A Love Letter to CrossFit (and my Daughter)

I’ll admit it, I’m in love with CrossFit. I first heard of CrossFit approximately ten years ago, when my brother approached me about joining. At the time we were doing primarily endurance training, marathons and triathlons. The way he pitched it to me (he wasn’t a member, he’d just heard about it somewhere) sounded crazy, I thought is sounded like some kind of aerobics-class cult. Turns out I wasn’t far off.

Fast forward to two years ago. I had a bit of exposure to CrossFit, mostly through men’s health and fitness magazines and YouTube, and certainly knew who Rich Froning was. I had a garage gym at the time and had even tried some of the workouts on crossfit.com on my own. And then one day my 15 year old daughter Emma started obsessing about CrossFit, seems she had discovered Sara Sigmundsdottir on YouTube and couldn’t get enough. She started saying things like, “Dad we gotta try this!” I’ve always believed in investing in my children and tried to meet them where they are and get involved in things they are passionate about, so after several non-committal “yeah-we-should-try-that’s” on my part we made the commitment to visit a couple of local CrossFit gyms. 

So, a quick pause in the story. My main apprehension wasn’t the fact that Sara was snatching a barbell overhead at a weight I was probably deadlifting at the time or watching her go full-on beast mode in her workouts… but rather I had never worked out in a group or class setting. Sure, I had done some bike rides and running in small groups, but gym time was when I put in my headphones and basically ignored everyone else while I went about my business. Being a bit of a lone wolf, an introvert, I was reluctant to join a class environment – especially one where I would undoubtedly be the slowest and weakest.

We ended up stopping by a couple of CrossFit gyms, and it was immediately apparent which gym was right for us (shout out to CrossFit Carolina Beach). The owner encouraged us to come back the next day and just try out a class. The very next day, with butterflies in my stomach, my daughter and I did our first CrossFit class. And got our asses absolutely kicked. And signed up for memberships that day.

I’ve been doing CrossFit for a year and a half now, and I love it. I love the community, the coaches, being challenged, overcoming challenges, tracking improvements over time, and I really love walking around feeling strong, capable and confident. I know CrossFit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (check out some of the savage and hilarious memes that body builders and power lifters post about us), but Crossfit is now woven into my life, a part of me.

So thank you Emma, for introducing me to CrossFit, for pushing me, inspiring me, and believing me in. I can’t imagine better role models for you than the incredibly fit and dedicated women of CrossFit – from Sara Sigmundsdottir to the women in our hometown gym. 

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Kevin English

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