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Why do you CrossFit?I started CrossFit about a year and a half ago. When I started, my main goal was to lean up and become more fit. I had been doing the globo gym routine and my body simply wasnt responding like it used to. But, more important to me, I just didnt enjoy it. I clearly needed a change, and CrossFit seemed like it might do the trick. Ive been doing it for about a year and a half now, and it has become more than a workout -- its a lifestyle. In addition to our church community, the STRONG community is where Shelby and I prefer to invest our time and social capital. We are consistently humbled by, and thankful for, the collective community support. And we are equally humbled by the interest everyone has taken in our kids -- we know they will be better people for being around you all. Moreover, I am constantly inspired by stories of why folks do CrossFit and what theyve gotten out it.
With that said, I thought it would be great if everyone would share why they CrossFit. Like I said, I started to lean up and change things up a bit. But, in addition to the community it provides, heres why I do it now:
I want to compete and to do so at a high level. But, more important than that, I just want to be the best I can be. This has become my primary hobby above almost everything else, and, like with any hobby, I want to be as good at it as I can be. The better you are at something, the more fun it is. More importantly, it is great to see improvement and growth, no matter how it is measured. I completely understand that growth and improvement can be measured in ways apart from scores, times, and weights. Therefore, I am committed to growing, improving, and becoming as fit as my body will allow. Again, competing is fun, but the ultimate goal is to be be a good steward of the vessel God has given me and to maximize its potential at all stages of life, understanding fully that both the input and output will look different over time (and that it looks different for different people). Thats what is so cool and fascinating about this to me, and its something I want my kids to understand. Its not about being better than anybody else; its about being the best you can be and maximizing the resources God has give you. After all, were not all good enough to go to the Games, but we are all perfectly suited to maximize the resources God has given us. We should take advantage of that, and thank God for the opportunity to do so.
Viewing 1 - 13 out of 13 Comments
CharlieN 10/27/2011 16:50:06I am a little late on my story and I will keep it short. I used to do a lot of Judo when I used to live in Oklahoma. It was my life. When I moved to Dallas, I was going to different dojos and trying to get the same feeling that I had at my old club. The sense of family and pride knowing that you are in a good place to learn and grow. Crossfit Strong is my new family now....I heart everyone and I just want to make the box proud.
I know I am getting stronger and faster (when I am not injuried).....I like to compete with the people around me and to see Mylien get stronger and do things she never done before.
They can say that doing CF is a cult and when it comes down to it....It is. The cult of having a new family. Crossfit Strong Forever.
NydiaS 10/10/2011 10:35:21Wow! I love your blog Malachi and everyone else's stories too! I wish I had read these sooner. I feel like these stories need to be enlarged, printed out, and posted on a wall at the box. They're just soooo good! I started writing out my story and it extended to over a page so I think I'll just post a blog about it. Again, thank you so much for sharing your story, Malachi, and for getting everyone else to tell theirs too. This needs to happen more often.
RudyS77 10/06/2011 22:07:09I loved reading these posts....many sound so relevant to my own story.
Why do I crossfit?
I'll begin by saying that I talk about it at work ALL THE TIME. "Hey Rudy, we are going out for drinks after work." "Sure I'll come for 10 mins, but I'll have a water, have to crossfit in 30 mins." "Hey Rudy, I want to know what gives you your drive to crossfit so I can hire people with the similar mindset."
It is very simple to me. I am never satisfied with being complacent. But wouldn't that mean globo gym would fit me well? Yes, and it has for many many years. However, you put me in a group with people with my same mindset, ones with a drive much higher than globo gym settings, and an environment that breeds competition......I am at home.
This is why I crossfit. I love the struggle, I love to fail. When I fail, I become stronger. When I become stronger, my competition becomes more difficult. When competition becomes difficult, I have to work harder as an individual. This is what I live for.
Dan Gale brought me into Crossfit. Some of you may remember that I came in on a Saturday, and won a free month membership. I had stayed all day that Saturday, competing in all the workouts, and losing amongst yall in all the workouts. I loved it. Losing had never tasted so good.
Honestly, I do not feel that life is worth living without growing as an individual; mentally, spiritually, and physically. I feel that crossfit accomplishes all of these catogories for me.
