What is CrossFit to you? It is not just a gym. It is my family. It is my way of life.

Some think CrossFit is the sport for crazy people who want to do the unknown and unknowable. Which is a little true.

Some think CrossFit is this elite cult that no one can enter unless you have a 6 pack. Guess what, nothing is further from the truth.

CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone—people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years.

CrossFit is functional movements performed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.

But for me, CrossFit is more about health and wellness. Above all else, CrossFit to me means Family. We get up super early to maintain our fitness because it is more of a way of life rather than an exercise program. We stay after class to help a new person get just a little bit better.

This family looks out for each other. If someone needs a babysitter because their husband is deployed and they finally got a doctors appointment, you drop everything and go over to watch two girls under 4. If someone needs help moving, 5 trucks will show up to help move things across town. If someone’s garage suddenly stops working, you show up and help troubleshoot. If someone needs a tool or ladder for one time use, people line up to offer theirs.

I do CF for many reasons. It is fun, it pushes me, it is a stress reliever, and it keeps me active without being boring. So many little things that I could find in other fitness classes. However, I have never been a part of a community that is so supportive and inclusive. Sometimes the term “community” gets thrown around at will. CrossFit has a culture. We push ourselves and those in our class past what we could do on our own. We cheer on the person who finishes last. We are just as enthusiastic about someone’s first pull up as we are someone’s mile PR.

I can understand not wanting to always use the word community when it comes to CrossFit. It is more of a culture, a way of life, and for me – it’s family.

I have moved every 2-3 years of my whole life. Home is where I’m at. Home is where my husband is, home is where my parents are, and even more now – home is my box. You will never go to a big box globo-gym and have everyone in class come up and greet you. Being a military spouse has its benefits. We tour the world along with our spouse, and get once in a lifetime experiences. But it can be a lonely existence. We move a lot. Our house looks unsettled because we have random furniture that we make fit. We miss birthdays and anniversaries. Sometimes we are lucky and find a job that is in our chosen field. We try not to get too attached to a duty station (the city and the people), because at some point – we will leave.
Eight years ago, when I found CrossFit, a lot of the stress of military life got relieved. I found a healthy outlet. I found a group of people who were supportive. I found my family. Each CF box I have been to is unique. They have their own culture, things that are important to them. But one thing is the same. The members. The coaches. The family. The community.

~Coach Michele