Finding myself fully hooked on the Crossfit phenomenon
By Trent Modglin
Funny thing about Crossfit: When you do your research, it’s rather difficult to find someone who doesn’t come away raving about the experience. And the results. Those who have yet to step foot in a Crossfit “box” may too easily label it a cult, a fad or even “a bit over the top.” But ask those immersed in the program — who actually gave it a legitimate chance — and the overwhelming majority all swear by it as a way to get fit, build strength and endurance, and (enter cliché) “change your life.
Although it almost seemed too good to be true, I could hardly call myself a skeptic. I trusted the handful of friends who were Crossfit regulars, and I had witnessed their individual transformations. Guys in their 30s who had families or were slogging through long hours at work and didn’t have the time they once did to play in that beach volleyball tournament, hit the gym or run a 5K all of a sudden were religiously finding an hour a day for Crossfit. And consequently, the beer bellies were replaced by muscle. Those double chins that ruthlessly emerged in the decade and change since college? Gone.
I was intrigued, and really the only thing that kept me from taking the plunge earlier was how annoying some of them would get when discussing Crossfit, whether on Facebook or randomly at get-togethers. It was like being that odd man out in a group conversation about an epic weekend in Vegas that you couldn’t attend. You politely chuckle at some of the stories and pretend to get the inside jokes, but it’s not the same because you weren’t there. No matter how hard you try, you can’t fully relate.
But now I can. After three months at Windy City Crossfit, I can’t deny the fact that I am indeed addicted. Waking up at an hour I usually only reserve for catching a flight somewhere fun, I spent the winter driving to a drafty old converted warehouse before the sun showed its face to swing kettle bells, jump on boxes and dead-lift more weight than I thought I could. I learned that wall balls, skinning the cat and thrusters are codes for activities that will make you sore — and happy you did them at the same time. And burpees aren’t just what happens when you pat a baby on the back. Nope. Turns out they’re far less charming.
And that’s where Windy City Crossfit’s trainers come in, encouraging and carefully guiding you through movements and techniques that may seem awkward and tedious at first, but later you’ll recognize as necessary to see the proper results. They remember your name, eliminate any reservations you may have, correct mistakes in your form and treat you the same as the guy who looks like he belongs on a fitness show. It is truly a community, as it turns out.
So here I am, an official Crossfitter. I can finally be part of those conversations other friends have about workouts of the day (WOD), personal bests and all that. But I’d rather just enjoy the process and leave the bragging rights, Facebook posts and storytelling to them. When Crossfit is the subject, anyway. But tales of the aforementioned epic weekends in Vegas? Shoot, pull up a chair. I’ve got plenty of those I don’t mind sharing.
Visit www.WindyCityCrossfit for class schedules and more information.