Thanks to everyone who came out to JD’s going-away party last Saturday. As a tribute to JD and all that he brought to our gym, I thought I’d share my response to the homework assignment he gave us all back in November. I’ll caution that it was very much a stream-of-consciousness piece of writing. After re-reading it, I’m not sure it’s totally coherent and I mention death on several occasions – not sure what that was all about. In any case, here you go!

– Bryan

Why I Do CrossFit

The first thing that comes to mind is because it’s fun, but there’s more to it than that.

Like many others, I had a preconceived notion of what I thought CrossFit was before I tried it. I put off trying it for several years because I was afraid of failing, afraid of looking stupid. And then I tried it and couldn’t get enough of it. I remember googling “rhabdo” because I thought I was going to die one day about a month into doing it. But I remember thinking that it would be worth it.

I worked out the next day.

I’ve heard a couple of good definitions that define CrossFit for me. One is that it’s a super-power. Like most people, I get the butterflies in my stomach as the clock is counting down to start the workout, but once it’s time to go the mind shuts off and you’re in the moment and there’s nothing better. Sure, it hurts and you have moments questioning your sanity, but when you finish a workout that only moments ago you were sure would do you in, it feels like a super-power, doesn’t it? Every obstacle in your life – real or imagined – gets a little smaller. All of a sudden, you’re transformed into a strong, capable person. You can do this. Maybe you can grab life by the tail after all.

In a similar vein, the other definition that I like is that every workout is a near-death experience. More often than not, I find this to be true. And while that sounds terrible – who wants to pay for a near-death experience? – personally, I haven’t died yet. So far, somehow or another, I’ve survived every workout I’ve attempted. And each time I survive, I get a little tougher. My pain threshold gets a little higher. I gain a little more confidence. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, right? And there’s something special about surviving a near-death experience with other people – again, it puts things in perspective – we’re not as different as we sometimes imagine. Whether it’s your best friend or someone you’ve never talked to, that high five as you’re falling to the floor is worth a hundred bucks. It feels a little like Fight Club (except for that part about not talking about it…oops!) – and that’s cool.

So, yeah, it’s fun, but it goes a little deeper. Shoot, I’m making it my profession so I can honestly say that it’s changed my life. I may die tomorrow, but I swear I’d die with a smile on my face.