Normal At CrossFit, Totally Inappropriate For Life

by Katie Francis

When I began doing CrossFit about a year ago, I was surprised and intrigued by all the ways CrossFit is not just a form of exercise, but a culture of its own. From the language we use, to the community each box (gym) builds, the foods we obsess over, to the various mannerisms and social interactions between CrossFitters: CrossFit communities have their own sets of rules (or really lack there of).

A week ago, I was walking through my local grocery store picking up a few things for dinner, when I began to notice that I was receiving more than my usual share of bizarre stares. Having just come from CrossFit, I realized that my appearance that morning, which was well within the realm of normal a mile away at my box, was now likely considered inappropriate for an early afternoon stroll down isle six. While people who do CrossFit are often teased for our addiction to the sport, I had not considered the way my love for CrossFit translated to others through both my actions and apparently even through my appearance alone.

My sweat-stricken hair was paired nicely with a chalk-covered body, a hooded sweatshirt with an alluded profanity, and some neon shorts despite New England’s brisk fall weather. I was suddenly hyper aware of the way my body had become socially illegible as a consequence of the way CrossFit culture has molded my appearance and even my awareness of the way my presentation varies from the notion of “normal.” So I began to make a list all of the aspects of being part of a CrossFit community that do not translate well to the rest of the world. Here are 11 examples of things CrossFitters do at the gym that are socially inappropriate everywhere else.

1. Walking around with chalk handprints covering various parts of our bodies

At CrossFit all this indicates is that the workout involved a tight grip. In the supermarket it looks like Casper has been grabbing at your backside.

2. Sudden loud grunting

During lifts, other heavy movements, or a particularly difficult WOD (workout of the day), grunting is a sign of power and strength, walking down the street and grunting may lead to many people briskly crossing to the other side.

3. Throwing yourself on the floor

Hand in that big report at work this am? Immediately fall to the floor. While we may do this maneuver post-workout at Crossfit, I would love to see your boss' face if you applied this technique in the office.

4. Discussions concerning any of the named workouts

“How long did it take you to do Fran?”

“Not as long as it took me to do Murph! But we all know I do Karen faster than Grace.”

Enough said.

5. Telling people about how you just peed a little

While I personally think the world would be better off if we could all announce this bodily reality without judgment, trust me when I say the response will be more favorable to another CrossFitter after those 200 double-unders than to the stranger sitting next to you on the bus.

6. Expecting everyone to clean

After your party Saturday night, this is a far-fetched thing to expect. At your box, entirely reasonable.

7. The constant discussion of BACON

Bacon is Paleo, and delicious, and while we all love to discuss the various ways and quantities in which we consume it, others may find this entirely repulsive.

8. Casually saying things that sound vaguely sexual

“Make sure you get deep enough with your thrusters.”

“I prefer the snatch, but I also love jerking.”

9. Suddenly and aggressively tearing off your shirt

While the taking-off-of-the-shirt mid-workout is common at most gyms, and in my opinion it signifies that things are starting to getting real, I would not recommend this action during a PTA meeting or while you’re waiting in line at Starbucks.

10. Sporting the patented double-under whip marks

I will always find the inadvertent kinkiness of double-unders highly amusing.

11. Simply talking about CrossFit in general

We all know that the first rule of CrossFit is to never shut up about CrossFit, but it seems that unfortunately most people outside of your box do not want to hear about it. But hey, you know that all of your CrossFit family would love to discuss ad nauseam how awesome being a CrossFitter truly is! From the inspiring body transformations to the endless fodder for jokes that CrossFit brings, please indulge these aspects of our culture, just try to keep your audience in mind! Happy WOD-ing!

Images: RemyZed/flickr; 4gifs/tumblr; Giphy(6); girlswhodocrossfit/tumblr; prettygirlfood/tumblr; girlswhodocrossfit/tumblr