentence off otherwise.
Now that I have your forgiveness on my attempt to manipulate the English language incorrectly, let’s talk about why all these people, many of whom have never tried Crossfit, are spending so much of their time to passionately “inform” the public about what an awful thing it is.
What I have learned is that anyone feels extremely strongly about being negative towards someone or something, there is always something that is motivating them. I obviously don’t know the people writing these blogs, so I can’t say I know for sure what is driving them to stand on their soapbox and yell as loud as they can for everyone to run as fast as possible away from Crossfit.
But what I do know, is that a lot of people in the fitness and health industry are losing a lot of money to Crossfit. For every packed Crossfit gym, there are personal trainers that no longer have clients, gyms that no longer have monthly membership fees, and other exercises classes that now lie bare. With so many industries being affected so adversely I’d argue that this would be a large motivation to spread fear to anyone considering joining the “cult” of Crossfit.
This isn’t to say that maybe some people out there have watched videos that show horrific form, or saw people become injured from Crossfit and genuinely think they are doing a public service by spreading fear. But that again is like having one bad cup of coffee (or insert any other food/drink/experience) made at one store, and swearing off the stuff, and maligning every form of it, any chance you get.
For most sane people that wouldn’t make sense, yet for those that are genuine in their endeavor to rip the practice apart, that is what you are essentially advocating. To me this makes as much sense and does as much damage as those purposefully spreading lies and fear, motivated by the fear of how Crossfit will affect their own bottom line.
7. “Crossfit is a Cult”
My best friend from college is Mormon, and I went to Provo, Utah for a week to hang out with her a few years ago.
So now you’re asking yourself, what in the name does Crossfit and Mormon’s have in common?
Through getting to know Nikki, my stereotype of Mormon’s being weird and no fun was busted in about 2.5 seconds of my first conversation with her and she was my go-to bestie through my last 2 years of college.
When I went to visit, I was the only non-Mormon person in the crew we hung out with. That being said, after a few days with them, I felt sorry for everyone who hadn’t taken the time to get to know the awesomeness of the Mormons as it is a community filled with incredible people that I enjoyed spending a week getting to know, even if their reality was a little different to mine.
Did they have their own language speaking about things, that took me some time to adjust to, and that made me feel a little left out for not knowing? For sure.
But at the end of the day, I realized again that most people saying negative things about Mormons were those who had never spent time with them and were basing their strong opinions off of them from very limited contact and little to none first hand knowledge.
Same too with Crossfit; is it really that bad that some people refer to the gym as a “box” or talk about the WOD (workout of the day), or people like to hang out with the other fitness oriented people that they go to class with?
I mean I’m not saying that people should go and find their local group of people led by David Koresh but it’s far too easy to dismiss things that we don’t know or are not comfortable with, within the negative connotations of deeming it “cultish”.
One thing is certain in that approach though; you miss out on getting to know a lot of great people and things.
8. Where Else Can You Jam Out With Abandon to 80’s Cardio?
There’s no other better way that I can end this, by letting you Crossfit-haters know how much you are missing out.
Where else can a person be in a place, (that isn’t on stage drunk, singing karaoke), and be surrounded by people belting out jams from the 80’s with someone playing air guitar next to them in between sets, sober, and all happening before the clock even strikes 7am?
So come on people…let’s just all let each other do what we enjoy doing, without spreading lies and hate and just try and get along.
I’ll let my boys Journey fresh off their performance in our gym this week, take this one away: Don’t Stop Believing #yourewelcome