Finding Your Fitness Tribe: Why I Quit CrossFit
Finding a tribe, a place to belong, is something that concerns many, if not all, military spouses. The options really start opening up when fitness becomes part of the equation. This is the story of how I tried and abandoned CrossFit and became more deeply rooted in my yoga practice. It’s all about a sense of belonging. I hope that by reading this you’ll be inspired to either appreciate or go in search of your fitness tribe so you can find a community you love.
I didn’t quit CrossFit because I got injured,
or because I hated the workouts,
or because the girls were mean to me.
It wasn’t them. It was me. I didn’t feel like I could give it my all. What drew me into the Bubble, as we call the functional fitness space here at Fort Leavenworth, was a promised sense of community. I was new to post. I wanted to meet other individuals interested in healthy living. It seemed perfect until I gave it a go for one month.
I started to sense I was in the wrong place when I felt embarrassed asking for help modifying down. Could I swing a heavier kettle bell? Yes. Could I do it in good form? Not really. I’m positive all of the coaches in the room wanted every single person to be safe, but in my mind, they had labeled me as a whiner.
I knew for sure I was in the wrong place when the group held a Paleo potluck and I really just didn’t want to go. A vegetarian in a Paleo potluck? I had visions of lots of bacon and bone broth and didn’t have high hopes for eating well that night. Again, this was all in my head, but a great indicator that the community was wrong for me.
Recently, I overheard a college student crying to her boyfriend (real tears in the shoe department!) that she just wished ‘those girls’ would accept her. The mom in me wanted to take her by the shoulders, look her in the eyes, and say, “Find new girls. Don’t force yourself into a group where you don’t belong.”
The yoga mat is where I have felt like I have belonged all along. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as at home as I did during my teacher training when my day opened and closed with meditation, there was lots of boundary-pushing time on the mat, I had world-class vegan food available at every meal, and I had access to a Swedish massage therapist (really, from Sweden!) who could make my hurts disappear in an hour. I was surrounded by people who were like-minded, or at least understanding of my lifestyle.
Someday, perhaps I’ll find CrossFit taught by a yoga teacher. That would be something! Right now, my next challenge to myself is to get back into the weight room on my own so I can boost my metabolism and build the strength I need for Instagram-worthy yoga poses.
P.S. There is magic happening here in the Bubble and it breaks my heart that I don’t appreciate it. If you’re here at Fort Leavenworth, or PCSing here soon, the classes here are wildly popular. Really. Often over 30 people. There’s definitely something to love!
Have you found your tribe? If not, InDependent Communities can help. This is a space for you to find events or meet like-minded individuals. Make yourselves at home. Don’t see one in your area? Contact us to find out about getting one started.