Why do we CrossFit?

CrossFit in its purest form is a workout done either on your own or as a group of people. CrossFit as a company release workouts on their website every day. It’s beautiful, simple programming designed to bring intensity. It’s all we need. We don’t need anything more than what’s on the class board. If you are going to the games it’s a different kettle of fish. But, for 99% of us all we need is a bit of bloody CrossFit every day. Why a CrossFit gym then? Well that’s where the beauty lies. Like minded, fun, ridey(new word we made up) people all throwing down every day. It’s always easier to suffer together, the people are what makes 353 so special. The best tribe in the world.

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CrossFit is an amazing conditioning platform. A methodology that combines everyday movements (squatting, deadlifting, pressing) with gymnastics and cardio elements to produce heartbreaking but rewarding workouts. It gets us ready for life and what life throws at us. It makes everyday life easier. I remember a time that I would be out of breath walking up to my bedroom, only a couple of stairs up. 

My goals as a CrossFit athlete(which by the way, I consider every single member that walks through our doors every day an athlete) have changed. My goal from making it to the games is long gone. I want to stay out of a nursing home. I want to be able to look after myself when i’m 98, on my 5th wife, riding my Vespa (with sidecar) around Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 14.51.56

We CrossFit to improve our quality life. We CrossFit to live pain free. We CrossFit so that when our grandkids want to kick a football around with us, we’re good to go.

We have incredible members at 353. One of those members is Paul Foxton. A true gentleman and someone that I chase in WOD’s every lunchtime. I can’t even keep up with the weight he has lost. He has transformed his body. Recently he’s gone back and played a GAA match with his old club Kilmacud. Something he thought at 38 years young was impossible. To me that’s why we CrossFit. As paul put it “I feel better now at 38, than I did at 28”.

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CrossFit teaches us life lessons. It gives us an insight into the real world. When things get tough what do we do? We don’t give up, drop the head and shy away. We tackle obstacles head on and see them through. We achieve something everyday. We think a 20min AMRAP with 15 unbroken wallballs in it is impossible. Only to find out it’s not, we completed it.

CrossFit also teaches us that intensity is good for us. We shouldn’t avoid it, but embrace it. CrossFit shows use the difference between being in pain and being uncomfortable. We realise our world is not going to end, we just relax, stay calm, breathe and it will pass. CrossFit puts things into perspective too. Your boss is giving you a hard time? Try some assault bikes intervals and then you’ll realise what a hard time is. We realise that when we workout we are not in pain. We have not stepped on a nail and that nail has not gone through our foot. We are not in pain doing 9mins of burpees. We are just experiencing some discomfort. Our bodies are built to withstand high levels of discomfort. We tell ourselves “i’m okay, i’m uncomfortable but i’ll get through this. Everyone else is feeling the same thing, it’ll be ok”.Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 11.14.10There is a level of support in a CrossFit gym that is unique. Not dissimilar to playing a team sport. Former strangers who you have come to admire are cheering you on your last few reps. Applauding you for your effort. High fiving you and giving you that warm gentle smile that says “ I know how you feel, that was horrible, but we did it, we got through it” How often in your day do you get that? That someone says “do you know what Gaz, well bloody done”.

We as coaches have come to realise that when we coach, we are vulnerable. We are giving the people in the class a window into our souls. Showing you deep down who we are. Showing what we value and how we feel about ourselves. We show this from how we communicate to the group to how we represent ourselves. Hopefully we showing that we genuinely care about you. That for a coach to succeed, you as a member must succeed. We gain our gratification through your achievements and successes. I guess it’s somewhat of a quirky, unique context: our success is based on the successes of others.Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 11.15.09When we workout it keeps us in touch with who we are. We are getting ready for war. Will we run? Or will we attack these thrusters head on. Will we let out a war cry and absorb the adrenaline? Will we hit the 15 unbroken wallballs or will we sneak in 11… 16mins deep into a 20min AMRAP…. will we stop? 

Or… 

Will we power through and reap the rewards? You think the WOD cannot be completed, but you complete it. You tell yourself that a pull up is impossible, but now you have pull ups. We think to ourselves in elements that a double under is a dark art of the samurai, but now we can link them in a workout. You stick with these impossible tasks. You keep your head down. Work hard. Stay humble. And you achieve, week in week out, tasks you thought could not be done. You persevered. CrossFit builds character, makes us stronger in body and more importantly in mind.

Whoa – got pretty deep and riled up there…soz!! 

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Back to normal:

Sometimes CrossFit can be about showing up and having an hour to yourself. Switching off from the worries of the world and getting into your state of zen. That’s why we encourage people to get down to 353 whenever they can, we don’t have to flog ourselves and peel ourselves from the floor every day. Showing up, high fiving, moving and having a laugh is all it takes to help some of life’s little problems. You can’t help others if you can’t help yourself. Well done on investing in yourself!

We are so lucky we get to move our bodies everyday. We don’t have to train. We get to train. Try to be present every day. Use positive self talk “I’m ok here” and try embrace the fatigue. Feel the blood rush through every inch of your body. Feel alive. We are getting our bodies ready for the long cold years ahead (morbid alert). We are surrounded by some amazing people that too share the lust to be better. That refuse to accept back pain as a part of life. That refuse to sit dormant in a wheelchair, just because at 90 that’s what society has deemed acceptable.

Why do we CrossFit? Because we recognise growth and learning is lifelong. We can only grow if we challenge ourselves and encourage challenge from others. We want to move well and move pain free. We realise intensity and discomfort are good for the soul. We realise that we are beautiful and amazing people in so many different ways we never knew. Some people judge beauty as skin deep. CrossFitters have redefined what beauty is. Inside a CrossFit gym beauty can be many things: a perfect air squat, a sweaty face, that post WOD hair, rough hands, a perfect deadlift, a warm smile, a refusal to quit, shared suffering, a joyful hello, an enthusiastic well done, perseverance, an arm around the shoulder, a bum tap, human beings, pride, impeccable posture, confident movement. Not being afraid to be different is how we define beauty.

So whether on your own or with a group try move every day, get your heart rate up and be nice to one another. Simple and effective – like CrossFit.

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