Am I That “Guy” (or “Girl”)?

It’s impossible to pinpoint the moment. This thing starts out so innocently. “I heard about this workout my brother-in-law has been doing called ‘CrossFit’ something-or-other.
By Jamie Toland, CF-L1,

It’s impossible to pinpoint the moment. This thing starts out so innocently.

“I heard about this workout my brother-in-law has been doing called ‘CrossFit’ something-or-other. I want to try it but it seems WAY too difficult,” you’d hear yourself say to a spouse or friend.

So you go. You try it.

It is extremely challenging, but despite your inherent flight instinct you come back. Eventually, you get used to it. Then you begin to like it and actually want to go. This passing interest morphs into loving it, and you start to feel empty if you skip a WOD.

The first thing you do in the morning is check the WOD online. Next you find yourself looking at Paleo recipes and keeping track of all your PRs and how many WODs you’ve done this year compared to last year (this is an actual conversation I had this morning with my brother-in-grind, Doug).

All this is good.

All this is life-changing and develops new activities in your world. You acquire an actual interest in watching the Olympics for the weight-lifting competitions. You begin to have dozens and dozens of new friends on Facebook and Twitter and you send them Instagram photos of your meals.

Even with the most heartfelt intentions and sincere purpose, inevitably it happens.

We become “that guy (or girl)” who talks about CrossFit so much that we get on people’s nerve.

I know what you are saying to yourself, “JTol, that’s not me, though. I know other people at my box (knowing what the phrase “at my box” is a dead giveaway that you are in fact one of these people) who are like that, but not me.”

Ok, keep telling yourself that. But if you look, REALLY look through your social media, through your saved recipes and docs, through your favorite bookmarked pages, is it possible that you are the guy?

I will admit it ... I am.

Denial always breeds excuses. “Well, I only talk about it because I want people to know…” or “I only sent one or two articles about the dangers of grains.”

How about this one: “I hardly ever talk about CrossFit, I just PR’ed my deadlift and wanted to share my success to inspire others.” Yes, you too are that person.

The thing about being “that guy (again, or that girl)” is that it really isn’t a bad thing or something to shy away from or be ashamed of. I honestly believe that our zest for sharing our stories and successes comes from a place of genuine care for our fellow members of society.

In an age when obesity, health costs and disease are skyrocketing, talking about something that has its roots in healthy living and better balance and diet choices should really be viewed as contributing to the greater good. The issue is not the message but that we have a tendency to overkill the message by doing it a bit too much.

Most people blog, post or verbally promote CrossFit and its lifestyle for the simple fact that it makes them feel good and they want other people to have a chance to share in feeling good about themselves too. That’s my motivation. It’s not a cult. We don’t get commission for bringing new members into our box. I just always feel like CrossFit has been such a positive for me, I want people I know and care about to have a chance to experience the same things I have. It develops a bond among people and also harbors a love for training and being a better person.

But it’s hard to know how much is too much when it comes to posting online or talking about CrossFit in general. I’d say I do it too much. (Partially because my job is to write about CrossFit.) Again, I do it because I care about myself and the community, and I find it easy to share my thoughts and experiences with my worldwide audience because it’s just me being me.

The pitfall is when people on the outside looking in get annoyed and tune you out because they just can’t take you liking one more YouTube video of a Russian dude doing 315-pound thrusters. They get so annoyed when you constantly share articles about how processed foods are killing Americans that they block your posts on their newsfeeds.

The trick is to find a balance. Those who are ready for a real change will seek you out. My advice, tell your stories. Post your pictures and like your recipes and videos. For every eyeroll and person who blocks your updates, there are countless others who are reading and looking at what you post. At some point in their lives they, too, might be ready to jump into this crazy life we all love so much. When they do and they thank you for making a difference and helping them reach a milestone or feel great about themselves for the first time ever, remember this: Post that stuff immediately!

So, how much is too much when it comes to posting and talking about CrossFit? When did you realize, uh oh, I AM that guy (or girl)? Share your stories with me at jtolgrinder @ gmail.com.

Stay on the grind.

— Jamie Toland (JTol)
@Grindersgrind

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