When I invite crossfit virgins to the gym, they are always hesitant. They wince and shake their head, saying they're not ready for something like that, or they're scared of getting injured. I've also had people tell me they don't want to get sucked into the cult with all of the 'cliques.' Well, let's talk about what's holding you back.
What would make you feel ready to try crossfit? At what point of physical fitness are you eligible to walk into a crossfit box? How much training would you have to do to continue training? There may be countless reasons why you don't want to try this sport but the bottom line is, you're scared. That's okay, everyone else is too. Trying something new is extremely scary. Walking into a box and wondering if you'll fit in with the community is nerve wracking. I get it. I felt the same way when I first started. But letting that fear run your life causes you to miss out on so much. Crossfit is a great workout and an awesome community to be a part of. It's designed for anyone and everyone, no matter what level of fitness you're at. In my gym, we have people who do muscle-ups and legless rope climbs, working out next to people who are nowhere near being able to do those movements. There are so many different levels of fitness and crossfit allows for them all. You don't have to complete the workout as it is written on the board, you modify to make it your own.
Beverly: The Road to Recovery
Beverly is one of my athletes at Balcones Fitness and one of the hardest workers at the gym. Recently, she injured her knee after stepping and falling into a metal grate. She had to spend months rehabbing her knee just to get it to bend properly. Once she could walk well again she was back at the gym, even though she limited in what she was able to do. She couldn't run, jump, or jar her knee in any way. But slowly, after rebuilding her strength and working on flexibility, she has become stronger and can do some running and jumping now. She modifies the workout however she needs to and still gets a great workout in. Seeing her come back and improve so quickly has been truly inspiring! If Beverly can come back to crossfit after not being able to walk, you are more than capable of giving the sport a try.
Injuries In The Gym
As far as injuries go, they're no different than anything else in life: if you're not being smart, you will get hurt. If you're not listening to your body and your coaches, you will inevitably get injured. Crossfit can be dangerous, just like football, basketball, driving a car, eating junk food, sailing, swimming in the ocean with big scary sharks, and so many other activities with risks we choose to take on a regular basis. I've been bruised and pushed around in many sports, been in a car crash, thrown up from bad food, fallen overboard, and have never been bit by a shark but am deathly afraid of it. I've had injuries and sicknesses throughout my life that have laid me up for weeks. In the two years I've been doing crossfit, I have never been injured. I've had tweaks and extreme soreness that I've had to work through, just like with any other sport or exercise regime. But I have never injured myself to the point of not being able to go back the next day. I listen to my coaches and am smart about my training and recovery. When you're not on top of your shit is when bad things happen.
The CrossFit Community
If you want to call crossfit a cult, be my guest. I don't care what you call it, and no other crossfitter does either, because that won't change what it is: a close, tight-knit community that loves and supports each other inside and outside of the gym. We have one clique, and anybody is welcome to join. Unless you are not a nice person, but we can work on that. The misconception that crossfitters consider themselves to be above noncrossfitters, has only been perpetuated by arrogant assholes who think anything they do makes them better than everyone else. A true crossfitter encourages the newbie who is scared to jump onto a box, and shares their story of how they conquered the same fear themselves.
Everyone has their own story of how they got to where they are, and everyone must start at the beginning. Fear is the beginning. You've already begun your journey, you just need to take the next step.