CrossFit Sucks.

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon since my response to the question “What do you do [for a living]?” has shifted from something related to low-level management to owning and running a fitness facility: strangers voluntarily (over) share their feelings & experiences as it relates to their own fitness hopes, fears, self-doubts, and advice. I’m not complaining; I really enjoy it. Plus, it’s given me thousands of reps at reading and communicating with people on such a visceral level.

If this conversation lasts more than 30 seconds it will undoubtedly turn to one about CrossFit. This conversation goes one of two ways: 1. “My _________ does it (CrossFit) and has great things to say about it” or 2. “Oh my gosh I want to try it but I could never ever do that because of ______.”

Those of you reading for whom CrossFit literally puts food on your table, probably have the same response I’ve always given. Something like this: “Oh, no, you could totally do it.” “Everything is scalable.” “Even your grandma could do it.” “We have great coaches who will help you along the way.” “There’s an On-Ramp/Foundations/Fundamentals/CrossFit 101…” Ad nauseam. Most coaches who have taken the plunge to full-time all typically feel a deep connection to helping others see a better version of themselves. We’re helpers, coaches, mentors, and probably a tad co-dependent. Our canned answer for “I could never do it” is our attempt to mitigate someone else’s self-doubt.

Over this most recent Thanksgiving I had a shift (and some Merlot) in my approach to this. For the thousandth time I heard the same refrain of self-doubt: “CrossFit? I’m sure I could never do it.” My response changed. “CrossFit sucks. Not because the movements or the workouts or the coaches suck, but because change worth having sucks.

CrossFit sucks because change sucks. CrossFit will force you to look back on how you’ve treated your body for the past decade or two or three. It will force you to meet new people. It will force you to look at your diet. It will force you to move. It will force you to invest your time and finances toward your long-term health. You’ll be told your moving incorrectly. Your ego will be checked.

This is the time of year that people begin to look at making healthy choices. You’ll hear about fad diets, starvation challenges, 8 easy steps to six-pack abs, $10 gym memberships. I’m going to clue you in on a very simple litmus test: if it’s not uncomfortable, you will not stick to it. Think about times of change: marriage (or its dissolution), having children, changing jobs, moving to a new city, or starting a business. The two common denominators in all of these examples are: 1. They all have times of complete, utter sucky-ness and 2. The growth and change on the other side of the suck would not have occurred without the suck.

Whatever your resolution is this year, I sincerely hope it sucks 🙂