To me, everyone here is a success in life. I see true beauty in everyone as the clock ticks by as we compete for time. I look forward to working out with everyone everyday. And I would work out 6 days a week if Gale wouldn't hang me by a rubber band.
Sweat, blood and tears. This is what makes me and all of you.
I will continue to crossfit, from now, and until I can no longer. I have found my calling.
DavidH 10/06/2011 16:11:07
You have encouraged me to post my experience Crossfit Strong.
I joined CFS June 1 2010. I weighed 250 lbs and was ready to be
challenged. Boy did that happen. I puked the first 5 wods and wasn't even close
to completing the workouts. I was sore in places I didn’t realize you could be
sore in. Ashley would come to me and scale me down and I would look at her like
she was crazy. After 3, 2, 1, go I was secretly thanking her for her mercy. I
would show up and would mentally have an excuse to not go all out, my shoulder
hurts, I have chin splits, I am sore, ect.. I would keep going even if I was
dead last, which was a majority of the time. But even then I would see small
achievements. This would keep me motivated to keep coming back.
The box would have social events and it was a great opportunity to
meet other people going through or had gone through the same thing. Sort of a
rights of passage scenario. I encourage all new members or potential members to
attend the events or social nights. Nobody here has reached their potential and
as intimidating as they may seem they are all here with a common goal.
After serving in the Marine Corps as Sergeant I have been test physically
and mentally. Crossfit training is very similar but CFS keeps it very reminiscent
by team effort. You PAIN (train) together, you grow together. Shout out to Gale
and Ashley for the FAM-UH-LEE environment.
I am now able to complete most WODs Rx, I have shed 25 lbs,
my flexibility has improved, and I have checked off on about half of the intermediate
skills. When I started I could not do a pull up, could not squat passed 90 (or
get the bar overhead to even attempt an OHS), and pretty much anything that resembled
I joined Crossfit Endurance in January 2011 and could barely run a
couple of miles. My 5K time was over 30 mins, now it is under 24 mins. I ran
6:34 mile two weeks ago and get stronger with each workout I attend. I am able
to run 8 to 10 miles at a fairly decent pace. Shout out to Cat and Marla for
the great training and motivation they give.
As many of you know I am a proud new father, I have been blessed by
the Lord with a son. I am counting on my FAM-UH-LEE to keep me in shape to keep
up with little man. I keep trying to get my wife to join, she is getting
@Shelby – I forwarded your blog to her, she really liked it. Who
AmyL 10/06/2011 15:58:51Eric, your story makes me laugh. I had to pressure Joshua for a long while before he finally came. I remember when I first joined Crossfit, I came home and puked for the first month or so. It was so intense for me. Joshua would just look at me, shake his head, and ask me why I do these things to myself. I signed up on the monthly plan, and at week 2, I remember telling myself that I would just have to quit at the end of the month since my body didn't seem to enjoy what I was doing it to. My first month went by, and I said "Okay, 1 more month and then I quit because I don't want to be a quitter this soon." End of Month 2: "I've just got to give this a chance...my body seems to be feeling a little better than it did at first." End of Month 3…"There is NO way I'm quitting. I love the results, I love the community, and I NEVER get bored."
Joshua watched this and his comments never changed. I would come home and tell
him what we did, and he thought I was absolutely insane. "Why do you work yourself
out to the point of sickness?!" I used some manipulative tactics to finally get him in. He was quite sick at the time with sinus infections and various stomach issues, and I conveniently worked in comments here and there, "I never get sick. I think it is because I exercise all the time. I just feel so much better when I exercise." I got him to try out on a Saturday when we did Fight Gone Bad, and he almost banned it after that. The shaking of the head and annoyance at my insistence to do what he called "psychotic workouts" continued.
I'm convinced that Joshua just finally realized he needed to do something because of how much a part of my life Crossfit became. When your spouse spends 3-5 days a week at the gym and comes home with the kind of happy that you wouldn't mind having more of yourself, what else can you do but give it a shot? He was finally in foundations after 4-5 months of coaxing.
