Marriage and CrossFit

By Mandy Dean -

If you would have told me over 2 years ago that CrossFit would make my marriage stronger, I would have laughed at you. I was sure I didn’t have time to fit that in to our crazy schedule, and I couldn’t imagine how me struggling to work out at over 200 pounds would be remotely attractive. My husband wasn’t even interested in going to the gym. We tried that already. We signed up for a local gym and did the side by side treadmill walking. It only lasted a month or so before we were back to the house, watching our money go out of our account to a gym we didn’t use.

When my husband started CrossFit, I thought he was crazy. What triggered this man who hated working out to choose the most notoriously hard workouts? I was sure it was a mid-life crisis. It would pass. But I watched him go, religiously. I was supportive, even though I definitely didn’t know what had possessed him.

Three months later, he was still going. I decided after watching from the sidelines to go to the 101 class myself. I had watched him change right before my eyes. He was happier, more upbeat, and more energized. He was also losing weight and toning up fast.

Going to CrossFit was one of the hardest things I ever did. However, I had him there, encouraging me, promising me I wouldn’t regret it. He was ecstatic that I was going to be sharing something with him that brought him so much joy. That brings me to the first reason that CrossFit enhances a marriage.

CrossFit Couples Support Each Other

CrossFit couples know how grueling the workouts are, as well as how tired we are from the end of our workdays. We support each other. When one of us doesn’t feel up to going to the box, we remind one another how much better we’ll feel afterwards.

When we can’t quite get that PR, or we have a bad workout, we reassure each other. Don’t worry – you’ll get it next time. We also celebrate with each other when we get our best time or PR.

We also know how important this lifestyle change has been to both of us, and we make sacrifices for each other to ensure we both get that workout in. We take turns with our son’s activities, so we have equal box time. We have become a more cohesive team since we have started working out!

CrossFit Couples Have Something in Common

When my husband started CrossFit, he would get home eager to tell me all he had accomplished - he could finally do a push-up or ran a mile faster than he ever had. We were having long conversations that lingered over the dinner table rather than rushing to get to our own nighttime book or TV show.

Now, we have something in common. He and I both work jobs that we can’t talk about outside of work. You can only discuss your children for so long. CrossFit gave us something back. Something to talk about, complain about, and laugh about – together! Even when we aren’t working out at the same time, we come home and look at each other and ask: “How was your time?” or “Were you able to get that PR you wanted?”.

CrossFit Couples Change Together

We’ve changed. We are both several sizes smaller and much more tone. Together, we have lost over 60 lbs. It’s happened simultaneously, and there is no jealousy. We look at each other with amazement an admiration at how our hard work has obviously paid off.

Our eating habits also changed together. This has helped us stay on the right path. We both eat (fairly) healthy, and no one is bringing in sodas or junk food to sabotage what progress we have made.

Mindset also changes. Life isn’t easy, and marriage is hard work. The workouts are grueling, taxing, and seem impossible. Yet, we struggle, sacrifice (scale), and keep at it. We do the same thing in our marriage, when things get tough, we put our heads down and get through it together. We both know we can do hard things, inside and outside the box.

CrossFit Couples Have an Extended Family

We are so blessed to have a box with a lot of other families. They have similar goals, dreams, and thoughts about life. They have become our extended family. When my husband is concerned about getting to his 4:30 class on time because of the school bus being late, we have friends who offer to pick my son up from school and bring him to the CrossFit box with them!!

We love each other, and we love one another’s families. When one of our CrossFit members had a new baby, there we were with a meal train to feed his family, so he and his wife could focus on what was important: the new baby and rest. CrossFit families support other CrossFit families. We know life is hard, and we struggle through it together, just as we struggle through workouts together.

Still Not Sure You Want to Try CrossFit?

If you aren’t sure if CrossFit is a good idea for you as a couple, I would encourage you to give it at least a 3-month trial. You will find that it is a great addition into your marriage. You will share the ups, downs, disappointments, and triumphs. There will be a new-found spark, joy, and energy. (The newly chiseled bodies are not a bad addition, either!) You know what they say – the couple that WODs together… stays together.

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