"Nerds are Strong Too!"
“We’re nerds. We unschool. We game. We read. We obsessed and fantasize. We didn’t do heavy physical activity, until my son asked about lifting weights.
Evelyn (11) and Spencer (5) have been doing CrossFit for a year. Spencer was younger than the target age when he started, but he wanted to “get buff” like his favorite superheroes! Evelyn had zero interest, but I nudged her to give the free first class a try.
The first day was wall sits. Evelyn, who had more experience in an operating room than a gym and has medically related anxiety, was pushed to her max and quit in tears. Spencer quickly learned how much hard work is involved in “getting buff” but pushed through his first class. On the drive home that first day, they both were excited to go back and do it again.
A year later, my kids are still going! I honestly thought they’d get bored or fed up and eventually quit, but CrossFit doesn’t get boring! It’s a fresh workout every time you visit. Evelyn decided to join the Teen Sports Conditioning class offered this summer. She is still afraid of falling and injuring her face (she was born with a cleft), but she pushes herself, cautiously. When they’re not in class, they’re working on movements that they struggle with. They are learning about their weaknesses and strengths. They pay attention to the foods they eat and how they feel when they eat them.
People talk a lot about the physical benefits of CrossFit, but I’m much more impressed with the mental benefits… it pushes them to overcome obstacles/weaknesses. If they have to do box jumps, they start small. When they are getting comfortable with a 10″ box, they’re pushed to try 12″, then 15″, then 18″. They’re not just picking a workout and repeating it over and over just to be physically active. They’re getting uncomfortable and testing their mental toughness. And being mentally tough helps them outside of the gym.”