This is Why CrossFit is More Than Just a Workout

“Dig for it!! You gotta want it, get back on that bar!!”

By the time one of my coaches had finished off the infamous CrossFit workout “Fran” with a :20 PR this week – I honestly felt the same level of excitement I would have if I had just performed the nearly vomit-inducing feat myself.

Cheering on teammate Heather Gammel as she crushes calories on the assault bike, fresh out of the pool.

Cheering on teammate Heather Gammel as she crushes calories on the assault bike, fresh out of the pool.

Cheering on your teammates is something many of us accept as the norm in the CrossFit world. The saying goes, “CrossFit - where the loudest cheers are for the last to finish.” That is to say, it is usually the person who struggles the most that draws the largest crowd of athletes cheering them on at the end of the workout.

CrossFit can be the ultimate individual sport. It's just you and the barbell, or the rope, or bike - but those individuals are forged in training with teammates around them. In a team competition - it becomes the ULTIMATE team sport.

Being a good teammate is about taking as much or more joy in the successes of those around you - those you sweat with and grind with day in and day out. CrossFit brings this out of you – because you all know the pain, you all know what the other person is going through. We have all experienced that dark place and we all know how hard it is fight through it and keep going.

This past weekend at the 307 Throwdown in Casper, WY – my favorite moments were not anything I accomplished – it was watching Malachi Bennett PR his overhead squat 3rm. It was watching my girlfriend PR her thruster 1rm, it was my teammate Heather Gammel’s awe-inspiring 5rm weighted pull-up with 55 pounds hanging off of her. It was Lauren Jordan’s crowd-silencing 200lb thruster. It was a former teammate crushing bar muscle-ups like he’d been doing them for years, despite the fact I watched a video of him getting his first one a month ago. These are the moments I will remember from that weekend.

I have my own moments that I carry with me – but there is something special about cheering someone else on as they accomplish things they didn’t think possible.

This is CrossFit. This is what makes it great. This is what makes it more than a “fitness fad” or just another form of working out. This is why I laugh when you say “CrossFit Sucks” or “There goes all your gains” or some other overused critique of the way I choose to workout. You criticize what you couldn’t possibly understand – because you've never been a part of it.