I walked into one of my therapist who hasn’t seen me since the summer and she said, “wow… you look different!” My stomach dropped and the look on my face must have been horrifying.
She quickly explained that in the past, it was clear that I was a “body builder who spent time sculpting the body” but now ” you look more like an athlete, a pro baseball player”. And as we talked more and more, the discussion was about CrossFit and this new adventure of mine.
Why CrossFit, Ryan?
I’m an athlete is the short answer. I’m an athlete focused on human performance and developing habits, skills, and dispositions though diverse experiences. I’m always seeking the next challenge and next opportunity for growth in this area as well as the athletic mindset. That is the somewhat longer answer.
Really. Why CrossFit, Ryan?
The full story is a bit longer. When I awoke in my 30s to find my athletic self gone, I returned to my roots: athletics and fitness.
Bigger. Faster. Stronger. These were the words that guided my youth and early adulthood, one that was highly focused on athletics and human performance. But competition fueled that engine: football, baseball, basketball, powerlifting, and a taste of bodybuilding.
So being in my mid 30s, I saw a simple connection: bodybuilding. I set my target and went to work. In two years, I did fairly well ending on the national stage as a physique competitor. But here is the truth:
- I didn’t feel athletic
- I didn’t feel healthy
- I didn’t feel functional
- I didn’t feel good
This isn’t about that sport, which I will forever hold close to my heart. It is about ultimately my heart and soul always longing for a sport that
- Wants an array of atheletic abilities
- Focuses on intense training that comes from as many angles as possible
- Attacks the human condition from all angles: body, mind, heart, and self.
- Honors the jack of all trades athlete
- Challenges you mentally and physically
- Forces you to constantly grow and acquire more skills, techniques, and experiences from every source possible
- Thrives on hard work, multiple sessions training
- Designs nutrition protocols for peak athletic performance and overall wellness more than physical transformation
- Targets mentally and physically, hyper competitive athletes
- Evolves as human performance and capacity evolves
- Pushes you outside of the comfort zone of a singular idea and mandates well-rounded, diverse experiences
- And the list goes on…
So it wasn’t surprising that my path crossed with Crossfit; it, however, surprising that it didn’t occur earlier.
I didn’t understand CrossFit. No. I was ignorant of it. I thought it was a) a program for off-season athletes b) a sport that was kind of like weightlifting.
But as I trained for my physique shows, I had five different people from far different walks in life mention to me that I was built for and trained like a CrossFitter. I vowed to give it a try at some point.
Then, Colorado. I spent a considerable amount of time there between two national shows this past summer where I was exposed to the philosophy and underpinnings of it. I spent time experiencing it. I fell for it and decided that after the summer, I would get off the stage and try it.
In my short time with it, I can only say two things
- Where have you been all my life
- I’ve found my sport! (Yeah… too old and too late but better late than never!)
What I’ve Also Found: A Different Option than the Traditional Gym for many People
The real magic is what it means for fitness no matter who you are nor what your goals.
For obvious reasons, traditional gyms are the choice for many looking to get healthy and fit. The lure of a plethora of equipment, tons of weight, galleries of machines, and all the bells and whistles just sucks people in to the world that we’ve all been told is the solution. But that story plays out over and over for many. These items guarantee you nothing and leave many bored, confused, frustrated, intimidated, and ultimately unsuccessful. Many quit saying “I don’t have time”, “I wasn’t seeing results…”, “I was bored/lost/etc.” or “I felt stupid”
CrossFit is a CURE
Then there is CrossFit boxes. Of all the reasons people tell me why they give up, CrossFit boxes counter this with
- Community and Coaches
- Utility and Usefulness
- Resources and Results
- Energy and Excitement