My Relationship With My Boyfriend Was Ruined By Crossfit—Yes, Seriously

I was six months into a seemingly normal relationship when my boyfriend signed up for CrossFit. I stuck with him through three months of calloused palms, brag-complaining, and shirtless selfies. I used to laugh at the stereotypes, but now that I’ve dated the Charles Manson of CrossFit, it’s no longer cute.

  1. He basically talked in a language that I didn’t understand. Muscle-ups, double-unders, kipping pull-ups, and WODs? Oh, and they work out in “boxes,” not gyms. Like, what are you even talking about? It reminded me of that time my best friend and I made up a secret language so that we could make fun of our teachers. We were in fourth grade, though.
  2. It’s ALL he talked about. If he went 20 minutes without casually slipping CrossFit into the conversation, I would’ve been shocked. Maybe things could have turned out differently if he had a fraction of that passion for his career or, I don’t know, ME? Believe me, I want to be supportive of my significant other’s hobbies, but if I had him take a brain scan, doctors would find nothing but images of barbells and medicine balls.
  3. CrossFit is super expensive, yet he got extra cheap when he took me out. “Oh, honey… that bottle of wine you picked out is a little pricey. Maybe we should stick to draft beer tonight.” Meanwhile, he was spending $200 a month to work out in what looked like a dungeon that hadn’t been cleaned since the 1800s. For that price, you’d better give me eucalyptus towels and Kiehl’s products. You’re more likely to get tetanus than a clean towel. They do get free chalk for their hands, though, so I guess there’s that.
  4. The other girls in his CrossFit group texted him NON-STOP. CrossFit is a very social activity, which is cool, but after a workout is over, they act like they just fought by each other’s side in a battle against the ancient army. Every time a text would come in from one of his lady CrossFit friends, he’d smile or giggle like a school girl. If I asked him what was funny, he’d tell me that I wouldn’t get it. How can I explain to him that it’s not astrophysics? It’s just a workout.
  5. I couldn’t handle the brag-complaining. At first, it sounded like an innocent post-workout complaint. I was even tricked into feeling sympathetic towards his aching muscles and he got a massage or two out of me. Then I realized that his complaint always ended in a brag. Like, “My arms are killing me today” followed by, “That’s what I get for leading the group in push-up reps. I was trying to break the box record and I guess it was worth it when I did.” You fooled me once, brag-complainer. Never again.
  6. Every vacation destination had to have a CrossFit gym in town. When I suggested a vacation spot, he would immediately pick up his phone to check if there was a CrossFit gym there. I’m fairly certain that it was for the sole purpose of bringing home the t-shirt to show his CrossFit friends. Can you seriously not go a weekend without flipping over a giant tire?
  7. I wasn’t allowed to watch “The Open” with his friends because I wasn’t in his little CrossFit cult. In case you don’t know (because you have a life that doesn’t revolve around getting “swoll”), The Open is an annual five-week global competition where cult members—oops, I mean CrossFitters—will perform five workouts and submit their score online. It’s an exclusive party where its members become more obsessed with each other. They’d watch re-runs of the best performances while drinking protein smoothies and complimenting each other’s muscle growth. I’d be happier staying home and staring at a blank wall.
  8. If I ever called it a “cult,” he would get so defensive. This is why I’ve happily referred to it as a cult as much as possible throughout the duration of this article. If you know someone in CrossFit (which you likely do) then you know that they have a pretty hostile response to criticism. I could see the veins popping out of his forehead at the mention of the poor form of his people.
  9. He had more accessories than I did. From wrist wraps and high socks to weightlifting gloves and an entire drawer of CrossFit t-shirts, I never thought I would see the day when my boyfriend would out-accessorize me. Yet there we were. Nothing says, “I’m comfortable and secure” like a guy with a collection of headbands. What are elbow sleeves even for? Boy, bye.
Caitlyn is a freelance writer living in Washington D.C.