“3 ways CrossFit made me a better human.”

Image: iStock. 

We’ve heard the jokes: You know someone does CrossFit because it’s ALL they talk about! I used to laugh (and agree) with this before I started my own CrossFit journey. Now, just shy of three months into my own experience, I’m starting to understand on a deeper level, why the workout is more than a workout, and why it really is something to talk about.

1. It’s a fight against your own limits.

CrossFit is hard. In fact, it’s the hardest physical activity I’ve ever done in my life (and I was a state level wrestler in high school and played college lacrosse). There are days when I feel the workout wins-like it conquers me. These are the same days that I realise something far more powerful…

CrossFit isn’t just a workout. It’s about resilience, strength and courage. Courage to show up, to go as hard as you can even though you know you’ll be exhausted and to finish no matter what it takes. When you feel defeated and when you’re so winded your throat is burning from sucking in air is when your emotions make an appearance.

Whatever may be happening at home, in your relationships, in your finances etc. is on your mind. You’re thinking about it, and you may even feel conquered by that but you work through it. You get through the workout, you do your reps, you watch the clock, you chug your water and you get through it no matter what. CrossFit is a way to work through ‘your sh**’ from the inside out. To problem solve and regroup. It makes you strong enough to handle whatever comes your way.

Mentally, Crossfit allows individuals to grow into a more stable, grounded and tenacious state of mind. There’s no question about the strength one acquires during intense physical training. Whether it’s CrossFit or another workout you participate in, ask yourself an important question: Do you feel uplifted once you’ve completed your workout? (Paper Tiger‘s Jenna and Casey show us a simple leg exercise to try at home. Post continues after video.)

2. CrossFit has the ability to transform not only your body, but also the way in which you view your body.

For the first time in my life, I feel absolutely comfortable in my own skin. I haven’t stepped on a scale since I’ve started my journey. I also haven’t worried about what size I am, what areas are ‘still flabby’ and where my cheat meals will go! It’s truly the most liberating feeling in the world to feel confident and sexy in absolutely anything you put on.

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More than a physical change in my body, I feel tough. I know that I work my absolute hardest every single day I step into the CrossFit gym. Now, it’s not about what size my jeans are, but about the progress I’m making in my strength training. It’s about my mobility and flexibility and how I am able to endure more. There is no piece of clothing, no weight and no before and after pic that can bring that genuine feeling of health, mobility and energy.

One CrossFit couple, Iliana and Joe, from Florida, decided that traditional engagement shots aren’t their style. Instead, they decided on a location with more significance: their local CrossFit gym, where they spend a lot of time together. (Post continues after gallery.)

3. CrossFit is about community.

It’s about your partner during the workout, your brunch after class and your small talk acquaintances when you’re lying face down on the ground in front of a fan. Your fellow CrossFitters are going through the same emotional and physical battle that you are.

They are growing, inside and out, in the same ways you are. They faced the same challenge to get up and show up and give the workout the attention and sweat it deserves.

CrossFit is not for everyone. Just like Zumba, organized sports or yoga isn’t for everyone either. Do I recommend that everyone try it once? Absolutely. CrossFit (and any true quality workout that makes you feel great) doesn’t discriminate against age, weight, gender and capability.

There is a place for everyone in CrossFit and I encourage you to see if it’s a place that makes you feel home. Whatever you do to engage in physical activity, do it with intention and emotion. Do it 100 percent and make sure you look forward to it before it happens and you leave feeling happy and alive.

This post originally appeared on Daffnee Cohen’s website. Daffnee Cohen is an writer, entrepreneur, fitness instructor and health advocate. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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