August Free Saturday – This Weekend!

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"While
CrossFit may not be right for everyone it may very well be right for
you. You’ll never find out if you try and experience it through the
twisted pages of the Interweb, so be wary of creating an opinion based
solely on the belligerent works of Internet trolls and squabble
peddlers."

Every month CrossFit Flagstaff opens their doors to the public for a Free Saturday "Come and check it out".  This Saturday at 10:00, we welcome adults and kids, and adults at 11:00.  You'll be introduced to the gym and the staff, taken through a warm-up, taught the skills needed to do the workout, and then walked through the workout-of-the-day (WOD).  The workout will be scaled to meet every experience level and will have a more experienced athlete guiding you through.  We hope you'll come and try it out!

Three Reasons to Get Upset About CrossFit

Awkward Athlete

About 13 months ago, I arrived home for lunch and found that all three elevators were out in my building.

I was living on the 20th floor at the time, so this was not soul
crushing news. I grabbed my Hello Kitty lunchbox and plodded up the
stairs, thinking that if anything this was an opportunity to burn some
calories before gorging myself with mid-day pancakes and jelly beans.
What I didn’t count on was months of lethargy and inactivity… I arrived
at the front door soaked in sweat and ready to take a nap. I was only 28
years old.

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point in my mid to late
20s I reached a state of general malaise. It was not a conscious
decision, I didn’t wake up one morning and decide it was time to stop
moving around quickly or throwing things on a field. It was just the
result of months and months of stagnation and apathetic decisions.

And ding dongs. SO MANY DING DONGS.

And ding dongs. SO MANY DING DONGS.

Without action, my health was only getting
worse. I had a vision of my sweaty, overweight, and out of breath self
trying to keep up with my future unborn children and it was disquieting.
My vision of the future would be an enormous disappointment to my
childhood self, who had always planned on wearing jean jackets with
Michael Dudikoff and staring handsomely at the horizon.

He could've snuck right in if just wore a red uniform.

He could’ve snuck right in if just wore a red uniform.

My brother had joined “the CrossFit” a few
months previously and seemed to be in pretty awesome shape, so I figured
I’d start taking a look at what this newfangled fitness regimen was all
about. I knew it had something to do with doing 100 pull ups and
throwing up, which was a fancy stretch from my normal 3 month stints of
chest & tricep, back & bicep, and shoulders & legs. In the
end, I signed up for an Intro course and jumped right in.

Now, I am by no means a trendsetter. I only
just started wearing trucker hats; I have the musical taste of an
impressionable 13 year old girl; and I did not join
CrossFit before it was cool (I don’t even know what “cool” is anymore…
Is “twerking” drugs?). Over the past year however, I’ve seen CrossFit
mature into a much more mainstream fitness program. With that
popularity, I’m starting to see more and more articles and resources
popping up in crazy numbers on blogs, news sites, magazines, and
newsfeeds. However, I’m also finding it harder and harder to distinguish
between fact, opinion, and trolling when it comes to a lot of these
pieces, especially when I consume most of my information in the madness
that is the digital wild west.

WelcomeToTheInternet

I read articles with titles like “CrossF*cked” and “10 Reasons Why CrossFit is Not a Sport
and I have trouble taking them seriously.  I can’t tell if the authors
are confused on the meaning of “edgy” or if they’re just replacing
content with provocation. It seems as though the purpose of these
articles is less to inform those that are trying to forge an opinion on
the subject and more about driving as many shares, likes, and comments
to the bathroom stall that is their comments section.

At times, the opposition seems no better…
Both sides can tend to paint a very black and white portrait of the
subject. The internet is no place for a grey thought.

My greatest fear is that people who are
truly concerned with their fitness would read these articles and let
them dictate their outlook on CrossFit without ever being exposed to a
milder perspective that might shed some light on its value.

I also have an irrational fear of Liam Neeson.

My second, third, and fourth greatest fear.

I’m certainly no authority on the subject, but I’d love to address
three of the more common issues and complaints brought up by some of
these CrossFit articles and posts from a perspective of relative
experience and critical thinking. Feel free to disagree in the stall
below.

1. CrossFit Illuminati Serve Kool-Aid via Water Fountains

Let’s get this one out of the way early… Yes, CrossFit can be a bit
“culty” at times. Just like owning a Harley Davidson, being a car guy,
or having babies can be “culty”. It’s an activity that has its own
vocabulary, encourages commitment from its members, and becomes a
neighborly gathering place for those with like mind. CrossFit can be a
very social activity… And while some members can take it a bit far by
revolving everything they do around it, it’s up to you on how far you
want to go down the rabbit hole.

TOO FAR.

TOO FAR.

My wife and I both do CrossFit, and we both enjoy it. We talk about
WODs during dinner and have been known to be an annoying/overbearing
CrossFit couple that posts too many workouts on Facebook (we’re working
on it, really). We have tons of friends we’ve made through they gym (far
more than I made at the gym during my bench and tricep days) but we’ve
still managed to make and keep friends from outside the gym and
not drive them off with talk of Heroes and Girls. People get excited
about CrossFit just like they get excited about camping, or drinking, or
their pets. Anyone can be high handed and overbearing regardless of the
interest… Assholes in real life become assholes who like CrossFit, and
awesome people in real life become awesome people who like CrossFit.
Just be awesome. Always.

The word “cult” should not be used in place of a lack of
understanding on why a large group of people are excited to workout
together. A “cult” should really refer to a group of authority figures
with no accountability, using subservience to force members to cut ties
with family members to further their main goal of bringing in new
members and money.

