Top 5 Ways CrossFit Has Changed My Life
Photo Credit: games.crossfit.com
- By Cherie Chan
I started CrossFit in 2007 and have been a consistent athlete of the strength and conditioning program ever since, getting in 5 to 6 sessions each week. As I reflect back on the last seven years, here are the top 5 ways CrossFit has changed my life:
I have made closer relationships and am a part of an amazing global community.
While I have always loved people, I'd never really had that many close friends or a community to associate with for support. Not only have I developed very close friendships that have now stood the test of time, I am also a part of a much larger community. Anywhere I go in the world, there are people willing to open their hearts and assist in anything needed, CrossFit related or not. I believe this is a direct correlate to the difficulty of the workouts. Not only do we all work out in groups, so our social skills are strengthened, but we also go through a lot of pain together. This is a common bond that creates immediate connections.
- Improved health markers.
Pre-CrossFit, I was headed down the road to sickness at too early of an age. My blood pressure norm was 130/80, resting heart rate was 88, and body fat was 22%. None of these are fit/healthy values for a 33 year old and it frustrated me that I hadn't been able to change them.
Now, at 40 my blood pressure is 110/60, resting heart rate is 54, and body fat is 12%. I have also seen a dramatic increase in my bone density, something a 40 year old woman doesn't usually see!
- Strength and a heightened kinesthetic awareness.
I always knew somewhere inside that there was a strength and understanding of my own body that I had not reached, even though I was a regular at the gym. I would spend 2.5 hours a day in the gym with minimal results. Now, I truly understand what it feels like to be strong!
Not only are my traditional lifting numbers through the roof from where I started, but I have a confidence in my own strength I never possessed before. I have also developed an understanding of my body that allows me to connect brain to muscle that I never knew was possible. This is more difficult to explain. However, imagine being in control of your capacity instead of being limited by it.
Instant gratification is nothing new in the fitness industry. I was no exception; I wanted results and I wanted them now. There are so many skills and adaptations to obtain through CrossFit that it is impossible to get it all in any short amount of time. You see results right away, but you also see what else is possible. If you truly want to be the best you, that has the most capacity you can have, it doesn't take long to realize it takes patience and a lot of it. CrossFit gave me things to work toward, challenges me and continues to do that so many years later.
- Paradigm shift.
I don't know that I ever understood what I really wanted out of a fitness program. I do however know that I wanted to be comfortable in a bikini. I looked at people and thought skinny was beauty. I no longer think that, I know now that strength and capacity are beauty. Those things come in all shapes. Once I stopped caring about the bikini waist, I got it! So at the age of 35 I wore a true bikini for the first time. And I was so much prouder of my Snatch PR, than my waist line.
CrossFit has changed me at my very foundation. I am a happier, healthier, confident and more capable human being than I ever imagined. The best part is I know I have so much more to strive for, the journey doesn't end!