CrossFit. This one form of exercise can ignite the deepest of emotions in people. You seem to either vehemently hate it and think it’s the dumbest thing in the world, or you’re so passionate about it, you take any negative response as a personal attack and someone has kicked your puppy.

I’ve done CrossFit, and I love it (please don’t hate me). I understand it’s not for everyone. I even understand why people are tired of hearing about it. It’s like CrossFit has been shoved down the throat of every person with a pulse. But I think it’s worth considering that there is a reason people feel so strongly about it – and why we seem to want everyone in the world to join.

I had no idea what to expect when I started CrossFit, but it’s changed how I look, how I feel and how I think. THAT is why I feel so strongly about it and hope that (no matter what fitness program you try), you end up with that same feeling of empowerment.

My CrossFit Reason

CrossFit means something different to every person who does it. I started it because I wanted a kick in the butt with my fitness routine. I figured I’d get the push I needed and lose some weight, with the motivation from CrossFit women around me. Never once did it occur to me that I, in fact, probably didn’t NEED to lose any weight, nor would my frame support it. I was in a sub-conscious battle of “wanting to be skinny” vs. my body’s biology. After embracing paleo and continuing to work out, I found that I wasn’t actually losing any weight, I was gaining it. The number on the scale truly bothered me (probably a lot more than I let on). I was pretty upset about my weight and I was pretty upset that I felt like I wasn’t making any “numeric” progress at the gym.

Then, a few months into CrossFit, I noticed a change… I began noting other CrossFit women and their muscular legs and arms (considered “large” by most standards), and I ADMIRED them for it. I didn’t look at them and think “Ew, they’re fat.” I thought “Oh my God, her quads could probably snap my neck. THAT’S AWESOME!” I noticed a ‘switch’ in my brain of what CrossFit meant to me and what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to join the pack of CrossFit Women. I don’t want to be your stereotypical “skinny” chick. I want to be STRONG. I want the muscles that exemplify the hard work I put into training. I want people to look at me and go “Wow, that girl is a power house!” (Before, if someone used the word ‘house’ to describe me, I probably would have ugly cried.)

I have a long way to go, and I know there will be days where a number on the scale bothers me, or I don’t feel comfortable in the clothes I’m wearing. But I’m surrounded, daily,  by some pretty amazing CrossFit women, who are both physically and emotionally strong, and I can tell I’m certainly the better for it .