Yes. That.

Yeah, like that.

And on that note…

2. CrossFit Wants ALL Your Lunch Money

In a world of 99 cent apps and Walmart discounts, CrossFit can seem
outright swanky. Relative to the price of a monthly membership at your
local 24 Hour Fitness, we could be looking at a difference of eight fold
or more. So yes, CrossFit costs more than a membership at your local
gym.  My wife and I pay just short of a combined $300 a month for our
current memberships and I find it extremely reasonable for the amount of
value we get. On average I’ll spend anywhere from 8-10 hours in the gym
per week and not only do I get instruction from highly qualified
olympic lifting and strength and conditioning coaches, but I also get to
train alongside former college level athletes, games athletes, and a
wide array of friends and cohorts that are willing to push me during the
workouts far harder than I’d push myself. All for less than $5 per
hour. 

You can spend $20 a month on a gym membership and if you’re getting
the results you want, awesome (I enjoyed this for years). If you’d
prefer to build a garage gym and train by yourself or with a partner and
that works for you, fantastic. Personal trainer? Great. I happen to
prefer working in a social setting with the oversight and personalized
training of my coaches. I don’t mind paying them the equivalent of a
couple of fast food tacos per hour for that service either.

Only you can make a decision about what your personal finances can handle and how you’d like to prioritize your expenses.

I've made shrewd decisions on where I've put my money.

I’ve made shrewd decisions on where I’ve put my money.

Just remember that your health functions like any other investment,
the earlier you start contributing, the more value and benefit you’ll be
able to enjoy later. Siphoning your money into weekend binges or daily
dinners is awesome and I’m certainly not one to tell you how to live
your life. Just don’t convince yourself that your health is a financial
priority that falls well below your cable bill and coffee allowance.

Speaking of health…

3. CrossFit Wants to Rip Out Your Knees and Break Your Back With Them

Before CrossFit, aches and pains were usually the result of “sleeping
wrong” or turning my head too quickly. It’s easy to avoid injury when
“intense activity” means yelling at 12 year olds when they end my
killstreak.

I like to make sure they know Santa Claus is an elaborate lie.

I make sure they know Santa Claus is an elaborate lie.

Yes, you can get injured doing CrossFit. You can also get injured
jogging, rock climbing, surfing, skiing, walking, or any other activity
in the present progressive tense. While I have yet to have a serious
injury, there are certainly days where something is aching abnormally,
or I have a pain in a place I normally don’t. I consider this a side
effect of being active and pushing myself physically. I take those days
as indicators to slow down and let my body rest.

One of the major foundations of CrossFit is “intensity”, the idea of
doing “more work in less time (without overdoing it)”. The competitive
nature of CrossFit is where I can find myself getting into trouble,
losing sight of the real goal of “fitness” and replacing it with
“winning”. I’m fortunate to have incredible coaches that know how to
teach the movements, but they can’t be by my side every second of every
lift. I have to take some personal responsibility and understand my own
physical boundaries and limits. If something’s too heavy, no one should
know that faster than me. Your ego will get you injured quicker than
CrossFit will.

On that same note however, each gym operates completely independently
with very flexible standards of quality and training. Like any
purchase, there needs to be a certain amount of research done on the
background and qualifications of the gym you’re interested in joining.
Not all CrossFit affiliates are created equal, so make sure to spend at
least as long deciding on which gym is right for you as you do deciding
on the right shampoo for your hair type.

Where's scraggly?

Where’s “Receding?”

Injury is a pretty broad subject, so my take is: Make sure your
coaches know what they’re talking about. From there, make sure you understand what they’re talking about. Then, make sure you follow through and don’t let your ego get in the way of performing what they’re talking about. And if you’re doing it right, you’ll still get aches and pains.

But what does it all mean?

I’ve found that CrossFit is not for everyone. Just like basketball is
not for everyone. Just like skiing is not for everyone. Just like black
licorice is the worst candy ever created.

How terrible does your childhood have to be to enjoy black licorice?

Seriously, how terrible does your childhood have to be to enjoy black licorice?

For me, my CrossFit gym is a social gathering place. It’s a venue to
enjoy the company of some seriously hilarious and ridiculous folks that I
may have never met through any other means. In a world of work
relationships and Facebook acquaintances it’s nice to find that kind of
opportunity in a common interest.

It’s also a place I go to play around. “Play” is a thing so many of
us have lost touch with that we forget how much fun it was when we were
kids. Monkey bars are much more difficult than you remember. So is
jumping rope, dodgeball, tag, and all the other physical activities we
used to do in gym class. And while they’re much more labored than you
recall, they’re equally as awesome.

It’s also a challenging environment. It’s a place I go to push myself
mentally and physically, to limits I would never choose to go in any
other comfortable setting. You quickly find out if you’ve gotten enough
sleep or have been paying attention to your nutrition. I never truly
understood the value of a good night’s sleep or a well balanced meal
until I started recording my performance and quantifying what a weekend
of drinking looks like during a workout.

Or a weekend of whatever the hell that is.

Or a weekend of whatever the hell that is.

And while CrossFit may not be right for everyone it may very well be right for you.
You’ll never find out if you try and experience it through the twisted
pages of the Interweb, so be wary of creating an opinion based solely on
the belligerent works of Internet trolls and squabble peddlers. Find a
qualified affiliate close to home and give it a shot. If in the end,
you’re not a fan and dislike the approach, just make sure to write a
combative and venomous post about it (I’d suggest a misleading title
like the above). I’ll see you in the comments section.

Speak Your Mind

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