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5 ways that CrossFit has changed my life

by Brent Marks October 25, 2017

5 ways that CrossFit has changed my life

Author - Ellie Bowden, Coach @ CrossFit Wandsworth

I recently visited a box in America bearing the slogan ‘changing lives through CrossFit’.  Simple, yes. Cliché, yes. True, absolutely.

I’m lucky enough to be in a coaching role where I can not only reflect on the change CrossFit has made in my own life, but also the change made in the lives of the 100 or so people who walk through the CrossFit Wandsworth doors every day.  It’s also intriguing to me to see a beginner progress, knowing that there are so many different facets to CrossFit and wonder which part it is for them that they find most worthy of the title ‘life-changing’.

The following is a list of my top 5, but the list is of course personal and much larger than this:

1.  Egos are left at the door

It’s an attitude passed down the line from the very beginning of CrossFit; come in the door with an ego and you will most certainly get crushed. 

It also allows for the community that we have built, wherein every single person is judged equally to the last.  No one cares what your job is, how much money you have, what your social status is or what your background is in sport.  You are a beginner, and we will welcome you with open arms no matter any external factors that are relevant in other areas of your life.  If you come in thinking these characteristics mean anything, and hold onto your ego, you won’t last a week.

For me personally, I know that no one cares what I do, how heavy I lift, how fast I move or what score I can post.  For the most part, they don’t even know.  All they care about, is that I care about them!

2. Community

I believe this is the main one that changes people’s lives. I’ve spoken about having a third space in your life – your first is your home, your second is your work, and your third is where you choose to spend your spare time.  This idea was brought about by Starbucks advertising, encouraging people to use their company as their third space.

How lucky we are, to belong to a third space that brings together a group of people who are warm, caring, encouraging, strong and generous.  This type of space is one that most adults can only dream of, and CrossFit has created them worldwide.

I will never take this part for granted, and I see it every single day at ‘work’ (can you call it work?).  When someone is only a week deep into CrossFit, and the last person working for 2 minutes alone, and if you look closely enough you can see them tearing up – they are embarrassed, they are hurting, and they want to quit.  But our members gather around to encourage and support, offering a high 5 at the end.  It sounds meaningless, but it gets me every single time. This is why people’s lives are changed forever, and why CrossFit is literally saving lives every day.

3. You learn to love, or at least accept, your body

Most people openly struggle with body image. Not in the honest way of ‘I have trouble accepting my body, and it causes me emotional turmoil’ but in the little every day comments of ‘I’d buy that if I was skinnier’, or ‘I wish I had his abs’, or ‘if only my legs weren’t so big’.

CrossFit takes that stigma away.  If you are a female who worries about the size of your legs, you will soon receive COMPLIMENTS on how strong your legs are and how much you can squat.  You start to look at yourself differently, in the way of what your body can do and not how it looks.

4.  You achieve new things daily

To be blunt, adult life can be boring. 

You wake up, go to work and come home. Sometimes the days roll into 1 long line of routine, and you don’t get that rush of adrenaline you feel from achieving.

CrossFit brings that back to you time and time again.  There is a huge list of skills to master and even once they are mastered, you can always keep adding to them.  It took you 6 months to get a double under? Great, when do you aim for 10 unbroken? 100 unbroken? Triple unders?

You get the adrenaline that you’ve been missing, and it gives you the confidence to transfer to your everyday life, that you can accomplish anything you work hard for.

5. You are healthy!

This is the obvious reason why people join up, and they find the hidden benefits of points 1-4.

You don’t have nagging back pain anymore.  You’ve quit smoking. You’ve lost 10kgs which makes playing with your kids more enjoyable.  You sleep through the night. You don’t party 4 nights a week.  Your diabetes is under control.

You feel fitter than you have for 30 years! And you’ve finally found a sustainable exercise regime that isn’t a chore, that you come to 5 days a week, no matter what gets in your way. Your health is finally your priority.

Ellie Bowden is an ex-elite water polo player and law graduate, who is now a fulltime CrossFit Coach at CrossFit Wandsworthin London, UK.  Ellie loves competing and we will hear from her about community, women and competitions.

Brent Marks
Brent Marks

1 Response

Phil Bowden
Phil Bowden

October 29, 2017

I was lucky enough that my daughter Ellie introduced my whole family to Crossfit. She has and still does inspire us all!

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