In the past 18 months we have shared the CrossFit stories of over 45 people from all over the country, as well as other countries. We have shared stories from teenage girls, women over 65 and everything in between. We have shared stories from both men and women. Our stories encompass the journeys of people battle eating disorders, fighting cancer, losing massive amounts of weight, surviving divorce, an abusive relationship or the loss of a child. Some of the stories were less dramatic but equally powerful – where people used CrossFit to conquer fear, build self confidence, learn to trust again or to believe in one’s self – for the first time ever. Our Everyday CrossFit Athlete stories are real people with real life challenges – and how CrossFit saved them – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The idea to share YOUR stories came from this simple post – “The Many Faces of CrossFit”. So we wanted to share it again – and encourage you to share your story with us!
CrossFit looks like this…..
But don’t be fooled. While CrossFit began as a male dominated sport geared towards those in law enforcement and the military, it has rapidly change since it was formally established by Greg Glassman in 2000. According to the American Council on Exercise, out of the 10 million self-described CrossFitters, about 60 percent are female.
Now CrossFit also looks like this…
Based on what CrossFit looks like, some may think it is extreme, intimidating, and unrealistic. But the image of CrossFit that the public typically sees is that of the most elite, top of their game athletes. The truth is, there are many different faces of CrossFit.
CrossFit is for women of all ages and sizes. Single women and married women. Women with careers, part time jobs or students. Women who have given birth and those who haven’t. Women who’ve always made fitness a priority in their life, and women who are just discovering the value of fitness through their CrossFit journey.
Our desire is to expose the truth and share with you the many faces of CrossFit. So we asked the women in our local CrossFit community if they would share themselves and answer a few simple questions. Due to the overwhelming responses we received, we were unable to feature everyone. But we chose a small sampling across a wide age range. Here are a few of the many faces of CrossFit….
AUBREY – 28 years old
- When did you start CrossFit? March, 2013 – so I’ve been CrossFitting for 14 months.
- Why did you start CrossFit? I have an obsessive personality and I had a ton of friends who promised me I would love it. I hate working out in front of or with other people and I’m poor, so it took me more than a year to sign up after I tried it once.
- Why do you continue to do CrossFit? At first, I picked the gym I did because I didn’t want to do an on-ramp program, because I’m an all or nothing person. Then the only reason I stayed that first month was because I became friends with our coaches. Then, after much sweat, it became about all the other people I work out with too. I’m not sure which burpee it was, but at some point, the people who were strangers became my family. No matter what happens during the day, I can always count on feeling better after being at CrossFit. Something started happening after a while that I never though would…..I started to be able to do things I never could before. I was always chasing other people. I’ll never forget the day when I found out that while I was still chasing others, and had lots of my own work to do, someone was actually chasing me. That’s when I finally felt like I could actually do this CrossFit thing. Before that, I wasn’t totally convinced, although I always showed up every day because I needed my people, my family.
JESSICA – 32 years old
- When did you start CrossFit? November 2009 – so I’ve been CrossFitting for almost 4 1/2 years.
- Why did you start CrossFit? When I met my husband Peter, he was already dong CrossFit and always talking about it. He wanted me to try it, but the only gyms at the time were in Virginia Beach and I lived in Norfolk, so I didn’t want to commute that far. I told Peter if a gym opened in Norfolk I’d try it. About a month later one did open in Norfolk and they had an open house so I went to try it out. The WOD was running, sit ups and wall balls. It was crazy hard. I was walking on some of the runs, couldn’t breath and laid on the floor for 10 minutes after it ended. But I loved it! I signed up for the fundamentals class a few weeks later and never looked back.
- Why do you continue to do CrossFit? CrossFit is not like anything I’ve ever done. It pushes me and challenges me and I want to be better every time I walk in the door. I’m stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been. I’m still learning new skills and setting PR’s and it’s exciting every time! I also really love the camaraderie of the sport and I’ve made amazing and supportive friends.
KRISTI – 41 years old
- When did you start CrossFit? March 2013, so I’ve been CrossFitting for 13 months.
- Why did you start CrossFit? My brother did CrossFit in California. He was really into it and his girlfriend was a coach. My trainer and Anytime Fitness was certified as a CrossFit level 1 trainer and ended up opening his own CrossFit affiliate. That’s when I officially made the switch to CrossFit.
