Photo from my trip to the Crossfit Games this year

*Since I wrote this piece in about 20 minutes on my lunch break today, I’ve gone back to make a couple of light edits. 3:45 p.m.*

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*My time at The 2013 Crossfit Games

I saw multiple people sharing this article“CrossfFt’s Dirty Little Secret” — over the weekend. As soon as I saw, I clicked over to see what the latest Crossfit hater-ade was.

I keep running into articles designed to dis CrossFit — but I don’t get why there is so much more  bitterness for CrossFit over any other sport. The authors of these pieces always have some kind of personal problem with people who do CrossFit but the core of it is a mystery.

CrossFit doesn’t have a dirty little secret — what you see is what you get.

This article discusses a rare condition called “Rhabdomyolysis” — where one’s muscles basically “explode” from extreme overworking. Simply put — you push push push when you shouldn’t and cause potentially permanent damage.

The way the author frames this article, though, you’d think people were dying from CrossFit on a regular basis.

I’m not going to summarize the whole article — read it for yourself. But here’s why it makes me mad…

Making Me Mad

Rhabdomyolysis — an extreme condition thwarted upon oneself — is not the fault of CrossFit. It’s not the sport, the organization or even the coaches. It’s your own fault.

People like to talk about CrossFit like it’s literally Navy SEAL training with drill sergeants screaming in your face.

Not at all. It’s actually more like people encouraging you do to do your best and yes — push yourself — because isn’t it great to have that extra motivation? It’s a positive space for you to work hard and feel good about yourself.

But use your common sense! Don’t do something that will hurt yourself. Listen to your body. Go slowly when you start. Learn correct form. Don’t lift too heavy. Scale down if you need to. Take it seriously — weightlifting isn’t a joke.

Any good CrossFit coach will tell you these things. Of course, there are bad coaches! There are bad gyms. There are people who will tell you to do things that may be harmful. Be smart.

This is when you use your brain. Hey, maybe working out until I vomit is not a good idea! Personally, I’ve never worked out until I vomited (almost after a marathon once but hey…)

My Experience

I’ve been doing CrossFit for nearly two years and have no problem stopping to take a few breaths when I need to, switching to knee push ups if real ones get too hard, going to grab a drink of water mid-workout. A couple of times, I’ve felt fatigued and sat down for a moment — and GASP! — no one told me I was weak or ridiculed me for doing what I needed to do for me.

Another part of this article that irritated me, he talks about women peeing during double unders and says, “No, peeing during a workout is not alright. Ever.”

First of all, marathoners and triathletes do this regularly. Secondly, if you know anything about double unders, you DO have to empty your bladder out completely before you do them!  Bouncing up and down like that does somethin’ to ya and guess what? It’s not “extreme exercise.” The author calls it “stress-induced urinary incontinence.” Nope, definitely not stressful to do double unders. I love double unders — I just make sure I pee before I do them. Ain’t no thang.

**UPDATE: A ton of people have responded to this “peeing issue.” I get that “stress-induced” doesn’t not mean actual stress in the traditional sense. I get that urinary incontinence is a real thing. This piece is not a scientific study and some things are some in sarcasm as well. And to clarify, I do NOT pee on myself as some have accused. I do make sure to pee before I workout in case I feel uncomfortable. Part of blogging is honesty and that’s what you get with me.

What It Comes Down To

CrossFit haters like to blame CrossFit as a whole — call it a cult, label people are “weird,” or “obsessed.” Folks will say CrossFit causes injury and is irresponsible. Newsflash: CrossFit does not cause injury — individuals do things that cause themselves injury.

This is what it comes down to: personal responsibility. I don’t expect my CrossFit coaches to do everything for me. I have to take the responsibility to learn moves correctly and take things slowly. I have to listen to my body and not cave to some kind of “zombie pressure” to keep going when I shouldn’t.

My back is hurt right now and why? Because I did something incorrectly and that’s my fault. I went too big on a weight and that’s my fault. I wasn’t careful — that’s MY fault. That could have happened to me working out in Gold’s Gym by myself.

Anyway, haters, stop blaming CrossFit for your problems and take some responsibility for your bad decisions.

**UPDATE: CrossFit is with me 🙂