I asked my friend and blogger Sara to guest post about how her marriage has improved by joining CrossFit with her husband Aaron and instead of one guest post, I got two! I’m so excited to introduce this adorable couple, so let’s get started…
(Editor’s note: No one was compensated for this blog post. This is not an endorsement of CrossFit. All opinions regarding CrossFit are personal to the guest writer. Thanks!)
Hi everyone! I’m Sara, author of Fit for a Bride blog and Mrs. Brooch over on Weddingbee. I’m excited to be sharing a little glimpse into my world with you today, and talk about how my relationship with my husband, Aaron has changed since we started CrossFit back in June! Even though we’ve only been crossfitting for about 6 months, we’ve both noticed a lot of (good) changes in our relationship. I’m really excited, too, because Aaron wrote about it from his perspective, and he never writes anything for my blog! (You can tell CrossFit is a subject that excites both of us!)
On our wedding day, April 2011 // Meredith Perdue
I’m actually going to start off our story as told from Aaron’s perspective because I think he tells it so well! He shared a lot so I’ll be back with Part II later on. Take it away, Aaron!
To understand the change in my relationship since starting CrossFit it is important to first get an idea of where we were before. I have known my wife for more than 7 years and in the past 5 years she has made a significant change in her fitness routine. What started off as an every other day elliptical schedule during the week, evolved into an everyday and once on the weekend routine. Her mentality also changed from “I want to get healthier and lose weight,” into “If I don’t get to the gym today I’m going to die!” I might be exaggerating a bit on the last but anyone that goes to the gym on a daily basis understands the release and joy that it can bring.
Now, I am assuming that last part because as far as I am concerned I have never ever gone to the gym every single day for an extended period of time… Now, some guys might ask, “How is it possible for your wife to go to the gym everyday while you sit at home?” Well, first things first, my wife has a gym at her job and she loves to run. I, at the time, had a job where I could barely take lunch and, I hate running! (Even today I cannot stand the thought of running. In my opinion it takes a certain kind of crazy to even attempt to run a marathon.)
I fall into that category of “heavy lifting smart ass.” Up until 4 months ago I was the type that would hit the gym for one month solid and then taper off, until, next thing you know it is summer time again! All the while swearing that I was in shape, saying I could probably get better at my cardio.
My wife, God bless her, was never pushy or manipulative. She did not try to get me to join in on her diet plans (salmon and boiled eggs everyday? Please) or get to the gym on a more predictable schedule. She loved me for who I was and I loved her for the same reasons. I definitely thought she had become more obsessive with this workout thing but I see now that her passions had changed. We attempted to go to the gym together but with our work schedules and everything else always going on, it was next to impossible… So thus, was my status quo for three years as I watched her complete the Philadelphia marathon and several other 5ks and 10 milers.
Any man that is reading this may understand the predicament I was in but let me caution you that if your wife finds something that she likes a lot (It has become a significant part of who she is and she does it all the time) and you are not part of it, it can create a wedge between you, eventually causing resentment. On the other hand, if you make a considerable effort (nothing is easy in marriage) to become part of it, not master it and make it your own, but just to participate to the point where you can share similar stories and goals, then it will turn into something that brings you together and strengthens your bond.
So, when my wife mentions to be about going to this thing called CrossFit for a Saturday afternoon introductory class, I said why not? This would give me the opportunity to show her I can certainly do some pushups and pull-ups. Hell, I was county champ of pullups in the 5th grade!
Twenty minutes into the warm-up had me winded, but hey that is normal, it was my first time in a gym since… when was the last time I was in the gym? Afterwards I could tell that my wife really enjoyed it and since there was a Groupon that made it relatively inexpensive for the Elements Class, I agreed to trying it out for a month.During Elements we attended the same classes and worked out a schedule to where we rode together to the classes so we were able to attend each class together.
During the Elements Class I discovered that my wife is a rather competitive woman and is very physically fit. She does more rounds than I and finishes WODs quicker. This was at first discouraging for me but it has actually motivated me and given me that drive to continue.
Sara doing box jumps – a common CrossFit exercise // Photo by Kx Photography
Four months later we are both hooked on CrossFit. We enjoy spending that time together. The rides to the box and home from the box are spent talking about how we felt about the WOD and our performance. I feel that she sees me differently now since she has watched me progress and come to enjoy exercise like she does. We encourage each other and every once in a while battle each other in a WOD (closest I have gotten is a tie, once!) We come together more on what it is that we eat, we talk about our health and therefore our future and lives more. We set goals together and are accountable to each other.
Just seeing the way each other interacts with the people in our box has helped us to understand different things about each other. While CrossFit is very much an individualized program you are there with a group of people seeking the same goal and doing the same WOD. This creates a sense of family and community. Our instructors recognize us and we represent each other when we are not attending the same class. People ask about her when she is not with me and this gives me the chance to talk about her (all good of course :)) where I otherwise wouldn’t get the chance.
Doing ring dips couple of months into CrossFit. // Photo by Kx Photography
CrossFit is now part of our lives and we look forward to spending that time together. We pay more attention the welfare of each other and are closer because of it. I no longer just do sporadic workouts, I work on my overhead squat, power snatch and (one day) muscle-ups. My nutrition is also improving and since she is the expert, I ask her questions and consult her on what is best. This is good for her confidence as well. So overall, I am very thankful for CrossFit providing this outlet for us. It has brought us closer and continues to be a motivating factor in our marriage and in our lives.
Thank you Aaron, this was beautiful to read! What a lovely journey you two have been on together! I love how CrossFit has strengthened your relationship. Your support and love for each other is very evident and comes through in your writing. Part Two from Sara’s perspective coming next week!