The Secret Society of Awesome

Lisbeth Essays

It used to be a very small society — this CrossFit thing. You’d wear your CrossFit t-shirt in the airport and hope that another CrossFitter spotted you and wanted to talk … because the people in your town sure didn’t understand what the hell you were doing. They thought you were crazy. They still do — except now they’re members at your box too.

Then it got bigger — more folks would give you the head nod, or the grin.

I ran through an airport in 2008, late for a plane, with an unzipped jacket over my CrossFit shirt. I was actually sprinting towards the gate, my jacket flying open as I skidded around the corner. My “CrossFit” flashed for a moment. A man on the other side of the waiting area threw his arms in the air and yelled “CROSSFIT!” as I ran onto the plane. That’s when I thought “We’re really onto something” — because no one had ever yelled “Mountain biking!” or “Elliptical!” across a crowded airport to me in my entire life.

The secret society is not so secret anymore. I sat in my optometrist’s office the other day and listened to the CrossFitting staff discuss snatches and cleans with the CrossFitting patients, in between trying on glasses and discussing lens coatings. That was weird — and it was actually really cool. They all sounded so excited.

Some people mourn the spread of CrossFit — they long for the early days when it was still small and not so well-known. Let them. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. You can only grasp what is front of you. Like my friend who texted me because the cell phone salesman had seen her CrossFit hoodie and was suddenly able to give her an upgrade and a free case. He was one of us too. “CrossFit is like this secret society of awesome,” she said. Yeah. Indeed, it is.

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Lisbeth Essays

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