What CrossFit Has Given Me

I’ve been doing CrossFit four about six years now. I used to train five or six days per week. More recently, while recovering from illness, I have been training about three times per week. Here are three things that I have gained from doing CrossFit.


Having gone through hundreds, maybe thousands, of massively varied workouts, ranging from intermittent sprints to seemingly endless slogs, I have learned to start with the end in mind and proceed at a pace that will produce an optimal outcome overall.

No experience is a one-hundred-percent, all-out sprint forever, and no effort is perfectly smoothly distributed. There is a time to rest and a time to work, and various intensities are all valuable. I have learned to feel the visceral edge of my exhaustion and to push into it just enough to develop, but not so much that I disable myself.


Many years ago, I went through a period of having a personal trainer. I learned a little bit about how to use weights and how to exercise. However, I have learned so much more about exercise from attending CrossFit classes. Having an experienced coach continually providing feedback to me and others in the class, in the context of intense and continually varied workouts, has led to me developing into a skilled and knowledgeable athlete.

Through CrossFit training, I have gained immeasurably more knowledge and skill compared with what I got from a personal trainer alone, and at a fraction of the cost. I’m much less likely to injure myself than in the past, and I know how to train effectively.


When you start your day with a workout in which part of you says, “I can’t do this,” and another part says, “this is impossible,” but you then complete the workout, it makes the rest of the day seem like a piece of cake.

Having done this day-in and day-out for years, my beliefs about what I could and couldn’t achieve have been viscerally and irreversibly shattered. The only way I know that I cannot do something is when my figurative legs give way, which very rarely happens.

An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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