I've been thinking about why people bash/hate on CrossFit so much lately. I mean if I don't like Starbucks, it's simple, I just don't go there but I don't speak too much about it and I'm not passionately opposed to it in conversation where I will go so far as to mock those who drink Starbucks.
I think the reason why CrossFit turns into "CrossQuit" for so many that try it is that the very essence of CrossFit is that it confronts the "Inner Quitter" inside all of us and meets it head-on with a new challenge every day. People bash CrossFitters because they make Facebook posts about their recent accomplishments and their workouts but these critics fail to understand what is actually being celebrated.
You suddenly realize this challenge you're facing isn't primarily physical but instead it's predominantly mental. Two and a half rounds into a five round workout can be utterly depressing as the second half of the workout appears as insurmountable as scaling Mount Everest itself. But in CrossFit, it's done in groups and so you look around through the sweat in your eyes dripping off your brow and you see your classmates/comrades going through their own battles and pressing on through the pain. Suddenly a second wind enters your lungs and your sluggish pace quickens and new life has entered your soul. You're running faster, lifting smoother, jumping higher and your countenance has improved to one of determination and the expression on your face is sending a different message that says, "I will finish. I will finish. I WILL FINISH!!!"
Four rounds in the storm clouds begin to dissipate and the negative voices have been silenced. In your mind's eye, the finish line appears and you can see that the summit of this mountain is within your grasp. Confidence is inspired and the option to quit that had looked so attractive to you just a few minutes prior is now completely OFF THE TABLE. Quitting is not an option anymore and it's as if that inner quitter has now morphed into Rocky Balboa.
Round five is euphoric. All of your panic in rounds two and three has turned into a sort of patient persistence. You have reached a place of quiet intensity. You squeeze out that last rep and fall onto your back in the traditional CrossFit Crime Scene. Flat on your back, catching your breath with both arms and legs spread out wide like a shooting victim. Instead of a pool of blood, with CrossFit you lie in a pool of your own- hard-earned- sweat. A minute passes and your heart rate begins to normalize. Another minute passes and you sit up and survey and scan the box/gym to see who else is still in the battle and who has made it to the finish line before you. Ten minutes after, you're walking around disinfecting the sweat angel you left on the rubber mat floors and all the equipment you used. Chatting joyfully with your classmates, feeling invigorated and refreshed. Exhausted but accomplished.
Fifteen minutes after, you're driving away from the box patting yourself on the back. The new voice has taken up residence in your head says, "I DID IT. I REALLY DID IT. I REFUSED TO QUIT." You begin to wonder what other challenges in your life you can overcome. The accomplishment in the box spills over into every other area of your life and the desire to share this feeling with your friends and family arises but what us CrossFitters fail to realize is they (the uninitiated) just don't get it.
This feeling you get from doing CrossFit is something you just have to experience to understand. I could vividly describe a roller coaster to someone who has never been on one before but my word picture would pale in comparison to actually getting on the ride, nervously buckling up, heart pounding as the coaster climbs the first lift hill, and then rapidly accelerates down the track as their cheeks flap in the wind.
It's very similar with CrossFit. CrossFit confronts your fears and asks you to buckle up and face them every day. It's a great divider. It reveals character or a lack thereof. Two things in the human spirit that naturally clash with CrossFit. Ego and Excuses. It's like oil and water. They don't mix. If you love your ego and excuses and also love CrossFit, CrossFit will offend your senses every single time and eventually one will have to go. Either you keep CrossFit and choose to drop your pride, ego and excuses or you decide to keep doing what you've been doing and getting what you've been getting. CrossFit or CrossQuit...The question is: "Which will you choose?"
San Diego born, Jason Tibesar grew up in a Navy family. In high school, he lettered in golf, basketball and baseball. In college, he would go on to focus intensely on the latter. During his college summers, he earned extra money as a personal trainer at L.A. Fitness in the Phoenix area. Jason's baseball career had short flashes of success with his 16th round selection in the Major League Baseball draft in 1999 by the Milwaukee Brewers. He opted to delay the major opportunity for more experience at the college level which proved detrimental as misfortune followed for the next few years with a string of nagging injuries which ultimately ended his major league hopes. After a short hiatus, Jason made the emotional decision to forego his senior year at Bellevue University where he studied sports coaching and biology. After returning home, he opened his first gym Focus Fitness in Sierra Vista, Arizona. After two years, he sold the business and moved to Los Angeles, California where he tried his hand at becoming a freelance screenwriter. Fast forward to 2014, Jason is now married with two small children and is the owner/operator of CrossFit Cochise and has trained thousands of clients during the course of his 15 years in the fitness industry. He aims to combine his two passions of fitness and writing as a guest contributor at Many Kind Regards.