Update at 5:24 pm: I changed a girl’s name from Beth to Annie. Not because Beth is innocent. I just learned she doesn’t exist.
Has this happened to you? You are drinking your coffee in the morning while perusing your Facebook newsfeed and you stumble across this update from your friend. We’ll call your friend Dan:
“My legs are still shaking! I did Fran AND Annie this morning. Nothing quite like jumping boxes in the morning. I do love a little lover-under first thing. A lot of snatches today, but that’s what you get with a double WOD. Oh, yea, RX!!!”
As you reel in shock over his bragging about infidelity online, several thoughts cross your mind. Like “WTF? I thought he was a happily married young father! RX? I didn’t think he was old enough where he’d have to start taking pills for that sort of thing. Why is he spelling it WOD, and why didn’t his wife ever mention it was to be considered a “double”? OMG, how is his wife?”
Let’s call the wife Heather. You wonder if Heather had changed her relationship status and you missed it. So, of course, you go straight to her wall. When you get there, you see something even more disturbing. Heather has written this little note on her MOTHER’s wall:
“Thanks so much for watching the baby this morning! I did Fran and Annie with Dan this morning. It was fantastic. I don’t think he realized how many snatches I could handle, even though they were heavy ones. I’m also becoming quite the thruster. I think our friend got some great shots of us- I’ll post them later.”
Now your head is spinning. Heather is bragging about her little foursome with the big girls to her mom? And someone took pictures? And she’s going to post them? STOP. Before you unfriend Dan and Heather, I think it’s time you learn a little about Crossfit. Lucky for you, Motormommy has become an expert- I’ve conducted several interviews and done extensive research*.
Here’s what everyone who doesn’t do Crossfit needs to know about Crossfit:
1.) It is not porn, but sounds a lot like porn. Every single Crossfit location has something that sounds really dirty in their “WOD” every day. But they’re not really doing anything dirty except lifting and throwing some really heavy stuff. Also disappointing to my 8th grade mind, “WOD” stands for Workout Of the Day. Some of these “WODs” are given human names, so it’s not that unlikely you’ll hear a crossfitter talking about who they did. I’m not sure if the dirty talk is meant to justify the cost (see #3.). I mean, if you think everybody is “doing” somebody at an exclusive club, you might be willing to pay for it. I’m not the only one who’s noticed this; there was even a scene in an episode of NCIS Los Angeles where Kenzi (sp?) describes her experiences.
2.) People from Crossfit want you to think that Crossfit is for everyone. If that were really true, wouldn’t the motto be “throwing together moderately better cardiovascular health” instead of “forging elite fitness?” Wouldn’t it be called “Zumba**” instead of “Crossfit?” And wouldn’t the weights, well, weigh less? Finally, wouldn’t it be whole lot less expensive?
Proper form is important when lifting the heel; it’s not just weights. Or so I think…
3.) It’s really freaking expensive. You can get Groupons to get you started for $50-$75/month, but after that, it costs around $150/month. What should I do, ask my husband to cancel cable forever in favor of a healthier, fitter lifestyle? I think that proposal would go over about as well as my “cancel cable for a few months in favor of a more fashionable, Christian-Louboutin-pump-wearing lifestyle” proposal. Truth is, for $150 per month, here are my minimum gym requirements: child care (duh), slimming mirrors, massage therapy, organic smoothies that are made entirely from fruits and vegetables that taste like Friendly’s Fribbles, and a 20-something young man named Sven who understands that I am happily married but feels a need to praise every step of my progress and allows me to watch his ab workout. (Hey, my husband’s not going to give up his 25 reality shows set in Alaska that have no plots for nothing, okay?)
4.) People who don’t do Crossfit want you to think it’s dangerous. If you google “Crossfit injuries” you are going to get a lot of results. Some folks say that it doesn’t take enough training to become a level 2 crossfit instructor, so you should be wary of the inherent dangers of such complicated and labor-intensive exercises. I say when you watch people throwing tractor tires around, maybe you could consider yourself warned? A little common sense says you might want to make sure that someone who knows what they’re doing is helping you. Also, there are different “boxes” (that’s what they call their warehouse/gym spaces/communities- I think it has to do with #1 above.) . Like any other business, there are good ones and bad ones. Some grew too fast and some are run by people who don’t care enough about your safety. Many are doing it right, though, and will have people advising you on form and telling you to back off when you take on too much at once.
My other thought on this has to do with the folks I know who do Crossfit. I think I know about 12 people who are doing crossfit regularly – who have built a lifestyle around it. Here’s some descriptors of them: 2 are former body builders, one is a personal trainer/physical therapist, and one had already done several Spartan races before trying Crossfit. I’ve been skiing with*** a bunch of them. They’re the “double black diamond? Lame. Let’s go find a cliff in the woods near a river to ski off” types. If they were coffee-drinkers instead of exercise-enthusiasts, they’d be “double vente with an extra shot of espresso” types. If they were heroin users, they might be the “Krokodile? Why not!” Types. My point is, I have a feeling these folks were going to find something extreme to do as far as staying in shape, so doing it with a group and any instructor is probably as safe as they’re going to get.
5. Many of them follow a good diet for stupid reasons. This “Paleo” diet is eating food in as close to its natural form as possible and eliminating a lot of simple carbs and processed foods. Which makes sense and seems like a good idea, except their logic is that our bodies haven’t evolved to digest foods that weren’t available back in the Paleo days. I have two issues with this. First of all, most of those paleo days foods don’t exist anymore thanks to modern agriculture and farm subsidies. Second of all, there are a host of other things our bodies probably haven’t evolved to handle to since the paleo days. Like sunscreen, Advil, wearing shoes, riding in cars and living past 20. (I can’t wait until one of my Crossfit friends emails me about their 19-year-old sunburned friend, Ug, who walks barefoot to Crossfit every day feeding only on grubs, grasses and berries he finds along the way.)
6. Crossfitters post about Crossfit a lot on social media. This is annoying to many people. As someone known to post pictures of my cat and my food, I think it would be unfair of me to judge. Plus, if you channel your inner 8th grader, their posts are all very funny because they sound so darn dirty. Finally, if there were a video of Motormommy doing “Fran” and pumping up huge weights (while my kids are learning and playing in the gym daycare) while Sven , holding my celebratory post-WOD Fribble-flavored organic spinach smoothie, cheers me on I would NOT post it on Facebook. Why? Because Facebook is a “closed” (supposedly) network and only my friends would see it. I would post that shit right on YouTube and then embed it in a post here on my blog entitled “motormommy does Fran” and then I’d buy sponsored ads on Facebook and Twitter that complement the billboard I’d purchased on I-95. Because I’d be darn proud. You would be, too.
Alas, without daycare or Sven or smoothie, there will be no video of me doing “Fran.” And I’ll never meet Ug. And I’ll still be able to eat pasta. And I’m totally okay with that.
*The extensive research was asking friends who do Crossfit “why the hell do you do Crossfit?”, reading Crossfit posts, and googling stuff on my phone while I pooped.
**I don’t actually mean to insult Zumba. I’ve never actually done Zumba, but I did some Latin dance aerobics and it was very fun but I was so bad at it I kept crashing into people. Sorry, Zumba, I just couldn’t think of anything else.
***By “with” I mean I was technically on a mountain of the same name many times. I suppose “with” may be misleading as I know they weren’t even within earshot as I sat crying for them near the top of a blue ski trail after I decided it was too steep when a 6- year-old snowboarder almost ran me over while he was trying to pass me.