By Coach Tim
For a company less than twenty years old, CrossFit has taken the world by storm. From only 13 affiliates in 2005, the franchise has experienced exponential growth with over 13,000 affiliates worldwide in 2018. From an outsider’s perspective, the phenomenon would seem to revolve around the CrossFit Games, the annual spectacle featuring chiseled athletes performing superhuman feats of strength and endurance. While the games are the pinnacle of the competitive side of the sport, in a way they can also be misleading.
Don’t get me wrong here… Games athletes are ambassadors to CrossFit the way Olympians are to their respective sports and countries. They are the elite of the elite. They compete to be “The Fittest on Earth,” a title that excludes most of the world’s great athletes just in terms of the depth and breadth of what it entails. For all that they are though, Games athletes are not the reason that CrossFit has disrupted the fitness world, and therein lies the reason why I say that the CrossFit Games can be misleading. In the mind of the casual observer, they form an unrealistic impression of what we are. The Games have created a stigma that CrossFit is only for hard core, super-athletic people that are already in great shape.
Walk into any of the 13,000 CrossFit boxes around the world and you will find the real reason behind the CrossFit revolution, and it’s not a super-fit twenty-something that hopes to qualify for regionals this year. It is the 45-year-old accountant who has lost 60 pounds and totally transformed his body in 3 years. It is the 70-year-old grandmother who can run, jump, swim and bike with her grandkids again. It is the 50-year-old executive who has gone from four daily medications to none because his symptoms have vanished. And, it is the 18-year-old who has never been particularly good at sports that has found a place to get stronger and more athletic with an enthusiastic community cheering her every step of the way.
Fear is incredibly powerful. It motivates our behavior like little else can. For someone who hasn’t made their health a priority, taking the first step toward meaningful change can be terrifying. That fear is only amplified when they consider trying the same program as “The Fittest on Earth.” It leads them to the false conclusion that they need to get in better shape before they would even consider something like CrossFit. They think if they lose weight first, or start running again, or dust off that weight bench in the garage that it will make the transition smoother. I know because I said those things too. But, here’s the truth. The most important thing you can do before starting CrossFit is to push your fears aside and walk into the box. When you meet our members you will see people just like you, working to be a better version of themselves. When you see the results, you will wish you had joined the revolution sooner!