No, seriously. How did we get here? How did we find CrossFit? And what keeps us around? I’ll dig into that over this mini-series of how people find CrossFit, what keeps them around and why it works so well for those that completely buy in.
At this point, just about everyone has heard of it and knows someone that does it. Everyone also has an opinion on it. But what about CrossFit has led to it becoming the largest and fastest growing corporate business chains in the world? And what about CrossFit attracts people to it?
I started CrossFit as a 19 year old, looking for direction in life. I planned on going into the military, and I knew I needed to be physically conditioned enough to get through basic training. I had recently gone through a pretty intense weight-loss journey (-65lbs in about a year) and had started dabbling with exercise (you read that correctly). The process of losing that weight was centered primarily around the food I chose to eat as a 17-18 year old finishing up high school and going into college. It was supplemented with some basic running and calisthenics. But when I found CrossFit, the direction of my life dramatically changed.
Let’s rewind the tape a little bit.
At 17 years old, I was 250 pounds and had been overweight for literally as long as I could remember. Finally, I had decided enough was enough. I remembered a friend telling me once that he stopped eating and drinking sugar (shoutout Robert Wendover) and lost close to 100lbs. I went with it.
I had grown tired of being the fat friend of my circle, and was beaten down from the constant bullying. From my peers. From my teachers. From society in general. Life is substantially and unnecessarily harder when you’re overweight. It’s really disheartening when you sit back and think about it. Literally everything from your experience with your peers, to being apart of society, to doing fundamental things like moving around are just uncomfortable. And they don’t have to be. But, for 42% of our population in America, they just are.
I can’t tell you (if you don’t already know) how shameful it is to be overweight in society. To be in a position to do something as simple as eat a meal around people who aren’t overweight. It’s crazy. In your head, you believe that they’re judging you for what you order on the menu, and it’s a lose-lose either way. If you order something unhealthy, “Wow, like he needs another burger and fries”. If you get a salad, it’s so palpably awkward that you’re only getting the salad because your friends are there that it’s almost safer to just not eat at all. I mean seriously. This little voice in your head is incessantly telling you that when people look at you, they’re judging you because of your weight. And I can’t tell you how much that weighs on a human beings conscious and how it compounds over time.
That’s why I own a CrossFit gym. That’s why I wake up at 4:30am and lock up the gym at 7:30pm. That’s why I’ll continue doing this for as long as I can. That’s why I feel a responsibility to create a successful business that endures. Because I’ve been through life as an overweight person, and no one deserves to feel like they’re stuck there. Not when there’s a solution.
I’ll pickup next time with what exactly it is about CrossFit that attracts people and keeps them around.