Last week there was a fire storm that took place over the legitimacy of crossfit, why you shouldn’t do it, why you should do it, why people don’t care, why they do, why your dog should do it, and why you should work with goats 😉 (watch here for Goatfit)
I wanted to chime in but go to thinking I would wait a few days to see what was written, and gather my thoughts before spouting off.
I am an avid crossfitter. I started drinking the kool-aid almost 3 years ago and haven’t look back since. I have participated in Paleo challenges, local competitions and have all the crossfit toys. I have also injured myself in crossfit. Yes, you read that correctly…I injured myself in crossfit and am still an avid crossfitter.
I actually remember the WOD and exactly when it happened. I remember thinking what I was doing wasn’t a good idea but continued on. Did my coach influence that decision? No, actually he was always communicating the importance of scaling, about not doing moves that we felt compromised form, swamping exercises if something wasn’t working or felt off and keeping our bodies in a safe position.
No, I made that poor decision all by myself. Crossfit didn’t injury me, I injured myself.
See doing any sport; running, yoga, crossfit, kickboxing, olympic lifting, P90X, and even speed walking in a compromised position is always going to put you at risk for injury.
Here is the tough reality though…we are all living in a compromised position. We all have years of bad posture and poor body mechanics from extended periods of inactivity. The majority of our society sits at a desk for most of the day. So to suppose that any one activity is the culprit of injury is to not take personal responsibility.
I once taught a yoga, ti-chi, Pilates class and decided I wanted to take the level 2 instructor course. I arrogantly thought I was Gumby already, so when we were challenged to go into a deeper stretch, I proceeded without caution…guess what? I injured myself. Yes, someone who had been teaching that class for 3 years got too sure of herself and didn’t really think that move through.
Same thing happens when people train for a marathon and have this nagging issue a few weeks before the race but decide to proceed with the run anyways. Then they are either forced to quite the race early because of an injury, or cross the finish line with an injury so far progressed they have to take months and even years off running. Why? Because the race director forced them to continue the race or because they didn’t listen to their bodies and stop when they knew they should have.
So my point in sharing all of this is regardless of what sport, or form of exercise you choose to participate in, you are already coming in compromised. You are already at a high-risk threshold. So it really doesn’t matter if you do crossfit, run, or sleep all day, there are risks associated with all of them. You have to decide what sort of risk you are willing to take. But you also need to determine where your body is today and what YOU (not anyone else) needs to do to fix it so your risk for injury is limited.
My second issue I take with all of what was communicated last week is the idea that we should exclude any one type of exercise.
I was a fat kid back in high school and my under-grad. I didn’t participate in sports, nor understand healthy nutrition. I got a personal trainer in college, became healthy and started working with other people to make that same change.
Along that journey I went through seasons of running, group fitness, yoga, figure training, kettlebells, ect. Then after a lot of research and caution, I decided to try crossfit and I feel in love.
Crossfit allowed me to become the athlete I never was but always wanted to be. It gave me a sense of confidence I had never been afforded before and it was what both my mind and my body connected to.
Having worked with hundreds of people along the way in my own fitness career, finding something people connect to not just physically, but emotionally, and mentally is a game changer in their ultimate success.
So whether it’s crossfit for me, and yoga for you…how about we all just find something we love to do and allows us to move with full mind-body awareness and connection. Secondly, how about you be happy I am moving and I will be happy you are moving. 😉
Will there by injuries along the way? Well unless you get to work on mobility 3 hours a day before and after you workout (in anything), eat perfectly, never risk going heavier, faster or higher, and get to work with a doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, nutritionist, and personal coach, then yes there is a chance you may get injured in crossfit, weight lifting, Olympic lifiting, P90X, Kettlebells, Zumba, Ti-Chi, Pilates, Yoga, speed walking, running, sprinting, barre, personal training, group fitness, boxing, piloxing, pole dancing, salsa, navy seals training, boot camps and all the other things out there you can do for exercise.
Can’t we all just move along!