Initially, I joined Crossfit because it was recommended by my good friend and fellow Crossfitter, Danika Boyst. Back then I did it simply because I needed something to help keep me in shape for my professional endeavors. Although that is no longer necessary because my
career path has changed, my love for Crossfit has remained. Every day that I walk into Crossfit, I somewhat fear the challenge that awaits me. It is almost like gearing up for a big race you have been preparing for. I get the adrenaline and butterflies in my stomach before each WOD, and I get that high and feeling of accomplishment at the end. Another great aspect of Crossfit is that it attracts people with the same mindset. I like surrounding myself with people that believe they CAN instead of complain that they CAN'T. We move towards our challenges rather than run from them. All of the things that help us get through WODS are the exact same things that help us lead meaningful lives. These elements make us successful in our careers, relationships, goals & aspirations, and push us to strive for the best in all we do. I know when I walk through those doors, I'm surrounded by people with the same mindset. By no means will I ever be the greatest Crossfitter, and I may never be able to do overhead squats, but it is the challenge in attempting to overcome my weaknesses that keeps me interested in Crossfit.
Gale told me about a year ago that Crossfit would change my life if I
would give it the chance. Gale, you were right.
AdamC 10/06/2011 15:55:30Short and Sweet. =P
A year + ago I was talking with one of my friends who is a trainer about how out of shape I was and he wouldn't shut up about how badass he thought Crossfit workouts are and how cool it is that they support the military, etc.. So, I did some research online to find a location and Strong is what drew me in. Beginning with the intro WOD to the last one I just completed, Crossfit challenges me in ways that I have never challenged myself and is changing more than just my body.
Where else can you go to workout, have peers push you farther than you want to go, support you when you stumble, learn to be a ninja (big ups Master Charlie) and keep it fun with social debauchery? Um... NO WHERE!! That's what keeps me coming back. I feel like a slow learner but I'm constantly getting stronger in many ways and I look forward to what is to come. If there is one thing Crossfit is teaching me - it's that there are no limits to what I can do! Thanks to all!
JoshuaL 10/06/2011 14:21:51
Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. I don't post much but Ill give it a go.
My wife Amy introduced me to Crossfit fourth quarter of last year. She heard from a friend about CF and off she went. She would come home drenched with sweat and wanting to (or actually doing it) throw up. I asked my wife "Why in God's green earth would you want to work out to the point of blowing chunks? You are crazy! That is fitness cult!" I was going to Lifetime fitness and blowing money on tread mills and machines I really didnt know how to work. I wasted money on personal trainers who challenged me somewhat but would stare off into space as I was doing their prescribed workout.
I finally agreed to attend a Saturday wod and I think it was Fight Gone Bad. I was matched up with a tenured crossfitter and took his score as he went through the workout. When it was my turn, I made it through the first scaled round of FGB and almost passed out after wallballs on the 2nd round. Gale grabbed me and ran me into the bathroom, placed a wet towel on the back of my neck and said "they wouldn't do that for you at a Globo gym." He was 100% correct. At Liftetime, I got access to machines and weights that I had never understood how to use and had to pay for someone to teach me. I "worked out" and was clueless as to HOW to workout even after dumping $$ into a trainer. I had not been into fitness since soccer in high school and had plenty of excuses as to why I couldn't work out which included 1. I broke my left femur when I was a kid-dont want to hurt that again. 2. I have a surgically repaired right shoulder and I dont want to hurt that again. 3. My knees hurt when I run. 4. I like donuts and I cant eat donuts if I am working out.
My awesome wife got me a 3 month membership that started Jan 31st of this year. I was 205 pounds, out of shape and had eaten one to many donuts. I was initially intimidated by the other CFitters at Strong. I couldnt do a pushup without being on my knees, used a green and blue band for pull ups, I could barely lift the 35lb bar for a push press. It seemed everyone around me was just in better shape. After two weeks of foundations, I found myself in my very first WOD. I felt embarrased that I was scaling push ups and about everything else. After being at a Globo, I thought people may quietly make fun of me watching me fail at doing a pushup. Not a chance. I had people telling me good job, cheering me on, etc. It was absolutely NOTHING like what I expected and completely 100% different than a Globo. My coaches care about my form, teach me how to improve (still working on that part) and tell me good job for trying hard.
