It’s so illogical. I don’t like to exercise, I’ve never been athletic, I’m in my late 40s, and I have a laundry list of chronic conditions. What the heck am I doing in Crossfit?
Let’s take these one by one:
1. I don’t like to exercise– I love Zumba and other dance-based fitness classes because they don’t feel like exercise even though I get a good workout from them. Crossfit feels like exercise, but once it’s over I feel incredibly accomplished. My body has responded much better to Crossfit than to any other fitness programs I’ve tried. I actually look like someone who exercises. And truth be told, exercise is such a part of my routine that if I manage to talk myself out of my morning workout, I find a way to get in an evening workout.
2, I’ve never been athletic– I’m the slowest, least coordinated person in my Crossfit classes. There are two good things about this fact: It allows me to release my perfectionism and workout for the sake of getting in better shape rather than getting caught up in competing with others. It also means that I get a great sense of accomplishment when I reach a milestone because there are so many “firsts” for me.
3. I’m in my late 40s- I often wonder what I would look and feel like if I had started getting in shape when I was in my 20s. Since this is an exercise in futility, I embrace that I started when I did. I’ve got a 10 year head start on those who wait until they are in their late 50s to get in shape. My biggest fitness hero, Ernestine Shepherd, didn’t start until she was 56, and look at her now. It’s well known that exercise is important as we age- not just to maintain physical function but also to maintain cognitive function.
4. I have a laundry list of chronic conditions- all of which have gotten better with intense exercise and smart eating. My autoimmune problems have diminished. I rarely suffer joint pain. My PCOS symptoms have decreased significantly. My anemia has improved. No, I don’t like doing burpees, nor do I look forward to gluten-filled social events, but I wouldn’t trade feeling this good for all of the cupcakes in the word.
So, to answer my own question, I’m in Crossfit because I love the results.