I think it’s time we had the talk. You know, the long overdue break-up talk we both know is coming. After all, it’s been more than four years since we had a real date. The last time we spent any significant time together was at Ironman Coeur d’Alene in June of 2009. Even before that race started, I knew our relationship was already on the rocks.
Yes, I know we were totally in love for six long years and I was one of your biggest cheerleaders. I even started a fan club/triathlon club that attracted hundreds of members. I talked about you nonstop for several years, that’s how much in love with you I was. I lived and breathed triathlon, and I even made the commitment to finish 3 of your Ironmans. I not only drank your Kool-Aid, I helped mix it and pour it.
But you must know everything between us is over now. And yes, it’s because I met someone else. Way back in November of 2008 I met my new love, CrossFit.
Since I know you’re a very logical and disciplined sport, I’ll explain to you all the reasons why I’m choosing CrossFit over you.
1. You take up far too much time. Seriously, who the F*%$ has 15 hours a week to spend swimming, biking and running? Not me. Not anymore. CrossFit only takes up 5 hours a week, which makes it a FAR more efficient way to stay in shape. Even I can’t believe how much time I spent on you for so many years.
2. You always make me hungry. After I spent hours swimming, biking or running, I would usually want to eat everything in sight. All day. You tend to have that effect on people. As someone who is genetically disadvantaged in the metabolism department, I don’t need any extra appetite, thank you anyway.
But CrossFit has the opposite effect on me: after a good CrossFit workout, I have very little appetite all day long. And that’s a great thing for someone like me.
3. You are so damn socially isolating. I know dozens of athletes in town, but there are not many people who can train 15 hours a week with me on exactly my schedule at exactly my speed. As I result, I often spent hours alone on my bike, singing along out loud to my iPod. I might have started going a little bit loopy, especially during those 14-hour training weekends leading up to Ironman. And don’t even get me started about swimming, because there isn’t anything more boring than staring at the straight black line on the bottom of the pool.
But CrossFit is just one big social party. Every morning at 5:30 am, my peeps are there at the gym to greet me. And if I happen to not show up one week, they email me to pester me about missing class. Crossfit is all about community and support and I’ve never been lonely during a workout. Ever.
4. You make me tired. That’s the thing about endurance sports — all you can do is just endure them. You plod along for miles on the bike, and more miles on the run and at the end of it, all you really wanted to do is go to sleep and take a nice long nap.
But with CrossFit, I am fired up and ready to go push myself again. After a great CrossFit workout, I practically float out of the gym, ready to kick ass and take names for the rest of my day.
5. You make everything complicated. There’s just so much equipment and logistics to keep track of with triathlon — all of that packing and repacking that is required. I once spent $140 just on a travel bag to bring all my gear to my races. There are special shoes and special race clothing, and bike bottles and heart rate monitors and goggles and bike tubes and helmets and gloves.
If I need a packing list just to go to a race, that’s a clear sign things have gotten too complicated.
With CrossFit, all I need is a jump rope, wrist wraps, and myself and I’m good to go. It’s just that simple.
6. You make me soft. Yes, that’s right, all those hours of cardio training made my body pretty soft. Let’s be honest, triathletes might get lean but they never get strong. And I never even got lean.
But with CrossFit, I finally have muscles, real muscles everyone can see! Three times in the last month complete strangers have commented on my arm definition. And no, I’m not big and bulky. I’m just strong and more defined. My arms are finally starting to look like someone who can do strict pull-ups.
7. CrossFit makes me feel strong. Strong is a more than just ripped arms or abs; strong is about confidence and attitude. Strong is about lifting more than you think you can; it’s about pushing yourself beyond failure. Nothing much compares to the feeling of strength I get from a CrossFit workout. Knocking out 100 pull-ups before 6:00 am tends to make the rest of the day go really well.
So I guess this is really the end. During our 6 years together, we probably finished more than 50 races together. I honestly wouldn’t be who I am today without everything I learned from you.
But it’s time to move on now, to see how strong I can become through CrossFit.
Thanks for understanding and thanks for the memories.