How I Accidentally Became a CrossFit Douche
First, let me start off by apologizing if I have offended anyone who does CrossFit with my title. I do not think that people who do CrossFit are douches (anymore) or I would be calling myself a douche also. And although I may be a douche sometimes, admittedly, it is not for doing CrossFit. This is my story of how I changed my point of view on the sport.
The year was 2014. After a ten year relationship, I found myself back in the dating pool. Just as any old-fashioned girl looking for their soulmate would do, I downloaded a little app called Tinder. As I was swiping left and right, I found a commonality among many of the twenty and thirty-somethings; they mentioned doing CrossFit in their profiles. “What is this CrossFit?” I thought to myself. I had never heard of such a thing. I had heard of cross-training, but the image in my mind was of dads in squeaky clean white Reeboks doing that, not hunky men in sleeveless tees. So, as a woman of the modern world, I googled it. That’s when I found that CrossFit is a “branded fitness regimen that incorporates elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, and other exercises”. After going out on dates with a few guys from this sect of the population, I determined that only douches did CrossFit (guess you can tell how those dates went). From then on, any time I encountered someone’s profile that mentioned CrossFit or saw someone wearing a WOD or Sunday Funday (which isn’t actually CrossFit, but in my mind, I equated one with the other. It also could have been because I was working Sundays at that point in time and could never incorporate the “fun” into the day) t-shirts, I immediately swiped left. This continued on for some time.
A year later, I met my now husband (not through Tinder). About two weeks into our relationship, he mentioned that he had gotten rope burn while climbing ropes at the gym. After razzing him and asking if he took a time machine to go to a 1950s high school gym class for his workout, he told me that it was part of his CrossFit workout that day. As you can imagine, I immediately and involuntarily groaned and rolled my eyes. To my horror, I had accidentally started dating a CrossFitter! Not long after that, due to a change in his finances, he could no longer afford to attend a CrossFit gym and continued doing CrossFit workouts at home with his own gym equipment. Even though he was still doing CrossFit at home, I deemed him to be a non-douche. He didn’t wear sleeveless tees and call me bro. Fast forward to a year later, we are married and I decide to get in shape. He offers his advice of showing me some CrossFit workouts and being my live-in personal trainer. After about a week’s worth of me absolutely HATING every second of every workout and crying and cussing him out, we decided that CrossFit was not for me. I quietly continued to hate CrossFit and CrossFitters, although mostly now for being able to do the tough workouts that I couldn’t quite endure in our stifling hot garage.
Let’s fast forward now to four months ago. I see at work that they are offering a training class called “Get Fit, Stay Fit”. It should be noted here (because I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of place I work for that offers this kind of training class) that I work for a large law enforcement agency. In addition to routinely offering these kinds of classes, we also have a nice fairly large gym with new equipment in it in the building I work in, and we employ a personal trainer who offers various fitness classes each week. Seriously, it couldn’t get any easier to “get fit and stay fit” in this type of environment, but surprisingly plenty of people don’t take advantage of these amenities. So, I signed up for the class because I had been one of those above-mentioned people who never took advantage of the gym and I decided that it was time to acclimate myself to it. During this two day class, we did a couple of workouts that were what I would call, “CrossFit Lite”. The workouts included varied exercises such as jumping jacks, squats, sit-ups, and TRX rows. All moves used during CrossFit, but since the majority of the class were beginners, it was scaled back for us so it was challenging, but not too difficult.
At the end of the class, I decided that I had actually enjoyed these varied workouts so I started attending the Functional Fitness class that is offered a couple of times a week. The agency’s personal trainer owns a CrossFit gym on the side so the majority of the workouts he conducts closely resemble WODs (work out of day, for those non-CrossFitters out there reading this). I think there’s some licensing thing where you need to buy the word CrossFit to use it (hopefully I won’t be fined for each time I’ve said CrossFit in this article!) which is why it isn’t a “CrossFit” class; it’s a “Functional Fitness” class. Anyway, it’s the same thing. I started to go to this class once or twice a week. I found that I liked the variety and shortness of the workouts. Most WODs including warm-up time and a little strength training after, are about 30 minutes. I get bored very easily by monotony and routine and especially long workouts.
I am now up to doing a “functional fitness” (we all know it’s really CrossFit by now) workout four times a week. My mantra is, every day that I am at work is a day that I will work out. Since I work four ten hour shifts per week, I force myself to go to the gym those four days every week. My workouts usually consist of a warm-up of rowing on the rowing machine for 500 meters, followed by some cycle consisting of squats, lunges, kettle bell swings, thrusters, presses, burpees, sit-ups, push-ups, TRX rows, cleans, jerks, etc. Half of those terms were a foreign language to me six months ago. Even now, I still need to look up some CrossFit term that I’m not familiar with and watch a short YouTube video of how to do that exercise. But, I’m quickly becoming fluent in CrossFitese. Some days, the workout is tough and I hate my body for having difficulty in doing it, but I’ve learned to channel any weakness into working harder to become stronger. Unlike the workouts with my husband in our small garage, I overcome the urge to throw a tantrum because I can’t do something. The fact that I’m working out in a gym in my place of employment could mostly be the reason why I’ve learned to control my emotions while working out. No Baker Act for me, thanks! Some days I get frustrated. I hate doing burpees and I hate doing lunges. But again, the workouts are only on average 30 minutes, and if I can waste 30 minutes scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, then I can do something good for my body for 30 minutes.
Now, you may be thinking that just because I started doing CrossFit-like workouts, doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve become a CrossFit douche, right? Well my friends, this is how I know I’ve become a CrossFit douche:
- I come home every night to excitedly tell my husband about my WOD. This has gotten to the point where I’ve had to change asking “Do you want to hear about my workout today,” to saying “So this is what I did today for a workout,” because after about 35 times, he would groan and roll his eyes when I asked (my, how we’ve come full circle!).
- I find myself talking about working out and going to the gym in daily conversation with anyone from friends and acquaintances to complete strangers. I’ve been dangerously close to saying “do you even lift, bro?!”
- I constantly bring up my newfound strength and muscles at home to my husband and make him poke my rock hard (well, getting there) biceps and thighs.
- I tell friends and coworkers about all the benefits of working out.
- I own a couple of sleeveless t-shirts, one of which says “Wino-Saur” with a T-Rex holding a glass of wine on it (douchey, or AWESOME!?)
- I celebrate Sunday Funday now that I no longer work on Sundays. And if you dare try to take this wonderful day away from me, may God have mercy on your soul!
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the tale of how I became a CrossFit douche. If it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. CrossFit isn’t a douche sport. It’s a great way to burn calories and get stronger at the same time. If you haven’t tried it, I urge you to do so. In fact, the next time you decide to prejudge something because of negative things you’ve heard about it or people you didn’t like doing it, try it out for yourself. Give that activity a fair chance. And lastly, I apologize to those Tinder dates who I judged to be CrossFit douches. You weren’t douches because you did CrossFit. You were just douches who happened to do CrossFit.