Without a doubt, one of the most powerful aspects of CrossFit is its ability to prepare people for virtually any physical circumstance.
Unlike traditional approaches to fitness, most of which involve a very limited set of movements and fairly strict regimens, CrossFit takes a varied and multi-disciplinary approach to workouts. The movements are compound (involving lots of different body parts and muscles) and highly functional -- the kind of movements the human body has naturally evolved to do: lifting, pulling, pushing, jumping and running.
This approach to strength and conditioning typically results in the emergence of a more well-rounded athlete, one who is better prepared to meet vastly different physical challenges. In other words, it creates an individual who can do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it -- including those daily activities that are completely outside of athletics.
Take me, for example. Since starting CrossFit a little over a year ago my endurance and strength have increased appreciably. This was driven home recently when helping a friend move; I had no difficulty moving heavy objects all day and I never grew tired. And just as revealing, I wasn't sore the next day.
I had a similar experience when camping at Algonquin Park this past summer. Rowing a canoe for nearly 10km was a breeze, as was chopping wood. My ability to keep chugging along earned me the nickname "CrossFit" among my fellow campers, some of whom were clearly out of shape and who often struggled to keep up -- a reminder to me of how valuable it is to be in shape and how it can enhance quality of life and experiences.
And as for cross-sport applications, CrossFit has also made a huge difference. I started playing hockey again this winter and I'm amazed at my strength, endurance and speed. For the first time in my life I can actually out-muscle someone off the puck. I've also noticed that by the end of the game most guys have slowed down appreciably, while I'm able to continue quite strong.
All this after one year of CrossFit. Damn , I remember a time not too long ago when I would lose my breath simply by walking up the stairs. Never again.
Indeed, it doesn't have to be this way: get fit and do what you want whenever you want.