So why do I Crossfit? I do it because it has helped me lose 40+ pounds (my four year old around my waste), it has helped me do push ups RX (I can do clapping ones too-OH YEAH=P), I have done my first pull up without a band and can do kipping pullups, I can do some WODs RX now and can do a push press with 125 on it. I have seen dramatic improvements with my physique. I can actually see a few muscles now. I have NEVER had any before outside of my legs from playing soccer. I am in the best shape of my life at 39 years old. I have made a lot new friends and I am signed up for a year now.
CF has changed my life. I have chronic sinusitis and have had two major sinus surgeries (both of them last year). Multiple sinus infections and bacteria that I just couldnt fight off. I had been on over a dozen antibiotics and seen an infectious disease specialist who wanted to put me on IV therapy as my sinuses were just not getting better. I started CF Jan 31st of this year, got a new ENT Specialist at UT SW and have been infection free since March of this year. Whole 30 eating/nutrition and crossfitting has helped me get there. I don't ever want to go back to where I was. I was in the sickness zone for so long and was dealing with depression from not being able to feel better, breathe through my nose, stop coughing, etc. I owe my overall mental and physical health to CF Strong and the coaches here. My CF lifestyle has saved me. I may come in last in a WOD, but I finished it. That is my goal. Finish and finish strong. I am healthy again and that is bc of this box and the people in it. Thank you.
EricZ 10/06/2011 13:48:24
Great Blog Mal, and equally great testimony by all.
So, I have been going back and forth on whether or not to post something… mainly because my story may come across wrong, especially at first.
It was Jenn Mekhitarian (at the time) who pushed me, literally, into the doors of the old box. It was around October 2009, after our Wedding, Honeymoon, and Honey-hang-over… But, lets rewind because I feel like there needs to be a prologue to explain my actual introduction to CrossFit. Jenn and I both have degrees in health and fitness, and for as long as I remember, I had been “programing” both of our workout routines dating back to college. We have always been health conscience people… Jenn always wanting to make sure her “Butt doesn’t look big in these new Jeans” and me wanting to add years that my diabetes theoretically would take away (Jenn your butt looks great!). We were about a few months away from our Sept ’09 wedding and Jenn and I were on a mission to get in Honeymoon shape (anyone else know what I’m talking about?). If anyone knows me, you could figure that my regiment at that time was 99.9% HEAVY Lifting and < 1% Cardio/Nutrition… Being the good fiancé, Jenn following my program (slightly modified bc the was a girl, slightly)… Can anyone guess what results she was getting from it? She got bigger and stronger… her brother made fun of her… and Jenn got on the web…. To shorten the story, I heard about CFStrong for MONTHS. (Disclaimer: “Bigger” meaning more muscle mass, not FAT… CYA)
“OMG its sooo the hardest WOD EEEEVVVERRRR!” –Jenn
“OMG so me and Dev, and Lindz, and Ash… we like YaYas now… I love, love, love working out with them!” – Jenn
“OMG you would love it there is a guy there name Kyle is really strong, you would have fun competing against him… you never know he may be stronger than you!” –Jenn (reverse psychology)
So here was my mentally, my thought for why I didn’t want to go to CrossFit. “So your saying you are in a class with coaches leading a workout… I don’t need a coach to tell me how to workout, I have a degree in exercise theory, im not gonna pay someone to tell me what I already know… “
But there was something about Jenn that was different since she started CrossFitting at Strong… She loved it. “It” – the WODs, the results, but most of all the people and the community. I may not be smart, but im not dumb… when the person you love the most in this world is so completely happy about something, its worth your consideration… especially when that person has been begging you to do it. So, I did, I came in and did a free intro WOD a month after our wedding. Oh, boy… Humbled is saying it lightly. It kicked my A$$! Being as proud and self-conscience as I am, it took me another couple of month and a Groupon to get me back into the door.
There it was, I didn’t want to come because I was more concerned about the fact that I wasn’t the best… instead of what it truly was. In my first month I bonded with so many people that have become my second family, and just like Malachi, the people I have spent the majority of my time with over the last couple of years.
