As we were discussing dating at dinner on Saturday night, it occurred to me that courting a CrossFitter is a bit trickier than usual relationships… we have a few fiery tendencies that can be difficult to deal with for the uninformed. So, as a public service announcement, here’s a crash course on how to date a CrossFit athlete.
1) LEARN TO COOK
One of the fastest ways to a CrossFitter’s heart is through their stomach. Fast food and pizza ain’t gonna cut it. We like to eat REAL food- food that requires a little time and effort to prepare and cook. I’m not saying you have to be the next Emeril Lagasse or Tyler Florence, but you’d better be comfortable shopping for fresh produce and making some basic, healthy dishes. If you really want to leave an impression, brush up on the “Zone Diet” and the “Paleo Diet”- being able to discuss the pros and cons of each while preparing an awesome meal will definitely get you bonus points with your athlete.
This isn’t to say we don’t enjoy some indulgent cheat meals- I can crush a “Gotta Have It” waffle cone at Cold Stone and go back for seconds, no problem. But when I get done with a brutal WOD, I’m not interested in greasy cheeseburgers and microwave dinners- show me the slow cooked spare ribs and sweet potatoes. If you aren’t on board with the whole “clean eating” lifestyle, or if you’re too lazy to cook… things probably aren’t going to work out.
2) GET YOUR LULU ON (OR OFF)
It doesn’t have to be Lulu. Or Reebok. But we can spend hours discussing clothing and equipment (I’ve had half hour conversations about footwear on more than one occasion…). So do some research on “CrossFit apparel”: wrist wraps, Nanos, shirts, shorts, gymnastics grips, headbands, compression socks/sleeves, jump ropes, etc…
And after we spend that $50 on a Lulu shirt, what do we do with it? Take it off. Duh. Sweat is one of the few constants in a CrossFit WOD. Contrary to popular belief, taking one’s shirt off is not a way of saying “Hey! Look at me!”… I’ve always seen it as communicating “Hey! I’m working my ass of and sweating like crazy!” It also displays confidence in your body (and community, for that matter). Trust me, every single one of us has things they’d like to change about their body, but if you have the confidence to say “I may not be perfect, but it’s hot as hell in here, and I know that my family of athletes won’t judge me… screw it, I’m taking this shirt off!”- that’s definitely a check in the plus column for single athletes. Granted, we aren’t likely to go after the high maintenance vanity kings and queens, we’re certainly not interested in a self-doubter who is unsure of their abilities.
3) FORGET SLEEPING IN ON SATURDAYS
The CrossFit culture encourages an active lifestyle… Saturday mornings are not for sleeping in, they’re for the tough Hero WODs, the road races, the mud runs, or whatever crazy weekend warrior activity we can talk our friends into. We’re not opposed to going out on Friday nights, but spending Saturday morning crumpled up on the couch nursing a hangover is not our idea of a good time. Saturday represents an opportunity to express our fitness by competing and playing various sports- a chance to cut loose and have fun outside. If your Saturdays are more along the lines of drawing the blinds, watching TV all day, and regretting the number of martinis you had the night before, you’re probably barking up the wrong tree… you might wanna reconsider dating a CrossFitter.
(I don’t want to give the impression that we don’t like to party… Sometimes I wonder if the unofficial motto of CrossFit is “Work Hard, Drink Hard.” I’m just trying to warn you that just because we’re out until 2:00 AM doesn’t mean we’re going to miss that 8:00 AM WOD, regardless of where we land on the still-drunk to hungover-as-hell spectrum. Life is for living, not feeling sorry for yourself on the couch.)
4) ACCEPT THAT “FIT” IS THE NEW “SKINNY”
This is a big one. If you’re a scale-worshiper, or afraid of being strong, I wouldn’t even bother attempting to date a CrossFitter. We’re attracted to fitness, not dress sizes. If you starve yourself every day for the sake of losing a few pounds on the scale, you aren’t CrossFit compatible. Your “Fran” time and clean PR are more important to a CrossFitter than your waist measurement. Got the model looks, but can’t do a pull up or back squat your own body weight? Forget it.
Let me say it like this: if you tell me your girl is a beauty queen, I’m not even paying attention; if you tell me she runs 7:00 min miles, I’m listening with one ear; if you tell me she deadlifts 300 lbs, I’m listening with the other ear; if you tell me she runs 7:00 min miles AND deadlifts 300 lbs, I’ll be at the jewelry store shopping for rings.
And fellas- the same thing applies to you if you’re interested in that CrossFit hottie you met the other night. All the beach muscles and biceps in the world aren’t going to impress her when you bust out that 20+ minute “Helen” time. If you’re trying to drop your bench press numbers in a conversation with her, she’ll probably ask what your 5K time is, or about you snatch PR… and don’t be surprised if she laughs in your face. CrossFit chicks are far more impressed with performance than they are bulging pecs and abs of steel- if her legs are bigger than yours… well, she doesn’t date guys who don’t squat.
5) GET INTO CROSSFIT
CrossFitters are pretty passionate about CrossFit (and we all know they won’t shut up about it)… If you really wanna date someone in “the cult,” the first thing you should do is try CrossFit. There is a reason we are so fanatical about it- it’s pretty awesome. But more importantly, it’s something you can do together. If you really want to get to know your athlete, and be accepted by their friends, then go work out with them. Learn the lingo. Go to the social events outside the box. We don’t run our mouths non-stop about CrossFit just for the sake of talking- we really do LOVE the CrossFit lifestyle… and we all want to be with someone who shares our joys and passions, right? So give it a shot. If you don’t like it, it doesn’t mean things won’t work out, but at least you made the effort.
So if you’ve got a crush on that CrossFit athlete down the street, hopefully this will give a little insight into winning them over. Dating an athlete isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re not an active person. You’ve gotta buy into the fit attitude and healthy lifestyle to really catch their eye. Share the passion for health and fitness. Stop worrying about the aesthetics- we’re more interested in your effort and performance. Beauty, like fitness, is a natural thing. No one can sell it to you.