Is the WOD the New Dinner Table?

January 29, 2018

photocredit: The Strathdee Family  

Modern life is busy, time consuming, and exhausting. It can be a struggle to find moments to have meaningful conversations with loved ones, much less spend quality time. We’ve all heard about sitting together for dinner and sharing about our day, but unfortunately, although a great idea, life just often doesn’t work that way. Enter CrossFit. Although the idea of hanging out at CrossFit bringing a family together may seem unusual, the bonding over challenging workouts as well as the mutual goal setting, overcoming of obstacles, and health improvement all lend themselves to improvement of many family dynamics. Below are some common outcomes when families CrossFit together.

A New Way for Families to Have Fun

Families that enjoy CrossFit together get to see (family) members in a totally different light than the traditional family roles. Instead of just Mom, this person becomes a competitor and overcomer, and what a great role model for the family! A good amount of healthy competition among family members keeps time at the gym exciting and fun each time. And, of course, a great amount of cheering and rooting each other on are always great for family dynamics!

Krista works out with her husband, mother, sister, and brother-in-law, and states that although their family is very close, CrossFit has made them even closer. As a newlywed, she and her husband, Cole, have bonded over CrossFit and look forward to going together regularly. We have made such amazing friends at Vette City and wouldn’t trade the family feel that we get there every day. It’s just an extra bonus to also have your actual family pushing you through each WOD.”

Improved Health

Encouragement of a healthier lifestyle for all members of a family affects every part of the family dynamic. Establishment of regular exercise habits decreases risk factors for chronic disease and premature death, improves mental health and coping strategies, and enables activities of daily living to be done with ease. Engaging in an exercise program has both short and long term effects for the entire family, including setting a good foundation for future generations to continue. In addition, when families are working out together, it creates some great accountability also!

New Family Friends

One of the best things about CrossFit has always been the welcoming and all-inclusive community.

Families are busy, and it can be hard to find others with similar interests to spend time with. Although  CrossFit members come from all walks of life, the common love of the intense workout is a great common ground on which to base new friendships. Many of our members spend time together in and out of the gym!

Freakin' Family Bonding!

When families begin to participate in CrossFit, there are other things that may change in addition to physical fitness, including nutrition. Many of these families will begin to meal prep together in order to make healthier choices, and may, in fact, spend more time at the dinner table (and other places!) together.

Jenny explains that she and her husband were already doing CrossFit, and their son, Titus, wanted to get in better shape for baseball. He regularly wakes up at 4:45am to work out with his parents at the 5:30 class – and his mom says "it is a great connector for the family." They push each other to do better and discuss the WOD as a family the night before the workout.

Emily works out with her mother and sister and says, “It was pretty much a chain reaction. After one of us started going, the others just followed because we love it so much. We spend much more time together now because of CrossFit than we would otherwise because we are all so busy.”

Any time a family can get active together, it can become a great investment in growth, bonding, and overall health. The added intensity of a CrossFit workout seems to just add a little more passion, which we hope will be continued on for generations!  And huge THANK YOU for all the families who contributed to this piece.

This is a guest post from 
Gina Sobrero, Ph.D., ACSM EP-C. Gina is currently living in Kentucky, coaching at 
Vette City CrossFit as well as a Consultant for several national fitness, nutrition, and supplement companies. Gina can be followed on Facebook and Twitter