CrossFit became something that Jenn and I both get to enjoy, and another thing to have in common. It is unbelievably satisfying to have a spouse that you can talk about OHS, Snatch, Cleans, and all the other things we do. Someone who knows exactly how hard a workout is bc she did it too… I LOVE what it has added to our marriage.
Now that I have been able to be a coach, it has fulfill another passion of mine… I always wanted to be a coach, even started my degree as a Teacher-Coach. Now I get to help people do what I love, and love doing it at the same time. How sweet is that?
Through CFStrong I have been able to strengthen myself, not only physically, but in almost every facet of my life. Stronger Will. Stronger Relationships. Stronger Body. Stronger Faith. STRONGER PERSON
JakeT 10/06/2011 12:26:36Great idea to post this Mal and like Cody, I could write a book on this. CrossFit has done so much, personally and professionally, and Strong even more so. I honestly couldn't imagine the past year and my future without having become a part of this family.
Linds Maltsberger was harrassing me for about a year on CrossFit before I finally gave in and came to a social Friday (my dang luck that it was Fran!). Before I'd been a globogym guy - playing basketball and lifting weights about 5-6 days a week, spending 2-3 hours in the gym per day. And I was struggling to get results I wanted. I was stronger, but def slower than I used to be and flexibility was out of the question. CrossFit was a mind-blowing experience because soon I had a big chunk of my life back - and my time became more important.
Especially early on it was all about the competition - could I keep up with Cody and Charlie. I wanted to get bigger, stronger, faster (and still do to a degree) but it consumed me early on. It was like being back in the Field House in high school, and I loved it.
But the camarderie and fam-uh-lee is what made me want to be as involved as I possibly could - we all pushed each other for "x" minutes and then cheered each other on and laughed about it after while lying on the floor in fetal position. People are amazed when I tell them, "yea, I get texts asking if I'm alive and why I'm skipping workouts if I go a week or so without showing my name on the board." Because never in a million years would that happen at globogym. Because CrossFit is about more than a workout and until you get in and experience it, you think we're crazy.
The more I got involved in the gym and the sport, the more I wanted to be challenged. It's like you get the taste of what is possible and you see others do it, then you can't wait to do it yourself. I think the reason I still go has changed the past couple of months. For awhile I becamse obsessed with beating certain names on the board who were always ahead of me. It became a beating because I couldn't beat them and running at a breakneck pace will eventually wear you out. Taking a little time off helped me refocus that it's about having fun. I mean, if it wasn't fun, I wouldn't do it. And I was getting improvements but not enjoying the small victories because I was focused on needing a faster time (even though I've come light years from where I was when I started - you think my OHS is bad now, you should've seen me when I started! haha). I think we all get caught up in that sometimes and it takes a little something to say "Alright, this is a workout, this is something that is supposed to be fun - ENJOY it!"
I definitely had that moment recently. And I think it's going to continue to make me love CrossFit even more. Learning to mini-celebrate the small wins is needed - because we're all improving, all getting better every day. We may not be where we want to be right now, but hell, that's why this whole thing is a process. I mean, look at Rich Froning, guy couldn't climb a rope in 2010 and he straight up owned it in 2011 - we all have things to improve on.
Never stop learning (or competing haha). That freshness and attitude is what invigorates me.
I could go on and on (obviously) about this, but I can honestly say this box has been a big family to me. It's been a trial of a past six months and I am scared of how things could've gone with CFS. So first, THANK YOU to everyone involved. It's amazing when you base work and living situations you're trying to create around a gym. People think I'm nuts when I work on things to stay relatively near CFS because in their eyes, "its' a gym."
But we all know better.
It's a family. It's an escape. It's a educational place. It's a growing place. It's a place of strength. CrossFit has become one of the favorite parts of my day and I can only hope it has been the same to each of you here at the gym.
There are some great CrossFit boxes around the country, but there are none like Strong. The atmosphere Gale and Ashley have built is what keeps me coming back, even when I see that damn OHS on the WOD for the day.
MattO 10/06/2011 10:15:24
Great to hear everyone's story, unlike Cody, I didn't condense!
