The Crossfit Animal

The first rule of Crossfit is to tell everyone about Crossfit. Ok, now, we got this pun out of the way, let’s move beyond the obvious pro’s and con’s. I’ve started Crossfit after a time of personal struggle and change. I was looking for a way to get my mind off of things. A colleague, and dear friend of mine (thanks, Vince!), introduced me to Crossfit Antwerp, and I immediately got it.

Quickly, I signed up for a quarterly subscription, and took part of the daily “Workout Of the Day“, where I got my ass handed to me. Every. Single. Time. I learned how typical Crossfitters are ridiculed by most other people, and I totally get that. After all, we can’t stop talking about it.

But when we look beyond the buffed spokespersons of the many supplement brands, the Crossfit money machine, and the millions of YouTube videos, I learned that Crossfit goes far beyond becoming a burpee-machine and spending time with sweat hipsters in a box.

Crossfit didn’t only took my mind off of things, but it shaped me, and continues to thrive me to become a better human and stronger individual.

Here are three things I learned by getting my ass kicked on a regular basis:

  1. You learn to respect your body and a healthy lifestyle. Without proper nutrition, balanced amounts of sleep, and regular workouts, you could just as well stop doing Crossfit altogether. Committing to Crossfit, is committing to a healthy life. There is nothing wrong with that. I noticed how I started to decline late night drinks, cut on my daily Coke intake, and install regular eating intervals. I noticed how my body started changing, and I learned what a great, but delicate, biological marvel the human body actually is.
  2. You learn to connect with other people and become a team player. The humbling experience of Crossfit, triggers two distinct mental processes. The first is you become a social being. By undergoing the often brutal intervals, you suffer as a band of brothers, making it the perfect conditions to bond with your peers. A second phenomenon is you become a better coach, and you learn to genuinely root for your fellow brothers as they’re struggling during those final reps.
  3. You learn to suck it up. When your skin on your hands is ripping apart, blood is dripping your elbows, and you refuse to give up on that last weighted strict pull-up, you learn that blood clothes, skin heals, and sweat dries. But plowing through makes you stronger each time you refuse to give up, and push you beyond your limits. This is often referred to as beast mode. You develop a strong Spartan mindset, mental toughness, resilience to pain, and become less tolerant on giving up.

And sure. As everyone, I do have a Spotify workout list, and one favourite number I can snatch and burpee to like a maniac. Simply know that, you too, can become an athlete. It’s hero time…

My hero time started a month ago. I will try and regular update you on my findings on Crossfit-related experiences on my blog.