How to talk CrossFit to strangers without sounding insane.
“Hi! I do CrossFit! K, bye! See ya never…”
Fair to say most of us had an opinion about CrossFit before stepping into the box. (Step 1: Don’t call it a box to a newbie.) If you’ve heard my story, you know I pretty much started CrossFit on a dare, because I thought it was that stupid. Even as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, CrossFit seemed asinine. It was only after this dare that I realized how little I knew.
Not everyone has the same start. The common outsiders’ comprehension is that CrossFit is scary and dangerous. The true danger is holding onto this misconception. Behind the bay doors of CrossFit affiliates reside the most effective prevention (and sometimes cure) of chronic disease. Behind these doors are new friendships. Behind these doors are those hidden keys to improved self-confidence, self-worth, achievement, and strength of mind.
As participants, we understand this. For all these great reasons, we share our experience with enthusiasm. Unfortunately, that enthusiasm can scare off the people who need to experience these benefits with us.
So how do we go about the conversation of “What is CrossFit?” with someone who already has a scary idea of what it might be? Let’s start with what plain old good conversation looks like.
Julian Treasure shared some helpful tips in her TED Talk. These are some of her golden nuggets ;)
-Show them Love
From the bottom up, the conversation is about them, not your Fran time or how sore your legs were after Murph. Listen to their perspective, their goals, what they enjoy. You’ll likely find that CrossFit fits their aim.
A general rule for all of life. Love never misses the point. Love isn’t ever regrettable. Show the person you’re conversing with that you care about them and when it’s your turn to talk, they may return it.
Be yourself. If you know that CrossFit is “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensities” you don’t need to purge that on them. It won’t land. Describe to them what you believe it is for you. “My escape.” “It’s the best hour of my day.” “It’s the one bit of health advice my doctor never gave me that actually works.” “It’s a party!” “It’s my health insurance.” Whatever it is to you, that’s what CrossFit can be for them, too. Hopefully, they can define it for themselves sometime.
Be Honest and Avoid Dogmatism. Dogmatism is mixing opinion with fact, or buying into something wholesale without reading the fine print. If they ask you something about CrossFit that you don’t know, more respect will be given for you saying “I don’t know, but I can ask my coach” rather than making up some BS and them losing trust in you. Don’t do that. It’s dumb. It’s like cheating reps. You’ll lose friends…
Avoid Gossip and Judging. What we do is, and I’m not being cheeky, the most effective fitness prescription on the planet. It’s why CrossFit crowns their champions the Fittest on Earth. This doesn’t, however, give us the right to sh*t talk the other methods. Everything has its effectiveness and purpose. Some more than others.
Understand that when you talk about CrossFit to someone who doesn’t know what it is, it is an important conversation. It could save their life.