When Fitness Crossed My Mind: A personal account of how Crossfit changed my life

By Amanda Gabriel
Elm Staff Writer

Before the summer leading up to my freshman year of college, I did not put much effort into working out. Occasionally I would think about going to the gym, but often I was not motivated enough to actually get up and go. As society’s standards changed from being simply skinny to being fit, I began to find myself thinking of exercise. Yet the idea of working out in a gym scared me; in my head, I saw it as a place that only people with bulging muscles would go to lift heavy weights and to take great photos for fitspo on Instagram.
So how did I get to where I am today? Something changed, and that something was CrossFit. Somewhere along my fitness journey, I learned that my high school soccer coach and college counselor owned a CrossFit gym close to my hometown. I had never heard of CrossFit before, but I decided to give it a try. I remember walking into the gym and feeling surprised because the facility looked nothing like a standard gym. There were no treadmills and no ellipticals; in fact, there was no large machinery at all. Only large gymnastic-looking bars, a few medicine balls, dumbbells, barbells, and a large patch of AstroTurf.
I now know that the tiny gym I walked into that day and almost every day after that leading up to my time at Washington College, is called a box by many crossfiters around the world. CrossFit, according to crossfit.com, is an internationally recognized fitness regimen that is designed to put you through high intensity workouts to improve your fitness. Each workout is unique because the functional movements vary every time. Instead of having set days where a specific muscle group is isolated (such as leg or arm day), each workout pushes every part of your body to its limit.
My first CrossFit workout was one of the worst and hardest experiences of my life. I could barely complete a few reps of any exercise the trainers suggested to me. I felt defeated and worthless. As I soon learned, CrossFit is much more than a workout regimen—it is a community. The support I received from the trainers during my workouts was phenomenal and incomparable to anything else I have experienced. They encouraged me to come back, and each time I did I grew stronger. Within one week I was already different; I felt like I had grown physically and mentally.
Today, I cannot see myself without CrossFit in my life because of the many ways it has affected me. Besides becoming physically fit, my mental fitness has evolved as well. Pushing myself past my breaking point to complete a workout is an amazing feeling. The rush of adrenaline and pride surging through my body is inexplicable. CrossFit makes me feel invincible, and the community of people who push themselves to the same level every day is inspiring and motivating. I can honestly say that it has also given me a more positive outlook on life as well because one of the mottos of CrossFit is to never say “I can’t,” but only “I can.” If you are looking for a complete life change or just something new to try, I challenge you to find a CrossFit workout online and complete it.

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