- Why do you continue to do CrossFit? I continue to do CrossFit for the people I WOD with! We support each other, we compete against each other, we push each other. I have formed some of the healthiest and best friendships with these people. We expose our weaknesses and share our tears. We see each other at our weakest and strongest moments. They are powerful moments. And it is an acceptance at such a deep level; you don’t usually experience or find that out in the world. That’s why I return every day. They make me better.
PENNY – 48 years old
- When did you start CrossFit? I began CrossFit about 2 years ago.
- Why did you start CrossFit? CrossFit was very similar to what I had already been doing with other clients and myself. However, I always stayed away from the barbell work because I didn’t know a thing about it andI was afraid I was going to hurt myself or a client. CrossFit gave me the opportunity to learn how to use the barbell. At first I didn’t like it. It was heavy and it hurt because I didn’t have the technique. But the challenge of learning to do something new got me. Trying to figure out the difference between a clean and a power clean and what the heck a hang clean and high hang clean were?! It was so overwhelming and confusing at first. But because of that experience, I can understand what it is like to truly start CrossFit for the first time. It made me a better coach.
- Why do you continue to do CrossFit? I continue to CrossFit because I enjoy the friendships and knowing that no matter what, I never have to WOD alone. I know that when I hit that wall my CrossFit peeps will be there to push me on – whether I finish first or last. They don’t care. They just want to be there for me when I need them. That is how CrossFit works. I have been exercising my entire adult life. More than 25 years! Through all the group aerobic classes, kickboxing, spin etc., I have never experienced a community like the one I have with CrossFit.
SUE – 64 years old
- When did you start CrossFit? March 2013, so I’ve been CrossFitting for 13 months.
- Why did you start CrossFit? I started CrossFit because I wanted to become stronger. I had labral tear surgery in my hip and was on crutches for 2 months. I went to physical therapy for rehab, but wasn’t progressing as quickly as I wished. At 6 months post op I was still crawling up the stairs and could only walk 30 steps in an effort to go around the block. My doctor suggested Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) to help strengthen and balance my muscles. My MAT specialist mentioned CrossFit as an option for additional strengthening. When I started, I could only squat a few inches as a result of the surgery. Now, I can go to the bottom of my squat….with weight!
- Why do you continue to do CrossFit? I continue to CrossFit because I am the strongest and most balanced I have ever been in my entire life. I can fly up the stairs and run over a half mile. I love the workouts, the members at our box and most of all, I really appreciate our coaches. They are highly trained in exercise science as well as MAT, which give me the confidence to progress daily in my CrossFit activities.
LESLIE – 64 years old
- When did you start CrossFit? November 2012, so I’ve been CrossFitting for a year and a half.
- Why did you start CrossFit? This journey began with a not so gentle prodding of my two adult children who are CrossFit trainers. They kept pointing out seniors who have changed their lives and I wanted that change as well. After retiring from teaching I decided that cholesterol numbers and sugar numbers were numbers that could be manipulated through diet and exercise, not drugs. I began eating Paleo and worked out at CrossFit 5 days a week.
- Why do you continue to do CrossFit? Why wouldn’t I continue? I take no drugs and have all my cholesterol and insulin numbers in check. I am stronger, more flexible and more firm that I was in my 50’s…..way more!! My weight is in check and life is GOOOOOOD! Why would I change a thing?
All these women are CrossFitters by choice. The differences in age alone are almost startling, and yet the similarities in why they choose to continue what is often referred to as a crazy, dangerous and extreme form of fitness is uncanny! These are the everyday faces of Crossfit.
We would love to share more of your CrossFit stories as we continue to unveil the many faces of CrossFit in our new feature CROSSFIT WOMAN of the WEEK! Feel free to write your story, or use some of these questions to guide you, and submit it along with a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How old are you
- When did you begin CrossFit
- What inspired you to start
- Why do you continue
- What is your greatest accomplishment in CrossFit
- What life lessons have you learned from CrossFit
- What do you struggle with most in CrossFit
- What are your current CrossFit goals
- How has CrossFit made you a better person
We look forward to sharing YOUR story!
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