We Think CrossFit Should Be For Kids Too
This past weekend, I had a really unique opportunity to compete in a local Crossfit style competition with my 13 year old daughter as my partner. During the competition I had some time to really reflect on how important CrossFit has become to both of us and why I think that CrossFit is for kids.
First, a little background….I've always loved working out.
I'm very dedicated to the point of being obsessive with my exercise. It just makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something and doing my best to stay healthy for my family. About a year and a half ago, I was searching for something new because my workout routine was getting boring and I wasn't getting the results I was looking for. I stumbled upon CrossFit, and like many people that try it, I was hooked. My daughter, Ashley, also shares my appreciation for working out. She was previously involved with gymnastics, and has always liked being active.
After Ashley heard me talking more about CrossFit, she asked if she could start going too.
To me, this was a really great idea….we get to spend more time together, and also increase our fitness together. My only concern was whether she would enjoy CrossFit, if it was safe for her to do, and also whether she would be consistent with it. So, I got on the phone and called my local Crossfit affiliate…Fallbrook Crossfit. They were very open to the idea of Ashley (12 at the time) getting started in Crossfit.
Over the past year and a half, we have become completely fascinated with the idea of getting fitter and learning new skills everyday.
On most all weekdays, we wake up at 5am so we can get ready in time to attend the 6am class. I never have to badger Ashley to wake up…she happily wakes up and gets ready right away. This to me is a very unique quality for a teenager. She has an internal drive to her that is very hard to find. We generally attend 5 hour long classes a week, go to the open gym for a couple hours on Saturday, and many weeks we take a couple hour long private lessons to improve our skills.
Since we started Crossfit, we have done a lot of traveling.
In fact, on every vacation, we drop in at a local “box” (that's what we call a CrossFit gym). We've been to 13 different facilities. The coaches are always very impressed on how good Ashley is, and her dedication. This is a direct result of Ashley's work ethic and the excellent coaching we receive at Fallbrook Crossfit on a daily basis. We also attended the Crossfit Games in Carson, CA this past year. And, we both took the Crossfit Level 1 Coaching certification class over a weekend in Las Vegas last summer. We've made CrossFit a part of our lifestyle, more than just how we stay fit.
Fast forward to this past weekend… our box hosted a partner competition put on by the California Affiliate League. Teams could be co-ed or same gender. There were 3 categories….scaled, intermediate, or advanced. We thought it would be a unique opportunity to make our own team….father and daughter, and have some fun. I never even considered the idea that I would be able to compete on a team with my daughter in any type of athletic competition, so this was very exciting to both of us.
The workouts were challenging as they were setup for adults….not kids/teenagers. This generally translates to some heavy weights and advanced skills. We competed in the Intermediate category.
The weeks leading up to the competition were exciting. We practiced all the workouts a few times, and tried to be as prepared as possible. There were challenging weights and movements for each of us in the competition workouts, so it was a great way to push our own limits.
On the day of the competition, we had a blast.
Ashley lifted more weight than she was able to pull off in practice. Our workout times were also much better on competition day then they were when we practiced. I guess we must of have been pretty pumped up to perform. Many of the spectators and fellow competitors were shocked at how well Ashley performed. This stuff is not easy!
Out of 15 teams in the intermediate category, we placed 13th overall. Of the 4 workouts, we placed 15th, 8th, 13th, and 8th. So, you could say that it wasn't a great finish, but I feel otherwise. We were competing against some excellent adult athlete teams that were in prime physical condition.
But what was even more important was that we both had a great time.
For many that do not know what Crossfit is about, they might not agree with a 13 year old girl doing this type of exercise. I wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment. Ashley has gained so much as a result of her Crossfit journey. Her physical fitness is truly off the charts, and it will only improve. She can lift weights (very heavy ones), and she performs varying functional movements on a daily basis. Crossfit is different everyday which prepares your body in amazing ways. She also has realized the importance of proper nutrition. She has made the connection between fueling your body the right way and increased physical performance. She has a healthy relationship with eating…..an area in which too many teenage girls struggle due to society pressures. She loves eating healthy foods, skips the junk food and soda, and doesn't even care about what the scale says because we never use one. As a result, she is extremely healthy and has a developed a tremendous amount of confidence as a direct result.
CrossFit is also built on a community of support. Ashley has a whole group of people that support each other and want to help each other succeed and meet their goals. It teaches young people that dedication and hard work pay off. The instructors are very well trained and with proper supervision and teaching it is safe and a smart way to encourage fitness.
As you can probably tell, I'm thrilled that my daughter and I can share a hobby like this together. I would definitely recommend that all children consider CrossFit…. just make sure you do it with them!