Matt Forney
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How Six Months of CrossFit Changed My Life in Six Ways

This is a guest post by Kid Strangelove. Kid originally published this article at his own blog, but he deleted the site a while ago so he could focus on other projects. He asked me if I’d be willing to re-post some of his articles on my blog and I said yes.

This past Thursday was a big day. As my first six months of CrossFit and my prepaid membership were coming to a close, it was time to either renew my membership or take my fitness journey elsewhere. It wasn’t even close. I am now a member of my local CrossFit gym ’til the last days of August, when I’ll probably re-sign after that, then when that six months is over, I’ll sign again… you get the picture. Speaking of picture, every blog post needs one, and here is mine.

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Oh yeah, I’ve deadlifted with that face before. I ain’t even mad.

In the past six months, I have experienced so many incredible and positive changes in my life, and it seems like CrossFit was the catalyst, the constant push that I required. When I posted several months back about how an investment in CrossFit was an investment in my health and personal well-being, I meant it, and the results have even surprised me.

So now, without further ado, I present to you how six months of CrossFit changed my life in six ways…

1. I am fitter in every way, shape and form.

During these past six months, every single one of my lifts skyrocketed. My squats, deadlifts, overhead presses etc. have all improved from my days of hanging out bodybuilding at the New York Sports Club. My endurance greatly improved. With each workout, I was inching closer and closer to the front of the pack at my gym. I ran my first 5K. I rowed my first 5K. I’m paying more attention to my flexibility, even doing stretching homework at home while watching TV. I went from not being able to do a single pull-up to being able to string several together in a row. And then there’s double unders (which is CrossFit speak for jumping rope and having the rope pass by you twice on each jump). I went from not being able to do one to showing off my technique for learning them to others.

A common critique of CrossFit is that you become a jack of all trades, master of none. Cool. I can deal with that. It’s not like I was on my way to individual mastery of strength, power, gymnastics, or endurance beforehand, so I will take the jack of all trades label any day.

In my experience, I have no doubts CrossFit gets you fit as hell. Everything is measured, everything is a competition, everything is scaled so that every single participant can work out and watch their progress every day. In my old gym days, I measured my progress by how sweet I looked in the mirror, and it’s impossible to see daily (or sometimes weekly and monthly) progress in a mirror. But it’s easy to see progress when it’s measured, calculated and compared.

2. I’ve become insanely calm.

In the last six months, slowly but surely, I have really chilled the fuck out. Before, I would post every little angry rant on Facebook that came across my eyes. Political bullshit from the left and right? Angry rant. Radical feminists and radical Muslims joining the same cause? Rant. New York Jets? I would blow a fucking gasket. Now, all of it has just sort of stopped.

Maybe I realized that I shouldn’t be mad at things that are out of my control and I should start focusing on things that are. Maybe I’ve been overflowing with energy this whole time, but I had nowhere creative, functional and direct to apply it to, until now. Whatever the reason, I really dig this newer, more chilled out version of me.

3. The sex has been insane.

I hate to seem like I’m bragging, but in these past six months, sex has become absolutely incredible. With my newfound strength and endurance, I have been delivering girls the mind-blowing, dominant, just take me and have your way with me sex that they absolutely crave. Throwing a 100-pound girl around is a lot easier than the weight I’m hoisting on my clean and jerk, and going at it forever and ever is a lot easier than cranking out a hundred burpees in a row.

It’s not just the purely physical factors of sex that are improving for me, but the mental ones as well. I know how strong I’m getting, I know how good my endurance is becoming, and I know the path to get there. I see it week in and week out, with newer students entering my CrossFit gym and struggling through their first workouts, and unfortunately quitting. Even guys with athletic backgrounds have a hard time.

I’ve been there. I know how hard it is. And I know how hard it is to get to a good all-around fitness level, which put the idea in my head that I am probably one of the more fit guys this girl has ever been with. Possibly the fittest. And that’s when my mind dials in and the confidence kicks in. And for guys, the mental edge is key to good sex. Anyone who doesn’t think so probably hasn’t been fucking at all.

4. I’m far less susceptible to temptations and vices.

Don’t get me wrong: I still drink, I still smoke herb, I still eat shitty food, I still stay up till the asscrack of dawn and still partake in a wide variety of behaviors that are bad for me. But to compare my relationship to my vices now versus two years ago is like night and day.

Back then, it wasn’t unusual that I would go out drinking five nights a week, then smoke a few blunts and chow down on an entire bag of Lays potato chips to recover. My vices were in control of me. And as my more loyal readers know, I have had quite the relationship with some of my vices, so to kick my dependence on them and learn to enjoy them in moderation was quite the achievement.

Perhaps these vices and temptations were outlets for the energy that was built up inside me waiting to burst out, and now that CrossFit has become my primary outlet, I can finally enjoy them on a purely recreational level. It does feel good to be the guy that carries their friends home, instead of the guy that your friends end up carrying.

5. I am way more confident in my appearance then I have ever been.

As my readers know, I’ve struggled with my weight and related issues for most of my life. I started working out bodybuilding-style after graduating college for pure vanity reasons. I wanted to be the guy that girls swoon over.

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I felt ugly, I felt fat, and I wanted to do something about that. I never had any intention of competing in a bodybuilding tournament, I just wanted to turn some heads. And then I discovered the cost of turning heads was taking steroids and 24/7 dedication to your body, and that shit depressed me. I needed a daily stream of corny motivational quotes to keep me going (sweat is just weakness leaving the body, and you must suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret, crap like that). Sure, I made progress, but it never felt good enough, and I always felt like I had a chip on my shoulder.

However, with CrossFit, something shifted in my head. I was now fully aware of what my body could do, and any body that could do the kind of stuff that I was doing was a damn good one. I was enamored with the bodybuilding ideal, but CrossFit made me realize that good, athletic bodies really do come in all shapes and sizes.

It’s been months since I looked at a scale, which was an almost daily obsession of mine in the past, because right now, the only weight that matters is the weight that I can lift. And with that weight consistently going up, I figure that the body doing the hoisting must be a damn good one.

6. I’ve realized what’s truly important in life.

If it wasn’t clear by the last section, in the looks versus function category, I finally chose function and never looked back. And that kind of focus, that kind of concentration on what is good and what I like has made its way to other areas of my life. I see my good friends a lot more, I see my family a lot more, I’ve become a more open and honest person, more friendly, more spontaneous, and just an all-around better guy.

My need for outside approval has dropped drastically, and I am not ashamed of anything that I do, which is new for me, because shame was a pretty big part of my existence for a really long time. I have learned to love myself and learned to show love to the people that love me. I have become a far happier person, and that has been the biggest improvement in the past six months.

Well, there you have it: the results of my last six life-changing months of CrossFit, as I eagerly await the next six. If you are on the fence about trying CrossFit, I suggest you give it a shot. If you feel like you’re in a rut physically or mentally, then don’t be afraid to try something completely new and different.

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