Yes, I do CrossFit…yes, it is hard…and yes, I like it

Managing Editor, Meghan Laakso, captures her favorite new sport, Crossfit.

Meghan Laakso

Managing Editor, Meghan Laakso, captures her favorite new sport, Crossfit.

Meghan Laakso, Managing Editor

After years of playing soccer and participating in team sports, I realized that dealing with the politics and drama of teammates and playing time was not something I wanted to bother with anymore. People were so worried about the other person taking their spot that the game became hard to enjoy. The ‘team’ aspect wasn’t there for me anymore and I knew that I needed to do something where I could focus on myself and my athletic improvement.

So I joined CrossFit.

I went to CrossFit Gig Harbor on Hunt Street and at first I was very apprehensive. If you YouTube clips of famous CrossFit athletes, all you see are these large, muscular people throwing massive amounts of weight around like it is no big deal.

The first couple of weeks were emotionally and physically draining. I learned right away how out of shape I really was and this embarrassed me as I looked around and saw these athletes. I had never been so sore in my life. But, even though it was basically hell on earth, I had no desire or even thought to quit. I liked the challenge. I got used to being sore. The people and coaches were non judgmental and, even though they were about personal gain, they were so supportive. Everyone understands that each person there is at a different level and the amount of encouragement is overwhelming

Soon I began to see a difference in myself- both physically and mentally. Within months I was able to start throwing around weight and I began to surprise myself with the things I was able to do. I mean, I still can’t do a pull up or even 10 perfect push ups, but other than that, my ability to Olympic lift has improved and made me strong.

CrossFit is just as much mental training as it is physical. One thing one of my amazing coaches has told me was that weighted squats are a metaphor to life- no matter how much life piles on you, all that matters is that you stand up. Kinda cheesy, I know- but it made me start to compare my own life problems to the weight I was lifting and by doing so, I found an outlet for frustration, anger, disappointment, and stress. This only left me feelings of pride for myself and then the happiness from the endorphins released by exercise.

In February, I participated in my first team competition. It was just an in-gym friendly and each team was made up of four members. Together we went through a series of events and, in the end, my team came in second. My assigned team members were all men much older than me so it was a huge turning point for me when I found myself able to keep up with them then entire competition. They weren’t ever having to wait for me to finish and they didn’t have to pick up any slack from me being too weak or slow. Together, we kicked butt and I had the best time of my life.


CrossFit has made such a major impact in my life. Not only am I healthy, but strength training is a good way to prevent injury and muscle/ bone break down when I get older.

But, I get it. CrossFit is not everyone’s cup of tea. I still encourage everyone to try it at least once because they could like it in the end. It’s a unique and affirmative way to exercise. I have learned more about myself than I ever did playing a game of soccer.