10 Lessons Learned from 1 Year of CrossFit

  • You have no idea how really out of shape you are until you start CrossFit. I remember doing 90 burpees on my first day and thinking I was going to never make it off the floor by the end. You know what? I did and kept coming back for more.
  • You’ll have sore muscles where you didn’t know you even had muscles every day for the first 2 months and then you either don’t realize you’re sore anymore or it goes away. I’m still not sure which is true.
  • Your goals will change. I started at No Risk CrossFit with the very specific goal of training for a Spartan Sprint and learning how to climb a rope. I quickly realized that it wasn’t something I wanted to quit after finishing my first Spartan Race. I kept adding and achieving goals: climb the rope, handstands, handstand pushups, pull ups, toes to bar, ring dips, and I don’t think the list will ever stop (thankfully).
  • If you’re a girl, you’re not going to get “bulky” by CrossFitting. During my first week, I told my coach that I was nervous about getting bulky and he told me that it takes a lot of work to look like a female bodybuilder, that kind of body doesn’t happen by accident. Looking back, it’s a little embarrassing that I thought my body could transform into a hulk by simply going to CrossFit. I have more muscles now than a year ago and weigh 10 pounds more than I started, but I have way less body fat and my clothes fit a million times better. My scale has stayed in the closet for the past year– no more obsession with pounds (except for how many I can overhead squat). Strong is beautiful.
  • You’ll meet some great people. I work out with other moms, grandmas, students, firefighters, cops, business people- you name it. People I wouldn’t normally meet in my life as a mom but I am SO glad I have met these people I am proud to call my friends.
  • You’ll become part of an amazing community. Not only at your own “box” (CrossFit terminology for gym), but nationwide. If you’re ever traveling and want to drop in at another box, chances are the folks there will welcome you with open arms. Try that at a Planet Fitness and I doubt you’d get the same results. Ever heard of Kevin Ogar? He’s a CrossFit athlete who had a tragic accident at a competition in January. Seeing CrossFit athletes across the world join forces to support him was truly heart-warming.
  • If you’re a parent, you’re setting a good example for your kids. Seeing my kids care about their fitness and health is one of the greatest gifts I can give them as a parent. I love that my kids will do burpees for time and tell me they look forward to “working out.” My husband and I even hire babysitters so we can occasionally go to a WOD together.
  • You will likely develop an obsession with workout clothes, in my case it’s Reebok CrossFit gear and shoes. Some like Lululemon and Athleta, but Reebok fits me best. I’ve actually had to cut myself off from buying any more workout clothes because I can’t fit them in my closet anymore.

I always keep things real, so there are some things that I’ve learned that aren’t all puppies and rainbows but I’ll share anyway.

  • Some friends and family members will think you’re part of a cult and constantly share articles about how dangerous CrossFit is for you. I don’t engage in arguments with them because it’s not worth it, but I know that it is far more dangerous for *me* to sit on my butt eating crap than it is to lift heavy weights in a safe, supervised environment. Who cares if I’m addicted to it? It’s a healthy one and I’m never going to apologize for my enthusiasm.
  • You may lose touch with people in your life. This is a tough one, but it’s a life lesson. Misery loves company and there are some people who would rather complain about needing to lose weight than do anything about it. I used to be a complainer too. “I need to lose 10 pounds” or “I really need to get to the gym.” I was never doing anything about it though until I started CrossFit. When I started going, I found myself fitting into clothes from 10 years ago, and was stronger and happier. I don’t need to complain anymore and have  found myself distanced from the negativity. Friendships come and go, not everyone is happy for you when you transform. That’s life! On the bright side, I’ve had friendships grow even stronger because of CrossFit. My best friend Heather joined and one of the best parts of my day is working out together while our kids play in the “pen.”

A year later and 148 finished WODs later, I’m grateful for this life-changer called CrossFit. If you are thinking about starting any fitness routine: DO IT, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Your turn: are there any lessons you would like to add?


  1. says

    I feel the same way. I love my friends I have at CrossFit. My partner does not really work out but he is always pushing me to eat clean (I don’t know how many times I have come home to a stack of articles on chemicals in our food). Always great to have a good support system. I started in CrossFit because I needed to get up and change my life. I did not realize how much it would change me. Between the coaches and the other members it was the best decision of my life. My daughter came to watch me do the last Open workout and she said after we were done “I cannot believe you were able to finish that”. You are one of my rabbits that I chase, Heather and Jackie are the others. One day, hopefully, I will be someone’s rabbit. one saying for you, “Sometimes you need inspiration and sometimes you are the inspiration”.

  2. says

    Happy 1 Year WODiversary!!! He, He!! ;P On a serious note… I love that we get fit together & are able to spend time doing something we love to do each week! I look forward to seeing you & letting the kids play, look forward to that hour of “me” time to work hard! I’m beyond Thankful you pushed me to try CrossFit at No Risk!!! Best thing I’ve ever done for myself!! Well, besides maybe college, meet my husband, have my kids……. 😉

  3. says

    Great lessons! Glad you shared some of the not so happy ones as well. I actually didn’t consciously think about Number 10 until I read this. Very true. Some friends have been neglected since becoming so engaged with CrossFit, and my overall health in general. While those relationships might have relaxed, I’ve definitely built new, strong relationships with some fantastic people that share a lot of common interests and values as me. It truly is bittersweet, but so is life and all the lessons we learn. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your one year WODiversary!! =)

    • says

      @Kelly @ Broccoliandboxjumps: Thanks Kelly! Glad to hear you love it as well, stick with it and I’m sure you will be as happy with your results in a year! Keep it up 😀 (off to check out your blog!)