I started crossfit because I needed a life change. I have always been a healthy/active person but in the year leading up to joining, work and socializing had taken a toll on my body. I used "injury" as an excuse, and thinking back I was probably suffering the same globo-gym depression as Mal. I was overweight and even more so - unhealthy. Funny thing, thinking back, my first WOD was crossfit total. I was not impressed with the workout - isn't this the same stuff I had been doing? But something struck me as special (besides all the ridiculously fit people everywhere); I believe it was the people and the atmosphere. Everyone was friendly, warmups were social time and workouts were energetic (and did someone that's 150lbs just deadlift 400?) So, I came back, again, and again - one of my better life decisions.
Now I crossfit because I simply love it. Somedays I hate the workouts, hate working out, and LOATH waking up. But the place is special, the experience always reviving - it's great to see so many new people (even if they are way too damn good!).
Some of you probably know I'm leaving for D.C. shortly and next Monday evening or Tuesday am will be my last WOD at CFStrong. I'll miss all of it and you. Thank you to everyone for everything. Gale, Ashley, and the rest of the coaches - keep it up!
KeeganW 10/06/2011 09:57:34I agree with Justin. This is a great idea and a great blog.
I used to play any competitive sport I could fit into my schedule and workout "globo" style at the gym. It worked great when I was in college and my friends would all be at the gym and everyone had time for sports, but over the last three years spent in the working world friends began to move and it became harder to get teams organized. I was still playing working out but I was missing the social part of sports that I enjoyed the most. Then I tore my acl about a year ago playing soccer and during rehab my PT showed me how I was using my strong muscle groups to hide my weak areas helping cause the many injuries I had been getting recently. I wanted to fix that. I tried many different workouts and, while some were good, i never kept them up because they all seemed to be missing something. Then a buddy told me about crossfit. I gave it a try and it had everything I was looking for in one place.
I love that you can't hide from working out your weak muscle groups.
Overcoming weaknesses and growing as a person spiritually, mentally, and physically has always been important to me and crossfit helps me do that.
It's competitive but also social and inviting. Everyone pushes each other and themselves but even after the most grueling workout everyone will encourage others and come together as a group (once we can catch our breath).
The creative nature of the WOD's. I find myself checking the website every morning excited to learn what "fun" WOD we will be doing that day. You look forward to doing a WOD instead of dreading to go to the gym and do a normal same routine workout.
I am a full blown crossfit addict now. I tell everyone about crossfit and find myself talking about it constantly with my friends and coworkers encouraging them to get into it (maybe to much).
@Justin: I agree with dredding the rest days. Every Sunday I find myself wishing the was a WOD that day.
CodyR 10/05/2011 22:17:06Well, I started to type and got a little carried away. I could honestly go on for pages about why I started crossfitting and the amazing experiences I have had at our box. Believe it or not, this is the condensed version.I found CrossFit Strong 18 months ago and it was exactly what I was looking for. The workout was incredible but the community is what has made me want to stay. I was made to feel welcome from day one and have enjoyed everyday since. I remember Tom Wilson was the first person to introduce himself when I came in for the Saturday intro class. For some reason I don't remember him working out... I think he was just hanging around that morning. Tom wasn't the only one to introduce themself that morning, but his introduction left an impression on me and now I try to go out of my way to introduce myself to our new "fam-uh-lee" members when they first walk through the door.Like Mal and Justin, I love the daily competition and challenge of the WOD's, but I wake up at 5am every morning to come see everyone at the box. I've made a lot of friends and I've had a lot of fun.
JustinBell 10/05/2011 20:07:24Great blog Malachi. It's great to hear your perspective and reason behind your drive.Before crossfit, I only ran - mostly alone and early in the morning. I enjoyed this, but was looking for a non-work social activity that was physically active. I've been doing crossfit for about 10 months and I absolutely love it. Like you, it has become my top hobby and when I'm not doing it I'm usually talking about it or thinking about it. My kids can drop and execute perfect form burpees on command and often ask me "you want to do some crossfit with me?".I love the daily competition and challenge of the WODs that I'm no good at (anything strength), but mostly I love the people and community. It is definitely one of my favorite parts of the day and I kind of dred my rest days.