At 6 feet, 5 inches tall, I have run into my fair share of height-related inconveniences. For example, the ever-shrinking distance between rows on an airplane has made even short flights a grueling experience. I also have roughly the same odds of finding clothes that fit me as the Cleveland Browns have of winning a football game. And ceiling fans are a serious hazard to my health. But none of these frustrations compare to that which I, or any tall guy or gal, experience at the gym.
On the morning of Memorial Day, I found myself soaked in sweat, laying flat on my stomach, head-pounding, arms shaking as I closed in on finishing the prescribed 200 push-ups. I was not alone. Surrounding me in the austere and sweltering warehouse-like gym were a few dozen people, all battling the heat to labor through hundreds of push-ups, pull-ups and air squats, bookended by mile-long runs.
CrossFit is the hottest thing since skinny jeans, and with all the hype and attention, there is bound to be some hate. But, unlike the Kardashian mania, this hate is unwarranted. Here I present some CrossFit misconceptions and share my experience as someone who has belonged to two “boxes” --- that’s lingo for a CrossFit gym. I also offer some insight from CrossFit coaches and sports medicine professionals.
Black Box, work out of the day, burpee, ass to grass, kipping, Turkish get-up: If you know these terms, then you are one of the thousands of service members who have found their way into CrossFit. There are now countless CrossFit gyms on military bases around the country and even a few in Afghanistan that are operated by active-duty military members. In the civilian sector, there are numerous CrossFit gyms owned and populated by combat veterans.