The Cult of Crossfit
Q. How do you know if someone does Crossfit?
A. They tell you.
No matter who you are or where you’re from, you likely have a friend who has joined a cult. No it’s not some new Hollywood fad religion (you know which ones) it’s the new hard-body religion of Crossfit.
Friends that used to sit down for a beer and cheese pizza now can’t because of this new religion’s special diet restriction’s. They are obsessed with their new rituals and sacraments. Special games that you haven’t played since sixth grade have become part a thrilling part of their daily lives – I mean how many middle-aged people are playing dodgeball?? Turns out a whole lot these days.
So here’s my personal survival guide to having friends in Crossfit.
First of all, be compassionate. They are much like a sixteen year old kid in love for the first time. While it isn’t first love, Crossfit for many adults is the first chance to “play” and work out really hard that they’ve had in years. It is a passionate and overwhelming experience. Just as the sixteen year old will settle into the reality of her first relationship (or go through the sad disappointment of it’s failure) your friend will eventually lose the obsessive need to talk of nothing else.
Second, recognize that while this is a cult like atmosphere, they actually are free to leave at any time, and are willingly putting themselves through the ritual torture of insane workouts. No one is promising them heaven for a thousand lashes (or sit –ups), and hell if they eat a twinkie. (Ok – some people are promising that – but not most). And most people who join crossfit will eventually quit, since living your life constantly sore gets old at some point.
Third, for those who are determined to stick with it – it actually is a good thing. When my husband signed up for crossfit I warned him to be prepared to meet lots of beautiful women. Just about every hard-body in our town can be found in that place. It is like you sifted the town and pulled only the fittest ladies out. Of course everyone starts somewhere, and it is fun to watch people as they lose weight and gain muscle. Your friend is starting a healthy lifestyle, so be happy for them.
Fourth, almost no one actually lives by the Paleo diet. What is shocking is that there are some of them that do. But this diet idea is just another “quasi modern religion.” The idea starts with an “eden.” With this diet it revolves around Paleolithic man and his apparently virile and healthy life. Apparently before mankind started planting and tilling he was happy and healthy and joyful – and only once he began eating dairy and grains did sadness beset him. Of course the obvious question is: Why on earth did he bother farming and eating dairy if he was so much happier and healthier before? In this religion the excluded foods are grains and dairy, so goodbye beer and cheese. If I was told I would lose five years of my life unless I gave up cheese and beer I’d kiss those five years goodbye in a heart beat. Whatever Paleo man was thinking when he gave up his nomadic life for a field (and archeological evidence suggests that beer was exactly what he started farming for) I 100% support his decision to settle down. So while there are some folks at crossfit who live by this diet – most of us (oh – did I mention that I’m a cult member myself?) just …don’t.
I hope this survival guide will help you in your relationships with those members of the crossfit cult. And if for any reason they are driving you nuts you can always poke them. They are surprisingly vulnerable. They may be tough enough to do hundreds of pull ups – but I promise you, they are so sore you can have them begging for mercy just by tapping them on the arm.