I’m a crossfitter the same way someone would tell you, they’re a ball player or a swimmer, a skier or a tennis player. It’s become more than an exercise program, or a style of workouts that I’ve embraced. It’s a sport, a discipline and a passion that I want to  pursue for as long as I can.

Why do I feel like I can say that now? Because of Fight Gone Bad. I’ve been working out at Crossfit Durham since May and I’ve seen the posters for Fight Gone Bad from previous year’s events around the gym since day 1. I’ve been chatting about this year’s event with other crossfitters ever since I stepped into the box. All of them pretty universally agreed that it’s one of the toughest events on the Crossfit calendar. If you ask folks what to expect from FGB the most common responses were, “pain” and my personal favorite from Coach Ashley (ATD to be specific) “expect to spend a fair amount of time staring at the ceiling afterward.” They weren’t exaggerating. But as much as my muscles ache right now (FGB6 took place on Saturday, Sept 17 2011), this event/WOD is going to be a special one for me for a long time coming.

Going through this workout with this group of athletes and competing strong (I scored a 247 which far exceeded any score I had anticipated) with my family there to support and bear witness, this has all gone way beyond any simple gym membership. I feel like I can legitimately say, “I’m a crossfitter” now.  And I say that with great pride.

Up until now, I’ve been a guy that’s getting in shape through Crossfit. I’ve been
attending the bootcamps with great enthusiasm and energy. I’ve taken the foundation courses to learn the fundamentals of sound lifting. I’ve been working out for nearly a month now in the Crossfit workouts. After yesterday, I feel like I’ve earned the right to call myself a crossfitter…a novice crossfitter to be clear…but a crossfitter.

I’ve got so much more to learn and accomplish. I am the most novice of novices. I still can’t string together more than 2 or 3 double unders with a jump rope. I’m incaple of doing a single unassisted pull up.  I still run like a draft horse…but that’s ok. I’ll get there.

I’ve come to understand that you can pursue Crossfit much as many people study martial arts. My wife has studied Kyokushin Karate for a couple of years now. At the beginning of the year, she traveled to Japan to train for 10 days and while there she tested for and earned her black belt.

For those of us who aren’t immersed in that culture, we interpret the black belt to be a symbol of a very high level of training, accomplishment and in some ways mastery of the discipline. But for her, it symbolizes that after all that time and effort she’s demonstrated her apptitude to learn, and NOW she’s ready to begin to train. At the time, that blew me away. I didn’t really grasp it.

But now, I’ve come to understand that mindset a bit better. There are so many exercises and skills to master in crossfit. I could literally spend a life time participating and it’s quite likely that I won’t master all the things I want to. But that’s ok. It’s the journey and the things that I learn from it as well as the skills that develop and the fitness that results from it. I don’t know what anyone else’s perception of me around the box may be, but in my mind, I’m a crossfitter now and I’m pretty damn proud of that.